Brazilian crowdfunding platform Kickante has started the new year with a strategy to get closer to its primary market and expand globally.
The company is gearing up to start an operation in the United States and is looking to hire its first employee in that market ahead of a launch in the first half of 2015.
According to the firm's co-founder Candice Paschoal, Kickante is studying partnership and merging offers from companies based in the United States and Europe.
"We are looking into all sorts of possibilities. The main attraction for [the interested companies] is the integrated products that we have: Kickante is a platform of the same level of Kickstarter and Indieagogo, but with more products for campaign creators and contributors," Paschoal told ZDNet.
Given that Paschoal is based in the Netherlands and the company's main market is Brazil, Kickante has hired Tahiana D'Egmont as chief executive, meaning Paschoal has now become the startup's chairwoman.
D'Egmont brings a wealth of experience in several online startups and viral marketing online to Kickante. She will lead a Brazil-based team of 14 professionals and will be keeping close tabs on the local crowdfunding projects facilitated by the platform.
"The crowdfunding market is expected to be worth about $90bn by 2025 and Brazil has all it takes to claim a slice of at least 10 percent of that amount," D'Egmont says.
"In a country with so many athletes, NGOs, designers, entrepreneurs and film-makers with limited access to capital, crowdfunding is a democratic solution with great potential, which is reflected in the growth of our platform," she adds.
In its first year of operation, Kickante has raised a total of R$4m ($1.5m) through over 1,000 campaigns including fundraising efforts for Brazil-centric projects led by Médecins Sans Frontières and Greenpeace. The platform allows contributors to pay for funding in installments and can provide partial support even if a project fails to get enough contributions to meet the target.
Another highlight for the start-up was the fundraising for a series of talks by Brazilian entrepreneurship whizz Bel Pesce, who raised R$ 880.000 ($334.000) from about 4,000 donors, one of the most successful crowdfunding efforts in Brazil.