Digital concierge raises $500k in one day via crowdfunding

A SWEDISH start-up that will be based in Singapore has set a record-breaking pace in hitting its financing target through equity crowdfunding.

Djenee (pronounced as genie) started the process on crowdfunding platform FundedByMe on Monday and hit its target of about $500,000 in less than a day.

FundedByMe said yesterday that it was the fastest campaign in Asia to have reached its financing goal using its service.

JUST ASK DJENEE

There are a million apps out there and we're still as busy as ever. This is why we built Djenee. You simply ask Djenee and it gets done.

- Djenee co-founder and chief executive Pär Helgosson, whose start-up offers concierge services

Co-founder and chief executive Daniel Daboczy of FundedByMe noted that the record-breaking campaign is "a start for crowdfunding in Asia".

"FundedByMe provides companies with a global stage to find investors, so that they can accelerate and build powerful momentum from day one."

About half of the 30 investors who contributed to the campaign are from Singapore, said FundedByMe. The pool of contributors will be entitled to around 7 per cent of the company, or a total of 700,000 shares worth €0.44 each, when the campaign closes on July 30, although the allocation could change.

Djenee was valued at €4.455 million (S$6.7 million) as of yesterday.

Djenee, a digital concierge that offers personal on-demand services via its app, text messages and social media, will launch its services in Singapore next month. Users can have champagne delivered to a client or rent a car, for instance.

Djenee said on its crowdfunding campaign page that the funds will be used to "grow into Asia", with Singapore as a hub for the region.

"People have busy lives and are desperately trying to simplify. Tech hasn't done much to solve that problem. There are a million apps out there and we're still as busy as ever," said Djenee co-founder and chief executive Pär Helgosson.

"This is why we built Djenee. You simply ask Djenee and it gets done."

Elated with the resounding success of Djenee's crowdfunding campaign, Mr Daboczy said: "We expect South-east Asia to exceed US$1 billion (S$1.35 billion) as a market by itself in the next few years."

FundedByMe recently partnered with Alix Global, a marketing consulting firm, and received the licence to run an equities crowdfunding platform in Malaysia.

tsjwoo@sph.com.sg

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 18, 2015, with the headline 'Digital concierge raises $500k in one day via crowdfunding'. Print Edition | Subscribe