Mystic Business🔮 Kickstarter & Chinese Startups

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Kickstarter Believes in Magic Now

’Tis the season to be witchy, falalalala lalalala…..

Last week, Kickstarter - the popular crowdfunding site - launched a new category, Magic and Divination, a "new home for all things mystical”. The platform is finally acknowledging the fledging industry of tarots, astrology forecasts, and witchy accessories. Projects like these have existed on the platform for years. 

Psychic services (which include occult-related products) are a $2.2 billion industry in the US that is expected to increase by 2.6% in 2021, according to IBIS World.

In fact, according to Kickstarter, the success rate for mystic projects is surprisingly high (80% fully funded, compared with the site-wide average of 50%), and tarot projects alone had a 223% YoY increase in 2020. Outside of Kickstarter, astrology apps also grew 64.7% to become a $40 million industry in 2019, according to SensorTower

And the spiritual self-care segment is a rapidly expanding portion in the global wellness industry, according to Global Wellness Institute. The wellness market has expanded 6.4% since 2017 from $3.7 trillion to $4.2 trillion. 

It seems even venture capitalists are also taking this seriously. Just last week, Emerging Vision raised US$4 million in Series A funding, led by Lightspeed Venture Partners. The Singapore-based startup owns two psychic services apps - Teller Live app (iOS) and Guruji (Android) that provide a suite of virtual spiritual-wellness services like tarot reading and occult-related help. In just 18 months since the launch of Guriji and three months since the launch of Teller, the firm has had a US$6 million annualised revenue run rate. 

In Australia, anxiety and uncertainty caused by the pandemic has seen a surge in Australians seeking the help of psychics and fortune tellers. Rose Smith, owner of Absolute Soul Secrets – the largest psychic and spiritual network in the Southern Hemisphere – said her business has seen a 25% rise since the beginning of the pandemic.

In South Korea, the psychic industry is set to cross $3.7 million in valuation. 

Some more stats

  • Tarot and astrology services generate around £27 million of annual revenue in the UK. 
  • The term “psychic” is the 12th most profitable keyword on Google.
  • According to the Polish Ministry of Education and Science, around 50% of the nation’s population have seen a fortune-teller at some stage in their life.
  • According to YouGov’s American survey: around 1 in 5 people say they have visited a psychic
  • 43% of French citizens rated “French Tarot” as one of their favorite card games.
  • 18-24 year olds are the number one demographic based on age to believe in horoscopes.

$900 Billion for Holiday Shopping 

The pandemic and inflation together can't keep consumers from spending a lot this holiday season.

Holiday e-commerce sales are projected to reach a record $207 billion in the U.S. and $910 billion globally between November and December, according to an Adobe Analytics survey that analyzed over one trillion visits to retail websites.

Cyber Week, which lasts from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday, is expected to bring in more than $12 million per minute through online sales and reach $36 billion in online spending, a 5% increase YoY, .

E-commerce sites have adopted new AI tools such as BNPL (buy now pay later) as a way to manage expenses amid inflation. Online revenue from BNPL has already grown 10% YoY and 45% compared with 2019, according to Adobe. 

But despite these perks, successful fulfillment is still the primary challenge for retailers this season, as ongoing supply-chain complications have caused out-of-stock messages, delayed deliveries and misplaced orders in the past months.

More Funding For Chinese Startups

Global investors (especially Asian VCs) put more money into Chinese start-ups in Q3 of 2021. As per insights from KPMG, Preqin and CB Insights, VC financing in China stood at $23.7 billion in Q3, up from $22.5 billion in Q2.

In March, China launched its 5-year and beyond development plan, which particularly focussed on building semiconductors, since the U.S. has restricted China’s access to critical American technology. That’s spurred a rush of investment into China’s semiconductor industry in ways similar to that of the internet about two decades ago. 

But a look at recent history reminds us that while China’s sheer scale of the market has attracted much capital, it hasn’t necessarily given good returns. 

Chinese regulations have been thwarting

Jack Ma’s e-commerce giant was the first of the internet technology giants to fall into Beijing’s crosshairs. Alibaba set the world record for IPOs in 2014. But the stock has fallen more than 40% in the last 12 months.

Then there’s the Chinese ride-hailing app Didi. Just days after it held its massive IPO in New York on June 30, Beijing ordered the company to suspend new user registrations during a security review. Didi shares have fallen more than 35% since the IPO.

A few weeks later, authorities abruptly ordered after-school tutoring companies  to cut operating hours and banned foreign investment into the industry. U.S.-listed shares of industry leaders plunged more than 90% year to date.

Shorts ⏳

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