Local internet startup turns to crowdfunding platform Indiegogo for money

L.S.M Kabweza Avatar

mixdem-tshirtRaising money for internet startups locally can be a pain. Not least because startups don’t even know where to start, but also that when they do approach those that have the capacity to, only a few people seem to understand the potential in internet & mobile based startups. It’s even worse if you can’t show them directly how their dollars will make more in a couple of months. Latest a year. Or 2 if you’re lucky. Tough, yes.

So startups locally are starting to look at other ways, and one of them is crowdfunding.

Recently we got contacted my Munyuki Manatsa who told us he had decided to go the crowdfunding route to fund his music discovery startup, Mixdem. Manatsa launched the crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo to raise US $5,000. You will remember Manatsa from last year when he made some headlines with his story of developing and launching the site all from an internet cafe because of the serious lack of resources.

Naming his campaign “The African Dream”, Manatsa is looking to meet his goal by 26 June but has so far only managed to raise $25. His startup aggregates music news and the music itself (most of it Hip hop) with the goal of helping users discover music and news. Users are also allowed to vote for the content in a way similar to how Reddit works.

Indiegogo is one of the most popular crowdfunding platforms based in the US, along with Kickstarter. The funds sourced from the crowd are basically a donation and the fundraiser will get the money at the end of the campaign whether or not the fundraising goal has been reached.

Have you used crowdfunding platforms yourself to raise money? What do you think about them as an alternative?

17 comments

  1. Loyd Kambuzuma

    Try to get local content on your website this may help to increase the traffic. I hope you run a successful crowdfunding campaign.

    1. lox

      Couldn’t agree with you more.

    2. Munyuki Manatsa

      Thanks. I have already started the process of getting more Zimbabwean content on the website. Currently you can discover Zimbabwean music on the website. I will also do the same with news in the next coming months, when I release a new version of the application

  2. samaMari

    if he starts helping people discover local music I’ll contibriute. Who cares what lil wayne is up to?

    1. Munyuki Manatsa

      I am working hard on building a new version of the application that will focus that focus on discovering local content.Already if you go to music section, you can select Zimbabwe as a country and discover music.

  3. Time

    Goodluck but the music startup scene is saturated with heavily funded projects as it is set to be a $100 billion dollar industry by 2016. So I’d suggest you focus on local content aswell as Africa maybe?..Only then will you be able to gain traction I think.

    I also checked out the site. You’re gonna need to partner with a talented HTML/CSS designer as right now the site looks kinda boring but I guess thats part of the reason your trying to raise the funds

    1. Munyuki Manatsa

      I am going to be focusing my attention on Africa. Zimbabwe will be the main focus and then move on other countries. Initially I thought the demand for such a startup was low but a lot of people have indicated they would use such a service.

  4. Anesu

    From what I see…you can bootstrap all the things you say you need the money for. Sometimes all you need is a lot of passion and one or two people who’ll share the vision with.

    Alternatively look at this…

    Consider

    1. Amazon services for your storage options
    2. Ordinary shared hosting, or even VPS hosting is getting cheaper these days. Cheaper than buying and maintaining a server.

    Surely you should be able to start this up without all the stuff you mentioned in place.

    You’ve got a good idea….get it going…don’t wait for “funding”. Talk to guys locally who have there ideas going already.

    My last point’s that you’ll definitely reach your $5000 target unless you have a brilliant idea with working proof of concept, have proved the business model AND have offered would be funders something more valuable than what you’ve offered now.

    My 2 cents…

    1. takunda

      With enough geek hour investment you can bring it all down to just the cost of the domain in some cases

  5. Anesu

    CORRECTION:
    My last point’s that you’ll definitely WONT reach your $5000 target unless you have a brilliant idea with working proof of concept, have proved the business model AND have offered would be funders something more valuable than what you’ve offered now.

  6. macdchip

    Whats the point of wasting my money promoting western culture and taste right in my backyard?

    If you were promoting, finding and aggregating our on cultural music, l would have been interested.

    1. vaGudoguru

      Maybe you not part of the target market

      1. macdchip

        True. Im not hence he will struggle to raise such funds, bcoz they are many just like me.

  7. purple

    Leave the international content.There are too many outlets for that..I think it would be best if you concentrated on local content…you could also branch out to regional content.

    Integrate with youtube and other services

  8. The 5 places to get funding for your startup in 2015 – Techzim

    […] Does crowdfunding work in Zimbabwe? Well, It has been explored by some entrepreneurs and in non profit projects, and although it is hard to determine whether these campaigns were all successful, it just shows that the concept is hardly foreign in here. […]