Crowdfunding platform Kickstarter has this week celebrated passing $US1 billion in pledges for projects around the world, with Australia the fourth largest country for the value of funds promised.
The company says in an online post that Australia had 109,456 backers who pledged $US31,776,566. The US was the biggest country for pledges, with $US663,316,496 promised, followed by the United Kingdom with $US54,427,475, and then Canada on $US44,913,678.
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Kickstarter says it passed the $US1 billion milestone on March 3.
Crowdfunding sites such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo have become sources of funding for many start-ups seeking to validate consumer interest in their products and get them into production.
Melbourne Watch Company managing director Sujain Krishnan is currently running a Kickstarter campaign for his firm’s second timepiece and has already received pledges worth $20,237, smashing its $15,000 goal, with 48 days still to go in its campaign.
“To start up a company, a watch company, it requires a lot of capital,” he told StartupSmart.
“Crowdfunding is a good way to get exposure and reach beyond what I could normally.”
A former IT project manager, Krishnan says the Kickstarter campaign for his Hawthorn-style watch is the second crowdfunding campaign he’s undertaken, having used rival platform Indiegogo for his first campaign for his first timepiece, the Flinders-style watch.
The first campaign was also successful, breaking the $10,000 target by 277%.
He says he was surprised at how successful the crowdfunding campaigns have been.
“I wasn’t sure what to expect,” he says.
Krishnan says it’s now a “pretty common practice” for start-ups to raise funds through crowdfunding platforms.
He says he used to build watches as a hobby and sell them online and decided to make it his full-time job after building up a following among watch enthusiasts and realising there was a chance to turn it into “something bigger”.
Kickstarter says Wednesday was the day of the week that saw the most money pledged while the 13th day of each month was also when most money was pledged.
It says March 13, 2013 was the single day that saw the most pledges with 54,187 backers pledging $US4,029,585 to 1985 projects.
The company says more than half of the $US1 billion pledged on Kickstarter was pledged in the past 12 months.