Participatory financing: more than a billion euros raised by 2020

In 2020, equity crowdfunding platforms surpassed the billion euro mark in fundraising, recording a 62% increase in one year. Donations and real estate crowdfunding in particular benefited from this surge.

The success of real estate crowdfunding and donations

In 2020, crowdfunding platforms raised 1.02 billion euros, including 555 million for real estate. These participative investments in the form of loans enable individuals to benefit from attractive interest rates, in exchange for taking a relatively low risk.

Real estate crowdfunding grew by 35% in 2020 compared to 2019, with funds raised in a single year equivalent to 41% of the amounts raised since 2016. However, containment limited the increase in the number of projects financed to 8%, which were not much more numerous than in 2019, but financially more significant.

The health crisis led to an explosion in the number of donations, with 218.5 million euros collected in 2020, compared with around 80 million euros each year for the past 3 years. Matching donations rose by 35%, for a total of 72.5 million euros.

Unrequited donations, meanwhile, increased considerably, with a total of 146 million euros in 2020 compared with 26.1 million euros in 2019. 52 million euros in unrequited donations went to support humanitarian and solidarity projects, often linked to the Covid-19 epidemic and support for nursing staff.

The rise of capital investment and the failure of EMPs

Equity investment, aimed in particular at financing start-ups, increased by 44% compared to 2019, with total inflows of 57.1 million euros. Investors focused primarily on the environment and renewable energies sector (17.7 million), followed by retail and services, healthcare and scientific research (10.3 million euros each).

On the other hand, the average number of investors per project has been falling for several years. Fewer individuals than SMEs and VSEs are investing, encouraging crowdfunding platforms to turn to rarer investors with greater financial clout.

State-guaranteed loans (SGLs), which participatory finance platforms had hoped to be able to distribute, accounted for only atiny fraction of the funds raised in 2020, with just 4.9 million euros. They were distributed by just 3 platforms: PretUp, October and