Kickstarter launched eight years ago today — April 28, 2009. Each birthday I’m reminded of our winding path to existence.
Roughly eight years before Kickstarter’s launch — 16 years ago — our founder Perry Chen first had the idea. For eight long years, Perry worked at bringing this idea to life. Along the way he met co-founders in Charles Adler and me. Through years of determination and effort, Kickstarter was born.
Our 2009 launch is now the midpoint in our history. Since, nearly 125,000 creative projects have been successfully funded and more than $3 billion has been pledged to independent artists and creators. The $3 billionth dollar was pledged just this week! Kickstarter continues to astound us.
Here are some things we were proud to bring to life during the past year in service to the community of creators who call Kickstarter home.
The Creative Independent
Two years ago we reincorporated Kickstarter as a Public Benefit Corporation. In our Charter, we committed to create resources that help people bring their creative projects to life, and that connect people around the creative process. Last year we created The Creative Independent to do that.
We’re immensely proud to use our voice to share generous insights from artists about the craft of creating. Some great places to start include Henry Rollins’ inspirational push-up regiment, Anohni’s challenging thoughts on commercialization, Cynthia Daignault on not commodifying your art, and Nikki Giovanni on trusting your own voice.
Creators are sharing the creative process and early stage ideas in a new way with Kickstarter Live, launched last year. Through Live, backers are also getting to know the creators they’re supporting personally. It has been a positive space for community building and knowledge sharing.
Nearly half a million people have tuned in to watch creators share intimate musical performances, live product demos, gameplay tutorials, dance rehearsals, and more. The success rate for creators who engage with their communities on Live is more than twice the site-wide average (75% successful). Check out upcoming streams here.
Backers come from more than 220 countries and territories. Hello to all of you, around the world!
For creators, Kickstarter is available in twenty countries. Last year we opened up in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Mexico. More than 1,000 creators have shared new creative projects from those regions. Welcome!
We also opened our first international office in Vancouver, Canada, this year. We’re hiring, if you or someone you know is in Vancouver and would love to work at Kickstarter.
Our community continues to impress with their accomplishments. Here’s a small sampling of what they achieved in the past year:
- The Design Museum in London unveiled a new exhibition celebrating Kickstarter design projects;
- Two Kickstarter-funded films were nominated for Oscars;
- Five creators garnered six Grammy nominations, winning two;
- More than 225 alumni showcased innovative products at the Consumer Electronics Show;
- De La Soul release their first album in more than a decade and it debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Rap Album chart;
- Joel Hodgson revived his cult classic, Mystery Science Theater 3000, with the help of 48,270 backers and just last month it premiered on Netflix becoming a hit once again;
- Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls sold more than 100,000 copies worldwide and became the #3 Best Selling Book for Children in the UK (#4 was Harry Potter);
- And The Amplifier Foundation worked with artist Shepard Fairey to create the first public art project on Kickstarter to raise more than $1M with We The People.
It remains an incredible privilege to serve you. We are deeply grateful for this experience.
Co-founder and CEO