Oh the Pozibilities in China!
By Kat Jenkins
Crowdfunding is all about innovation. Innovative products are the ones that capture our imagination and make something like the Oculus Rift possible. Crowdfunding as an activity was an innovation borne out of the 2008 financial crisis. The whole thing is like a marketplace where good innovations are voted in, and bad innovations are voted out.
One crowdfunding platform in particular definitely earns the crown as the most innovative by far. While Kickstarter is spending time planning parties and adding a category dedicated to bacon, another platform has expanded into the world’s Manufacturing Mecca. And it seems to be doing very well in a country which countless other tech giants have failed to crack.
That platform is Pozible.
This expansion creates a direct link between Chinese inventors and manufacturers, and Western backers. It’s proving popular as well, with the first Chinese product, the GYENNO One Wristband, soaring past its initial funding goal of ¥$10,000 in a little under a minute, and raising over ¥1,000,000 by the end of its campaign. Of the six projects to launch from mainland China so far, only one has failed to hit its target – a success rate of 83%.
Pozible founder Rick Chen places the credit for their initial success in the region on his background. Coming from China, Chen explains, he understands the culture and how things are done. This has led to some changes to the way the platform operates in China, as well as a dedicated team based in Shanghai.
Each Chinese project has two versions – Mandarin and English – with the version displayed to the viewer based on their location. The aim is twofold – to connect Chinese creators to the Chinese population, and to the wider Western population in one sweep. The payment platform for China is different, using local payment platform AliPay, and a separate set of shipping requirements. It’s also possible for Western projects to market to the Chinese by submitting their project to the site and supplying their own translation.
Unlike other markets, China is yet to hit saturation point, with only 3 or 4 local competitors operating in the world’s most populated country. This is a boon for the local manufacturing sector. With local manufacturing knowledge and international crowdfunding investment, Chinese inventors can now get their gadgets off the ground to a crowd of eager purchasers from all over the world.
It’s an interesting move from the platform, and one which sounds a real warning bell to the giants like Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Beyond this huge potential market, Pozible’s subscription and self-hosted models provide ultimate flexibility. While they still have a road to travel in getting everything working perfectly for everyone, Pozible is the platform with the grandest master plan. I, for one, can’t wait to see what they do next.