Why we skipped Kickstarter to run a crowdfunding campaign on our own site

Hello Code is currently running what they’re calling a “backers campaign” to source the funds needed to keep running their private beta round for their quantified self app Exist.

The campaign is hosted on their own website using the payment software Stripe API to handle the card transactions.

Quantified self apps such as Exist attempt to record and collate data from an individual’s daily life to track things such as food intake and exercise.

Co-founder Beth Belle Cooper told StartupSmart they had explored Kickstarter but realised they could create a better campaign to raise money that also identifies and engages their core users.

“We had specific ideas about how we wanted to run the campaign, so we set it up ourselves instead of using a crowdfunding platform like Kickstarter,” Cooper says.

With 3000 people on the waitlist for the app and no funding, the custom campaign allows Cooper and co-founder Josh Sharp the ability to cap the number of users who can contribute to a cohort they can actually manage as a small team.

The campaign is seeking $60 contributions from 1000 users. They’ve raised 20% of their goal so far.

“The worst thing is probably the same as you’d find for any type of fundraising: our focus for the last few weeks has been primarily on pushing the campaign rather than improving the product,” Cooper says.

If they successfully complete the raise, they plan to launch the app in the coming months.

Crowdfunding has taken off in the last few years, with a local platform expanding to the US and several startups running successful campaigns including Ninjablocks, LIFX and Quadlock.

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