Celery Opens Do-It-Yourself Crowdfunding Tools To All Comers

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display the amounts raised, as they would on Kickstarter. And they can decide for themselves whether to process charges as soon as a consumer makes a transaction, or wait until they ship the product offered.

This might be a boon for cash-poor startups that are trying to bootstrap the creation of a new product, but presumably big companies like Disney and Timex could fund their own new product research. I asked Tsai whether Celery Launch and other crowdfunding and pre-order mechanisms could be seen as a way for established retailers to make money on the “float” — in other words, by holding customer money for weeks or longer before delivering products.

“It could be viewed that way,” Tsai replied by e-mail. “It’s a fact that the flow of money is not as linear as direct transactions on Amazon where funds are transferred and goods are delivered in two business days. Supporting a crowdfunded project is accepting a lack of immediacy. However, we disagree that the money is being ‘held.’ The monies are almost directly being invested into running the business operations.”

Companies can use Celery Launch to gauge demand for a new product they’re developing—a form of consumer feedback that can help them decide how much of the product to manufacture, or whether to change the design to make it more appealing, Tsai says.

The process of interacting with people over a new product in the works can help a company develop relationships with consumers who enjoy “a feeling of co-creation,” Tsai says.

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