The smartwatch maker on Tuesday unveiled the Pebble Time, its second generation product, and fans of the company couldn’t hand over their cash fast enough.
Crowdfunding has worked its way into just about every corner of everyday life these days. Donors can pledge money to new tech, upcoming major motion pictures and even potato salad, so it really shouldn’t be too much of a surprise that they can also contribute to adult entertainment.
While porn and sex toys are a no-no on Kickstarter, they’re just fine on Indiegogo along with a number of other crowdfunding sites. There is even a pair of porn-only crowdfunding sites. And, just as with other industries, people are putting down a lot of money.
Crowdfunding, for the most part, is an exercise in pure capitalism. Entrepreneurs and resourceful individuals have an idea or product and digitally panhandle for funds, often raising thousands (or millions) of dollars in the process.
But there’s a place for charitable giving in the crowdfunding world as well—and it can be lucrative for both nonprofits and individuals in need. Crowdrise, Fundrazr, YouCaring and GiveForward all focus on charitable efforts.
Dr. Erica Saphire and the Scripps Research Institute were part of the consortium that developed the ZMapp serum, the experimental drug believed to have cured five people infected with Ebola this summer. To create a road map for new treatments, though, they needed new equipment—and fast. The quickest way to get that, they decided, was via a crowdfunding campaign.
Ten million dollars for a watch? Not bad. $13.3 million for a cooler? Impressive. Still, the crowdfunding records set by Pebble and the Coolest Cooler pale when compared to the amount video-game developer Chris Roberts has raised for his next title.
Since kicking off the campaign for “Star Citizen” nearly two years ago, Roberts, the designer of the classic “Wing Commander” series, has raised more than $52 million, and he’s not done yet.
It’s no secret that crowdfunding is a fast-growing movement, but did you know its success leads back to the 2008 financial crisis? A report by the World Bank, issued late last year, credits the crisis as one of the main catalysts to spur interest in crowdfunding, as more traditional forms of equity to establish new businesses became harder to get.
Since then, the numbers have spoken for themselves. Up until now, most people have focused on the figures for specific projects (like the $10.2 million Pebble raised on Kickstarter) or the price tag that some of those projects have commanded in their post-crowdfunding days—i.e. Facebook’s $2 billion acquisition of Oculus.
The Crowdfunding Centre, which has collected data from roughly 125,000 crowdfunded projects worldwide, recently issued a major data analysis of the fundraising practice during the first quarter of 2014. The study, the most recent data available, gives a clear look at just how big crowdfunding has become and offers some insight as to how far it still has to go.
Many Kickstarter projects reach or exceed their funding goal, ship their product and build the business from there. But for some, the end of that campaign is just the beginning of the true funding process.
As more and more crowdfunding projects go viral, they’re capturing the attention of the venture capital community, along with other equity investors.
The Jamaican bobsled team, which charmed the world in the 1988 Winter Olympics with its unlikely appearance in the games, will return this year but it may not have been able to attend if it weren’t for the generosity of the crowdfunding community.