Large Crowds or Large Investments? How Social Identity Influences the Commitment of the Crowd

Seán Nevin, Rob Gleasure, Philip O'Reilly, Joseph Feller, Shanping Li, Jerry Christoforo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


Equity crowdfunding is increasing in popularity as an alternative to traditional financing for start-ups and growth companies to raise money for their business. This study discusses how equity crowdfunding is different from traditional financing, such as angel investors and venture capitalists. We argue this difference is brought further into focus when large numbers of crowd members invest small amounts, as opposed to fewer individuals making large investments. Building on existing research on Social Identity Theory, we look at why some crowdfunding campaigns are more likely to attract these contrasting types of investment (numerous small investments or fewer large investments). A model is presenting linking different characteristics of campaigns to total investment and average investment. This proposed model will be tested using public data gathered from Crowdcube, a leading UK-based equity crowdfunding platform. This study has significant implications for fundraisers who may wish to target different types of crowds according to the nature of their business, i.e. smaller numbers of passionate investors to provide informed input or larger numbers of casual investors to help create awareness and spread positive word of mouth.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationECIS 2017 Proceedings
Number of pages12
Place of PublicationAtlanta, GA
PublisherAssociation for Information Systems. AIS Electronic Library (AISeL)
Publication date2017
ISBN (Print)9780991556700
ISBN (Electronic)9780991556700
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes
Event25th European Conference on Information Systems, ECIS 2017 - Centro Cultural Vila Flor, Guimarães, Portugal
Duration: 5 Jun 201710 Jun 2017
Conference number: 25


Conference25th European Conference on Information Systems, ECIS 2017
LocationCentro Cultural Vila Flor
Internet address


  • Crowdfunding
  • Equity crowdfunding
  • Social identity
  • Crowdcube

Cite this