Price: $149/Month (When released, now free)
Owners: Rob Towles
Smashfund wants to be the very first social crowdfunding network, promising to reward its users with a percentage of every crowdfunding campaign. Although seem like a promising, it seems like another pyramid scheme by Rob Towles who used to head other pyramid schemes.
Smashfund, The very first Social Crowdsourcing Network
I have been seeing a lot of people promote Smashfund everywhere, on Facebook and including some forums as well. Like you, I was wondering if Smashfund is something worth investing my time in or if it is just another scam.
That prompted me to do my research, and to write this article to share my findings. It claims to be the FIRST Social Crowdfunding Network, and threatens to upset the current big competitors such as Indiegogo and Kickstarter with its revolutionary model.
In this review, I will be going through some questions I have about this website to see its overall credibility and give my verdict right after.
What Do They Offer?
This is probably the first video you would actually see when you are on the website where the CEO of Smashfund introduces what this is all about.
In this video, he mentions that Smashfund is “The first Crowdsourcing company operating as a social network” and it is “The most exciting space in the world”.
There are also a lot of projects that fail and not get funded. So he created Smashfund as a way to fund these projects using the revenue. The promise is that the user brings in friends to their platform, and they will in return fund the projects.
This is ‘Your Passion’, and you gotta start somewhere. The first thing that he tells you to do is tell the world you are part of Smashfund and you should have at least 5 others in your network too.
If the process duplicates over a 6 day period, you would have thousands and thousands of people connected to your crowd. And it is because you started that initial group of 5 people. Those thousands of people are their ‘marketing’.
At the end of the video, you are told to invite 5 friends to the network and bring your projects to life today.
In my opinion right after the end of the video I was thinking to myself:
“Isn’t this another pyramid scheme?”
What triggered this thought was his mentioning of inviting 5 people into the network, then mentioning how deep your network can be after inviting these friends.
Maybe I’m wrong, maybe this could be a legit opportunity that would make me money. Let’s get down into the in-depth review of Smashfund and see if it is really as great as it claims to be.
Analysis of Smashfund
1. Requires Credit Card to register
As of writing this blog post, I am aware that it is actually free to sign up with an invite code. As you can see below, it’s only for a limited time that you can sign up for free and not get charged.
However, I am also required to enter my Credit Card details right now in order to secure an account. That doesn’t seem assuring for such a brand new website considering it just recently launched.
When the service goes live and launches, people will actually need to pay a hefty $149/month to maintain their membership.
I’m going to give them the benefit of doubt that they won’t charge your card when you sign up, and would actually give you notice before they actually do. What this really means is that you are expected to pay for something in the future, because they won’t need your credit card details if not.
What are you exactly paying for as well? I’m guessing it’s membership to retain access on their platform and the opportunity to earn as well too. This brings me to my next point.
2. Where does the money come from?
This whole system seems to be working on ‘Revenue Share’, as 80% of the revenue from the company will be shared to its members
This means that most of the profits seem to be going back to the users. Also, the payment plan seems really simple to understand. As you can see below, you will earn $50 per month for every personal invitation, and $4 every month for viral connections. Presumably, these people are probably your referrer’s referrals and so forth.
Up to 16,000 Connections per profile. This means you can earn a hefty $64,000 per month!
That’s a lot of money really, and does seem really easy to attain it as you just need to invite the initial few people. If they invite more people, everyone earns.
Except one thing: Where does all these money come from?
YOU, OF COURSE!
Even if you can join FREE now, there’s a reason why they want your credit card details. It’s because you are expected to pay to fund the system.
If that is the case, you are paying for a system to transfer money from one hand to another without any real purpose or product. Sounds like a Pyramid Scheme, don’t you think?
3. Who is Rob Towles?
So, let’s touch on who Rob Towles is. He claims to be the CEO of Smashfund and seem to be the only name that is behind this project for now.
Here’s a Google search for Rob Towles:
One thing I noticed was another program called Efusjon, which Rob Towles is apparently behind too in the past. It also seems like a program that is very similar to Smashfund, considering from just the Google results you see ‘Pyramid Scheme’ and ‘Compensation Plan’.
Further digging, you can see from this article that Rob Towles was behind a pyramid scheme called Efusjon in the past that seems to work very similarly to what Smashfund is promising now.
Participants of Efusjon were required to pay $170 in order to stay qualified and compensated under the scheme, and the program was disguised as a multi-level marketing program. However, to really earn money, you were required to refer people instead of selling the products (Which were overpriced energy drinks).
