Meet Tilt: The Crowdfunding Platform Growing Faster Than Kickstarter, GoFundMe

Tilt was envisioned as a mobile and bite-sized tool for crowdfunding and is evolving into a social commerce platform. Marc Andreesen is a huge fan.

According to Tilt co-founder and CEO James Beshara, the original vision was to answer the question “What will crowdfunding look like in a mobile world?” However since its 2012 launch, Tilt has become a social crowdfunding app used by groups to raise funds for anything from events to social causes.

Tilt, which boasts investors including Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian and tech futurist Marc Andreessen, has experienced huge growth throughout 2015 — including a recent northern European expansion.

The platform has been most popular among college students and community organizers in the last three years. However, brands are also discovering same powerful uses and Beshara says there are 20,000 Tilts live at any given moment and a “Tilt” every 15 seconds.

In terms of iOS downloads, Tilt is the fastest-growing crowdfunding platform — beating stalwarts GoFundMe and Kickstarter.

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So what is a “Tilt?” Someone starts a campaign to raise money and invites their friends to pitch in. Once the campaign reaches its minimum goal — or “tilts” — the funds are sent to the organizer. Beshara said it’s similar to other crowdfunding platforms but built specifically for groups and a mobile use case.

Beshara noted that the group function is what makes the app so social and ultimately, what has created the momentum behind the Tilt’s growth. If eight students launched a philanthropy campaign or a tailgate fundraiser, they’d likely share it with an average of 24 users and 18 will join, Beshara said.

From those that join, people will split off and create their own Tilts from that. It’s just a very social product that you have to invite friends to use and it’s really led to a lot of our growth.

While Tilt is most popular among college students, it has had some big breaks this year. In February, the platform launched Tilt Open, a payment platform of sorts for business users and in August, it partnered with ESPN as the fantasy football payment system. The partnership was so successful, ESPN extended it to fantasy basketball this month. 

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Most recently, Chainsmokers, the DJ duo behind the viral dance hit #SELFIE, launched a fan-funded tour on Tilt that sold out in two hours. The Chainsmokers #TiltTour issued a challenge: The first six colleges to pre-sell a minimum of 800 tickets became a tour stop. Beshara said the first school sold out in less than 20 minutes.

He added:

It’s a perfect example of the social layer on top of payments.

Beshara likened the evolution of Tilt to a combination of Facebook and Paypal, declaring Tilt “as social as social commerce gets.” Not only are groups using the site to rent a boat or an AirBnB together, brands like the Atlanta Hawks have started using it to sell merchandise as well, Beshara said:

There are social platforms and there are commerce platforms. No one has really succeeded in doing one in the same. And Tilt is all social and all commerce.

Readers: Have you used Tilt?