Being used for the first time almost 10 years ago, the crowdfunding finance concept is making headlines around the world, including in the UAE. In this article, we will look at some of the notable examples of people who are turning to crowdfunding to finance their ideas, thereby giving boost to this mode of finance in this part of the world as well.
QRated is Yolandi Brooks’ brainchild. This is a mobile app that will help tourists who travel to Dubai locate notable cultural and historic landmarks via audio ours. Brooks, 32, says that there is a lack of voice guides in the Dubai region and she seeks to leverage this gap by introducing her travel app. But what she needs to implement this idea is US$6,000. She turned to crowdfunding, and till this date has managed to raise $1115 from 9 financers, one of whom contributed a mere $5! She still has 19 more days to go, let’s see what happens.
Crowdfunding in the music business has its precedents. For instance, the Japanese band Electric Eel Shock, managed to raise £10,000 from just 100 fans. What was the payoff? The contributors will get a lifetime membership on the band’s guest list!
Aks (Abdul Karim Siraji) also seeks to do just that. The award-winning Dubai DJ aims to raise $10,000 to create Eclectic, a unique music production that will blend musical styles from the Middle East and Southeast Asia. What does he have to offer to people expected to finance this venture? Exclusive access to selected materials from the album a month before their public release.
Along with the production costs and payments to the musicians, money will also go towards creating one music video. Siraji believes that crowdfunding is a great tool for independent musicians to produce their own music. The same goes for artists who seek to promote relatively obscure genres. Aks suggests that people get accustomed to alternate ways of finance as well.
Imagine a game based on an epic poem. That is exactly the theme behind ‘Seven Quests, a Persian poem (Shahnameh) now converted into a game by Gameguise, a Dubai-based game development company. This is a multiplayer online game. Expected to be released next month, the game will be free to play but will include certain purchase options. It will initially be launched on limited mobile phones and tablets. Where does crowdfunding come in? The developers now plan to raise $15,000 to enhance the gameplay for users by adding animations and videos.
The bottom-line is that people are getting comfortable with idea of placing their ideas on crowdfunding platforms to increase investor interest. In fact, while some of the individuals think they wouldn’t be able to meet their capital targets, they still believe that crowdfunding is the way of the future.
Crowdfunding Real Estate
The way crowdfunding is reshaping finance is not restricted to art and technology only. In fact, virtually the strongest potential of this type of financing lies in the real estate industry, which is far more capital intensive than the aforementioned examples. Historically, real estate has been slow to adapt to technology. But that trend is now changing, and Humming Realty, Dubai’s first real estate crowdfunding platform, exemplifies this change.
What’s the payoff?