Online crowdfunding platform Kickstarter raised just shy of $100 million in pledges in 2011, and successfully funded nearly 12,000 projects, or 46 percent of those launched. The categories that raised the most funding were film, with $32.5 million in pledges, and music, with $19.8 million pledged.
Kickstarter launched in 2009, and the number of projects funded and dollars pledged has risen steadily since then. The company is the most well-known site in the crowdfunding space, though several niche sites have launched in recent months–including FundaGeek, for tech and research projects, and ProFounder, for small businesses.
Kickstarter’s 2011 stats are all here and worth reading in full.
» Publishing beats technology: Check the “category wheel” to see how projects were funded by category. While film and music were the largest categories, as mentioned above, “design saw the biggest growth in launched projects,” 1,060 projects in 2011 versus 235 in 2010. “Games saw the largest percentage increase in backers (up 730%), and Dance had the highest success rate (74%). All 13 categories saw at least $1 million in pledges.”
The fifth largest category, after film, music, design and art, was publishing. $5,134,388.55 was pledged for publishing projects, and 774 of those were successful. 74,280 users backed publishing projects.
After publishing came technology–$4,673,470.41 pledged by a total of 39,341 backers. 125 projects were successfully funded.
» Offering rewards for pledges seems to work: 1,150,461 rewards were selected in 2011, up from just 322,526 in 2010. The most popular reward was the Cosmonaut, “a wide-grip stylus for touchscreens.”
By the way, that project was successfully funded–raising $134,236, over the $50,000 needed–using a “pay-as-you-wish pledge model.” Cosmonaut’s founders said they were “inspired by Radiohead” and believe it was the first “pay-as-you-wish pricing model for a physical, tangible product.”
» One “budding Medici,” with the initials “H.T.,” funded 724 projects in 2011.