Equity crowdfunding is the process whereby individuals or the "crowd" invest in an unlisted company (a company that is not listed on a stock market) in exchange for shares in that company.
Equity crowdfunding is a way to match companies who need funding with individuals who wish to invest. Investors become shareholders and have partial ownership of a company. Individuals get a share in the future success of a company they believe in. If the company fails investors can lose some, or all, of their investment.