Crowdfunding is the practice of funding a project, venture or initiative by raising small amounts of money from a large number of people, usually through the internet. This project, venture or initiative could be a nonprofit, political campaign or start-up company. Crowdfunding began as an online extension of traditional financing by friends and family with the objective of pulling money to fund members’ business ideas. It takes advantage of crowd-based decision-making and innovation, and applies it to the funding of projects or businesses. Using social networks, social profiles and the viral nature of web-based communication; individuals and companies have raised billions of dollars in debt, equity and donations for projects.