Soft cap is the minimum amount of money a cryptocurrency can receive from investors in its Initial Coin Offering (ICO). An ICO is the limited-time process by which new cryptocurrencies make their coins publicly known and begin selling them directly to people. People invest their money in these coins in the hopes that they will later be worth many times more that what was paid. If the soft cap is not met, the money is returned to investors. Usually there is a much larger financial goal known as a hard cap.