Crowdfunding as we now know it has been around since early 2006. It can be argued that crowdfunding has actually been around for a lot longer than that in various forms, primarily of the offline variety (co-ops, charities, etc.) but the term was coined in mid-2006 shortly after the term it was derived from – crowdsourcing.
Since then crowdfunding’s use and popularity has snowballed, mainly driven by big successful sites such as Kickstarter and Kiva. During those 4 years there have been a number of very notable successful crowdfunding projects that have marked the progression and growth of crowdfunding culture.
The following sites represent a wide spectrum of topics but have been picked for their significance, amount of investors or amount raised.
First up is perhaps an odd one. Nemesea are arguably the first crowdfunded music band and are definitely the first band to raise $50,000 on music crowdfunding site Sellaband as long ago as November 2006.
Next is MyFootballClub. On 21st February 2008 Ebbsfleet United Football Club was bought by approximately 26,000 people each paying £35. The money was raised online through www.myfootballclub.co.uk and the club is now controlled and managed by the members (the crowd), even taking decisions regarding transfers and team selections.
Representing the world of film comes The Age of Stupid film. Director Franny Armstrong successfully raised £450,000 for the production, £180,000 for the UK release and £220,000 for the international release using crowdfunding as the means to fund the film. The film premiered in September 2009.
Perhaps the most high profile crowdfunding project is that of Diaspora. Disapora was a Kickstarter project which aimed to raise $10,000 to fund development of an open source Facebook rival . After generating huge interest including a reported investment from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg the project closed having raised $200,641 from 6479 backers.
Finally as an example of how crowdfunding can be used to market-test an idea or product and take pre-orders comes The Glif. Another project on Kickstarter, The Glif is an iPhone stand and tripod mount. The inventors needed $10,000 to be able to start production of their gadget and asked the crowd to pledge $20 a time to effectively pre-order a Glif. The crowd obviously loved the product and 5273 people actually contributed an incredible total of $137,417.
Coming next – 5 ‘in progress’ crowdfunding projects to watch…….