Kickfurther is a platform that lets companies seek funding from the Kickfurther community by offering a return on investment (such as 8% profit in 10 months, for example). Technically, these offers aren’t really loans. When you invest in a Kickfurther offer, you are technically buying inventory that is then sold on consignment by the company seeking funds. With Kickfurther, you will earn a profit with each offer that you fund as long as the “borrower” pays out as promised. A nice perk for the points & miles crowd is that Kickfurther allows funding by credit card and, in my experience, it is never treated as a cash advance. Regardless of how you fund these offers, Kickfurther charges a 1.5% fee to withdraw the paid back funds to your bank account.
Each Kickfurther offer has a timeline which includes an offer close date, multiple interim payout dates, and a final payout.
Close date: If the offer isn’t fully funded by its close date then it is considered an expired offer. Once an offer is fully funded, your credit card is charged at that time.
Interim payout dates: Each offer lists a number of dates with which investors can expect partial payouts.
Final payout: The date upon which investors can expect final payment
My Kickfurther strategy
I first started kicking the Kickfurther tires in October of last year. I was pretty excited about the possibility of both earning a nice profit and increasing credit card spend from home. I started by contributing to just 2 or 3 offers. I then waited until initial payouts appeared in December and January before investing in more offers. My strategy, then, was as follows:
- Set a maximum long-term investment target. Since offers usually take between 6 months and a year to fully pay back, funding Kickfurther offers is a form of long term investment. If you do this, it’s important to know up-front how much money you can afford to have tied up long term.
- Invest in offers that I believe in. This is tough because there isn’t much objective information available for any offer. In general, I prefer investing with companies who have run Kickfurther offers in the past and have successfully paid out as promised. Or, if the product being sold is available on Amazon.com, I like to check the reviews. I’m more likely to invest in an offer where there are lots of positive reviews or the product has a good sales rank. Finally, is the product something that I think will do well? If I look at at the product info and think that I’d like to buy one, then I might just invest as well.
- Diversify: Rather than putting all of my Kickfurther eggs in one basket, I like to make many small investments. This way, if I lose everything with one offer, the other investments will hopefully make up for the loss.
- Once I’ve invested up to my long-term investment target, I’ll wait for interim paybacks before investing more. I’ll use the amount that has been paid back as my ongoing budget. In that way, I’ll maintain my overall investment amount while continuing to add to my credit spend and to hopefully earn a decent profit.
Once money has been paid out to you, you can withdraw it to a linked bank account or re-invest it. If you withdraw the money, Kickfurther will charge you a 1.5% fee. In my case, I want to use Kickfurther both as an investment platform and a way to run up credit card spend (for the rewards), so I always withdraw the cash and incur the fee. Withdrawals have all gone smoothly for me.
My initial reactions
Early in the year I was frustrated with Kickfurther because all of the best offers were fully funded within seconds of going live. I got into a habit of investigating upcoming offers and then waiting to pounce at exactly 5pm ET when the offers went live. Using my iPhone’s browser, I funded a couple of offers while walking my dog, and at least one at a live basketball event.
My current view
Kickfurther has greatly improved, in my opinion, by limiting the percentage of each offer than an individual can fund within 24 hours, and by introducing the concept of “Offer Keys” (described here). Each Kickfurther member gets one Offer Key per month (or more with successful referrals) which can be used to unlock an offer before it is live. So, if you see an upcoming offer that you’d like to contribute to, you can apply an Offer Key and invest in advance. That way, you don’t have to wait to pounce on the offer the moment it goes live. This has made a huge difference for me. Now, when I see an upcoming offer that I’m excited about, I simply apply an Offer Key, enter the amount I want to fund, and select which credit card to use. Done.
There are still a few things I don’t like about the Kickfurther platform. My biggest gripe is the lack of overall statistics. The site shows detailed information about each transaction and each funded offer, but it’s hard to get an overall picture of my portfolio. No, wait, an overall picture is all I get. That is, they do a good job of showing overall stats in a chart, but very little of that information is available in tabular form.
I would also like better tools and information for assessing each offer’s risk. I’m not sure how Kickfurther can help with this, but it would be great to have some kind of objective risk rating for each offer so that we can know better what we’re getting into.
Finally, Kickfurther should show overall statistics across all investors and all offers. I’d like to know the percent of offers that paid late, percent that defaulted (if any), etc. And I’d like to see stats such as average investor profit or loss, along with 95% confidence intervals.
Here’s a picture showing my portfolio to-date. The green solid line shows my cumulative payouts. The green dotted line shows the expected payouts. As you can see, the current expected payouts are slightly higher than actual payouts. This means that some companies in my portfolio have missed payout dates. If you look back to April, though, you’ll see the same thing. The good news is that the payments did eventually appear and my actual payouts were equal to expected payouts for a few weeks.
The blue line, above, shows my profit, and the dotted line shows expected profit.
Overall, I’m pleased with my current results, but it’s still too early to claim success. None of the offers I’ve funded have completed payout. It won’t be until fall or winter that I’ll have much data for calculating my estimated profit or loss from this venture.
What can go wrong?
If a business fails to pay out as promised, Kickfurther can theoretically claim that company’s inventory and liquidate it as it sees fit (more info about this can be found here). If that happens, then hopefully the Kickfurther investors will get back some of their money.
By diversifying investments, I think its possible to reduce risk quite a bit, but it certainly doesn’t eliminate risk. If we fall into another recession, for example, I think it is likely that many offers will fail to pay out, and many investors will lose money.
Referrals: $5 for them, Offer Keys for you
One way to get additional offer keys (so that you can get in early on the best offers) is to refer friends. Kickfurther says “Every 3rd person you invite that signs up and and makes a claim will earn you an Offer Key, which gives you early access to offers by allowing you to make a claim during the preview period.” And the person you invite gets $5 to invest.
If you’re interested in trying Kickfurther, you’ll get $5 to invest if you signup with my referral link. Or, if you already use Kickfurther, feel free to post your referral link in the comments below (note: URLs within comments are often flagged as Spam so I can’t promise that your referral comment will show up).
Your Kickfurther store
Another way to earn money with Kickfurther is to setup your Kickfurther store. Products available through offers you’ve funded can be added to your “store” and you’ll get a 5% commission for each sale. I randomly added a bunch of products to my store to demonstrate what it looks like. I am not endorsing any of these products. This is for illustrative use only. Overall, its hard for me to imagine anyone making much money from their Kickfurther store, but who knows…
Kickfurther is an innovative platform that makes it possible to fund long term investments by credit card. It is possible to get excellent returns on your investment, but it is also possible to lose money. Unfortunately, it is way too early for me to estimate my own profits or losses. All I can really say at this point is “so far, so good”.
Again, if you’re interested in trying Kickfurther, you’ll get $5 to invest if you signup with my referral link (and I’ll get an Offer Key for every 3 people who sign up). If you have money available for long term investments and you’re willing to take on risk, then you may find it worth trying. If you don’t have extra cash that you can tie up long term, then don’t even think about it. Kickfurther is only for those looking for long term gains.