Qingsongchou, literally meaning ‘easy fundraising’, was founded in September 2014, by CEO Yang Zheng and COO Yu Liang.
The Beijing based company created a crowdfunding website that allowed users to create online fundraising campaigns for personal goals, such as covering medical bills.
The fundraiser can tap into social media platforms such as WeChat and Weibo in order to publicise their campaign and maximise its reach.
Using social media as the distribution network gives fundraisers access to efficient, transparent, and convenient fundraising channels to resolve medical funding problems for patients with serious illnesses.
In the past three years, Easy Fundraising has raised more than 20 billion yuan for 1.6 million households and has 550 million registered users in 183 countries and regions around the world.
“After carrying the hope of these families, there is no way to not do this, but to find a way to do it,” said Yang Zheng, founder and CEO of Easy Fundraising.
However, it nearly never happened. By 2016, Easy Fundraising was considering pulling the plug on the medical assistance business. It is not a profitable line. In fact, it loses money.
There are concerns about governance, as there are no state determined laws for raising funds through the internet, which can easily cause controversy.
Yet the growing momentum behind supporting crowdfunding of agricultural products and reducing policy risks has helped shape public opinion.
Their perseverance paid off on August 31, 2016, when the Ministry of Civil Affairs announced the formation of first internet fundraising information platforms specifically for charitable organisations, it was the only crowdfunding platform included along with others such as Tencent Public Welfare, Taobao Public Welfare, and Jingdong Public Welfare.
The launch of Easy Mutual Aid in April 2016 showed the potential for the health protection industry, and the number of players exploded, with hundreds entering the market in 2016.
However, they didn’t all last. The usual problems of funding, creditworthiness and customer retention caused many to pull out the following year.
The reduction in numbers allowed those with a greater commitment to consolidate their position and Qingsongchou has become the primary platform for domestic health protection, with rescue projects accounting for more than half of its traffic (56%).
So confident was it of its future, that it secured US$28 million in its third round of funding, led by venture capitalists IDG Capital, Tencent, Tongdaoo Capital (VC) and private equity firm DT Capital Partners.