FundedApps Wants to Make Your App Ideas a Reality — Is there a Catch?

FundedApps Wants to Make Your App Ideas a Reality -- Is there a Catch? | 40Tech

If you’ve ever thought that you had the perfect idea for an app, but just didn’t have the time, the means, or the skills to build and launch your gift to the mobile world (and your wallet), well guess what: there’s an app for that. Now before you begin mentally slaying me for my use of Apple’s now cliche slogan, read on — I’m actually not joking. The app is called FundedApps, and its entire purpose is for you to send in your idea so that they can make it happen for you. If they like your idea, you get £250 upfront, plus 25% of the net profit that the app makes.

So what’s the catch?

On the whole, after reading through the Legal section on FundedApps’ website, the operation appears to be legitimate, and not just a way to scam you out of your brainchild. There are protection clauses for them, of course, but also many for you that sing to the tune of confidentiality, data protection, and the ability for you to still use the idea if they reject it. Once they take on your idea, they become the owners of it, but all you have to do is just hang around and wait for your quarterly cheque.

So far so good, right? Still waiting for the catch? Don’t worry, that’s up next.

The catch is actually related to rejection. FundedApps reserves the right to reject your idea based on their own determination, and that of their investment committee, of marketability. If the idea doesn’t cut it, they reject it, and appear to be contractually bound not to steal the idea and make millions off of your baby without you (those terms are not specific, though — see section 7 of the FundedApps Legal page — so I would love it if people with lawyer-eyes could have a read through and report back). However, the only way to submit your idea in the first place, is to send it in via their free iPhone app. This is where they get you: each submission you make via the iPhone app costs you £1.19.

Paying that little amount may not seem like a big deal to you, especially if you consider it is the only investment you have to make, and your cut of the profits could make you a millionaire, but bear in mind two things: more ideas will be rejected than accepted, and there are no original ideas under the sun — which is to say that, if you’ve thought of it, then so have a few thousand other people. Not to mention the fact that, with the thousands of apps already on the app store(s) it is possible that your idea already exists, in some form.

I don’t say all of this to bash FundedApps — on the contrary, I think their idea is brilliant, and I wish I’d thought of it. The thing is, they are likely to make money hand over fist, even without their cut of the profits brought in by the multitude of apps they do to create. It could very well be that a submission to FundedApps is the best investment you ever make. I do advise that you read their legal page carefully, however, and have it and any related documents looked over by a lawyer. I also advise that, before you start spending your £1.19 on a wing and a prayer, you do your research first — especially if you have a lot of ideas. £1.19 may not be much, but as any avid iTunes user or slot-machine gambler can tell you, it adds up quickly.

Here’s the FundedApps process, as stated in their FAQ:

    • You download our App
    • Using our App, write down your idea and submit it to us for a cost of £1.19
    • We reveiew your idea
    • If we think it is a good idea we invest our money and make the App
    • You receive a payment of £250
    • We use a bit more of our money to launch the App
    • You receive 25% of the Apps’ net revenue
    • We continue to manage the App and make it even better

 

 

So what are your thoughts on FundedApps? Planning to give them a try?

Bobby Travis

Bobby isn't 40-something, but is a strong supporter of the Grown-up Geek kind. He's a loving husband and father first, but is also a freelance writer, productivity nut, operatically trained singer, and (not-so) closet geek. Check out his random thoughts, wackiness, and Instagram pics on Tumblr, Twitter, or Google+-- or just head over to bobby-travis.com.

23 Comments:

  1. Thanks for the warning. I do have an app idea but I don’t think it would ever get made so I’m tempted to submit. But yeah.. I don’t want to pay to submit.

    • My pleasure Shahryar! I can see why they charge — it makes them money, regardless, and it causes people to think twice before they toss a barrage if submissions at them. I hope to see some good case studies coming out of this. I would really love some clarification on that legal bit I mentioned though.

  2. They don’t offer a bad deal, but i wouldn’t trust someone i don’t know with my idea. Worst case scenario i would hire a freelancer to build the software for me.

