07/23/2013 05:15 pm ET Updated Sep 21, 2013

Startup Aims to Simplify Crowded Crowdfunding Market

Crowdfunding got its humble beginnings in 1997, when fans of British rock group Marillion raised nearly $60,000 in small donations to get the band on a U.S. tour. Today, crowdfunding has morphed into what some call a revolution, one that marries social networking and venture funding. It's made the market for small donations increasingly crowded -- but a new solution aims to help.

There are now 536 websites dedicated to crowdfunding, and in 2012, more than one million successful campaigns ran on these platforms. The fragmented market means an influx of independent campaigns are gunning for cash, making it difficult for funders and project owners to browse and showcase projects. That's why startup aims to assemble the best projects all in one place. helps project owners build communities and drive traffic through a consolidated discovery engine. Founded in 2012, the search engine indexes crowdfunding projects and campaigns from all over the Web, creating a one-stop-shop for browsing projects, tracking campaigns, or helping potential funders determine the best project to donate to.

The site aims to make it easy for owners to get their projects found -- and it does this largely by consolidating these efforts and offering filters. Users can browse to view reward, donation, equity, or lending-based projects. They can filter by total goal, location, time remaining, or view projects that have recently gone live or reached a certain percentage of their goal. The platform is free for project owners to use and will soon allow them to directly add their projects to the search engine.

Crowdfunding has come of age during a time when the Web's global marketplace gives us access to ideas, products, projects, and efforts we may have never heard of in years past. While crowdfunding started as a popular way to raise money for creative, philanthropic, or social efforts, many are predicting the market will continue to fragment itself into niche categories, with sites created for specific causes like science, technology, or real estate -- and aggregators like could be the key that brings them together.

In 2013, crowdfunding projects are expected to raise $5.1 billion. As more artists, entrepreneurs, musicians, software designers, and everyday people look to get their ideas off the ground, a search engine like could soon become a major determinant for a project's success.