Crowdfunding, the internetbased form of finance popularised in America, is taking off in Scotland.
Bloom VC, established by businesswoman Amanda Boyle and social media expert Michelle Rodger, is celebrating the successful funding of its first projects.
A short film, an album, a web platform to promote Scottish musicians and a contemporary dance production premiering at Edinburgh Fringe, have reached the financial goals.
Bloom is providing a way for business start-ups, social enterprises, community projects and arts ventures in Scotland to appeal to ordinary people, by-passing banks and government schemes.
Hopefuls simply pitch their idea and wait to see if enough people like it in order to reach a preset financial goal.
If they are unsuccessful, no money changes hands. If successful, supporters either receive something in return or are simply content to have helped a worthy ambition be fulfilled.
Bloom takes a 5 per cent fee and PayPal, which handles payments, between 3 and 5 per cent. The model is similar to Kickstarter, the New York-based crowdfunding platform.
Earlier this month, one Kickstarter project – to make a digital watch called the Pebble – closed its fundraising at £6.4m having set out to raise only 1 per cent of that sum.
While Bloom is in its early stages by comparison and emphasises the grassroots nature of many of its projects, co-founder Boyle is delighted with progress.