We didn’t just want people for the sake of having money, we wanted to add something to it as well to give us money.
Quote from Sam Bruce, co-founder of Much Better Adventures, in an article on PhocusWire this week.
Established travel brands see crowdfunding as mechanism to boost loyalty
The concept of crowdfunding has had a chequered history since it largely shifted online during the 2000s (it's actually been a money-raising process since the 19th century).
Many of the "campaigns" are daft, many are pointless, many are too needy and unwarranted.
And, of course, many have been excellent ways of finding cash from the web community to support charitable works and launch businesses.
Related to travel, sadly, crowdfunding has sometimes found itself associated with long-term travelers who want to raise money support their desire to stay on the road, or have run out of funds to get home.
These efforts have often been met with a mixture of scorn and humor.
Still, established brands using the mechanism to bring in more capital is an interesting development - not least with finance houses more than happy to support travel startups and other businesses with years of success under their belt.
And, given the reasons outlined by Much Better Adventures and Mr & Mrs Smith, it is perhaps surprising that more travel businesses have not embarked on such a tactic.
There is no guarantee of success, of course (and a failure to raise money would be in the full glare of competitors), but the rewards are plenty.
First of all, access to cash - very simple. But it is also the longer term benefits that have appealed to both of these two brands.
There are other ways of building loyalty to a brand (programs, good customer experience, etc) but when people have financially supported the future of a business through a crowdfunding campaign they are all-in, and personally invested in its ambitions.
That connection could be troublesome (if it doesn't work out) but, alternatively, there is perhaps a greater responsibility by the brand to make sure those investing do not lose out, or regret their support.
It is perhaps unlikely that crowdfunding for modest amounts of capital would become a wider phenomenon, again due to the slightly more high-profile process of grabbing the headlines through a Series A or B from a finance house.
But it is a process of merit, and should be considered more frequently.