Kickstarter Singapore is one of the globally leading crowdfunding companies. It entered the Singaporean industry a few years back. However, despite its growing popularity; there are still some questions about whether crowdfunding in Singapore works here or is worth it.
Crowdfunding started to get people’s attention when Brian Camelio launched ArtistShare in 2003. He aimed to give a digital platform for musicians to get donations from fans to produce the digital recording. Soon, it opened its doors to videography and photography.
In addition, Camelio soon developed a rewards-based crowdfunding model which promises incentives to backers. For example, it gets their names printed in album covers. Or be the first to download the songs.
Then Kickstarter came in 2009 with almost the same reason: fund artists. What’s different with Kickstarter is that it kept on expanding to cover other projects. Also, its categories kept on branching out. These are Art, Comics, Crafts, Dance, Design, Fashion, Film & Video, Food, Games, Journalism, Music, Photography, Publishing, Technology, and Theater.
While Kickstarter utilized the rewards-based crowdfunding model, they set up projects goals. But, they added a limited time for each project to be funded. Rewards might be cool. However, many backers pledge amounts less than needed to get a bonus. With this, many just want to help a project or realize a dream.
Kickstarter Singapore promotes projects which have realistic goals and plans. It must independently create these projects. Plus, it must not copy in any form from another source. The creators will decide the funding goal and the deadlines. In addition, the funding goal is the set amount of money the project creator needs to complete the project and not just to start with.
Kickstarter Singapore does not charge if the funding goal is not met. It is as they call it ‘all-or-nothing’. If the funding is successful, Kickstarter will charge 5% fee and payment processing fees. Payment processing fees are 3% of funds. Plus, there’s a $0.20 per pledge. For pledges under $10, they are charged $0.05 per pledge.
Those who pledge money for the project either as donations or for rewards are called backers. If successful, the backer’s credit cards will be charged. But if it’s unsuccessful, they will not be charged at all.
The rewards are the creator’s chance to share the project. It can be through limited editions, a copy of the work produced or a one-of-a-kind experience involving the project. Kickstarter does not allow fundraising for charity or incentive offerings as rewards. Furthermore, it prohibits such items that are out of the question.
As of 25th of May 2016, Kickstarter reported total dollars of $2,399,580,137 pledged by 10,932,156 backers. Out of 300,528 launched projects, 106,166 have been successfully funded. Kickstarter has a 35.97% success rate.
Kickstarter is not responsible for overseeing the completion of the projects. The creators are responsible for the project development and updating the backers of its progress. Therefore, Kickstarter cannot guarantee the projects and does not investigate the possibility of the project’s completion. The backers have to decide for themselves the worthiness of the projects and their validity before pledging.
Kickstarter created an open environment where the creators can easily communicate with the backers. However, the creators should not mislead the backers with misinterpreted facts. For example, a prototype has to be shown if the project involves manufacturing something, but photorealistic renderings are prohibited.
Despite being fully funded there is no guarantee that the rewards will be fulfilled or be delivered on time. However, take note that Kickstarter will not intervene on this part. Its only job is to connect backers to the creators.
Singapore based start-up Pirate3D launched its highly anticipated Buccaneer 3D printer on Kickstarter in 2013. With a goal of $100, 00, Pirate3D received funds worth of $1,438,765 from more than 3,300 global Kickstarter backers. Some paid $297 to $799 upfront, expecting their 3d printers to arrive by 2014. However, it made only around 800 printers. As a result, the project collapsed, leaving the backers disappointed. They are either still waiting for their 3D printer or demanding refunds. According to chief operating officer Brendan Goh of P3D, the company needs to sell some printers to make $2million to $3million to bet back on track.
Goh tried to be optimistic. He focused on fulfilling the promises to the backers instead of refunding. Also, he clarified that they are going back to the basics of the project to build printers with better quality. With every 4 printers sold, one can be built for a backer or do a refund. The last project update on Kickstarter was in October 2015. It has left most backers hanging since.
Many wonder why Kickstarter won’t get involved with the case, and many backers grow impatient. However, Kickstarter Singapore is absolved of the case. They had no guarantee from the start, regardless of the amount of money and number of people involved. P3D hasn’t updated their sites nor answered emails. Despite promises that P3D will fulfil their promises, some branded them as a fraud. They failed in planning and overestimated.
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