Crowdfunding’s $100m kickstart making Aussie start-ups pozible


Australia-based Pozible, which launched in 2010, tops Australian campaigns launched (about 11,400), most successful campaigns (around 6500) and dollar value raised (about $46 million). Pozible also has the highest success rate at 58 per cent.

At about 24 per cent, New York-based Kickstarter, which opened to Australians in 2013, has a lower success rate. But on average Kickstarter campaigns raise more money, with about 1500 Australian campaigns raising nearly $32 million dollars.

A list of the top 20 Australian projects on San Francisco-based Indiegogo shows more than $27 million has been raised since the platform launched in Australia in 2010. However, about 67 per cent of Indiegogo’s total dollar figure comes from just one project – the hugely successful “Flow Hive”, a revolutionary beehive design – which raised more than $18 million.

“I think Pozible is known for our higher success rate – our success rate is nearly double that of the US players,” Pozible CEO Alan Crabbe says. “I think from a support perspective we’re a bit more hands-on in actually helping the projects.

“Generally with our advice, it’s geared around planning the project, planning the launch, planning a successful campaign from all points of view: marketing, social, design; all of these different aspects.”


“You win even before you launch,” say Sydney-based Andres and Melinda Restrepo. In 2016, the couple, who both specialise in digital marketing, launched the Golden Ratio Colouring Book on Kickstarter with Venezuelan artist Rafael Araujo.

“Our initial funding goal was $27,000, which we raised basically within the first 36 hours,” Melinda says. “We didn’t expect the project to take off the way it did. Obviously that was a bit of a surprise for us.”

Off an initial target of 500 books and $27,000, the Golden Ratio Colouring Book sold more than 8000 copies in 94 countries and raised more than $480,000. “We couldn’t believe it ourselves, we were like ‘What is happening?'” Andres says.

“In business you have time to develop and to evolve and absorb these kinds of incidents. But Kickstarter will grow a project, if it is successful, so quickly that it will also grow the amount of unforeseen circumstances you will have to confront.”

Around the same time, a little over 1000 kilometres away off Tasmania’s south coast, Bruny Island Cheese Co. founder Nick Haddow was planning his company’s first venture into crowdfunding on Indiegogo.

Unlike many start-up projects, the Bruny Island Cheese Co. has been operating successfully for more than a decade and looked to crowdfunding as a way of both expanding and getting customers more engaged and invested in the business.

“It’s actually about how can we engage with customers, how can we really get them invested in what we’re trying to do. Crowdfunding was a perfect platform for that,” Haddow says.

“We’ve taken the largest step through our business to purchase a farm at the beginning of this year with the intention of developing it into a dairy farm.” The money raised from the campaign will go towards its development.

Haddow’s campaign launched in Indiegogo in November and has raised around $150,000 of its $200,000 target. Project backers are sent cheese wheels for pledging their support. Nick’s confident the campaign will exceed its target due to the support of the company’s highly engaged customer base, known as “The Cheese Club”.

“The most valuable thing crowdfunding does outside of the financial provisions is engagement,” he says.

“As a small business the only way we can compete is by building a community and engaging directly with consumers. Crowdfunding does that automatically as par for the course, it gets people over the line.

“It’s a wonderful kind of mash up of venture capitalism, advertising and promotion in a way. It’s such a potent model.”


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