Thundafund launching community crowdfunding platform next month


South African crowdfunding platform Thundafund is to launch a community fundraising sister site at the end of January next year, allowing the site itself to focus on raising money for tech and performance projects.

Thundafund launched in June 2013, and has thus far raised ZAR3.5 million (US$300,000) in crowdfunded money for 101 projects from 4,000 backers, though much of this money has been raised by community organisations.

The company now plans to separate this community crowdfunding from Thundafund itself by launching a site it hopes to call Ripple at the end of next month, and begin presenting Thundafund as a platform on which tech entrepreneurs can raise cash.

“The tech becomes really important for us and the other side is performance – theatre, music, dances, all of that stuff,” Thundafund founder Patrick Schofield told Disrupt Africa.

“We can build stuff out in the world. Build a really good app and that has the potential to reach the world.”

He said, however, that Thundafund would see a drop in projects going live as campaigns were transferred over to Ripple.

“Ripple has a pipeline three times the size of Thundafund’s,” he said. “But that’s because a lot of people are doing really cool stuff in the community space in South Africa.”

Though Schofield said Ripple campaigns would have deadlines in the same way campaigns on Thundafund do, he said organisations would be given open-ended profiles allowing donations to them at any point.

Schofield said 68 per cent of Thundafund projects so far has successfully reached their funding goals, compared to 40 per cent of global rival Kickstarter, a figure he put down to the fact the company works with fundraisers to hone a campaign.

“The reason why it is so high on Thundafund is because we sit down and talk through how to do it, when to do it, and if to do it,” he said.

He said Thundafund itself would be looking to crowdfund some money early next year – between ZAR3 million (US$260,000) and ZAR5 million (US$430,000) – from British crowdfunding site Crowdcube.

“That’s a kind of practicing what you preach. And we’ll give an opportunity for anyone anywhere in the world.”


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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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