The Kickstarter Blog

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  1. Kickstarter in the UK: The First Year

    On October 31, 2012, Kickstarter opened up to projects based in the UK for the first time. In the first 24 hours, creators launched 85 projects. The first, a fun technology project called PiCade, raised more than double its funding goal. It was a great start to Kickstarter's first year in the UK. Here's a look at what's happened since.

    Statistics for UK-based projects (October 31, 2012 — October 31, 2013)

    Total Pledged: £22,481,158 ($35,097,865) 
    Successfully Funded Projects: 1,558

    Over the past year, more than £22 million ($35 million US) was pledged to projects in the UK — that's £43 per minute. Backers successfully funded more than 1,500 projects in all 13 categories.

    Total Backers of UK projects: 322,536

    More than 300,000 people from around the world backed a UK-based project over the past year. The UK had the most backers of UK-based projects, but backers from the US and EU weren't far behind.

    UK-based Project Backers, by location

    UK: 40%
    US: 26%
    EU: 21%
    Rest of the world: 13%

    Overall, sixty percent of backers to UK projects were from outside the UK.

    One of our favorite projects from the year was Emilie Holmes' Good & Proper Tea Truck.

    Emilie’s project launched on Kickstarter’s first day in the UK. Its goal was to build a mobile tea truck in London, and it was successfully funded by more than 300 people. Soon the truck was open and serving tea to Londoners — and sometimes backers. “Backers come for tea every now and again — some from as far as the US,” Emilie says. “It is always a pleasure to brew them their first cup.”

    Another great project was video game maker Nicoll Hunter’s Fist of Awesome (and its charming project video). V for Vendetta author Alan Moore’s film series Jimmy’s End was cool, as was the project for Project Wild Thing, which is currently in theaters. Some projects were massive, like Elite: Dangerous, the most-funded project from the UK with more than £1.5 million in pledges. Others were just plain weird, like one to fund a massive statue of Lionel Richie's head that was installed at a music festival. More than 200 people backed that one (us included).

    Kickstarter’s mission is to help people bring their creative projects to life. We're excited by what’s happened in the UK in year one, and we look forward to seeing what happens in years two, ten, and beyond. Thanks so much for being a part of it.

  2. New Roles

    It's been almost five years since we launched Kickstarter to the world in late April 2009. Since then we’ve grown from an idea, to a start-up, to a strong, independent company. The team has grown, too. From Yancey, Charles, and me, to 68 of the best people I know.

    When the three of us started working on Kickstarter we believed (in that way founders must believe) that we were working on something special. It was impossible to imagine where it would lead, but we believed enough to bet a big part of our lives on it.

    As early as 2005, Yancey and I would spend hours together imagining and debating the possibilities. Soon Charles joined us, and he and I holed up in my apartment to design the details of the site and experience. Eventually we built a team, and I had to do things like find us an office and get our small team health insurance — while copywriting and working on new features and ideas. After we launched, Yancey answered every customer service email, then built our Community team, and then our Communications team. Charles managed our first developers and designers, then our Design team. As founders often do, we’ve each changed hats many times as Kickstarter has grown.

    It’s time for us to switch things up again.

    Charles has long been itching to move with his family back to Chicago, and now that timing is right. He’ll be sorely missed, but he’ll stay connected as an advisor as he explores new adventures. We’ll go back to seeing each other on Skype, like in the early days when we’d jump on to discuss design details at all hours.

    I'm also changing roles — from Kickstarter’s CEO to its Chairman on January 1. I’m looking forward to stepping away from the day-to-day to consider our path from a new perspective. In the Chairman role I’ll continue to offer big-picture guidance, support key projects, and assist our amazing team. I’m also looking forward to having time to work on creative projects of my own, after all these years working on an engine to support them. :) 

    Jumping into the CEO job will be Yancey, who has been helping guide Kickstarter since we started working together eight years ago. Yancey has the love and respect of the team, first and foremost me. As a partner, I’m excited to work with him in this new way. As a friend, I’m even more excited for him. Kickstarter is in phenomenal hands.

    Kickstarter’s mission is to help bring creative projects to life. We aim for Kickstarter to serve this mission for generations. Hats will change. Hats will change again. In the next few months we'll pass a billion dollars pledged on Kickstarter. We could have never imagined we'd get this far. This is still just the beginning.

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