We’ve reported on Balanced pretty extensively here at Crowdfund Insider. If there is one thing to know about this innovative online payments company, it’s that they take a really unorthodox approach to building their product, leaning heavily on the tenets of the open source software movement to get things done for their customers.
When Balanced wanted to launch a new feature that would allow their customers to send money to debit card holders without taking bank account information, they decided to launch a crowdfunding campaign. After all, aren’t crowdfunding campaigns great for testing the market ahead of a product launch?
Paying your sellers should be as easy as charging a card. We want to build an API that pushes money to debit cards. Customers will no longer have to fish for their checkbooks and look for bank account information. Before we start building, we want to prove there’s real demand from the community. Support the project by prepaying your fees, and you’ll get a discount and early access by May 2014.
That is precisely what Balanced aimed to do, so they launched a campaign on Crowdhoster. Crowdhoster is a riff on the popular open source crowdfunding platform Selfstarter, but supported by Crowdtilt. They launched the campaign seeking $50,000.
The campaign was fully-funded within 24 hours. It will continue running for the next 30 days.
So, their customers have spoken. Of course, the entire project originated with a conversation on Github…
Contributors to the campaign included companies like Raise, InstantCab, Wanderable and even Crowdtilt themselves. Discounts on transactional costs were given as rewards and could be driven as low as $0.25 per transaction with a $10,000 contribution.
The feature is expected to be released in May of this year, and it could be the beginning of an interesting trend going forward: established companies using crowdfunding as a means of bringing a new product feature to market.
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