Bronwen Clune is a journalist and editor with extensive experience in startups having run her own, worked at Australia’s leading startup incubator and as digital director at a local VC fund. She’s the vice-president of the Public Interest Journalism Foundation with a keen interest in digital media and the future of journalism. She’s also a popular columnist with The Guardian.
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Pozible launches in China, smashing crowdfunding records in under a minute
Australian crowdfunding platform Pozible has launched in China with its first campaign reaching its target of 10,000 Chinese yuan within minutes of launching, raising an amount of 464,602 Chinese yuan at the time of publishing.
Pozible co-founder and Director Rick Chen says the demand for a Chinese product from Shenzhen, a tech-enabled wristband called Gyenno One, almost sent the crowdfunding platform into meltdown.
“Within a minute it had reached its campaign target of 10,000 Chinese yuan, and for several minutes, every time the page was refreshed, the number of pledges doubled,” Chen says.
Pozible is the first international crowdfunding platform to enter China, along with three or four local competitors. Chen says the success of the first campaign hints at the huge potential of the market.
Chinese-born Chen says Pozible is poised to make a strong entry into the market because of his local knowledge. He was easily able to establish a company in China, not an easy task for foreigners, and can also speak the language.
“The tradition in China for foreign startups is that they fail,” Chen says. “They often have little understanding of the local market and do little more than relaunch their product there.”
“Pozible has the advantage that I understand the market differences, know the language and culture.”
Chen says local players wanting to enter China need to use a local payment system (Pozible is using AliPay), have translation on their site and meet local shipping requirements.
He also pointed out that it is common for Chinese people to use made-up names as part of their online identities, so ensuring real names are captured when dealing with shipping is important.
All Pozible campaigns can now be submitted to its Chinese site, but people putting them up will need to provide translations themselves. Chen says this is a way for companies to tap into the huge Chinese market, where payments are able to be accepted in a number of currencies.
Users of the site will then be shown the campaign in either Chinese or English, depending on their IP address.
Chen says the Gyenno One is just one of many fantastic innovations from China that will be crowdfunded through Pozible.
“Over the next few months, we look forward to hosting campaigns for an app that turns your smart phone into a wireless remote control, a smart watch that helps carers to monitor the live heart beat of elderly or unwell patients, events and fashion projects,” Chen says.
The platform is also hosting a campaign for highly sophisticated humanoid robots, The Ai.Frame Robot, which is available at around third of the usual cost for a similar quality robot technology.
In other parts of Asia, Pozible is an official partner of the Open Learning Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) in Global Entrepreneurship, run out of Taylors University in Malaysia.
“This partnership will see more than a thousand entrepreneurs from across the globe running their own crowdfunding campaign on Pozible – we look forward to seeing what they produce,” Chen says.
In Singapore, men's bag and accessory label Gnome & Bow recently smashed its crowdfunding campaign target, becoming the largest ever fashion campaign run on Pozible.
Chen says that more Australian startups should be focussing on the Asian market rather than just eyeing the US market, which was most often the focus.