With GCP, Pozible has become one of the Asia-Pacific’s largest reward-based crowdfunding platforms. Pozible enables creative individuals to connect with communities to build reputations and deliver projects.
Google Cloud Results
- Supports spikes in demand that see greater than 5,000 concurrent users accessing the platform
- Streamlines internal deployment processes to shorten the time between software releases and fix any issues
- Delivers performance that translates into usage growth and consequently greater numbers of users and campaigns
Forging a reputation and obtaining funding for projects can be a daunting challenge for artists and other creative people. Rick Chen and Alan Crabbe identified the problem in 2009 when working with about 300 visual artists and set about creating a solution. “We recognised that there was an opportunity for artists to use the likes of video and a pitch to promote their story and engage supportive fans and communities,” Crabbe says.
By early 2010, Crabbe and Chen were preparing to launch a platform that would enable artists to present their ideas to a connected audience. “We realised during this process that the platform would have a broader appeal than we originally anticipated, so we broadened our reach from visual artists to anyone with a creative idea,” Crabbe says.
Creative individuals have raised more than $A58 million in pledges from 105 countries and launched more than 13,000 projects through the Pozible platform.
“Running on GCP and using other Google Cloud technologies has propelled us to become one of the largest reward-based crowdfunding platforms in the Asia-Pacific.”—Alan Crabbe, Co-founder, Pozible
Crabbe and Chen launched the Pozible crowdfunding platform onto a public cloud infrastructure in 2010. Pozible reviews proposed projects for compliance with its guidelines before allowing their owners to launch them onto the platform. The project owners nominate deadlines and a target amount they want to raise. If the project is successful, Pozible takes commissions ranging from 3 percent to 5 percent. If the owners do not reach the targeted amount, pledges are not processed and commissions are not paid.
As the Melbourne, Australia-headquartered business matured, the founders identified an opportunity to redevelop the Pozible platform to become available ‘as a service’ for organisations and partners. Furthermore, the business wanted to scale in line with demand while eliminating the system crashes during peak periods that compromised the user experience. “In the early days, when we experienced peak loads of 1,000 concurrent users, our applications and database would struggle to cope,” says Crabbe.
The founders reviewed the service providers that could enable Pozible to realise its potential and opted to run on Google Cloud Platform (GCP). “Our developer already had experience with GCP and in particular the auto-scaling and rapid application development and deployment features of Google Kubernetes Engine based on the Kubernetes container orchestrator,” Crabbe says. “Furthermore, we knew that GCP was trusted by the industry as a high-performance, future-proof cloud infrastructure.”
Google Kubernetes Engine now operates as the cornerstone of the Pozible architecture and hosts all of the organisation’s services. Pozible is running its MongoDB database and a replica version for redundancy on Google Compute Engine instances with Persistent Disk, delivered through Google Cloud Launcher. Google Stackdriver provides monitoring and management services that enable the business to monitor response times for its applications and receive alerts if any issues arise. Google Cloud Storage provides object storage and archiving for Pozible’s applications and data.
Pozible has also been exploring the potential of Google Cloud Functions to deliver fully serverless computing. “We’re very much looking at a serverless environment for deployments, billing and maintenance,” says Crabbe. “This will give us greater reliability and allow us to avoid employing systems engineers to run our infrastructure.”
Pozible is primarily running its GCP infrastructure in Taiwan and is now considering running in the newly launched GCP Region in Australia, where most of its users are based.
When a project really takes off, demand can spike greater than 5,000 concurrent users - we can handle these loads and great deal more on GCP with no degradation in performance.”—Alan Crabbe, Co-founder, Pozible
Streamline deployments and scale to support spikes
Crabbe views the benefits of running in GCP as twofold. “First we’ve been able to streamline our internal deployment processes so we can shorten the time between releases and quickly fix any issues we’re experiencing,” he says. “Second, we now know that we have the infrastructure in place to auto-scale when we do experience spikes in traffic that we may not necessarily be able to predict. When a project hosted on Pozible really takes off, demand can spike with greater than 5,000 concurrent users - we can handle these loads and more on GCP with no degradation in performance.”
Scaling rapidly to support traffic surges has helped increase revenues for the business. “There is a direct relationship between traffic and income on a project and ultimately commissions for us,” Crabbe says. Creative individuals have now raised more than $A56 million in pledges from 105 countries and launched more than 13,300 projects through Pozible.
‘As a service’ functionality released
With GCP, Pozible has also been able to realise its ambition of making its platform available ‘as a service’ to businesses. In late 2016, Pozible launched a service enabling users to integrate the crowdfunding platform into their own website or platform. Users of Pozible Base control fee structures and project approval, with Pozible providing support.
Google Cloud technologies have also played a key role in the look and feel of the Pozible platform. “Their responsive design has definitely influenced aspects of our system,” Crabbe says. “We’ve looked at some of the interfaces that Google products use and leaned on these for our user interfaces in particular.”
Pozible has also deployed G Suite including Inbox by Gmail to enable team members to organise their emails and set up reminders for tasks. Furthermore, the business is hosting all its documents on Google Drive to enable collaboration and ease of access.
“Running on GCP and using other Google Cloud technologies has propelled us to the largest reward-based crowdfunding platform in the Asia-Pacific,” Crabbe says. “We look forward to working with Google to build on this success and continuing to give creative people a way of connecting with communities to build their reputations and fund their projects.”
Pozible is an Australia-based crowdfunding platform and community-building tool for creative projects and ideas.