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Digital Life, The Straits Times
Saturday, Apr 26, 2014

News, Science And Tech

Follow the crowd

Digital Life, The Straits Times | Kenny Chee | Saturday, Apr 26, 2014

Screengrabs of the various crowdfunding websites: (Clockwise from left) Crowdonomic, Haystakt, CoAssets and Crowdtivate.

Crowdfunding is picking up here, with new sites opening in recent months to help small companies and individuals get funding for their projects.

Among them are telco StarHub's Crowdtivate and online retailer Haystakt's Projects section, which was launched last month.

Such sites typically allow strangers to contribute funds for projects listed by a company or individual. This is done over a fixed period of time.

Many such fund-raising campaigns offer rewards to backers who fund a project. This may include a substantial discount for buying a product developed under the project.

Digital Life looks at four home-grown crowdfunding sites.

kennyc@sph.com.sg

Crowdonomic

Launch date: January 2013

Funding period: Up to 60 days

Payments: By credit card or PayPal. Payments will not be refunded to project backers even if a project's funding target is not met. But rewards for backers are still expected to be honoured.

Project owner fees: 9.5 per cent of the funds raised if the project does not meet its funding target. If a fund-raising campaign meets or exceeds its target before the deadline, the fee is lowered to 6.5 per cent.

What: Crowdonomic is a crowdfunding site focused on helping Asian small- and medium-sized enterprises seek funding for their projects.

It is run by a team of eight. The site can also advise project owners on how they can run their funding campaign, such as how a project can be marketed.

Crowdonomic and its partner websites have launched campaigns in 16 countries, with supporters from 70 countries, according to the site.

Most campaigns on Crowdonomic are from Singapore.

A recent successful campaign is one by the World Wide Fund for Nature Singapore (left). It sought to raise funds to aid wildlife rangers in their fight against the illegal wildlife trade. It raised more than US$21,300 (S$26,600), which was above its initial target of US$20,000.

Project owners are vetted for their intent, credibility and quality.

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