  3. Hi Bobby,
    Thank you for posting the review of FundedApps, we think it is a brilliant idea and hope it will be a successful means of transforming people’s brilliant ideas into brilliant apps.
    Your comments and reservations are fair; so let me address them;

    FundedApps is a commercial venture; our aim is to generate revenue for all parties involved, if we believe an idea has the potential to be successful we commit a significant amount of our time and money to transform ideas into a fully developed Apps.
    This is a service aimed at people who do not have the experience, knowledge, time and finances to develop and build their ideas into Apps.

    Rejection vs Brilliant Ideas
    Brilliant ideas are not easy to think of; so not every idea submitted to FundedApps is going to be a great idea, new idea, appropriate idea or commercially viable idea, therefore we anticipate that there will be a high percentage of rejected ideas.
    However we also recognise that circumstances change and what was a rejected idea could have value and relevance in the future, thus making it a brilliant idea, in this case we would contact the original inventor of the idea and discuss options for developing their idea.

    Ownership of Ideas
    We invested a lot of time to ensure that the legal agreement protects all parties involved – the idea is owned by the inventor up until the point that we commit to invest money and develop the App. Once we commit to make the App, the inventor receives a payment of £250 followed by 25% net revenue after the App is launched.
    We have developed a database for storing every idea, thus enabling us to time stamp and cross-reference every idea submitted, thus ensuring that we recognise the ownership and Intellectual Property of every idea submitted.

    Why £1.19 to submit an idea?
    • This helps provide a buffer so people think twice before ideas that are clearly not feasible.
    • It helps cover our basic administration and filing cost.
    • It’s a small investment compared to the time and money that we invest if it is a Brilliant idea and it goes live!

    Update
    Since launching FundedApps we have had a significant number of ideas submitted and are currently developing several potential ideas for possible investment. We are documenting each idea in development and look forward to posting case studies when the Apps are launched.
    We understand that people may have reservations about FundedApps, but we believe in the opportunity it provides and are very excited by the fantastic response and the number of ideas submitted.

    Regards
    Alastair
    The FundedApps team.

    • Hi Alistair, thanks for taking the time to comment on the post!

      I do agree that FundedApps is a brilliant idea and business model, and will likely be the breeding ground for some excellent future applications, and that is always exciting. From a user perspective, however, while I agree that your terms of use are set up to be as obviously fair to all as possible, I would like to see a clause that specifically states that, upon rejection of an app idea, the user retains full intellectual property rights and can therefore do what they like with their idea without fear of competition from FundedApps. If you are keeping the ideas in a database for potential further development, maybe you should consider soft-rejections and full rejections as a path, with the user being given a choice as to whether or not they wish to keep their idea with you.

      Thanks again for the comment and clarifications — and I look forward to seeing your case studies! :D

      • Hi Bobby.
        Thanks for a great article. I agree the IP has to be amended as you suggested. I also wanted to weigh in about the fee. This is really the thing that bugs me. I think that it cost about $3.00 US. I really don’t see this as being significant enough for them to claim that it 1. ‘helps provide a buffer so people think twice before ideas that are clearly not feasible (see #3
        2. It helps cover our basic administration and filing cost. $3.00 really?
        3. It’s a small investment compared to the time and money that we invest if it is a Brilliant idea and it goes live! If it’s such a small investment why charge?
        I more and more think this is a way to sell an app. The FundedApps app. Easy numbers: if a small group of 10,000 people buy the app that’s $30,000. And these people can be turned down at their discretion? There are better dev. companies out here that don’t charge fees and really would like to be partners in developing apps. And I mean more than an idea. I have ideas for apps but they are fleshed out ideas, layout, design, buttons, chooser lists, who would use it and why. I can’t say how much an idea is worth but a well thought out plan can be just as valuable as the people who code and market and do PR the app. App ideas are easy to rattle off. Good app ideas are not. Food for thought. But I’ve been wrong before.

