In just over a year, crowdfunding became a popular way to fund ideas as well as a popular way to get in on new inventions before there were widely accessible.
As of June 2017, Kickstarter has successfully funded over 126,000 projects with over $3.1 Billion pledged. Indiegogo projects have raised over $1 Billion.
Here are the 10 most funded projects of all time on Kickstarter and Indiegogo and what happened to the projects after being funded – after all, supporting a crowdfunded idea doesn’t guarantee delivery, so there’s risk involved.
Pebble not only holds the #1 place, but also #3 and #6 for different iterations of their smartwatch.
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1. Pebble Time – Raised $20,338,986
Campaign Launched Date: 24 February 2015
Description: This was Pebble’s second Kickstarter campaign for their e-paper water-resistant smartwatch. This campaign included Pebble Time and Pebble Time Steel.
After the Funding: Just before watches were scheduled to ship out, Pebble started seeking additional funding to stay afloat. The shipments of the Pebbles ordered on Kickstarter were delayed a few months, but managed to ship out before the end of 2015.
2. Coolest Cooler – Raised $13,285,226
Campaign Launched Date: 8 July 2014
Description: This cooler took the basic beach cooler and added a blender, a bluetooth speaker, a USB charger, lid light, gear tie-down, cooler divider/cutting board, and a bottle opener.
After the Funding: The campaign estimated that all coolers would be shipped by February 2015.
As of June 2017, most backers had not yet received the cooler. The product was also available for less than the Kickstarter pledge amount several times after the project was funded.
In the summer of 2016, backers were informed if they paid an extra $100 on top of what they had already pledged they could actually get the cooler delivered. The backers that chose to pay the extra were the only ones to receive the product.
The company has been trying to raise more money in order to deliver the rest of the coolers. It is also in the process of being investigated by the Oregon Department of Justice.
3. Pebble 2, Time 2 – Raised $12,779,843
Campaign Launched Date: 24 May 2016
Description: This was Pebble’s third Kickstarter campaign featuring updated Pebble watch and Pebble time with a new Core.
After the Funding: Shipping began in September 2016, but on 7 December 2016 Pebble announced the company was being acquired by FitBit and production of the Pebble watches would cease immediately. It announced all outstanding pledges would be refunded.
4. Kingdom Death: Monster 1.5 – Raised $12,393,139
Campaign Launched Date: 24 November 2016
Description: The Kickstarter campaign described it as a: “massive cooperative board game about survival in a nightmare-horror world.” The game is very intricately designed with miniature figurines and playing cards.
After the Funding: So far production seems to be on schedule with shipments going out in waves, but since it’s a recently funded project, delays are still possible.
5. Flow Hive – Raised $12,212,833
Campaign Funded Date: 19 April 2015
Description: The Flow Hive is a beekeeping house for your beehive that allows honey to flow directly from the hive without the beekeeper having to harvest it.
After the Funding: Products were all delivered on time to backers, but with the fast growth of the company, many of the products were not up to quality so the company sent out replacements to several backers after solving manufacturing growing pains. The company is still very successful and has three factories (two in Brisbane, one in Portland, Oregon).
6. Pebble E-Paper Watch for iPhone and Android – Raised $10,266,845
Campaign Launched Date: 10 April 2012
Description: This was Pebble’s first Kickstarter campaign and the introduction of the Pebble e-paper smart watch. The watch had multiple watch faces that could be switched out electronically as well as the ability to track running, biking, golfing, control music, check email and social networks, and caller ID.
After the Funding: Pebble missed the expected ship date of September 2012 and then missed the holidays thanks to manufacturing hiccups. The products began shipping to backers in January 2013 with the iOS app being approved a day after shipments began. By the end of summer 2013, all backers had received their orders.
7. The World’s Best Travel Jacket – Raised $9,192,055
Campaign Launched Date: 7 July 2015
Description: This jacket has a built-in neck pillow, eye mask, drink pocket, earphone holders, phone pocket, iPad pocket, built-in gloves, and a zipper that doubles as a pen and stylus.
Other Info: After the successful Kickstarter campaign, BauBax, the company behind the World’s Best Travel Jacket, placed the jacket on Indiegogo On Demand and raised another $11.5 million.
After the Funding: The products were delivered a few months late missing the holiday deadline they had anticipated. Also, a sizing discrepancy occurred during the manufacturing process and several backers received jackets that were much smaller than they should have been.
The company does seem to be exchanging the jackets as needed and the jackets are available for sale several places online.
8. Exploding Kittens Game – Raised $8,782,571
Campaign Launched Date: 20 January 2015
Description: A card game described as a “highly strategic kitty-powered version of Russian Roulette.” It was created by Elan Lee (Xbox) and Matt Minman (TheOatmeal.com).
Other Info: They advertised the game at Comic-Con by distributing cheap urinal cakes featuring characters from the game in all the men’s rooms. They also partnered with Amazon to offer pre-orders of Exploding Kittens expansion packs on Amazon Prime day.
After the Funding: The games were delivered on time and the game continues to rise in popularity. It is available in several places online.
9. OUYA Video Game Console – Raised $8,596,474
Campaign Launched Date: 10 July 2012
Description: A game console for TV powered by Android. It was meant to be an open-source console where developers could load games that could be played by anyone with the console and Android-based games would be available on the TV.
After the Funding: The deliveries were delayed to backers and the product hit store shelves before all Kickstarter pledges had been fulfilled. By 2015, the company was struggling financially and was hoping for a sale. Razer acquired the company in mid-2015.
The Ouya console still appears to be on sale online, but the company has been struggling since the beginning to get developers to build for it and gamers to buy it.
10. The Everyday Backpack, Tote, and Sling – $6,565,782
Campaign Launched Date: 12 July 2016
Description: A set of bags designed by photographers to be the best engineered bags for everyday use.
After the Funding: Bags were delivered to backers on time and are now available several places online. They have gotten great reviews from photographers and travelers alike.