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Using a small crowdfunding campaign to get major exposure

Thursday, 24 October 2013 | By Rose Powell

After taking out top honours at a host of start-up pitching competitions this year, panic button and support system start-up Ollo Mobile has this week launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise $50,000 in seed capital.


Co-founder and chief technology officer Ken Macken told StartupSmart the fundraising campaign was about more than just money.


“The campaign is really to reach out to the US and UK audiences to indicate we’re heading out. We’re pretty well known here through winning lots of awards, but that doesn’t go beyond our borders,” Macken says.


It’s working. Macken says they’ve received many requests aged care researchers, and entrepreneurs keen to on-sell or partner with them from countries they aren’t even targeting.


“Unfortunately we can’t just go everywhere, we need the right numbers. So we’ve got in touch personally to all of them, and put them on a list. We’ve been tasking them to reach out their networks to develop the future user and re-seller numbers,” Macken says.


The funds will go towards certification and compliance costs for the hardware panic button component.


The success of the campaign hasn’t all been good news though, with PayPal shutting down the campaign after a few hours.


“Two hours after we launched they shut us down because they thought we were money laundering because we had so much money coming in. Because our CEO is over in the US, we thought he could deal with it but the US team said we needed to go through the Australian team, so we got stuck in a gap for a couple of days.”


Macken says they can see from the backend of the campaign that over they lost over $10,000 of payments that were unable to be completed.


He adds neither Indiegogo or PayPal have supplied a list of the names and contact details of those who weren’t able to finish their payments, so they’re focusing on getting the message they’re back online out there via social media.