Investing PERSONAL FINANCE

Cropital, PhilCrowd and FarmOn : Best Alternative Investment Philippines

June 19, 2017

Cropital, PhilCrowd and FarmOn rose to fame late last year as alternative investment vehicles.

How it works is simple.

Your investment will be pooled together with the others and be used as capital for local farmers. After the harvest and selling of produced goods, you’ll get your share of profits.

Easy right?

I discovered about crowd-funding and profit-sharing startups Cropital, PhilCrowd and FarmOn during a random night out with my high school friends.

The whole concept and business process, in my opinion, is phenomenal. It is well thought-out and brilliant.

Given that we live in a highly agriculture country, investing with crops and local farmers has almost guaranteed return. For someone who have extra money this could be a good option to diversify.

Plus, the investment is for a good cause making it a win-win situation.

Now in today’s post we will breakdown Cropital, PhilCrowd and FarmOn to know which is better. My goal is to give you a definitive guide on how investing in the emerging crowdfunding for farmers works and what’s in it for you as an investor.

Requirements You Need Before Investing


Requirements in opening a crowdfunding account in the Philippines is pretty simple and easy you don’t need to worry at all. You will need the following:

  1. A working email address. Every transaction you have all throughout your investing journey with Cropital, PhilCrowd and FarmOn happens on their web portal so a working email address is a must. You will use the web address to create an account, read important messages and updates as well as withdrawing or cancelling your investment.
  2. Any valid ID. You may be asked to send a photocopy of valid ID for identification.

READ: Reader Question | Where Should I Invest My Money?


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Investing in Cropital Philippines

Cropital is a crowdfunding platform that connects anyone in financing local forms.

Founders are all young entrepreneurs and the business itself is backed by Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Center, Forbes 30 Under 30, Young Entrepreneurs Society of the Philippines (YES) and Internet.org.

The Cropital website is still in beta phase but already looks good and easy to use. Every bit of information you need to know is already available.

 

How To Invest in Cropital?




Cropital offers two investment options: short-term and long-term.

  • Short Term invests in farms that will be ready for harvest in 3-18 months.
  • Long Term invests in farms that has longer horizon.

Below is the step by step procedure to start investing in Cropital:

Step 1. Sign Up and Register

Go to https://www.cropital.com/user/register and complete the registration process. You will need an account to invest or pledge, to receive digital invoice (proof of investment and to receive regular updates on the progress of your chosen farm.

Step 2. Fund Your Cropital Wallet

The minimum investment is 5000php (with minimum increments of 5000php; i.e. 10000php, 15000php up to 50000php.

To fund your Cropital wallet you can pay via bank transfer to BPI account or use DragonPay (more info: https://www.cropital.com/learn/payment-via-dragonpay) You can also opt to pledge an amount (usually bigger than the investment) to Cropital which is subject to evaluation.

Step 3. Choose Your Farm

A selection of local farms will be shown on your Cropital account upon successful registration. From the dashboard you can select the farm you want to support.

Note that investing in Cropital works in cycle. Once a cycle is fully funded it will be closed for additional investment. You need to select or to wait for new cycle to begin.

Sadly, if you go to https://www.cropital.com/ you’ll see that both Short Term and Long Term are fully funded already.

Step 5. Wait for Your Cropital ROI

Now all you need is to wait for your chosen farm to finish production and selling of good. You will receive updates on your account here and there to know the latest situation.

As per Cropital FAQ (read more: https://www.cropital.com/help), Cropital already had 2 full cycles with a rate of return averaging at 8% in 6 months. The returns have already been disbursed to farm backers.

Is Cropital Legit?

Cropital is a legal crowdfunding company in the Philippines. They duly registered as Cropital Enterprises Corporation in PH SEC and BIR.  

As per the Return of Invetsment, Cropital is clear that investing or lending through the company involves risk of principal loss. Cropital does not guarantee repayment and return on investment.

