- World’s most popular, most successful crowdfunding platform
- Exclusively Reward based crowdfunding
- Operates ‘All-Or-Nothing’ funding type
- Mainly utilised by Cultural-Creative projects
- Facilitates backers from all over the world
- Accepts projects from many European countries (UK, Netherlands, Denmark, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Germany, France, Spain, Austria, Belgium, Switzerland and Luxembourg)
- Project creator can be a person or a legal entity
Kickstarter was officially launched on 28 April 2009, however the initial idea of Kickstarter dates back to 2001. Nowadays Kickstarter is one of the most popular Reward crowdfunding platforms focused on creative projects. Kickstarter seeks for transparency and therefore publishes detailed statistics about successful and failed projects, amount of funds raised, etc.
Basic principles and definitions of Kickstarter are as follows:
- a creator – person or group of people willing to bring the project to life.
- a backer – person who pledge money to support creators to bring the project to life.
- a reward – something the creator offers to backers who supported the project. It can be a copy of the creative work or product produced, an experience unique to the project, a limited edition, etc.
- a project – is a time limited piece of work which has a clear goal that the creator wants to bring to life (CD, book, music album, movie,…).
- a funding goal – an amount of capital needed to complete the project.
- an ownership – a creator keeps 100% ownership of their work.
- “all-or-nothing” funding is applied by Kickstarter. It means, unless the project reaches its funding goal, none of backers are charged for their pledge.
- Kickstarter can’t be used to fundraise for charity or any other financial incentives, also it is not allowed to offer equity, loans or financial returns.
Kickstarter is primarily dedicated to creative projects in the following areas: Art, Comics, Crafts, Dance, Design, Fashion, Film and Video, Food, Games, Journalism, Music, Photography, Publishing, Technology and Theatre.
Individuals from the following countries can currently create and launch their project on Kickstarter: US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Denmark, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, German, France, Spain, Italy, Austria, Belgium, Switzerland and Luxembourg.
In order to create a project on Kickstarter the creator must meet specific conditions:
- 18 years old or older
- have a permanent residency in one of the eligible countries listed above
- a project is created in the name of the author or on behalf of a registered legal entity with which the author is affiliated
- have an address, bank account, and government-issued ID based in the country where the project is created (or to be a Citizen of the EU – government issued ID from any EU country is welcomed)
- to run the project as an individual, the linked bank account must belong to the person who verified their identity for the project
- to hold a major credit or debit card
The project creator can be either an individual or a legal entity. Nevertheless before the project is launched, the verification process must be completed by one person. The legal entity can run the project when the institution or company is registered as such. The registration must be done in the country that the legal entity has designated for the project. If the organisation is not registered and does not have a business number, then he or she can’t be registered for Kickstarter as a legal entity.
The projects on Kickstarter must have a clear goal, like making an album, a book, a gadget, or a work of art. The duration of campaigns on Kickstarter can be set up from 1 to 60 days.
Before launching the project, it will be checked by the Kickstarter team to check that all conditions were accomplished. Projects that are illegal, heavily regulated or potentially dangerous for backers are prohibited on Kickstarter.
The maximum amount of the pledge depends on the country of the project’s origin. For example the maximum pledge for UK based projects is £5,000, for projects based in Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Spain, and Ireland is €7,000. To process a pledge, it is allowed to use a debit or credit card for Visa, Discover (accepted only for US based projects at the moment), MasterCard, or American Express. Payment is currently not supported with PayPal.
Kickstarter applies a fee of 5% from collected funds, in cases where the project is successfully funded. An additional payment processing fee is applied by the payments processor who charges approximately 3-5%. However if the project is not successful, no fees are applied.