The Kickstarter Blog

Kickstarter in the UK: The First Year

  1. 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.

  2. Five million backers!

    We’re excited to share that Kickstarter recently crossed two incredible milestones: More than 50,000 creative projects have been successfully funded, and more than five million people from around the world have backed a project. 

    Here's a rundown of some fresh stats: 

    Total Money Pledged: $848,707,743.37
    Total Pledges: 11,379,607
    Successfully Funded Projects: 50,755
    Funding Success Rate: 43.84%

    Over the past four-plus years, more than $848 million has been pledged to projects on Kickstarter. At our current pace, Kickstarter will pass $1 billion in pledges early next year, sometime before our fifth birthday. 

    A billion dollars is an insane amount of money, but in practice these funds are pledged and distributed in much smaller increments. The most common pledge on Kickstarter is $25 (and has been for most of our existence), and the majority of successfully funded projects raise less than $10,000.

    Kickstarter's bread and butter remains projects that raise less than $10,000, and many of these projects have gone on to do great things. Room 237, a Sundance-award winning documentary about The Shining, and FUBAR 2, a graphic novel that hit the NY Times Best Sellers list, raised less than $10,000 and went on to receive critical praise and reach a wide audience. We hear stories like these all the time. 

    There have been blockbusters, too: 861 projects have raised more than $100,000 and 50 projects have raised more than $1 million. They range from new games, albums, and films to innovative projects that will literally explore space. People are constantly finding new ways to use Kickstarter. 

    Total Backers: 5,041,067
    Repeat Backers: 1,473,393 (29% of backers)

    Of course none of these projects could have happened without backers. People in more than 90% of the countries on Earth have backed a Kickstarter project. Overall, more than 5 million people have backed a Kickstarter project, and almost 1.5 million people have backed two or more projects (repeat backers, as we call them).

    People who come to Kickstarter to back a project often go on to back other projects. Some back a lot of projects. More than 41,000 people have backed 25 or more projects. More than 2,400 have backed 100 or more projects. And there are even eight people (two of whom work at Kickstarter), who have backed more than 1,000 projects.

     This community of repeat backers is big and getting bigger. Their pledges make up more than 60% of all money pledged on Kickstarter. In all, they’ve pledged $512 million to projects.

    The generosity and support that these five million backers have shown to creators is incredible. A backer’s contribution to a project is much more than financial. They’re literally helping people fulfill their dreams and bring new works into the world. What could be better than that? 

    For more data on Kickstarter and how our system works, visit our Stats page, which shares the raw data behind Kickstarter and is updated daily. Thanks!

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