Korean Crowdfunding Platform For Creative Artists Raises $16M Funding

TECHINASIATumblbug, a South Korean crowdfunding platform for the creative arts, announced today it has raised KRW 17 billion (just over US$15.5 million) in series A investment, according to BeSUCCESS. The funding comes from DCM, Strong Ventures, and Naver, the maker of messaging app Line.

Launched in March 2011, Tumblbug uses a Kickstarter-like model to host crowdfunding projects by visual artists, designers, musicians, filmmakers, and the like. Notably, award-winning film The King of Jokgu was funded through Tumblbug, as was an album by Korean singer-songwriter duo Gimsawol X Gimhaewon, which won awards for Best Folk Album and Korean Pop Rookie of the Year.

Over $40M pledged

65 percent of the more than 1,800 projects hosted on the site successfully reached their goals, according to the startup. Tumblbug’s projects have accumulated a total of KRW 44 billion (US$40 million) in pledged funding.

Naver plans to collaborate with Tumblbug on its discovery platform for new musicians in South Korea.

Korea has over 30 crowdfunding sites in total, according to a 2013 report(PDF) by Inha University Law School professor Hye-Hwal Seong. Tumblbug’s most direct rivals is probably Fundu, though it also includes more charitable welfare projects than Tumblbug.