SA startup seeks US crowd funding

2013-08-13 07:25
(Jeff Chiu, AP)

(Jeff Chiu, AP)

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Cape Town - A local travel company has turned to a US-based crowd funding website to launch an audio travel guide.

Tourism Radio hopes to use the cash from Kickstarter to finance the production of a set of audio guides for Google Glass.

The anticipated gadget, launched only to select users in 2013, is expected to revolutionise wearable technology as it delivers relevant content, based, in part, on the user's location.

"We believe that Glass will set the precedent for augmented reality platforms of the near future," said CEO Mark Allewell.

Tourism Radio produces a large variety of audio guides and the company is hoping that the launch of Google Glass will provide the impetus for increased demand for its services.

"With eight years of travel technology experience behind us, Tourism Radio has proven itself able to adapt to new technologies, and Glass is the next evolutionary step from the mobile smartphone," said Allewell.

The company is aiming to raise R530 000 from the crowd funder and backers will receive anything from a free travel guide or inclusion of their points of interest in the guide.

The crowd funded model is increasingly proving popular as a means for companies to fast-track investment into new projects.

It is estimated that the volume of cash raised by crowd funded platforms increased from $1.5bn in 2011 to $5.1bn in 2013.

The largest growth in crowd funding has been in the area of rewards as opposed to charitable donations or lending.

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