Today, New York-based Kickstarter announced that it has reached a milestone of $1 billion in pledges raised to help launch over 50,000 creative projects that have been promoted on the site.
With the idea of crowd-funding having grown in popularity recently, so too has Kickstarter's brand, further emphasized by the speed with which the company has reached its latest milestone.
The Brooklyn-based startup says that $500 million of the total contributions that the company has generated since launching in 2009 were received in just the past 12 months. And if the increasing amount of donations given is astonishing, then the worldwide influence that Kickstarter has established is equally remarkable.
In total, over 5.7 million people have lent money to others looking to kick-start their dream projects. Those millions hail from a total of 224 countries and territories, spanning all of the world's continents, including Antarctica and its 11 backers who contributed $3,707.
Though donors don't receive any equity in exchange for their contributions to the projects launched via Kickstarter, which range from low-budget comic books to gourmet restaurants, there is an apparent joy backers get from helping people simply achieve their dreams. That satisfaction has seemingly spurred the popularity and success of the crowd-funding platform.
"There's a sort of weird and lovely magic of, I'm part of this, I helped create this, this thing exists because of me, isn't this fun!" said Neil Gaiman, who was cited by Kickstarter as the "most influential" backer.
Of the 5.7 million who have made donations, over a quarter of them (nearly 1.7 million) have backed more than one project.
Meanwhile, over 15,000 people have backed more than 50 projects.
One of those super-backers is a Kickstarter employee named Tieg Zaharia, who was hired by the company after he sent out this tweet.
Kickstarter is basically awesome. — Tieg Zaharia (@tiegz) June 23, 2010
Zaharia has contributed to over 1,000 projects and has a portfolio of films backed that is so extensive, he puts on a weekly screening of them at Kickstarter's headquarters.
“It's a cool way to remind everyone what we're doing and the results of these projects,” Zaharia said.
Among other interesting statistics regarding Kickstarter's latest milestone is the amount of contributions from the US, which accounted for well over half of the $1 billion the company has raised since launching in late April 2009.
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