DemoHour, a Kickstarter-like crowdfunding service, plans to raise a total of 100 million yuan ($16 million) from one hundred enterprises — one million yuan from each one — to fund startups on its platform. Xiaomi, the smartphone and mobile Internet service provider, and ChinaVisual, a website for creative designs, had signed up to it, Demohour announced last week (in Chinese).
At the same time it decided to stop charging the 10% commission fee from July 4. Doing so is to encourage more users to adopt the service.
Both of the moves sound to me like counter-measures to the fact that audiences are not willing to fund startups there and startups or individuals are reluctant to post their projects concerning commission fees. I’m not sure if it’s the case, but what’s true is you’d often be told by Chinese that you must earn much more money from enterprises rather than average consumers, or you should offer Internet services for free to scale up and grab market shares faster.
DemoHour claims it’s the largest crowdfunding service in China. According to earlier media reports, it had fewer than 100 projects on it as of January 2012. There are a dozen of Kickstarter clones who seems really even less-known to the public.
The site also decided to change the mechanics that core users now have the rights to decide whether a project is allowed to be published or featured on the homepage. Core users will be picked out by DemoHour.
Launched in July 2011, the site received $500 thousand seed fund from a Taiwanese angel investor, according to Baidu Baike (a wikipedia-style service in Chinese developed by Baidu).