IndieVoices, a virtual marketplace for media projects which its founders believe will change the whole landscape of funding for such projects, has just completed a six-month trial phase.
During the trial period, 26 projects from 22 countries were listed on the platform, including photography and documentary making, a radio soap opera for the Middle East, a project to build radio stations on remote Indonesian islands and a cultural magazine in Colombia. During the first 100 days, the listed projects raised US$100,000 in funding.
The great merit of the platform, says its founder, Serbian journalist Sasa Vucinic, is that it allows projects and potential funders to come together in one place. This cuts out the waste of time and resources that burden the existing funding system under which projects and funders spend time and money trying to find each other, attending conferences, sending out project proposals and making presentations to explain their aims and strategies on the one side, and meeting and talking to hundreds of different project planners on the other. The business world, Vucinic points out, could never afford such an inefficient way of raising and allocating capital.
He also highlights another virtue of the marketplace: it lets in the ‘crowd’ – individual investors who play almost no part in the current media funding set-up. As an illustration, of the initial US$100,000 raised by IndieVoices, 29 per cent came from foundations large and small (including the Ford Foundation), while the remaining 71 per cent came from individual contributors – showing that media projects are ‘crowdfundable’.
Encouraged by its early success, IndieVoices estimates that it will raise between US$500,000 and US$600,000 this year, its first full year of operation, and plans to raise $1.2 million in 2015. ‘And,’ adds Vucinic, ‘we plan to double that amount in 2016.’
Contact Sasa Vucinic at email@example.com