Lifestyle projects crowdfunding platform KaiStart announced on Tuesday they’ve secured a series A+ funding round led by Matrix Partners and Vision Capital. KaiStart’s crowdfunding campaign includes films, books and small business ideas.
Two core figures out of China’s first generation tech giants participated in the round. Managing partner of Matrix Partners, Xu Chuansheng, previously led investments in Baidu. Wu Yongming, founder of Vision Capital, was one of the first eighteen members of Alibaba. The two managing partners also have now also joined Kaistart’s board of directors.
The crowdfunding platform is unique in China, funding primarily passion projects. Past campaigns include planting trees in China’s deserts, building a museum for antique Chinese books, a craftsman who makes toys out of old stools, and an astronomical observatory in a forest in Hangzhou.
Every campaign posts a documentary-quality video to sell a highly personalized concept. Some of the videos are produced by crowdfunding campaigners, but most of the projects are filmed by the Kaistart, who visit the founders. Filming the campaign is free, then the company takes the 5% of the successful campaign’s total amount.
(From left to right: KaiStart founder Xu Jianjun, managing partner of Matrix Partners Xu Chuan-sheng, Kaistart co-founder Zuo Chi-kin, partner at Matrix Partners Cong Zhen.)
“We believe Xu Chuansheng and Wu Yongming’s professional background can help us in rapid growth,” said KaiStart founder Xu Jianjun said.
The company has a current goal of 4 million users to participate in their crowdfunding campaigns.