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This App Isn’t Just For Livestreaming—It Can Crowdfund, Too

On KUMU, Alex Gonzaga was able to raise funds to help those devastated by the recent Mindanao earthquake

On November 22, Alex Gonzaga sat in front of a phone and made a world of difference. She opened KUMU and spent nearly an hour on the livestreaming app, interacting with her followers and telling them a deeply personal story. In light of the recent earthquake that hit Mindanao, devastating thousands and taking the lives of 21 people, Alex shared her own experiences with a similar earthquake—the 7.2 quake in Bohol back in 2013. Over 90,000 users of the app, of which there are over 1.5 million, tuned in and donated virtual gifts in the form of 2.4 million diamonds. Converted to peso, this amounted to a total of Php 50,000, which the KUMU team then matched. All this done in the span of an hour, and in the comfort of one’s home.


Photo via Philippine Red Cross Facebook Page


Every day, little miracles like this take place on the KUMU app. The platform, which has since grown its userbase to a million and a half, is mostly comprised of Filipinos who foster a sense of community, intertwining pop culture and meaningful discourse through the app. In the age where everything is digital, there are no longer any geographical restrictions to creating communities. Fundraisers like this no longer need to be in a physical space, limited by logistics and time—a simple yet much-needed technological innovation like KUMU can be a fitting platform. 



This is hardly the first livestreaming app in the world; Facebook and Instagram have always had the Live feature, and back in the early aughts, there was ustream and tinychat. But the community that KUMU fosters is a decidedly unique one: short for “Kumusta?,” the app is wholeheartedly Filipino. After all, the app has made it its goal to see “a future that is empowered by Filipino culture.” And Alex’s fundraiser is proof that the future KUMU is hoping to attain is definitely bright. 


Lead photo from the App Store