The crowdfunding scene in Asia has been heating up following its success in the US. Most recently, Singapore’s second largest telco, StarHub, joined the fray with its very own crowdfunding platform called Crowdtivate.
But several startups are looking to put a twist on the traditional crowdfunding models to differentiate themselves from the pack. In the case of Crowdtivate, StarHub provides not just money, but also mentorship in the form of expertise and resources.
Singapore-based Haystakt has taken yet another angle with Projects, which claims to be the world’s first crowd-pricing platform. Haystakt is one of ten teams pitching at Startup Arena here at our Singapore event.
The concept is simple: in addition to traditional all-or-nothing crowdfunding campaigns, Haystakt’s Project sees price drops on its crowdfunded projects with every pledge made by buyers after the minimum order goal has been hit, according to a pre-established price curve set by the project maker. The final price to be paid is determined at the end of the campaign, according to the total orders made.
In other words, the more buyers there are, the lower the price will go. Everyone wins. Additionally, this also works to remove the guesswork from setting the price and quantity.
A crowd-approved success so far
It seems like the crowd approves of this model thus far, with Haystakt’s initial batch of campaigns seeing a measure of success. In particular, Singaporean designers Shiok Collaborative, who used the platform to launch Skinny Wallets, managed to sell a hundred wallets within 28 days, maxing out their production capacity in the process.
Joel Leong, founder of Haystakt, says that while crowdfunding as a whole has experienced incredible growth in recent years, we are only just at the beginning of the crowdsourcing movement. His goal with Haystakt is to disrupt the retail market by finding ways to empower small businesses with tools that were once exclusive to large corporations.
“In the creative commodities industry, running a Project is an extremely valuable way to gauge demand and produce at scale. We’re excited at how this will revolutionize the way makers and designers produce, and the added perspectives it’ll bring,” he added.
The platform hopes to post 1,000 campaigns by the end of the year.
While there are no listing fees, Haystakt collects a five percent fee from all sales or orders made. Nothing is charged if a project is unsuccessful.
Haystakt is working on its financing round now. Interested investors can contact the founders via its Techlist profile.
Judges expressed some concerns about quality control, but the Haystakt team affirmed that they make sure that no frauds entered the platform. Khailee Ng of 500 Startups questioned the founders how they intended to turn Haystakt into a business that can grow bigger, while Paul Srivorakal of 500 Startups suggested the team specialize in a specific category, such as clothing. Generally, most of the judges agreed that the team’s platform had potential, but might face some growing pains.
This is a part of the coverage of Startup Asia Singapore 2014, our event running on May 7 and 8. Check out all the Startup Arena pitches here. You can follow along on Twitter at @techinasia, and on our Facebook page.Editing by Steven Millward and Josh Horwitz