Kickstarter, which has become almost synonymous with ‘crowd funding’ as Google is with ‘search’, announced it hit a new milestone on Monday, 3 March — it surpassed US$1 billion in pledges to crowd fund projects worldwide.
In total, 5.7 million people have chipped in to fund Kickstarter campaigns, with about 1.6 million people backing more than one project. The pledges have come from 224 countries and all seven continents. The U.S. led the way with more than $663 million in pledges. Donors from the UK and Canada provided the second and third most financing, respectively.
More than half of Kickstarter’s $1 billion in pledges came only within the last 12 months, the company said.
While Kickstarter has been fueled by modest-sized projects seeking modest donations, several successful large-scale projects also have helped its advance toward the $1 billion milestone. Its highest-funded campaign has been the Pebble smartwatch, the connected device that raised more than $10 million in donations in 2012.
Kickstarter’s $1 billion milestone solidifies its place as the company to beat in the growing crowd-funding space. “It’s becoming a verb or a noun in many people’s vernacular, similar to something like a Google or Facebook. As crowdfunding becomes more mainstream and legal restrictions are lifted on nonaccredited investors, Kickstarter is going to see its pool of competitors grow in coming months.
There are several new players that are going to fight to be the best platform in one industry or vertical, to keep momentum alive in this increasingly competitive space, Kickstarter is unlikely to stray from its current business model. And, at least for the short term, that strategy will be enough to give Kickstarter a head start as it shoots for $2 billion and beyond.