Crowdfunding Pioneers in APAC

Crowdfunding is an interesting phenomenon, especially in the west, where million-dollar projects have been financed through small contributions. These include gadgets, artistic works, and even contributions to charitable causes. The main appeal of Kickstarter, for instance, is that backers are not charged if the pledge amounts do not reach a minimum. This means that projects that actually get money have a higher likelihood of succeeding.

In the Asia Pacific, we have a few pioneering crowd-funded projects and sites. SG Entrepreneurs lists a few.

  • in Indonesia is considered the most successful one in Asia, so far, given the number of successfully-financed projects. ATMs are the preferred method of money transfer. The site is the home of the Atambua┬á39┬░ Celsius project, which is a movie project led by a group of known directors. The project was able to raise IDR 311 million (US$ 32,800).
  • likewise focuses on creative projects, and has recently wrapped up funding for an Indonesian band, Navicula, and also the Craft for Change project by a local NGO.
  • is a local crowdsourcing effort based in the Philippines, and also focuses on media-related projects. The site was able to raise PhP 243,000 (US$ 5,800) to finance a tour by local band Color it Red (with still half of the amount to go). The site also features indie film Ang Nawawala, which has garnered PhP 130,000 (US$ 3,100) of its PhP 150,000 target.
  • is a Taiwan-based crowdsourcing site that also focuses on artistic projects, such as an effort by an artist to convert her home into an art center.
  • is based in Malaysia, and has book publishing efforts as its most popular listings. Like Kickstarter, the site only funds projects once they reach or exceed their goal.
  • is a South Korean site that raises funds for events.
  • ToGather.Asia is based in Singapore and does not necessarily focus on a single industry.
  • is based in Thailand, and is fairly new. The site may have a successful campaign with a movie based on Muay Thai.
  • ZaoZao offers Hong Kong-based indie fashion designers that focuses on pre-orders.

Crowdfunding efforts in the Asia Pacific region are not necessarily as large as International ones, such as Kickstarter, Indiegogo or Crowdtilt. However, even these small projects are a good start, as these can showcase how the Internet can be a launchpad for financing projects big and small.