StarHub’s crowdfunding platform goes live, offering entrepreneurs in Asia new options

StarHub’s crowdfunding platform goes live, offering entrepreneurs in Asia new options

Singapore’s StarHub announced what it claimed is the world’s first telco-backed crowdfunding platform in April, and today its Crowdtivate service went live to the public.

There are an initial 12 projects on the site, ranging from a smart air conditioning system, to a hybrid mechanical watch, an aspiring musician, and a selfie photo app. The projects are taken from Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia, and were apparently selected from “hundreds” of entries that the company received from entrepreneurs.

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The site looks like Kickstarter and others but it does more than just fund projects. There are three distinctly different options available.

Crowdfunding, which raises funds by selling packages to backers as per similar sites; Crowd Voting, which doesn’t include money or funding but lets entrepreneurs ‘validate’ an idea by asking for support in the form of up-votes. Finally, there is Crowdsourcing, which gathers skills and resources from contributors in order to fulfill a specific goal.

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The site takes payment from Paypal as well as credit cards, which is important because — Singapore aside — the rate of credit card penetration is very low in some countries. While the site is initially focus on backers from Singapore with listings in Singapore dollars, it open to all parts of the world.

Crowdfunding is still a pretty new concept in Asia, although there have been a number of successful projects out of the region — most notably The Buccaneer 3D printer, which raised nearly $1.5 million after registering in the US.

Kickstarter hasn’t arrived in Southeast Asia, though this could be imminent given that it expanded into Asia Pacific via Australia last year. There are, however, a couple of local offerings, as Australia’s Pozible has expanded into Singapore and Malaysia, and Indiegogo is available.


Headline image via Thinkstock

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