Crowdfund Your App Idea With Appsplit

By July 9, 2012

appsplit screenshot

Do you want to build an app, but need a way to pay for it? Well, there’s an app for that. How meta.

Appsplit is a crowdfunding platform that allows users to fund, sell, or develop apps through online campaigns. Think of it as Kickstarter, but without the wacky art projects and bands.

Founded in May by Hussein Yahfoufi, Appsplit is a bootstrapped company based in San Diego, California. Yahfoufi built the platform after developing the My Jeweler iOS app for his dad to use in his diamond business. After creating a second app that flopped in the App Store, Yahfoufi had the idea to create an app source code marketplace. “I am sure many developers were in the same predicament of having a fully developed app that was not making as much money as they expected. After a year or so of messing around with an app marketplace and auction site, the idea of app crowdfunding came to me and the new Appsplit was born,” notes Yahfoufi.

“We want to help app owners with the full lifecycle of their app project. From raising funds to pay for the development costs to finding developers to be co-founders to selling the app when it’s time,” he continues.

The platform has a few different types of campaigns that are primed for the US crowdfunding laws, which go into effect toward the end of this year. Fund Campaigns enable users to raise funds in exchange for rewards. Once the final law is written for crowdfunding, the payoff will change to equity instead of rewards. Through Sell Campaigns, users can offer up ownership rights for their apps. And finally, Develop Campaigns enable users to find freelancers and contractors to help develop their apps by adding code, design, voice, or music.

Appsplit’s campaign page user interface borrows heavily from Kickstarter, including the rewards for pledges that are listed on the right sidebar of the funding campaign pages. Kickstarter is one of the company’s main competitors, although Appsplit has a few key differentiators. Appsplit offers an open or all-or-none funding type. With an open campaign type, campaign owners get any funds they raise even if they don’t reach their goal. All-or-none works like Kickstarter where users have to reach their fundraising goal to get funding. Also, Appsplit is catering to an international user base.

So far, the company has about 550 users, 50 launched campaigns, and another 30 campaigns in draft. Each campaign type has its own revenue model. The fund and sell campaigns are based on a fee post-funding, so users only pay if their campaign is successful. The fee is between five and 10 percent. The develop campaign is currently free but funded via a single ad on the campaign page.

With the popularity of crowdfunding platforms exploding, the next step in the evolution of this model is the emergence of niche sites like Appsplit. If you want to cut through the noise and connect with people who specifically want to build and fund apps, Appsplit might be the place to go. Right now, the funding levels are low for even the apps listed under the “most funded” tag. This has more to do with the chicken and the egg marketplace issue that many apps have: to attract fundraisers, the app must have more funders.

Still, Yahfoufi is doing everything that he can to help the fundraisers succeed, including offering personalized service and campaign optimization recommendations. If you are a newbie to the crowdfunding process, create and account at Appsplit first to have Yahfoufi personally show you the ropes.