Everybody’s talking about crowd-sourcing these days – after all, what better way to get a small project off the ground than to have the people it’s targeted at pay for the research, development and production costs.
However, have you ever heard of “crowd backing”? Well, that’s the concept Webe is introducing with Webe Community.
Put simply, Webe Community is a platform for Malaysians to pitch their projects onto a public forum. Like a crowd-sourcing site, these projects can become a reality if there’s enough community support for it.
However, this is where the similarity to crowd-sourcing ends. Instead of the the community contributing cash to make the project a reality, Webe is footing the bill to pay for the most popular projects.
According to James Chong, who calls himself the “chief calibrator” at Webe, projects that are chosen for Webe Community are picked based on whether they’re beneficial or inspirational.
These can be anything from projects related to the music industry, or the maker community or even health-related projects.
Projects that are pitched to the Webe Community will then be evaluated and funds will be set aside to make it happen – however, the fundswill only be unlocked if enough of the community pledge to back the project.
“We want to allow Malaysians to decide what kind of things they want to back, so the pledging is part of the mechanism,” said Chong.
As part of the initial launch, Webe Community has identified seven projects.
One of these initial seven is an app that uses crowdsourcing data and a patented algorithm to track dengue cases and predict where the most likely outbreaks are going to happen next.
Yet another project is KL24: Zombies, an independant film project that aims to be funded by Webe and released digitally to the public for free.
Chong says that Webe, through its backer, is looking to fund projects with a ceiling of between RM20,000 to RM200,000 per project and the aim is to fund some 30 to 40 projects in a year.
Webe Community does not have a revenue model, says Chong – it’s simply a part of the overall business for the backer of Webe, where a certain amount of the company revenue has already been allocated for supporting Webe Community.
The Webe Community website is already up but more details will only be available on the actual April 13 launch date – the same day when the Android and iOS apps for Webe Community make an appearance in their respective online stores.
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