Kickstarter has announced that it will soon have portals available for creators in Singapore and Hong Kong, the first Asian markets for the crowdfunding site.
A welcome message appeared on the Kickstarter website, saying, “Coming soon: Kickstarter for creators in Singapore! Big news, Singapore. You’ll soon be able to launch projects on Kickstarter. Stay tuned for more details.” A similar message was posted to alert creators in Hong Kong.
Julie Wood, director of Global Communications for Kickstarter, said, “There’s already a large, supportive community of Kickstarter backers in Singapore and Hong Kong — people who have been supporting the creative ideas of others for years. Now they’ll have the opportunity to become Kickstarter creators, sharing their own ideas with the world and finding the support they need to bring them to life.”
Kickstarter is currently available in 18 regions worldwide, in the US, UK, Australia, and throughout Europe. Creators from other regions face a long, complicated process to use Kickstarter, as they are required to have a physical address, bank account, and credit card in one of the existing markets, and they are subject to the host country tax regulations. Navigating the complicated process to set up a Kickstarter campaign in a foreign territory has been difficult, without counting the effort required to run a successful Kickstarter campaign. Projects from Asia have appeared on Kickstarter, and many other projects have received crowdfunding support from citizens in Asia, but the new portals will make it easier for creators to get their projects out for review.
Even without a dedicated Kickstarter portal in Asia, the region has been a leader in supporting projects through crowdfunding, In 2015, $34 billion was raised worldwide through crowdfunding efforts, with over $10 billion coming from Asia. In 2014, when Kickstarter passed $1 billion in total pledges, Singapore was one of the top ten countries in funds donated with over $6 million pledged.
Kickstarter will face competition in the crowdfunding market in Singapore and Hong Kong, where a number of local options are already available, including Crowdo, a crowdfunding service aimed primarily at fintech projects, which has over 20,000 members and 10,000 projects to date. Indiegogo, another US crowdfunding startup, has had a presence in Asia as well.