READ: St. Peter Life Plan: Is it Worth the Investment?

Investing in PhilCrowd Cooperative

PhilCrowd was the first to introduce crowdfunding in the Philippines. Unlike Cropital, PhilCrowd also support funding franchise businesses and startups in the country.

Formed by personal finance advocates and enthusiast, PhilCrowd aim in providing business ventures for everyone. PhilCrowd website is also on beta stage so you need to be very patient. You can read more info here: https://philcrowd.com/faq/

How To Invest in PhilCrowd Cooperative?




To start investing in PhilCrowd you need to get a New Fund. New Fund works as a membership pack for PhilCrowd accounts. It costs 2500pesos for one-time membership fee and is non-refundable. You cannot invest in other funds as well as businesses without paying your New Fund first.

Step 1. Create Your PhilCrowd Account

Check https://philcrowd.com/register/ . Just like Cropital, your PhilCrowd account will be used to process everything about your investment.

Step 2. Pay the Membership Fee

Next, get New Fund. This will serve as your one-time membership fee on PhilCrowd.

Step 3. Select Your Franchise, Farm or Fund to Invest with

Once you received your confirmation as a PhilCrowd member you can now start investing. You can choose from a variety funds, farms and franchises.

Step 4. Fund Your PhilCrowd Account

To fund your account and start investing you may transfer funds to Philcrowd’s BPI, BDO or Security Bank account. Remittance via Western Union, GCASH or Smart Padala is already available. All deposit slips for any transaction shall be uploaded on the Member Dashboard.

Step 5. Reap Your Profits

Once your investment is confirmed you can now wait for your investment to mature. You can also continue investing in other ventures endorsed by PhilCrowd.

Is PhilCrowd Legit?

I couldn’t find the exact information about PhilCrowd’s SEC registration but their Facebook Page is very active. Sadly most people complain about poor customer service of PhilCrowd. Common problem includes:

  • Contact Numbers not working
  • No response to email
  • Lack of customer support

One PhilCrowd review even state that the idea is good, but poor execution. Hopefully they get better in handling customer inquiry since we’re talking about money and investment here.

When it comes to Return of Investment, PhilCrowd is generous enough to share a sample computation. Again, do note that as with any investment, returns are not guaranteed.

READ: Investment Options You Can Try With Your Bank

Investing in FarmOn

FarmOn is very much similar to Cropital. Both invests in supporting our local farmers. FarmOn started ahead of Cropital and is also featured on giant media stations like Inquirer, State of the Nation by Jessica Soho and ABS-CBN News.

What I absolutely adore about FarmOn is they have a page for their farms (https://www.farmon.ph/page/our-farms) and a Member Forum as well (http://community.farmon.ph/) They also have a page to browse their legal documents (https://www.farmon.ph/page/legal-documents)

Between Cropital, PhilCrowd and FarmOn, FarmOn has a website perfect for beginners.

But, investing in FarmOn is not that easy. You can’t register an account unless a new cycle opened. Plus, you need to be referred by someone. You can browse on the forum page to see emails and get FarmOn Referral.

How To Invest in FarmOn?




FarmOn works like FarmVille. If you are playing that game then you might be familiar with how virtual farming works.

Your FarmOn account will be used to select what crop you want to invest in as well as the quantity. You also have a better view on how your investment is performing.

Step 1. Register

Registration opens once a new cycle begins. If you want you can bookmark this page: https://www.farmon.ph/page/join to be easily directed once a new FarmOn Cycle is open.

Step 2. Invest on Crops/Livestocks

In FarmOn you are directly investing in crops and livestock produced and maintained by FarmOn. You can select your desired number of plots (for crops) or heads (for livestock). Once your selection is done, the total amount to be paid will show. Click “Register” to finish the registration.

Step 3. Pay for Your Investment

You can do (1) BDO bank Deposit, (2) Cash Payment and/or (3) Paypal. All proof of payments shall be sent through email.

