Howard Winn | 13 March, 2014 | South China Morning Post – We caught up with fund2.me again recently – one of a handful of crowd funding sites in Hong Kong. We initially wrote about it shortly before its launch at the beginning of December last year. Crowd funding involves using the internet to raise funds by getting relatively small amounts of money from a large number of people. It’s increasing rapidly in the US and Europe, but its growth in Hong Kong has been sluggish.
Just over three months after fund2.me opened for business, co-founder Mathias Krosewitz says progress has been slower and harder than he initially anticipated. But his site has three funding campaigns up and running at present. Two are rewards campaigns where people who donate get various forms of discounts for the product.
ERI produces a cool sports tracking wristband. It has raised funds from other crowd funding sites and is looking for US$10,000, and has so far raised 2 per cent. The Chinese Timekeeper designs and produces elegant watches. It is looking for US$30,000, and has so far raised 66 per cent and has 16 days of its campaign left.
Appedu (Apprendre Education Ltd) is an equity campaign looking for shareholders. Under Hong Kong regulations only professional investors can participate in campaigns to raise equity funding. This means they should have at least US$1 million for investment purposes.
Appedu was founded by a group of University of Hong Kong graduates and describes itself as an e-learning platform to link up teachers and students in conducting online classes, sharing teaching materials and building a question and answer database. It’s a platform for finding tutors for specific subjects and exams, and they are rated by the students. It’s an online classroom and a market place for teachers. Appedu wants to raise US$1.5 million and has raised 10 per cent.
“Marketing is key,” says Krosewitz. “Some people seem to think that they just need to publish their ideas and the project takes off. We are not Kickstarter with thousands of daily clicks,” he said, referring to the highly successful US crowd funding site that says it has launched 57,600 projects and has raised over US$1 billion since it started in 2009.
Fund2.me gets between 400 and 1,500 unique visitors daily, with average of 2.5 page views. “Its hard work, but we’re making progress,” he says.