Kickstarter the US based online crowd “Funding Platform for creative projects” announced yesterday on its blog that from October 31 (another Halloween event) that UK projects can now raise project funding using their system. They originally tweeted their intentions back in July.
They have customised their system for this their first overseas market by enabling projects to raise funds in £ sterling. They can be raised globally and are NOT restricted to UK backers. Backers (not investors as no equity can be acquired or return made) are offered “Rewards” or experiences depending on the type of project, often on a tiered basis depending on the amount of backing pledged.
If a project does not meet/exceed its funding goal within its deadline then no pledged funds are collected. Kickstarter itself retains 5% of funds raised on successful projects and backers payments (routed for US projects via Amazon & an alternative organisation for the UK ones), are subject to a retention of 3%-5% + a small per transaction charge (pence or cents). There are no guarantees that reward promises from the backed projects will be made.
To date per its own statistics (our graphic is an extract full details on their site) over $300 million has been raised for approaching 31,000 projects of which 13 have raised over $1 million (including our personal favourite mentioned previously SmartThings).
As an established operation, (originally founded in 2009), it certainly, in our opinion is a very welcome addition to the UK’s economy joining the likes of Seedrs in the crowd funding sector and hopefully will encourage the establishment of further equally efficient UK organisations. We believe that these sort of ventures encourage startups and directly fuel growth or perhaps we should currently say recovery!