NT$2.5bn raised via crowdfunding in Taiwan in 2020: tracking site

01/14/2021 07:47 PM
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Taiwanese director Wei Te-sheng talks about one of the sets of his proposed film trilogy. CNA photo Sep. 1, 2020
Taiwanese director Wei Te-sheng talks about one of the sets of his proposed film trilogy. CNA photo Sep. 1, 2020

Taipei, Jan. 14 (CNA) Taiwanese crowdfunding campaigns successfully raised more than NT$2.5 billion (US$89.24 million) in 2020, with one effort taking in NT$124 million, according to the crowdfunding tracking website Backtail.

The number of individual donations also grew significantly in 2020, rising from 660,000 in 2019 to more than 1 million, the site's statistics showed.

The biggest crowdfunding was for a proposed historical film trilogy by Taiwanese director Wei Te-sheng (魏德聖), which raised NT$124 million from 23,956 individual donations, the website showed.

The films, which are expected to be released starting in 2024, will feature Taiwan's early history from the perspectives of the indigenous Siraya hunters and gatherers, ethnic Chinese pirates, and Dutch missionaries.

Wei is widely acclaimed as the screenwriter and producer of "Kano," a drama about a high school baseball team in Taiwan during the period of Japanese colonialism, and director of "Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale," a retelling of the 1930 Wushe Incident.

The other top-10 crowdfunding campaigns in Taiwan were all related to group buying, a business model under which companies offer their products at significantly reduced prices on the condition that a minimum number of buyers commit to purchasing them.

For example, in the second-highest grossing campaign, 2,724 people pledged NT$53.14 million to buy the Ecovacs robot vacuum model, according to the website.

Backtail's 2020 review also drew attention to a crowdfunded "Taiwan Can Help" advertisement, which was published in the New York Times in April in protest of Taiwan's exclusion from the World Health Organization (WHO) and to offer global assistance amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The "Taiwan Can Help" advertisement in the New York Times. CNA photo April 14, 2020
The "Taiwan Can Help" advertisement in the New York Times. CNA photo April 14, 2020

That campaign received 26,980 donations in less than one day -- the second-highest number for any Taiwanese crowdfunding in 2020 -- and raised a total of NT$19.13 million, the website showed.

In total, the 1,500 crowdfunding campaigns in Taiwan brought in more than NT$2.5 billion in 2020, compared with around 900 campaigns and NT$1.7 billion in funds the previous year, the Backtail data indicated.

Backtail's 2020 statistics included information from the local crowdfunding platforms zeczec (嘖嘖), flyingV and BackMe, as well as the international sites Indiegogo, Wadiz, Makuake, Campfire, Readyfor and Green Funding, but omitted other major sites such as Kickstarter.

Backtail is owned by the Taipei-based crowdfunding marketing agency Backer-Founder.

(By Cheng Ching-wen and Matthew Mazzetta)

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