The Crowdfunding Paradox: the Underuse of Crowd in the Individual Investment Decision-Making Factory

Laurence ATTUEL-MENDES, Céline SOULAS, Abdel Malik OLA


Crowdfunding has entered the health biotechnology market in France since 2014 offering the opportunity to project owners to find new sources of financing. Innovative firms are characterized, whatever their sector, by uncertainty, which raises the question of the role of the collective embodied by the crowd in individual investment decision-making. An exploratory study was conducted, where the authors covered different investor profiles on generalist and specialist platforms during fundraising campaigns by biotech start-ups. In a netnographic approach, the availability of information (degree and content) that was offered by platforms could be assessed. Interviews were then conducted with investors, which confirmed the observation of a paradoxical underuse of the cognitive lever that can constitute the crowd in the individual investment decision-making factory. On a practical level, recommendations based on an original typology of tools used by the platforms thus offer them the opportunity to better mobilize the information created by this crowd. On a theoretical level, the article completes the literature on decision-making in a context of uncertainty, deepens the role of the crowd beyond its simple financial contribution in crowdfunding and extends the research on crowd typology.


Crowdfunding; healthcare biotechnology industry; crowd; investment decision-making; netnography

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