Kickstarter crowdfunding website expands to the UK


Kickstarter crowdfunding website expands to the UK

Warwick Ashford

Crowdsourced funding website Kickstarter, which lists projects that are seeking financial backing, has expanded to the UK.

The site, which operates on a 5% commission on each successful pledge, has raised more than $340m in the US, where it was set up in 2009.

The UK, which already has around 190 project pitches, is the first of several countries Kickstarter plans to expand into, according to the BBC.

Most of the projects listed on the UK site are in London, followed by Edinburgh, Belfast and Manchester. Other cities with projects include Glasgow, Cambridge, Cardiff, Leeds, Liverpool and Bedford.

Since launching in the US, more than 70,000 projects have been pitched on Kickstarter, which claims a success rate of just over 40%, mainly from altruistic backers.

The most successful projects include games console Ouya, which raised $8,596,474, and the Pebble Watch, which raised $10,266,845.

Those pitching on the site typically offer things like early access to products and services rather than shares in the business in return for pledges of support that can range from £1 to thousands of pounds.

Several other websites, such as IndieGoGo and PleaseFund.Us, already offer crowdfunding to UK businesses, but lack the credibility of Kickstarter, which is due in part to its strictness about what projects it will accept.

The UK government has backed alternative funding models, saying that it is important small businesses have access to finance sources beyond "conventional bank lending".

Image: iStockphoto/Thinkstock

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