Crowdfunding” allows companies to raise capital without traditional borrowing (debt financing) or selling stock (equity financing). Those in the “crowd” (you and me) who pony up capital are rewarded with the first product deliveries, discounted prices, special editions, promotional goods, and more, in exchange for limited risk. Unfortunately, if a company was looking to fund a new firearm-related product via crowdfunding, they were almost certainly out of luck — shut out of the mainstream sites. Until now

All of the established crowdfunding sites — GoFundMe, IndieGoGo, Kickstarter, etc. — refuse to run funding campaigns for all but an extremely limited selection of gun-related products (basically some targets, but certainly nothing that touches a gun, is a gun, or is used with a gun). In fact, even knives, archery equipment, hunting-related products, and more are also excluded altogether or highly unlikely to be accepted on the big sites.

Enter Fire Funder, a new crowdfunding website built specifically for the shooting, hunting, and outdoor trade (SHOT) community by like-minded individuals. A platform like this can help launch new companies and assist existing companies in rolling out new products faster. Crowdfunding campaigns also provide rapid market feedback on the viability of a new product before a company has invested too heavily.

If Fire Funder gains traction as other crowdfunding sites have, this could be a very positive development for shooters of all sorts as the marketplace grows with new and innovative products.

We’ll be keeping an eye on Fire Funder’s campaigns for a heads-up on interesting new gear; products like the CleanShot shoot-through bore cleaning rounds. In fact, we’ve already reached out to the founder of the company to get some samples for testing and review. It will be interesting to watch Fire Funder’s acceptance and impact on the SHOT product marketplace.

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15 Responses to Fire Funder: A New Crowdfunding Source for the SHOT Community

  1. This isn’t the first attempt at doing a pro-gun crowd funding site. Twistrate was started a couple of years ago attempting the same thing.

    I hope they succeed, but in the past few of the gun friendly financial programs end up succeeding.

  2. Fire funder, bringing the crowd funding scam to the firearms community. A fresh new batch of people to get an interest free loan from and maybe or maybe not make good on product delivery.

    • I’m running about 90% of my Kickstarter deliveries. And probably less than 10% of those were below my expectations when they arrived.

      Of course not a single one was on time, getting it within 6 months of the promised delivery date is optimistic.

      But it isn’t a scam, Kickstarter is very clear that it is angel investing. You may or may not get squat. And IMO it is great for niche and non-traditional projects. Most of the products I’ve backed are items that I doubt would’ve ever seen the light of day without Kickstarter.

        • Same. I completely understand why people are against it in principal, but I’ve had good luck as well. Not like I haven’t bought products off of store shelves that turned out to be failures, so there’s a certain amount of crap shoot and risk that’s hard to avoid even then. Some of the things on those sites are clear pie-in-the-sky, and some are finalized, tested products ready to be made but the company couldn’t fund the production run. That’s more like a group buy than angel investing. All of them refund your money should the threshold for campaign success not be met, so that part isn’t a risk. Anyway, consumer be smart and beware, as always. But I have not been burned in the 5 or 6 crowdfunding things I’ve jumped on and I think only 2 were even behind schedule more than a week. No complaints. They were cool products that likely wouldn’t have seen the light of day otherwise.

      • There isn’t a lack of authors and sites covering the scams that come and go on kickstarter and other crowd funding sites. and at least one district attorney has caught on to the fraud possibility (The lily drone). Crowdfunding or micro investing is carefully crafted to avoid any SEC regulations (for now). Would I help crowdfund an indie movie, arts project, or conservation project – probably. Would I pony up money to get in early on a product that doesn’t exist and is promoted by a video that’s full of CGI enhancements and quick cuts – nope.

        There will always be people who want to get in early on things and will throw a few dollars at crowdfunding project. But, this micro investment model is the same thing that attracts scams and poorly planned projects that are never intended to deliver or are mismanaged train wrecks.

        Investor beware.

  3. I’ve had good and bad experiences with Kickstarter. The bad ones tend to be really bad- and the bad ones always involved some sort of multi-step complex manufacturing, scam is way too kind of a word for some of these projects…..I would look at any project (on any site) with a healthy skepticism.

    On the other hand- I’ve had some things work extremely well.

    1. When you have industry experts taking an idea on their own and trying to build a new company with a flagship product. Proven track record in an industry, clear business case laying out the “how” in concrete details- not fuzzy bunny slipper language.

    2. When you’ve had an established company say, “we’re looking for seed money….we could fund this ourselves, but we need some sort of rate of return to make it viable….And we have conflicting priorities….BUT if you fund us, it’s “free money” and we’ll commit to honoring some sort of widget/price break back to you as a backer. That’s got a certain amount of honesty to it….Particularly when it comes from a smaller shop with a good rep. I see this as no more risky than putting money down on pre-order.

    The common trend is experience. But that’s for something complex. If you have someone who says, “I have a plan, I’ve made mock-ups, I have vendors lined up, here’s the production timetable….You have enough tangible proof of competence to make it an acceptable level of risk.

    I’m a small businessman, if you can make crowdfunding work for you, than good for you.

  4. They should have hired somebody with marketing sense to design their brand.

    Unless they are catering to arson enthusiasts, that is bad work.

  5. The Firestarter site wants some ridiculous combination of special characters for a password. That pisses me off every time I encounter it. Screw them.

    • Strong passwords piss you off? Tell me you don’t use the same username and password combo for every site – if you do, that’s going to come back to bite you like a pack of hungry ghetto pitbulls. Wait till you have to use 2FA, which you should be using now anyway.

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