The Future: Now Funded By You

What went down during the "Asia: The Next Crowdfunding Epicentre" conference organised by FundedByMe?


Author: DBS BusinessClass, Administrator of DBS

‘A little bit of money combined with a lot of people equals the power of crowdfunding,' asserts Daniel Daboczy, CEO and co-founder of FundedByMe.

We dare not disagree. Crowdfunding is a global paradigm shift that's expected to exceed $10 billion globally while growing by an impressive 80% annually. Interestingly enough, it's not a new idea. Crowdfunding dates back to the 18th century when writers and musicians gathered money from investors to fund their work.

In recent times, crowdfunding has experienced a massive resurgence over the past 10 years. Such notable examples as Barack Obama harnessing the power of his supporters to fund his election campaigns and the Louvre Museum turning to the French public to fund its purchase of historic artifacts only lends credence to the idea that the future will now be funded by you.

Although relatively new in Asia, crowdfunding is already experiencing an annual growth rate of $5 billion here in the east. The $16,000 raised within a week through crowdfunding on Indiegogo in response to the Vietnamese tourist's misadventure at Sim Lim Square in Singapore merely hints at the willingness of Asians to band together and chip in should a cause rouse their collective fervor. This bodes well for the future of crowdfunding in the region.   

FundedByMe is the latest in a long line of Swedish companies that have made its way to Asia and Singapore -  alongside big players like Ikea and H&M as well as superstar tech startups like Spotify and Mojang - the company that developed Minecraft. According to Daboczy, Singapore is a natural choice for FundedByMe as it's the hub of South-east Asia. ‘It's the place to be and more and more people are realising this,' he wastes no time in adding.

FundedByMe began back in August 2012 as a team of three. Ironically, it was conceived due to restrictions imposed on non-locals by US-based Kickstarter. Undaunted, the ingenious founders resolved to crowdfund themselves into existence by using FundedByMe to promote - you guessed it - FundedByMe itself. Now, just two years later, the Swedish crowdfunding platform spreads its wings over eight countries and boasts an impressive 43,000 active global investor members, all while maintaining a lean head count of just 18.

‘Many people are still unaware of crowdfunding or what it can achieve,' laments Daboczy, adding that, ‘everyone, everywhere can and should be an investor or supporter.' Should his grand vision be realised we'll be seeing a lot more of the following case studies below.

-Flippin' Burgers- no less than the shining success story of FundedByMe - is a Stockholm-based burger restaurant that went from being an idea to a global sensation in just 180 days. Today, it's one of the most popular dining destinations in Sweden with a profit margin of over $70 million.

-Oculus VR, creator of the Oculus Rift, virtual reality headset was sponsored by 9500 fans and raised $2.5 million in 2012 on Kickstarter. In 2014, Oculus VR was acquired by Facebook for $2 Billion.

-Safire fire alarm systems, founded by Elin Olsson, 21,  who aspires to be the ‘Business Woman of the Year' before she's 30.  

-Yoogaia, the world's first interactive online yoga studio

‘At the end of the day it's about chasing fans,' adds Daboczy. That is something he knows how to do very well. His company has circumnavigated half the globe to chase theirs, with spectacular results - and what a ride it has been.

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