Electronics startup Tactiles has broken a record in crowdfunding campaigns launched by startup companies in the Philippines and was tagged as a key milestone for the local startup community.
Tactiles ended its campaign on Saturday with an investment of “109 per cent” raising $54,566 (P2.6 million) in fresh capital in its crowdfunding campaign via Indiegogo, the world’s largest crowdfunding platform based in San Francisco in California.
Tactiles is the developer of iQube, a technology toy product targeted at helping kids, eight years old and above, to learn electronics in a simpler and fun-filled manner. It has already sold iQube units in the Philippines, Australia, and New Zealand.
Tactiles co-founder Joshua de la Llana told DEALSTREETASIA the campaign is now the most funded one in Indiegogo for the Philippines.
De La Llana said, only one in every 40 crowdfunding campaigns raises more than $20,000 in Indiegogo. Tactiles is now the third Philippine-based startup that launched a campaign in the platform, with the other two raising only up to $803. In the Kickstarter platform, which is the world’s largest funding platform for creative projects, a local startup was only able to raise up to $9,000.
“It’s something we had been preparing for more than a year. And the odds went in our favor,” De La Llana said. “In fact during the campaign, everything literally didn’t go according to plan. And it’s literally depressing to see that as we have a lot of weight on our shoulders from the people who believed in us, we had to push ourselves regardless of that. In the end we made it. It’s definitely satisfying.”
IdeaSpace Foundation executive director Diane Eustaquio said, the crowdfunding result is a milestone not only for Tactiles or IdeaSpace but for Philippine startups as well. Tactiles was part of IdeaSpace’s incubation and acceleration programme in the past.
“The success of Tactiles is good for validation of the global appeal for a Filipino innovation,” said IdeaSpace head of partnerhips Goldy Yancha.
De La Llana said they will use the funds to add more people into the team, and set up the facility, a manufacturing floor, to produce more iQubes and to formally introduce the product to the world.
“Now we are a team of five who are into engineering, design, operations, and we are looking into getting a software developer soon,” De La Llana said.
He added they are now facing a bigger challenge but they are happy about the new problem.
“We now have a bigger weight in our shoulders because now we have almost 230 parents, teachers and grandparents for 30 countries around the world who expect to get their hands on the iQube by June 2016. So our focus is on making sure we meet that commitment,” De La Llana added.
Touted as “a toy that teaches electronics” ― the iQube is a combination of hardware and software, such as individual cubes and a companion application called the iQube app. Each individual cube forms a different function within an electronic circuit, and the tactile design allows a child to connect the cubes however they like. By allowing experimentation, the iQube app provides instructions for complex circuits that will encourage higher-level learning.
In mid-2015, Massolution published that the crowdfunding industry will account for more funding than venture capital in 2016.
Research showed the investments made via crowdfunding reached $16 billion in 2014 and it was predicted that this would grow up to $34 billion by end 2015. The VC industry recorded an annual investment average of $30 billion since 2010.