The self proclaimed “Front Page of the Internet,” the community-based link sharing website, Reddit, has joined the crowdfunding arena with a new service called redditmade.
Reddit describes the new site as a place to turn the best designs and products by its community into reality. It says that redditmade gives its users the flexibility to create almost anything they want, easily raise money and support causes they care about. redditmade also promises to keep investor protection in mind claiming to be a great way for users “to find awesome new products while knowing their information and money will always be secure.”
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Right now practically all of the campaign offerings on the redditmade catalog are T-shirts with logos of different Reddit forums, but that is to be expected as the site is only a day-old. In the longer term, it will need to prove itself as a venue to fund real ventures, such as hoverbikes and smart coolers, and not just parody attire to rival the likes of Kickstarter and Indigogo.
An interesting innovation that redditmade has made, compared to the established crowdfunding sites, is that the firm offers to walk the users through every step of the creation process, connect them to its network of “quality sourcing partners,” work with the user on the design, promote the campaign, and oversee the production and distribution. In this redditmade takes a much more hands on approach than just being a platform to showcase ideas.
Reddit can definitely use its massive active user base, with over five billion pageviews a month and 115 million unique visitors, to promote crowdfunding projects that it chooses to. The site has recently got a half a billion dollar evaluation backup of a $50 million investment by Silicon Valley investors. It remains to be seen if its community’s force can also be harnessed for good or will we only be seeing nude celebrities hacked photos on T-shirts.