3 Questions for portagon

Published by Bundesverband Crowdfunding on

Our Interviewpartner: Kristin Baumhardt, Head of Marketing of portagon GmbH

What was the motivation for the relaunch of the platform and the logo?

Since the founding of our company in 2015, we have acquired over 300 customers, including the Volks- und Raiffeisenbank Group, GLS Bank, DKB Bank, Katjes Greenfood and Sono Motors. Together with them, we have continued to develop and have realised over time that our vision and our offer go beyond the crowd. Nevertheless, the democratic idea behind the term “crowd” is still valid. However, it is not enough: we are the new generation of access to the capital market. And that is why we have now decided on a new brand identity. As portagon, we will offer companies of all sizes and from all sectors as well as financial service providers access to capital.

How did you approach the new name and logo, was there a collaboration with an agency or did you develop it internally with your team?

In the course of our latest funding round, we realised that the old name CrowdDesk just didn’t fit our digital funding product anymore. Our two founders Jamal and Johannes therefore started the naming process together with a small team. We deliberately did without an agency because we still think and work like a start-up: fast and hands-on, rather than with too many and too complex processes. In this respect, we have a lot in common with our clients from the start-up sector, where there is often no blueprint and therefore you can’t build on what already exists. That’s why portagon – a combination of the Latin word “porta” for access and the ancient Greek word “g√≥nos”, which symbolises a new generation – also stands for the innovation that we bring to financing. The name, however, was just the beginning: for a holistic brand development process, i.e. for corporate design, logo and the relaunch of our online presence, we worked together with a brand and design agency. This creative view from outside helped us a lot to develop a visual language for our vision, but also to break with the visual world of the classical financial world. For example, the “Go” from portagon was created as an abbreviation during the design process and became the name for our portagon software.

External communication is increasingly more about digitalisation and impact and less about “small investors” – is it noticeable that your customers want to finance more and more larger projects and are therefore also addressed to other investor groups?

Impact already plays a role for some of our clients, such as Katjes Greenfood. The venture capitalist has opened up to the private capital market because it is looking for empirical values for pricing a future IPO. Many smaller tickets from investors who can become shareholders are more important than a few large investments. But there is no blanket answer that our clients are increasingly financing larger projects and are therefore targeting other investors. Which investor groups are suitable for financing depends strongly on two factors: What kind of financial instrument clients want to issue and in what size. If clients are launching a project with a small minimum investment of 100 euros or 250 euros, then retail investors are indispensable for the project’s success. But with large-volume financing and higher minimum investment amounts, institutional investors are also needed. So it’s all about a good mix.

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