The Kickstarter community has funded many innovations in the past few years.
The Pebble smartwatch raised $10.3m in 2012, shooting the starting gun on the wearables trend that Apple is about to leap into. The Oculus Rift virtual reality headset raised $2.4m, only to be acquired by Facebook for $2bn two years later. SmartThings raised $1.2m for its first connected-home kit before being snapped up by Samsung. New ideas like Hello’s Sense sleep-monitoring device just keep coming.
But one crowd-funded gadget this week emerged to trump them all. After two years at the top, Pebble has lost its crown as the most-funded Kickstarter of all time. And it has lost it to… a freezer box. Read more
Almost five years after launching, crowd-funding platform Kickstarter has received pledges worth $1bn. Half of the money has apparently been in the past twelve months (see chart below).
If Kickstarter were a venture fund, it would be a fairly significant player. So how exactly has humanity been enriched, for its money? Read more
Example of a space selfie, from Planetary Resources' kickstarter page
More than 17,600 people have raised $1.5m for a space telescope Kickstarter campaign, with the majority to receive a picture of themselves from outside the Earth’s atmosphere, writes Connor Radnovich
Yes, a selfie from space.
Planetary Resources – the ambitious space mining company backed by Larry Page and Eric Schmidt of Google alongside other investors such as Ross Perot Jr, raised the money over a 33-day campaign. Read more
Ouya, the open-source games console, has become the first Kickstarter tech project to graduate to a more traditional funding scheme – venture capital.
After getting $8m from 63,000 crowdfunders last August, Ouya on Thursday announced it has raised $15m from investors including Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers, Mayfield Fund and Nvidia, to accelerate its plan to attack the mass market. Read more
In a rare event, a crowdfunded start-up has gone on to raise mainstream venture capital.
Digital Spin, which raised £60,000 in August from platform Seedrs, has now received several times that amount from Passion Capital and Balderton, two of London’s most active venture funds. Could this be the start of growing links between amateur and professional early-stage investors? Read more
The Pebble smart watch, which raised a record $10m on Kickstarter last spring, will finally start shipping later this month after months of delays – albeit with a few missing features.
The device is one of several smart watches on display at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, including the voice-controlled Martian Watch, another Kickstarter project. Read more
The developers of the Pebble smart watch made Kickstarter history in May when they raised $10.2m, the largest sum received through the fast-growing crowdfunding site. But it is now in danger of attaining an equal notoriety for delays and busted deadlines.
After missing its original September delivery date, the Pebble’s creators warned this weekend that many backers will not receive their device in time for Christmas. Read more