The USA’s original crowdfunding website launched in the UK on the 31st of October.
So what’s happening?
Despite recent criticism in the US for the quality of projects, Kickstarter has launched in the UK and has brought a bunch of UK projects to market – although there is currently no easy or obvious way to search for UK only projects.
Ranging from A to Z…
So far, it seems that the UK has come up with an Animal Magazine, a space ‘shoot em up’ game, a movie about a webcam stripper, an over sized flag, knitwear, a social documentary and a tea bar!
(The Tea Bar and the Space game have both got funding).
So, let’s take a closer look at kickstarter’s model and compare it to other seed funding channels.
Firstly, to correct an earlier crowdfunding article, kickstarter invites you to fund projects – without any equity in return.
Therefore, it is not really an alternative to business angel investment as there is no prospect of a financial return to the funders. However, the recent success of pebble watch demonstrates that an exciting product – offered at a discount for early funders – can still proved sufficient motivation for investors.
And the UK version of Kickstarter is following this model and simply merges UK based opportunities into its overall listings.
Hence, Kickstarter UK really does not directly compete with the likes of the UK’s CrowdCube and Seedrs, which both offer investors an equity stake.
So, to some extent, Kickstarter UK is filling a gap in the market – for a range of weird wonderful and sometimes wildly sane projects. However, most projects tend to get funding when they offer the investor something in return – a game to play, a watch or free tea!
In addition, the move to the UK demonstrates a desire to create a global brand. Again, in the online world, we see that a brand must become global if it is to succeed and the UK is the natural second market for any successful US online business.