Volksbank Buhl German CooperativeBanks Regional Crowdfunding Platforms Banking Innovation

1K German Cooperative Banks Can Now Launch Own Regional Crowdfunding Platforms

Banking innovation. Volksbank Bühl, one of the 1,100 cooperative Raiffeisen banks,  became the first German bank to offer their customers a regional crowdfunding platform.

Volksbank Buhl German CooperativeBanks Regional Crowdfunding Platforms Banking InnovationToday, Monday 29th April 2013, Volksbank Bühl (@Volksbank_Buehl) became the first of the People’s cooperative banks to have access to its own crowdfunding platform to support online regional projects.

This innovative platform, available at Viele-schaffen-mehr.de – Crowdfunding in der Volksbank Bühl, is provided by VR-NetWorld GmbH, goes with the motto, “Many make more!”.

Crowdfunding is a new finance model that finances many online projects of the people from Buhl, Steinbach, Ottersweier Rheinau Lichtenau Rhine Munster.


These people are given the opportunity to use the platform on their regional projects and solicit support. Moreover, pro jektunterstützer can select their favoured projects and invest in them.

Regardless of the amount of the donation, the bank sets example to the first 2,000 contributions. The platform was developed by VR-NetWorld (@vrnetworld) in partnership with T-Systems (@tsystemsde) and Startnext Network (@startnext), the most successful crowdfunding platform community in Germany.

Key Stats:

  • Volksbank Bühl is one of the 1,100 cooperative Raiffeisen banks
  • The bank sets example to the first 2,000 Einzahlun-tions, regardless of their donations

To find more about this initiative pushing the envelope for banking innovation directly on youtube, ‘Viele-schaffen-mehr.de – Crowdfunding in der Volksbank Bühl‘.

Claus Preiss, CEO of Volksbank Bühl: “The platform is an addition to the existing options of public and private funding, particularly for smaller and private initiatives. The support will benefit projects in the immediate vicinity. Together with the people of the region, we want to strengthen associations and other non-profit institutions. This is something that drives us since time immemorial.”

Franz Sebastian Welter director of the innovation workshop at the Volksbank Bühl: “We knew immediately that we wanted to be at a regional crowd-funding platform here. We would like to take advantage of our opportunities to create something sustainable in the region and social projects. We would be happy if many great projects in our region come about and we can help with a platform to success.”

Tino Kreßner COO of Startnext: “The crowdfunding platform of the local Raiffeisen banks is something new for us, the cooperative Thought and crowdfunding fit together perfectly. We are happy if this idea is being carried on in the banking sector and great project ideas are submitted.”

Michael Waerder of T-Systems: “The cooperative banks are available for social commitment, membership and values ​​with this bank group to address the innovative topic crowdfunding and thus combine tried and tested with new, was for us a special motivation for the project.”

Boris Janek, Manager Digital Business of VR-NetWorld: “The cooperative banks operate regionally in their respective business field. The idea is to make this regionality also be experienced online while good for its own region to do.” 

Covered by my Visible Banking Team


Unarguably, in the highly regulated financial services industry, social media and peer-to-peer (P2P) initiatives are most suited to the cooperative banking model i.e. all the regional banks and other credit unions focusing on communities.

It’s not surprising that in the last three years, financial institutions like USAA or Credit Agricole demonstrated a commitment to push the innovation envelope with digital initiatives such as, respectively, over 90% of its website made of customer generated content (Voice of the customer – VOC) or Tookam.com a 100% social media bank launched 2 years ago in the South West of France.

In your opinion how important is it, or not, for small regional banks to be at the forefront of innovation?  Would you be more likely to fund local projects or aim to fund your own projects via a crowdfunding platform provided by a cooperative bank than a larger financial institution operating nationwide?

We invite you to share your thoughts about crowdfunding and regional cooperative banking, here or on twitter.

What do you think?

Written by Christophe Langlois

Based in London for almost a decade, Christophe is an entertaining fintech marketing keynote speaker and a trusted advisor to the global financial services industry on the topics of digital marketing, innovation and B2B social media.

Christophe has contributed to over 140 events in 18 countries.

Currently, Christophe is advising a number of fintech startups on marketing and growth hacking and he is the Chief Marketing Officer of The Fintech Power 50, an exclusive annual programme helping fintech scale-ups to accelerate their growth globally.

Christophe's views on VisibleBanking.com are his own.

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