Thundafund.com , an Online Crowdfunding platform for Creatives & Innovators has gone live in Cape Town, South Africa and has already raised R60,000 in its first week of operation in beta.
According to Patrick Schofield , Thundafund Founder, “Crowdfunding is going to fundamentally change the way we start many new enterprises in South Africa. Crowdfunding allows the many to vote with their wallets to decide what is made in our world. Thundafund will be driving this movement in creative and innovative development in South Africa and Africa.”
With over 6 projects live on site and R60 000 raised with a total target value of 1st week launch projects: R315 000. Thundafund’s early success include YBIKE Evolve, the world’s first 3-in-1 smart bike for kids, has broken all records in South Africa for a crowdfunding campaign on a South African site, by raising over R30 000 of its required R100 000 target funding in the first week.
Thundafund’s goal is to see R155 million to raised in 3 years for 3 300 projects creating 10 000 job opportunities. The platform wants to see innovation and creative driven development in South Africa as traditionally start-up funding for new ideas is extremely hard to come by, and often is accompanied with unnecessary baggage.
Through crowd activation, Thundafund is changing this.
Thundafund allows entreprenuers with great ideas to access capital, test whether they have a saleable idea and establish an initial market for their products and / or services.
Apart from capital, the platform also through networked partners provides levels of business support and mentorship. Its ‘Thundavettors’ and ‘Thunda-champions’ – category-specific industry professionals – both review and guide project creators, creating an enabling environment for budding entrepreneurs.
Schofield adds that Thundafund’s focus is initially on projects with a creative or innovative base, while also encouraging a strong positive social or environmental impact.
Thundafund works simply.
The crowdfunding platform allows a large number of people to each back a new idea or project by pledging with a small amount of cash.
Project creators present their idea on the Thundafund platform and in return for various levels of financial backing; they offer ‘in-kind’ rewards – produced through the project itself. Many grains make a sand castle – and soon these small amounts add up to the capital required.
The project creators, with their idea or project, sell it before producing it. For example, local musician, Verity Price – had over 300 people backing her by pre-buying her album, Journey, which allowed her then go ahead and make the physical recording of it. Their rewards included invitations to her launch and signed copies of the album itself.
No debt owed, no equity given away. The crowd told them they thought it was a cool idea.
Thundafund’s social mission is based on the belief of ‘prosperity through enterprise’. Employment is a key challenge in South Africa – each of the funded projects generates work around them: the singer employs a producer, a recording studio, musicians, a graphic designer, a driver to distribute the CD’s and so on. The recording studio employs an electrician, sound technician, and a cleaner and outward do the ripples flow…
The following categories are open to Thundfund crowdfunding:
1. Art & Photography 2. Community 3. Craft
4. Design 5. Events 6. Fashion
7. Film & Video 8. Food & Beverages 9. Media & Publishing
10. Music 11. Performance 12. Sport
13. Technology & Games
Patrick Schofield, an award winning social entrepreneur began working on Thundafund in 2011. When the partnership with Buzzbnk.org, a UK based crowdfunding platform, was formed in mid-2012, Thundafund began to take shape and has Eben Welby-Solomon; Jamie Walker and Andrea Morgan on his team.
Schofield says in 5 years time people will see crowdfunding as a no-brainer when it comes to launching a new idea or project.
“Why would you spend your time and cash on an idea without first asking your future customers if they’d buy it? Crowdfunding is the ultimate in the democratisation of finance. The many, coming together to back people who create products that they would like to see materialized in the world.”