Crowdfunding gets major kick-start
Crowdfunding platforms see huge growth in projects launched and money pledged this year
This year, $2.9 million was pledged to projects started by Singaporeans on Kickstarter, nearly 3½ times more than the $854,464 pledged last year.
Crowdfunding platforms have seen huge growth this year.
GiveAsia, a charity-focused crowdfunding platform, also saw a growth of 80 per cent in total donations raised this year.
Mr Sean Leow, Kickstarter's director of international, who helps support its international community, told The New Paper Singapore backers of its projects had grown by 25 per cent.
Kickstarter was officially launched here in August.
Mr Leow said: "We've been officially open for creators here for less than four months, but we've been blown away by the number of brave creators who are using Kickstarter to bring their ideas to life."
Singaporeans launched 145 projects on Kickstarter this year, compared to 34 last year.
The projects cover a range of creative categories from art to technology, but Kickstarter does not allow any projects to raise money for charity.
GiveAsia co-founder Aseem Kumar Thakur attributes its boom to Singaporeans becoming more aware and accepting of crowdfunding from when it was founded in 2009.
More than 250 local charities use it as a source to collect donations online, he said.
With the recent launch of GiveAsia's mobile platform, most of its traffic now comes from mobile.
Singaporeans who started successful crowdfunding campaigns say they are grateful for these platforms.
Ms Lim Li Xue, an industrial design student at the National University of Singapore, and two friends raised more than $280,000 on Kickstarter for their wallet design, which automatically sorts coins from notes.
The 23-year-old said: "We think Kickstarter is a good platform for innovators."
The scene here is set to further flourish as more crowdfunding platforms make their presence felt.
Israeli platform OurCrowd, which was launched in 2013 and opened an office here last month, told TNP it saw a 200 per cent growth both in the number of investors and amount in the investments from Singapore.
OurCrowd, which also has offices in Israel, North America and Australia, said Singapore provided about 6 per cent of its total investment dollars.
Home-grown company CoAssets said it smashed local records when it raised $200,000 under 30 minutes for a small Singapore business in March.
Next year looks set to be even bigger for crowdfunding.
Mr Thakur told TNP: "We will see a rise in crowdfunding projects to help people in need.
"We believe more charities will rely on online fund-raising platforms to raise funds and awareness, compared to offline third-party fund raising (that is not cost effective)."
Mr Denes Ban, OurCrowd's managing partner for Asia, predicts more deals will come from Asia, one of its fastest growing markets.
He told TNP: "The financial technology environment in Asia is changing, with more regulators open to collaboration."