Crowdfunding started as we know it in 1997 when a British rock band raised $60,000 to fund a reunion tour online. Not long after that, in the year 2000, a company called ArtistShare became the first true crowdfunding platform. A half decade later came Kiva, then Indiegogo, then GoFundMe and voila, the foundation of the modern crowdfunding landscape has emerged. These platforms changed lives, they helped to fund hospital bills, adoptions, art the world have otherwise never seen and even video games. By 2013 the JOBS act was in place and even the US government had gotten behind crowdfunding. But for all these many campaigns that got funded, Duuple CEO Abby Frimpong noticed the more than 50% that failed to get funded.
With a strong non-profit fundraising background of her own, Abby had seen firsthand the impact of fundraising dollars put to good use. During her time in Washington DC she raised money for a local hospital system building an outpatient diabetes clinic and integrated cancer center. Seeing the positive effect this had on the community was very impactful for Ms Frimpong. Then, Abby noticed a trend. The campaigns that succeeded had a common element: virality and storytelling.
Statistics show that by 2025 the crowdfunding market will be worth more than $1 trillion annually. Abby’s vision for the future of that market is simple. Make sure that with the increased cash flow comes an increased percentage of campaigns funded. What is the point of the influx of donors and capital if more than half of people’s campaigns will die in darkness, in an unseen corner of a crowdfunding platform. Not on Abby’s watch. Enter Duuple, Abby’s brain child and answer to the problems she’s discovered in the market.
Duuple allows the campaign organizer to easily create and manage viral photo and video challenges. This component is important because as Abby dug deeper into the viral campaigns that got funded she noticed a common thread: User Generated Content or UGC. UGC makes up the backbone of viral challenges we’ve all seen. Abby thought about the “Ice Bucket Challenge” for example. In 2014 this viral UGC challenge raised more than $100 million for ALS research. After doing a little research to confirm the numbers, Ms Frimpong grew certain that the world needed Duuple. Now, it was time for her to raise money.
Investors put their hard earned dollars into people, not ideas. The entrepreneur and their ability to execute is what separates ideas from profitable companies. Basel Holding founder Burak Basel realized that when he first met Abby Frimpong. It was clear that Ms Frimpong may have been a newcomer as an entrepreneur, but definitely not as a fundraiser. Abby had already displayed an ability to raise money at a high level for multiple organizations across a swath of industries. As such, Basel felt confident in her ability to take over the reins.
Duuple is now the American flagship of Basel Holding’s portfolio and they’re going full steam ahead. Basel Holding has been a major player in fintech for years but they’ve truly outshined their competition on the hardware side. Duuple is an opportunity for the already iconic European VC to further cement the Basel Holding name and portfolio here in the United States. Clearly the right woman for the job, Abby is poised to make a big splash in the crowdfunding community and the fintech space.
With one VC round of funding under her belt, Abby has also entered into discussions with additional VCs’ who see the financial potential of a significant stake in a crowdfunding platform. Ms Frimpong has already proven herself to be an effective leader of early to late stage startups. At the current pace, In the next 18-24 months we should be expecting Abby to add her first successful exit to her list of accomplishments. Then the sky will truly be the limit. If you think beating the odds and getting your first company VC funded is hard, imagine the odds of not only getting your first company funded but taking it to the finish line with an exit. If anyone can do it right the first around, it’s Abby Frimpong.