3 Funding Options for Start-ups that Actually Work!

Published 22nd January 2016 | View or add comments

I just left my third bank and one thing is clear, in my opinion they aren’t giving business funding to anyone who has just started a business. The questions vary from: How long have you been in business? To: What is your current turnover? To which the answer is usually not a lot for many start-ups.

In this post I’ll be outlining three places I’ve actually secured funding from for different business ventures. Some provided more than others but all three have led to physical funds I can use for stock, marketing or set-up costs. Surprisingly these places were a lot easier to generate funding from than I anticipated and the repayment terms are also extremely flexible in most cases, in some instances the investment is actually classed as a donation.

1.) Kickstarter

Probably the most well-known website for start-up business funding. From artists to anime there are thousands of potential projects to invest in on the Kickstarter website. Although this attracts thousands of investors or donators, this is also one of the negatives of the Kickstarter site, with most projects never receiving more than 10% of their required funding levels.


Easy to get set-up. Extremely quick to get funding. You can offer incentives to entice investors. Different levels of investing options. Community feel to the site. Most funding options are “donations” and not investments. The site is extremely popular meaning more active investors. The brand will gain exposure through the Kickstarter project itself.


There are thousands of projects on Kickstarter, it can be difficult to standout. More generic/“boring” business types tend to get avoided for the more “trendy” ones offering better or more personal rewards. If you do not reach your funding goal you will receive 0% of the pledged funds. Kickstarter takes 5% of your funding if successful. The verdict

Kickstarter is a great place to start. If you have an idea and require between £3-15,000 in funds to kickstart your business then I would recommend this site. It’s free to get listed and according to Kickstarter stats, 80% of businesses who receive 20% of funding, then go on to receive the full amount they requested. Getting the initial exposure is the key to having a successful Kickstarter project, even if you have to get friends and family to help, once you get to the 20% funding level, the odds are in your favour to go on and receive the full amount of funding!

2.) Angel Investment Network

The Angel Investment Network is a more corporate feeling setup than that of Kickstarter, with the majority of projects looking for £50,000+. When posting our business we received a wide range of offers; from 51% down to 3%, ultimately settling on 10%.

The Angel network is designed to connect people only, once you are connected with an interested party, it’s up to the individuals to decide on the terms and investment levels. This can be a partnership, a loan, an investment or in some cases a donation. It is recommended to enter into a legally binding agreement when utilising Angel Investment, rather than a “Gentleman’s agreement.”


You agree personal terms with the investor. Less competition, hence easier to stand out. High level investors willing to invest upwards of six figures into the right business. Funds can be delivered very quickly if there is trust on both sides.


£149 listing fee. Generally legal contracts are expensive. Targets UK businesses only. More targeted towards established businesses looking to grow rather than ideas or start-ups.The verdict

One of the best places to safely secure larger funding, although investors consider accounts, finances and assets, many actually invest due to the motivation or drive of the individual, if they trust they will make the business a success. Many investors are also interested in a long-term percentage share, looking for a six or seven figure payday, if and when you decide to sell your business. I highly recommend this site as the £149 listing fee also removes any time-wasters and hence only serious investors end up on the site.

3.) PayPal Working Capital

PayPal doesn’t have a great brand image in the online community, but if you have an active PayPal account for longer than a year, you will likely be eligible for working capital. PayPal’s working capital is a loan that is directly (and instantly) deposited into your PayPal account. Ranging from £1-4,500, your eligibility depends on how active your PayPal account is, the more activity you have, the larger the sum available to you.

Repayments are very simple to understand. You can choose to pay 10/15/20 or 30% of all payments that come INTO your PP account back towards your Working Capital value. For example if you take a £1,000 loan with a 30% repayment rate, from every sale or payment made into your account, 30% of it will go straight back to the PayPal company. The remaining 70% will be in your account as normal. As you would expect, the higher percentage repayment rate you request, the lower the fee will be. The fee is also a fixed fee based on only two aspects: 1.) The percentage rate you take and 2.) The amount you request (£1,000-£4,500).


Two minute application. Doesn’t affect your credit rating. Funds deposited into your PayPal account. Flexible repayments. Reasonable fees (£30 for £1,000). No late fees. Business type/age doesn’t matter.


Unless your PayPal account is very active (£5,000+ of payments in per month) you will have to start with £1,000 before being eligible for a higher amount. Fees can be expensive if you choose the 10% repayment rate. Highest funding level is only £4,500.

The verdict

A great method to get instant cash flow into a business if you already have a PayPal account in good health. I also love the repayment options, you only pay part of the funds back when you get paid, so it is a great way to ensure you don’t go overboard on spending too.


Thanks for reading, please comment below if you have any other recommended places to add to the list.

Tom Buckland
SEO Consultant
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