Let's Chip In!
    Category: Entrepreneurs By : Ulisari Eslita Read : 1229 Date : Monday, July 08, 2013 - 00:22:53

    Ahmad Zamroni / Forbes Indonesia

    Crowdfunding—popular in the U.S. and elsewhere—started only last year in Indonesia but it is already having an impact. For author Reda Gaudiamo, this financing technique helped publish her book “Na Willa.” After writing it, she estimated the printing costs and then put those figures as a project for funding on the crowdfunding site Patungan.net. “Initially, I was unsure it could work. But after I put some effort into it, such as promoting my project to my friends through social media and emails, I saw it start to work,” says Reda. Within 30 days, Reda collected Rp 35 million, exceeding her plan of raising Rp 25 million, allowing her to publish her book.

    Aside from Patungan, the only other active site is Wujudkan.com, both launched in 2012. Patungan, whose name means “chipping in,” was founded by Enrico Halim and is part of Yayasan Pikir Buat Nusantara (also known as Aikon). Currently, Patungan has collected Rp 125 million from 375 donors to support nine projects, out of 34 projects published on the website, with minimum donations starting from Rp 10,000. “Patungan was set up in order to answer the needs of creative people. We met people with great ideas, but they couldn't make them happen because they lacked funds,” says Enrico.

    The role model for both sites is Kickstarter in the U.S., which started in 2009 and now has raised over $650 million from more than 4.2 million donors to fund more than 43,000 projects (and takes a 5% commission on funds raised). “We decided to create our own crowdfunding site after seeing Kickstarter's success,” says Enrico, who asked Kickstarter in 2011 to come to Indonesia and was told the site had no plans for that.

    Patungan's first project was Circa, a women's collective in Bandung that wanted to build a workshop to produce handicrafts. Within three months, the project was successfully funded, raising more than the minimum amount. “Actually, it asked for Rp 50 million. But we got more than Rp 54 million. So far, this is the biggest project that has been funded by Patungan,” says Enrico. Donations are not only from individuals. For the Circa project, the Body Shop's Indonesian operations donated Rp 20 million.

    Enrico has strict rules on fundraising. Similar to Kickstarter, funding is all-or-nothing. Each project on Patungan must raise its minimum goal for funding within a set time limit or the money pledged is returned. For their contribution, all the donors of the successful project are entitled to get a reward, depending on the size of the donation, such as a t-shirt, key chain or book. Just as with Kickstarter, Patungan takes a 5% commission on all funds raised.