A crowdloan is a process in which parachain teams based on Polkadot or Kusama allow outside investors to stake their DOT or KSM tokens within a parachain slot in order to increase their allocated number of tokens, thereby increasing their chances of winning a parachain slot auction. If the project is successful, they will be able to operate their parachain in the Polkadot Relay Chain or the Kusama Rococo Relay Chain for 6 months to 2 years, with the option of extending prior to expiration. Winning teams can structure their crowdloans in a variety of ways, rewarding their various contributors however they see fit.