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Overview of crowdfunding pioneers in Asia-Pacific

Indonesia is perhaps the crowdfunding capital of Asia with two Kickstarter-like websites seeing some initial success in raising money for projects. But as the idea continues to gain awareness across the region, more crowdfunding sites have popped up.

The scene is still very young though, with the largest successful campaign being in the five-figure US dollar range. Will the movement become mainstream or fizzle out? We don’t know at this point, but it’s certainly intriguing to watch it develop.

In this article, we give a rundown of up-and-coming crowdfunding platforms in the Asia-Pacific region.

1) Wujudkan.com (Indonesia)

This website is a prominent crowdfunding platform for the creative industry in Indonesia. It’s also perhaps the most successful one in Asia so far, going by the number of successful projects it has. This fact is striking considering how Indonesians are tepid about online transactions — ATMs is still their preferred mode of electronic transfer, according to a  DailySocial report. The article also mentions that the site’s top campaign so far is the “Atambua 39° Celsius” movie project, which has raised about IDR 311M (USD32,800), thanks in part to the credibility of the film directors. A scan of its front page reveals a lot of initiatives focusing on books, films, architecture, and games.

2) Patungan.net (Indonesia)

Patungan.net is a Indonesian crowdfunding site that also has some traction. Like Wujudkan.com, it focuses on the creative industry, funding projects in film, music, theatre, and books. It recently wrapped up a campaign to pay for the tour expenses of Navicula, a band from Bali, raising IDR 5.13M  (USD542), just over the goal of IDR5M. Another successful campaign is Craft for Change, a building project for an NGO supporting marginalized women. It collected IDR 54M (USD5,700), again slightly exceeding the goal.

3) ArtisteConnect.com (Philippines)

This site is a platform that provides crowdfunding for local artists in the music and film industry. Funds are given out only if the campaign hits above 40 to 50 percent of the target, although special exceptions can be given. The platform seems to be off to a promising start. A film project called Ang Nawawala has reached 87% of the target, receiving P130,000 (USD3,110) so far, while pop-rock band Color It Red has raised P243,500 (USD5,830).

4) Zeczec.com (Taiwan)

Crowdfunding fever is hitting Taiwan as well, with creative practitioners taking advantage of Zeczec.com to fund their work. A promising project is Sweet House No. 12, an endeavor by a Taiwanese artist to convert her village home into an art centre that not only promotes art but encourages tourism. It is already oversubscribed despite having 21 days to go, raising TWD105,500 (USD3,523).

5) pitchIN.my (Malaysia)

PitchIN.my has many categories, although book publishing seems to be popular on the site. An example would be BrandAids, an interactive e-book for business owners. The campaigners have received pledges amounting to 160% of the goal. Only projects that meet or exceed the target will be funded however.

6) Nboon.com (South Korea)

South Korea is another country to watch out for, thanks to Nboon, a crowdfunding site for events. The idea is certainly novel: Events have traditionally relied on ticket sales and sponsorships to fund their expenses. So far, Nboon seems to be working for small-scale events. A campaign for a BeLaunch networking dinner raised 570,000 won (USD505), while motorsports event organizers received 600,090 won (USD531) from donors.

7) ToGather.Asia (Singapore)

Singapore’s very own entrant to this movement has just successfully concluded its first campaign, raising about US$2,500 for Indonesian band The Trees & The Wild. Beyond that, it doesn’t appear to have a very strong focus on any particular industry, preferring a pan-Asian, cross-industry outlook.

8) Perdmuak.com (Thailand)

Thailand’s very own crowdfunding site is fairly new to the game. They’ve yet to complete their first project, although a Muay Thai film campaign is close. It has secured 92,320 baht (USD 2,930) with a target of 100,000 baht.

9) ZaoZao (Hong Kong)

With Hong Kong being the fashion capital of Asia, it’s unsurprising that a startup like ZaoZao, described by the founders as “Kickstarter meets Fab meets Moda Operandi”, should arise from there. ZaoZao is a platform for indie fashion designers to raise funds from the public. Donations come in the form of “pre-orders”, and if the targets are met, the idea becomes reality. The startup is still new, so no campaigns are being run yet.



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