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An Empirical Investigation of Equity-Based Crowdfunding Campaigns in the United States

Following the introduction of the JOBS Act in 2016, equity-based crowdfunding has become an alternative e-Business model for startups to fund their companies. Since then, the number of platforms that offer equity-based crowdfunding as well as the total investment in equity-based crowdfunding has steadily increased. Yet, empirical research on equity-based crowdfunding has been lagging, and the empirical evidence has suggested some inconsistent findings across different contexts. Against this backdrop, this paper investigates the success factors for equity-based crowdfunding campaigns. Using a dataset collected from the EquityNet and CrunchBase platforms, we find that lack of prior experience with fundraising is the most important factor that helps equity-based crowdfunding campaigns attract any capital at all from investors; while the number of social networking connections of the core management team and the company valuation will determine the amount of capital that a business can raise through equity-based crowdfunding. Our findings call for additional research that looks at success factors for different types of outcomes in equity-based crowdfunding.

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