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Ten years of crowdfunding in the Czech Republic: people have invested millions in a few hours in the most successful projects

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When Hithit launched in November 2012, it had 11 projects in its early days, among which one could find, for example, the artist and tattoo artist Lukasz Musil (Musa) or the summer cinema at MeetFactory. For 10 years, more than 4.5 thousand projects have passed through this crowdfunding platform, for which people have sent more than 470 million crowns and thus bought more than 500 thousand rewards.

“In the first year, people thought we were more of a charity that came to save Czech culture. Therefore, in the beginning, we only benefited from our contacts, and we knew everyone who created the project with us, and through them we educated the public,” explains Aleš Burger from Hithit.cz. According to him, the turning point came when Hithit began to be used not only by creatives, but also by entrepreneurs. “Those who had a business plan realized that they could come and test it on Hithit. There is no charge to launch the campaign, so there was no reason not to try,” adds Aleš Burger.

ed.
November 19, 2022 • 10:45 am

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And that’s how brands like Vasky shoes from Zlín or Skinners socks, which were even created thanks to crowdfunding, came to the attention of the public. Both mentioned projects are among the most successful in Hithita. While Vasky raised over 5 million crowns, Skinners became the second most successful crowdfunding project this year when they received over 7 million crowns from their fans. And at the same time, historically the most successful product project. In the past, Skinners have also maged to break into global crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter or Indiegogo.

As the number of projects grows, so does their success. If in 2013 it was less than 45%, over the past two years, about 60% of projects have reached the target volume of campaigns. “We came up with a business model where we said we only want a commission if people are successful. At that moment, we realized that we needed as many projects as possible in order to succeed. We started taking care of them, consulting their ideas, giving feedback, helping with PR and marketing. We are in the same boat with them,” says Ales Burger, adding that most of the money people use to support authors and their ideas goes to the successful (see graph).

The record holder is also the publication “Changing the World”, which has become the most successful book in the history of Czech crowdfunding. The weekly Echo24, which was behind the book, prepared 50 unique interviews in it, for which it was able to collect more than 2 million crowns from its readers. Along with Echo, Velká svačinková and Obedová bichle follow in terms of success. Crowdfunding is good for book publishing, as evidenced by the recent campaign of sex education organization Consent, whose book Children Want to Know was also the best-selling award of the year. It was bought by 1459 readers.

During the pandemic, crowdfunding has proven its strength as an element of the overall economy, contributing to sustaible development in a difficult situation. As part of the special program Hithit Antivir, people doted more than 28 million crowns to help entrepreneurs and businesses. The Hithit Energie program is currently in operation. “I would like there to be no one on earth who does not know Hitit. So that people approach crowdfunding, and therefore Hithit, with the same self-evident approach as, for example, eBay,” concludes Alesh Burger.

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Source: E15

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