Rob Towles was behind this as the CEO as well, and eventually it went under in 2010 as it was forced to close because it was illegal to operate a pyramid scheme in California.
You can even visit the thread on scam.com to see what people were talking about Efusjon when it was still up.
So after all of this, Smashfund seems very similar to Efusjon and run by Rob Towles too. The question is that will it work this time compared to the last time?
I guess we will have to wait and see.
4. What’s On The Inside?
Since you might be wondering what is inside after you sign up, let me show you what you can expect to find after signing up.
You may be expecting a social network and being able to connect to people. Or maybe being able to do some thing inside Smashfund including connecting with other people.
However, I found none of those. Let me run through with you the few pages that you can actually access now.
When you initially log in, you are brought to the Dashboard where it shows your network connections and your monthly funding. Above, you can see my invite code and a few other tabs.
In the Network tab, you can see who you personally invited. You can also check out for Viral connections (Your tier 2 referrals onwards) and see your total network connections here.
This page probably shows you how to invite friends, including giving you template messages where you can send out to friends or ‘spam’ other people. Right at the bottom of the page, you are given your invite link which you can share on Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin.
In the Account Tab, you can change your personal info, password, email and payment info.
One thing I realised is that you can add a backup credit card in case the first one fails. Oh and YOU CAN’T REMOVE YOUR CREDIT CARD DETAILS.
There’s no way to close your account here as well too.
That’s it. There’s nothing else to see at this point of time.
No social network. No crowdfunding. Nothing at all. Just promoting their system and getting people to promote them as of now.
If you somehow don’t believe me, by all means go and sign up and take a look inside yourself. I have already taken the risk by signing up with this website so that you don’t have to do it.
What others are saying
1. Lynne (Smallonlineopportunity.com)
Lynne created a video on Smashfund and broke down in smaller details that make Smashfund sound really questionable.
She mentions about how she could be just promoting the program and earn more promoting the scam instead of putting it down. In my point of view – that’s true for my case too. However, it really goes against my personal morals promoting a program like that.
EDIT: Video has been taken down! Can’t seem to find it now 🙁
BehindMLM talks quite a bit on the past of Rob Towles, including Efusjon and another abandoned company called LabActive as well too. At the bottom of the article, it mentions something really true about the compensation plan.
Even though they claim to be a crowdfunding platform, commissions are tied to recruited affiliates and not whether they support the project or not.
It really shows that this is just a pyramid scheme hiding behind the guise of a crowdfunding network.
Final Verdict of Smashfund
Price: $149/Month (When released, now free)
Owners: Rob Towles
My Final Thoughts
What I love about Smashfund
- Nothing much really. There’s only ways to promote a link to nothing in the website as of now!
What I did not like about Smashfund
- Tries to disguise itself as a crowdfunding website but is a pyramid scheme
- High membership fee of $149/month. Not inclusive of what else they might ask you to buy.
- Nothing inside, except for your referral link. No social network, tools, or crowdfunding!
- Requires credit card to enter, and you CANNOT remove your details right after.
So just to put it clear, Smashfund could be a scam or could be a totally legit program that work. What I’m writing here is merely my opinions and how I feel about Smashfund.
Since the product is still in its infant stage, it is hard to tell if Smashfund is an outright scam even though it shows big signs of being a pyramid scheme. However, it is something I would definitely would not promote at all because I was caught in something similar in the past.
That program that I was involved in for a short period of time was called Rippln, and it was disguised as a App share network where you can promote apps and earn money from people who download those apps under your link. You could sign up for free, but shortly after they kept asking you to pay for membership and many other high ticket stuff (from $100 sign up fee to $5000+ coaching packages).
Fortunately, I did not pay a single cent and exited the program quickly. However, I did invite quite a lot of people which I promptly had to apologize and tell them about how bad idea was it to stay in the Rippin Network.
I really don’t want to be THAT guy everyone avoids because he’s promoting some MLM, and I bet you really don’t want to be such a person too. This is solely the reason why I discourage MLM even if it legit. However, Smashfund is a pyramid scheme which is really different from an MLM (Legit if done right), and pyramid schemes are illegal in most countries too.
Either way, Smashfund is still pretty new and I will be updating this article in the next few months to see how this program turns out.
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So what do you think about Smashfund? Have you signed up for an account?