Mary is the Senior Editor at fundedflow
With the fast growth of social media, the influence of such media has grown beyond being a mere marketing tool. In fact, this influence has also extended to business funding through the phenomenon of crowdfunding. This portmanteau takes after the original “crowdsourcing” and is used to refer to the collective effort of a large network of individuals who each contribute a small amount of capital to finance a new speculative business venture.
Launched last month, Tolexo is an online marketplace from India which aims to be the go-to place for buyers of industrial and construction goods. Tolexo already has over 50,000 stock keeping units (SKUs) in seven categories like industrial safety and engineering tools. More than 100 sellers of such things have registered with it and the list is growing fast.
TAKAYAMA, Japan—When microbrewery owner Saburo Setsuda needed to replace a bottling machine last year, his bank said no to a loan but introduced him to a Tokyo firm that helped him raise funds online.
"I remember thinking it was almost too good to be true," said Mr. Setsuda, who had piled up ¥10 million ($98,000) in outstanding bank loans. He is one of a number of Japanese entrepreneurs, from fashion designers to restaurant operators, who are turning to online fundraising, known as crowdfunding, when regular banks won't help.
Singapore startup Giift wants to shake things up with an online platform that supercharges how loyalty programs are done through the efficiency that the internet brings. It has a classic two-sided platform – on one side, merchants have the ability to upload, manage, and measure their loyalty programs in exchange for monthly subscription and referral fees of between four to six percent. On the consumer side of things, users can track the amount of loyalty points they have, make redemptions using the app, and exchange points from one program to another
Australian email marketing platform Campaign Monitor has raised US$250 million in funding from American VC firm Insight Venture Partners. The funds will be used for expansion to the US and Europe as well as for acquisitions. Owners Dave Greiner and Ben Richardson have bootstrapped the business to date. Campaign Monitor has 100,000 paying customers in 19 countries. The equity stake in exchange for the investment is not disclosed, but it is estimated that the latest funding pegs Campaign Monitor’s value at US$600 million. This is an exciting time for the Australian ecosystem and represents the largest amount ever raised for an Australian startup. They’ve done it their way with an office on the beach in Sutherland with 40 local staff.