Published in Financial Innovation, 2016
This study documents and compares two crowd designs for crowdfunding, namely pure crowds, where all crowd members participate as equals, and hybrid crowds, where crowd members are led by an expert investor. The hybrid design is rarely studied in the crowdfunding literature despite its large presence in equity crowdfunding. We examine industry practices from various countries in terms of crowd designs, review relevant literature on this topic, and develop a conceptual framework for choosing between pure and hybrid crowds. We identify several inefficiencies of pure crowds in crowdfunding platforms and discuss the advantages of hybrid crowds. We then develop a conceptual framework that illustrates the factors for choosing between pure and hybrid crowds. Finally, we discuss the issue of how to manage and regulate lead investors in hybrid crowds. Our study contributes to the crowdfunding literature and to crowdfunding practice in multiple ways.
Recommended citation: Chen, Liang, Zihong Huang, and De Liu. "Pure and hybrid crowds in crowdfunding markets." Financial Innovation 2.1 (2016): 19. [Download paper here]