Is FarmOn Legal?

I consider FarmOn as the most stable and positive between the three crowdfunding in the Philippines. The forum page suggest active investors getting their return of investment with actual photos.

However, SEC released a warning for FarmOn you can read HERE   FarmOn is quick to explain that the business is not registered with SEC but on DTI instead. This is the announcement of FarmOn.

READ: How to Invest for Beginners in the Philippines

The page for all legal documents is also available. FarmOn also has a computation on the return of investment.

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Now let’s compare Cropital, PhilCrowd and FarmOn based on the following criteria:

1. User Interface (Website)

2. Customer Support

3. Features

4. Performance

5. Return of Investment

1. User Interface (Website)

Cropital, PhilCrowd and FarmOn use a web portal as main hub for all business operation. It is important to have a use-friendly portal that can cater those who are new to the idea of crowdfunding.  

When it comes to simplicity and design, Cropital is on the top for me. I can easily navigate to the important pages and information I need.

FarmOn, on the other hand, is the most informative among the three. The inclusion of Member Forum is a smart idea and helps a lot for beginners. The Member Forum includes discussion from investors and newbies which you can browse and read even if you are not registered yet.

PhilCrowd also has a user-friendly website but, there are a lot of links that redirect to “not found”.  Just like this: https://philcrowd.com/download-investment-primer/

2. Customer Support

Based on my research Cropital, PhilCrowd and FarmOn receive a number of complaints on two important matters:

  1. Tech issue – can’t register, slow page load.
  2. Support issue – lack of reply on email and FB messenger, no notification or update at all.

A good customer support is important especially if we’re talking about investment. We, as the investor, deserve to know where and how your money will be used.

Hopefully all three crowdfunding pioneer in the Philippines will put more effort in answering inquiries from the public.

The amount of questions I see on each of Cropital, PhilCrowd and FarmOn Facebook pages is extraordinary. This prove how much people are looking for alternative investments nowadays.

3. Business Offerings




Cropital, PhilCrowd and FarmOn are all about crowdfunding but the features of each business is quite different from each other.

  • Cropital encourage you to support a farm that’s already curated for a given cycle. Once the farm is fully-funded, the cycle also ends you need to wait for new farms to become available.

 

  • PhilCrowd has a ton of business offerings ranging from farm, funds and franchises. Once you become a member (New Fund) you are now entitled to invest. Paying your membership fee also entitles you with freebies like t-shirt, free investment assessment seminar, etc.
  • FarmOn lets you invest on produce already. You can buy plots of petchay, tomato or heads of livestock.

4. Performance

Crowdfunding, by definition, is financing a business involved in asking for contributions from people. Think of it as a mutual fund only that instead of buying stocks, you are investing in an idea, a physical business or a social venture.

As a contributor, you will be given profit or percentage of the business’ success.

Cropital, PhilCrowd and FarmOn are all considered as alternative investments. All are also fairly new, being operational in between 1-3 years only.

But the reason behind why and how the concept is built will make you hooked in the business.

Philippines is mainly an agricultural country, with main agricultural crops as rice, corn, coconut, sugarcane, bananas, pineapple, coffee, mangoes, tobacco, and abaca. Most of these are even for export and considered world-class.

Supporting the agriculture business by crowdfunding is a win-win idea. The risks involved are of a minimal.

  • Cropital invests not just not just to grow the farm but also to educate the local farmers with possible training on how to better their everyday work.
  • PhilCrowd enables an ordinary person take part of big franchises that are already known in the public like Andoks and 7-11. If you don’t have that much capital to invest for a franchise, then PhilCrowd could be the solution.
  • FarmOn lets you choose what vegetable you want to invest and has a computed return table already. This is good because you can really plan where you can invest your money to have bigger returns.

5. ROI Guide for Cropital, PhilCrowd and FarmOn

Now for final part we’ll differentiate Cropital, PhilCrowd and FarmOn based on return of investment.

