Phundee – helping artists to both fund and develop their projects

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When Ashon Spooner, Founder of Phundee, was studying a film course at university, he realised how difficult it can be to raise money for projects within the entertainment and arts industry. Follow Innovation spoke to Ashon to hear how this led to Phundee being born, and the journey so far.

“Entertainment and Arts are a ‘who-you-know’ business, it’s not always easy for your talent to shine through. When I realised that I started thinking about how to make film and financing film accessible, so that a young independent person like myself can find finance and make a product that they care about. That’s where Phundee was born, the idea to make a website that appeals to as many grassroots people as possible and allows people to hit funding goals for their projects,” said Ashon.

Phundee is a crowdfunding platform dedicated to entertainment and arts projects and businesses. Campaigners seeking funding start on a ‘reward’ model, where they offer exclusive rewards for each tier of funding, allowing the supporters to get closer to the projects. Once they have a fan base, they can then allow fans to become shareholders through an ‘equity’ model.

Where Phundee really sets itself apart from other crowdfunding platforms is by going beyond fundraising, and providing a personable offering that includes services to help these projects develop and grow.

Firstly, they offer a mentorship programme, where each project receives one-to-one consultations with a member of the team over four to six weeks. “We really understand the narrative that an artist goes through and so we really look to support and facilitate their progression, aside from the actual crowdfunding as well,” explained Ashon.

“We then pair up our crowdfunders with relevant industry figures which we call ambassadors. They’ve been a key selling point; influential figures within the industry who can connect those on our platform to a relevant industry body or add value in a specific way. Say for example a film maker is looking to get into Cannes film festival, the ambassador will connect them to someone at Cannes or to a specific organisation that can help out and add value.”

Phundee has just launched a programme called Crowdfund East London, which funds the 25 best projects out of east London, offering them mentoring and the opportunity for TV and news appearances. We asked Ashon what excited him about the future of Phundee:

“What really excites me more than anything else is if we can make Phundee as known and accessible to the common individual as possible. Everyone knows someone who is an artist and I want them to be able to tell that person that there’s a platform out there that can help them raise money. We believe it’s the most personable crowdfunding site in the world, it takes you on this great journey and at the end of it you’ll have a great project”.

What was clear from speaking to Ashon was that he really believed in Phundee not only succeeding as a business, but in really helping independent people within entertainment and arts to realise their goals, and his final comments confirmed this:

“People can fulfil their goals and aspirations, you’ve just got to believe that if you set a goal you can achieve it. We’re not a store front, I believe that every artist deserves the opportunity to have their projects seen and heard and that’s the one thing that we want to provide, but we also care so much about what happens to those projects after the crowdfund, and that’s why we want to be the most personable crowdfunding platform in the world.”