Behind the jokesy design of the new Couch Tycoon site lies a heart of pure
gold finance. The idea is to turn the process of angel business investment into a quasi-game – with virtual currency (couch chips), virtual shares (asset slips) and real risk (back the wrong horse with your couch chips and watch your real money disappear faster than an investment banker with a pink slip).
Remember that people are seriously forecasting the death of venture capital and you’ll see that this type of micro-funding may actually have a future, whether wrapped up in a game motif or not. For the investors, the attraction is to get on-board with something for a very small stake, for the venture it’s a cheap and fast way to get backing. Of course entrepreneurs may balk at the thought of having their ventures subject to the votes of a small bunch of antsy investors, but this is a traditional risk anyway, no?
The service also tries to add in the benefits of the wisdom of the crowds by giving all visitors to the site a vote (only investor votes actually count though!) which is an interesting twist. I’ve been a small investor in Kiva for a while now, and it’s a great way to spread money around where it’s desperately needed, at small cost to the individual. Sure Couch Tycoon is not the same kind of altruistic tool (yet), but I’m sure this type of service has a huge future as we move into a new financial age.
It’s in private beta at the moment, I’ll see if I can get any invites for those who are interested.
The “CouchTycoon Peer2Peer Venture Market” is open for any kind of ventures in different development stages. An internet venture or a nightclub could do fund rising as well as a piggy ranch or an entrepreneur doing a single real estate purchase. Ventures can raise funds no matter if it‘s just a basic idea or an existing business. Due to legal reasons CouchTycoon is organized game-like and uses it’s own currency CouchChips. Nevertheless ventures, speculation profits and loss are real!