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Kickstarter boasts of $3 billion crowdfunding milestone

Kickstarter boasts of $3 billion crowdfunding milestone

Crowdfunding site Kickstarter has hit a major milestone, having seen a whopping $3 billion (£2.32 billion) in crowdfunded cash transferred over its service.

Crowdfunding pioneer Kickstarter has announced that a whopping $3 billion (£2.32 billion) has passed through its service since launch, spread across nearly 125,000 projects and 12.7 million backers.

The idea behind crowdfunding is simple. Rather than relying on personal cash or traditional venture capital, anyone with an idea can take it directly to customers and solicit small quantities of money from a large number of people in order to fund their project. Of the multifarious platforms which aim to facilitate such funding, Kickstarter is by far the most well-known: It has been used to fund everything from games to pocket-sized, highly-parallel 'supercomputers', while non-tech-related projects listed on the site range from books and clothing to household furniture, films, and music.

The path of crowdfunding is fraught with peril, however. For every highly successful campaign like Elite: Dangerous there are dozens which fail to make their funding goal - which, under Kickstarter rules, means they don't see a single penny of the pledged cash. The risks are high for backers, too: A rash of vapourware on the site in its early days led to the banning of product renders in favour of functional prototypes, a rule since relaxed, while projects which have seemingly taken the money and run range from the Ziphius aquatic drone which was due to launch in 2014 to the Coolest Cooler.

Despite this, Kickstarter is upbeat about the potential of crowdfunding, and well it might, having taken a five percent slice of a whopping $3 billion in funding since launch. In figures released by the company on the blog this week, Kickstarter has claimed to have helped 12.7 million users provide funding to 123,587 successfully funded projects, though the company is silent on how many of these projects actually delivered on their promises. The site also claimed that many of the projects are from returning users: A third of the funds transferred through the site went to 36,000 project creators who have run more than one campaign.

Projects currently running on Kickstarter include the Calyos NGS S0 passive PC case, which has just 27 hours left to run at the time of writing, and the FPGA-powered ZX Spectrum Next retro microcomputer.

8 Comments

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Pete J 27th April 2017, 14:24 Quote
Just remember: the Kickstarter project with the most money raised has still yet to be completed after 5 years...
Gareth Halfacree 27th April 2017, 14:40 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete J
Just remember: the Kickstarter project with the most money raised has still yet to be completed after 5 years...
As a personal anecdote, I've backed 31 Kickstarter campaigns (plus a few on other sites.) Of those, I cancelled my pledges after changing my mind to three funded and two unfunded campaigns, received a refund from a campaign which knew it wasn't going to be able to actually build what it had promised, and received complete rewards from 17 with partial rewards from another (music downloads but not yet the physical CDs and LP). Of the remaining, four are scheduled for delivery later this year or early next year, one is overdue since December 2015 and one since September 2015.

Out of everything I've received, I was only really disappointed by one (the Snooperscope Wi-Fi-connected IR camera, which was crap) - though I got that very cheaply as an early bird, so it's not a major loss.

Perhaps I'm just lucky or perhaps I have an eye for projects likely to succeed, but I've never really had a problem - even the ones that are still overdue are allegedly in-progress and will arrive eventually!
dstarr3 27th April 2017, 14:48 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete J
Just remember: the Kickstarter project with the most money raised has still yet to be completed after 5 years...

While true, I don't think any of the backers are disappointed with the progress thusfar. The devs are extremely transparent about their work, offering frequent and regular updates, and following through on all of their campaign promises. Honestly, Star Citizen is probably the best example we have of Kickstarter/Early Access done right.
Pete J 27th April 2017, 15:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
As a personal anecdote, I've backed 31 Kickstarter campaigns (plus a few on other sites.)
Whoa - a lot to keep track of! Glad it's working out!
Quote:
Originally Posted by dstarr3
While true, I don't think any of the backers are disappointed with the progress thusfar.
Correct, I'm not ;).
bawjaws 27th April 2017, 15:36 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by dstarr3
While true, I don't think any of the backers are disappointed with the progress thusfar. The devs are extremely transparent about their work, offering frequent and regular updates, and following through on all of their campaign promises. Honestly, Star Citizen is probably the best example we have of Kickstarter/Early Access done right.

I think "any" should probably read "many" :D
koaschten 27th April 2017, 16:42 Quote
Anyone else here who backed Znaps?
mi1ez 27th April 2017, 23:29 Quote
Only backed 2 projects and both were successful. It's about picking your fights!

Flintu - was funded and arrived. Was **** though.
Chime 2 - Funded, delivered, and awesome!
edzieba 28th April 2017, 08:41 Quote
According to Kickstarter, I've backed 110 projects (excluding ones that did not reach the goal). Kickstarter reports a mix of currencies and has no friendly user data export, but according to my (mostly up to date) accounts I've put about £3500 into various Kickstarters (plus some more for Indiegogo, Crowdcube, Fig, and the like).
Of the Kicktstarters, 67 have already delivered, 11 are in the final stages of development (expect to have them within 3-4 months), 26 are mid-development but with regular updates (i.e. not dead), 2 are in development hell but not abandoned (Still solvent and operating, but need outside capital to deliver), and 6 are outright failures. That's a success rate of between 69% and 95% depending on how you count things in active development (nobody would expect something that backed last month to arrive immediately).
Of the outright failures, that's £150 down the drain. The two 'development hell' projects are some of the largest (as expected when backed, those are the highest risk), STEM and Cyberith at £230 and £600 respectively. Despite the usual whining from the peanut gallery (to whom any delay means "SCAM!! I DEMAND MY MONEY BACK!1!") STEM are making (very slow) progress on the devkits helped along by periodic outside investment, but Cyberith are in the position where they need cash to manufacture a full production run, and they were let down the an investment that evaporated. If they get another investor or their high margin B2B sales continue then delivery may occur in the future, but otherwise probably not.
By cash then, success rate is somewhere between 96% and 72%.
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