Wikipedia defines it as a form of crowdsourcing. It is the practice of funding a project or venture by raising monetary contributions from a large number of people, today often performed via Internet-mediated registries, but the concept can also be executed through mail-order subscriptions, benefit events, and other methods. Crowdfunding is a form of alternative finance, which has emerged outside of the traditional financial system.
The crowdfunding model is based on three types of actors: the project initiator who proposes the idea and/or project to be funded, individuals or groups who support the idea, and a moderating organization (the “platform”) that brings the parties together to launch the idea.
In 2013, over US$5.1 billion were raised via crowdfunding worldwide, which increased to US$16 billion in 2014 and was estimated at over US$34 billion in 2015