Kickstarter Clears $1 Billion Pledge Milestone

By Steve Anderson March 03, 2014

Kickstarter is widely known for its ability to bring people together and allow people to give other people money in exchange for producing new and unusual items, properties, and even media. From movies to hot sauce and beyond, a variety of items have arrived to go up for pledges on the site, and many new products that might not otherwise have existed without Kickstarter now have a shot at going live. In fact, so many such items have come in, and so many pledges received, that Kickstarter is celebrating a milestone of its own.

As of March 3, according to word out of Kickstarter, the site has cleared fully $1 billion in pledges. That alone is a pretty substantial number, but it goes on from there to provide some other exciting facts, including that over half of that billion came from just the last 12 months of the site's operation. There are nearly six million Kickstarters total—5,708,578 people to be more specific—and represent folks from 224 countries as well as all seven continents. Yes, that includes Antarctica, where fully 11 backers offered up a combined total of $3,707 in pledges.

The biggest pledge count, though, came from the United States, who offered up a combined $663,316,496 in pledges, beating by a factor of over 12 its nearest competitor, the United Kingdom, who brought in $54,427,475 in pledges. Rounding out the top 10 donor nations were Canada, Australia, Germany, France, Japan, Sweden, the Netherlands and Singapore.

Kickstarter took the time to introduce several folks who have been instrumental to the Kickstarter process, and further showed just what kind of impact all these pledges had on the lives of users. Around 1.7 million people have backed more than one project, and just short of 16,000 have backed over 50 projects. Returning backers account for over $619 million in pledges, or about 62 percent of all money involved, so it's clear there are plenty of people who believe in the crowdfunding concept. Additionally, Kickstarter revealed that the best day to get pledges seems to be Wednesday by a narrow margin, and the first and the 13th of every month seem to do best as well. Sundays are possibly the worst, and the 31st is a disaster in terms of average giving, perhaps because there are comparatively few such dates.

Indeed, crowdfunding in general has caught on in grand style, especially in recent months. Kickstarter is still quite clearly the king, but sites like Indiegogo and Crowdfunder are also making inroads. Around a year ago, Forbes offered up a look at 10 such sites, so there are plenty of other options besides Kickstarter out there. Crowdfunding is one of those ideas that lets absolute democracy win the day, and allows projects that don't have the necessary name recognition or even immediate profitability potential to go on without having to impress the traditional gatekeepers of getting such products made and to market. Many online ventures have removed elements of gatekeeping previously, like online publishing and direct-to-video filmmaking, so something similar with inventions and fundraising was likely to be next.

Kickstarter has done some amazing things, and brought us exciting things to come. The Oculus Rift, the Pebble smartwatch, the Glyph, and a host of others were made possible by, in part, Kickstarter. Only time will tell just how far it can go or what it will yield next, but based on the previous $1 billion, the future looks bright indeed.

Edited by Cassandra Tucker

Contributing TechZone360 Writer

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