A new crowd-funding website, Offbeatr, has launched this week, but unlike its famous counterpart Kickstarter it’s not all about funding yet another tech project that’s in some way related to the iPhone or Android. No, it’s about porn instead, something that none of the big players will touch.
The formula is very similar to most other crowd-funding sites, but with a couple of interesting tweaks that could not only improve the quality of the featured projects, but increase the degree of social interaction too.
So, an adult-themed project gets pitched to Offbeatr, but instead of going live straight away, it needs to be selected either by the moderation team, or by the voting public. This will help weed out anything illegal, unworkable or just plain insane, as well as provide early feedback on a project’s potential popularity.
Once featured on the site, it’s business as usual, with members of the public — over the age of 18, obviously — throwing some money in the direction of their favorite projects.
According to Offbeatr’s guidelines, almost anything related to the adult industry can be proposed, from movies, photo sets, books, games, toys and even events.
The traditional rewards scheme has had a makeover too, where digital media can be sold during the funding stage, and it’s delivered regardless of whether the project reaches its goal or not.
Taking porn seriously
It’s early days for Offbeatr, and the site only has a few projects running at the moment, and while the site’s content obviously makes it NSFW, it doesn’t resemble what most would expect a crowd-funding site for porn to look like. There’s no ads for a start, and it prefers to use the word “adult” over pornography too. Yep, clever name aside, it’s taking itself relatively seriously.
Despite this serious approach, the site’s founders Ben Tao and Eric Lai, told TechCrunch.com that getting funding was very difficult, with every LA-based startup incubator rejecting them, some multiple times over. They eventually found a home at the LA Startup Club.
Neither Ben nor Eric are newcomers to the world of adult entertainment either, as they run ExtraLunchMoney.com, an adult digital marketplace, and host one of the few serious adult industry podcasts, ELM Avenue, too.
As Kickstarter takes a dim view on anything slightly risqué, and even removed Project Misty, where money was being raised for an independent Blu-ray release of The Opening of Misty Beethoven, Offbeatr has the chance to become the natural home for interesting, creative projects like this, as well as more mainstream adult fare.