Unlike other investment vehicles, all three crowdfunding startups have definite horizon.

  • Cropital is 3-6months or once the cycle ends
  • Philcrowd is 1-3years
  • Farmon is 3-12months 

Also unlike other investment vehicles, all three crowdfunding startups have fixed percentage of returns.

  • Cropital is 8% return after 6 months based on the last two cycles they launched. Cropital make it clear that the majority of the profit goes to the farms.
  • For Philcrowd and Farmon below is the ROI photo I found on the internet:

Photo from InvestmentJuan01

Photo from InvestmentJuan01

READ: Stock Investing 101 | The Frequently Asked Questions

My Recommendation : Cropital, PhilCrowd and FarmOn

I hope you find this post on Cropital, PhilCrowd and FarmOn is useful and informative on your part. As with any investment available, risk is inevitable and return is not guaranteed. Invest only the spare or extra of your money. And make sure you have proper savings.

Below is a summary of my analysis on Cropital, PhilCrowd and FarmOn to know which is better:

 CropitalPhilCrowdFarmOn
Website4 out of 53 out of 54.5 out of 5
Initial Investment Needed5000pesos25000pesosat least 5000pesos
Investment Horizon3-6 Months 1-3 Years3-12 Months
Return of Investment8% after six monthsDepends on franchise, farm or fund you invest.

Lowest: 5%
Highest: 50% after 3years
Depends on the crops or livestock you invest.

Lowest: 40%
Highest: 300%
SEC Registered?YesNo Information No

FarmOn is under sole proprietor in DTI. Learn more here: https://www.farmon.ph/page/sec
Recommended for?Beginners and Conservative InvestorsSeasoned and Dynamic InvestorsMid or Balanced Investors
www.cropital.comwww.philcrowd.comwww.farmon.ph

  1. Cropital beats Philcrowd and FarmOn when it comes to website design. It has easy to use and beginner friendly control panel. It’s so simple and functional, forward looking and mobile friendly too.
  2. FarmOn offers a member forum which again is ideal for newbies who want to learn more about crowdfunding with FarmOn. I also like the idea that the forum is free to browse even if you are not yet a member.
  3. PhilCrowd is the first to offer crowdfunding for a business franchise. This is an amazing news especially if you are looking for a startup business. But if you have a good location I suggest getting a food franchise on your own instead. This way the return of investment is yours and yours alone.
  4. Both Cropital and FarmOn are suitable investment if you don’t have that much money. You can start with 5000 pesos only.

Among Cropital, PhilCrowd and FarmOn I am actually highly interested in investing with Cropital. I will try my best to document if and then I push through with my investment.

Final Notes from SavingsPinay

 

 

 

There are many alternative investment you can choose from in 2017. For those who are beginners I suggest focusing first in reviewing your finances and assessing whether you can afford to invest your mon

ey. Seasoned investors on the other hand can take advantage with the low capital Cropital, PhilCrowd and FarmOn offers as a form of diversification.

 

To minimize the risk of losing your money I highly suggest focusing on an emergency fund first and foremost.

Related Articles:

  1. 8 Things You Should Do Before You Invest
  2. Stock Investing 101 | The Frequently Asked Questions
  3. 7 Ways You Can Invest in Yourself
  4. How to Invest Your 5,000 Pesos
  5. St. Peter Life Plan: Is it Worth the Investment?

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Have you tried investing in crowdfunding? Cropital, Philcrowd or FarmOn?

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Clariza Glino

Izza of SavingsPinay promotes financial literacy for the young and young at heart by providing insights and tips on budgeting, saving, investing and online entrepreneurship. Aside from this blog she also writes at www.izzaglino.com, a beauty and lifestyle blog for frugal Pinays and manages, www.izzagevents.com, a wedding and event business since 2011. For inquiries, topic suggestions or future collaborations email her at izza@savingspinay.ph