Ever heard of clickfunding? No, neither had we until we were introduced to Egyptian startup Bassita, which is pioneering the concept with great rewards for brands and social initiatives.
Bassita matches brand sponsors with projects, causes, or initiatives, with brands paying out a certain amount of money to these initiatives only once a number of “points” have been obtained as a result of the viewership and engagement rates of the campaign.
Campaigns are conducted through a user-friendly promotional video with the sponsor’s logo at the very end, while there are also photos and articles on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, urging people to interact as much as possible so a campaign can reach the necessary number of points for the sponsor to pay out.
Each campaign has its own progress bar that calculates the interactions made on the campaign’s video and posts. When the bar reaches 100 per cent by a specified deadline, the sponsor fulfills the cause.
A wholly new concept, but one Bassita co-founder Alban de Ménonville describes as a “win-win-win”.
“Win for the sponsor: the more social media users share the campaign, the more visibility it gets. Win for the social media users: they finance positive initiatives by simply liking or sharing a nice campaign. Win for the positive initiatives: they receive funding and are at the centre of the awareness campaign,” he said to Disrupt Africa.
The idea is to allow sponsors and web users to work together to achieve positive results for the benefits of all. So far, clickfunding campaigns on Bassita have helped more than 10,000 beneficiaries thanks to more than three million web users.
The concept initially emerged during the Egyptian revolution in January 2011.
“We realised that if social media can displace a dictator that was leading the country for 30 years, it could easily solve other issues. We are using the power of social media to change the world for the better,” de Ménonville said.
“We connect positive initiatives with sponsors from the private sector, but most importantly we integrate web users into the develop process. They are the key to every clickfunding campaign. They make the sponsor and the cause being supported visible.”
He said there is a huge communication gap in the development field, with the general public not integrated and without a voice.
“Who knows what Coca-Cola has been doing lately to help improve our society? Clickfunding gives the general public the power to generate positive impact for the projects it cares about,” he said.
Whereas with crowdfunding platforms web users have to pay, a click is free. Bassita also targets millions of web users, whereas crowdfunding campaigns mainly remain within a small circle of friends and relatives. de Ménonville believes Bassita’s concept has a guaranteed impact.
“When you share, retweet or leave a comment on a clickfunding campaign, it automatically generates a real and concrete impact on the society,” he said.
The startup has bootstrapped for the beginning, building up the platform from the co-founders’ own pockets and revenues. It charges for managing and creating the campaigns, much like social media marketing agencies, but de Ménonville said Bassita has a “unique model”.
It is certainly catching on, in Egypt at least.
“Our last campaign – implemented by UNICEF Egypt – managed to finance 1,000 water connections in Egypt thanks to 1.5 million clicks,” de Ménonville said.
“For now, we are only in Egypt, but next year we’ll be in France and Saudi Arabia. However for France we are still looking for investors.”
Being the pioneer of anything is a tough task, but de Ménonville feels clickfunding is gradually capturing the public’s attention and will continue to catch on.
“Many people are reluctant to try new models. They want us to have been operating for 10 years before trying our model,” he said.
“But we found with UNICEF Egypt an amazing level of support from the beginning. Soon we will be launching new campaigns with UNICEF. We need to provide more water connections. 1,000 was good but next time we are targeting twice this number.”