      • I still would like to see a success story from Funded Apps. I haven’t checked back on them in a while though. If anyone knows of anyone who sold an app this way, I’d love to hear it.

    • Dear Alastair,
      I recently submitted 2 ideas to your company via my iPhone.The first idea was turned down,but I received an acknowledgement email(from the Fundedapp team) and almost immediately a receipt from the iTunes store for the amount of 1pound and 19pence.The second idea is still pending, however I noticed I did not get a receipt right away and after a few emails,a few days later I got the receipt from the Itune store but noticed this time I had been billed for 1 pound and 49 pence.The fundedapp team claims the increase came from the Apple store,and while am still waiting to hear from the store,I wander why the fundedapp application on my iPhone still reads 1pound and 19pence.In anycase I should not be charged any extra, other than the price on offer at the time the idea was submitted.I am now beginning to wander how straight forward this organisation really is.
      Regards
      Nkese

  4. Hi Bobby,
    We are looking about amending our message about IP ownership so it is clearer and avoids unnecessary confusion.
    Thanks for your input.
    Alastair

  5. Hi All,

    I have just submitted an idea to fundedapps and thought i would note on here how the process proceeds. It was fairly straightforward to submit although I did need to upgrade my iphone to the latest apple upgrade because the app wouldnt allow me to type in my idea (i have read that many people have had the same problem).

    I will post whether i have any success or how the rejection process goes and any reasons provided for rejection.

    • So any news on this yet? I have an App idea and am unsure as to which is the best way to proceed. Do i go through FundedApps or try and secure my own investment from independant investors.

      • Nothing new to report other than what’s already there, Justin, sorry! As for your idea, I wouldn’t presume to advise you on the best path for you to take. :)

  6. Frank Richardson

    Does anyone know if Funded Apps has gone out of business. They processed my payment quickly, but didn’t follow through on their notices to the inventor and have not responded to any emails. It is like they are “robo” processing the fees and then blowing off the inventors.

    • Hi Frank,

      Sorry to hear you’re having difficulties with them. From what I can see, they are still active — their twitter account was last updated 12 hours ago, as of this posting. Try contacting them via twitter to see if they are still moving forward. If you don’t get a real person response, something might be up.

      Also, check their Facebook page.

  7. turn your phone into a bluetooth/wireless headset.

    ever been watching a film on your computer with your headphones in and wished you could move more then 3feet away? well now you can. just sync your computers audio out with your phone over ether wifi or bluetooth and enjoy all the benefits of wireless headphones without the expensive price tag.

  8. i have being reading all the comments and i have one question if this is not the best way to go about submitting your idea does anyone know of any other avenues to go down as i have i think good ideas but have no clue where or how to go about marketing it any help would be much appricated

  9. This is no joke. I just won’t tell. It’s too brilliant for it. I have Asperger’s Syndrom (search for it on youtube or ted.com if you don’t know what it is) and came up with the most brilliant idea for this app two years ago already. It does not exist yet and nobody thought of this either, yet. It is just so simple though but this will turn the news- and media-world completely upside down and can devastate companies like CNN, Google Hangout, Facebook and others ánd TV in general. It’s just too big. (estimate of $21 billion a year turnover only ;) I will talk only in person with signed NDA. I tried to contact Google, but am just not able to get any contact there. At this moment i am willing to discuss with other companies than Google ánd travel across the globe for it to get it done. Are you interested? If not, please let me know as well.

  10. I was just about to submit my idea to fundedapps but after reading all the comments and responses, I have my reservations. They seem more interested in the submission fee than the idea, thanks bobby and all who commented.

  11. Interesting read. But is it possible that FundedApps just tweak a litle of your submitted idea and able to claim it to be entirely thier own? With this, they can reject your original idea where they can use your idea + thier own enhanced idea to develop the app without having to share the profits with you.

  12. kristinventresca2@gmail.com

    wow thanx so much for all of your input because i was also very convinced on their pitch and almost paid them for it also…Its too bad for them my ideas are amazing…on to the next one…

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