Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda are leading the crowdfunding boom in Africa, seeing growth rates of 112% to 312%.
The four countries account for a total of $37.2m out of the globally raised $34bn in crowdfunding last year.
Kenya led the pack with $22m in raised funds, followed by Uganda with $7.5m, Tanzania with $4.2m and Rwanda with $3.5m.
Growth continues to be strong in 2016 with a recent study by London-based analytics firm Allied Crowds showing a nearly two-times annual increase in crowdfunding volumes to $17.8m in the first quarter of the year.
As the industry grows, East Africa also faces challenges to adapt to the new type of investment financing.
The lack of legislation to address the setting up of crowdfunding platforms has impeded many operators to launch in the region and there are currently only five available options.
Three of the platforms are based in Kenya and Rwanda and Uganda each have one.
This is compared to 10 operators in South Africa and 55 in Africa overall.
Although the number of locally-based businesses is low, there are more platforms operating in East Africa. These include Watsi, a philanthropy-focused platform, Kangu which is dedicated to health and education as well as agriculture-focused Kiva and Zidisha.
Creative businesses in East Africa look for funding at Indiegogo and Kickstarter and capital projects are financed by GoFundMe and Global Funding.
The World Bank expects global crowdfunding volumes to nearly triple $96bn by 2025.
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