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Kickstarter tops $1 billion in pledges

Posting in Finance
 
Antarctica Jim Ross NASA Wiki.jpg
Cold Cash: If you're looking for funding, Kickstarter can help you scour the four corners of Earth. Even Antarctica.
 --
A hundred here, five bucks there, and pretty soon you're talking a billion.

So it is at Kickstarter, the pioneering U.S. "crowdfunding" website where people can offer moolah to startup companies and to other creative ventures, and where the pledges have now surpassed $1 billion, the company proudly proclaimed yesterday.

Not bad for a group that began operations less than four years ago. More than half of the billion arrived over the last 12 months alone, so the momentum is building.

While the bulk of the funds and of the 5.7 million commitments have come from Kickstarter's home country (see list below), the pledgers have made their way from all seven continents. Yes, that includes Antarctica, where 11 funders vowed $3,707.

Kickstarter revealed that cold fact yesterday along with a host of other quirky and insightful tidbits. You can view them on the company's website. Here's a taster:

  • The backers have included 17 named Grandma and 18 named Mom.
  • Wednesday has been the most popular day of the week for pledgers, followed closely by Thursday and then Tuesday. Weekends have been the least popular.
  • The single biggest day was March 13, 2013 - a Wednesday, of course - when 54,187 backers promised $4 million to nearly 2,000 projects.
  • The money has helped everything from the tech projects that you might expect, to bassoon quartets, comic books, hip hop albums and, unfortunately, cat videos.
  • Top 5 countries in rounded figures:
  1.      U.S., $663 million, 3.8 million backers
  2.      U.K., $55 million, 319,000 backers 
  3.      Canada, $45 million, 216,000 backers
  4.      Australia, $32 million, 109,000 backers
  5.      Germany, $22 million, 98,000 backers
Note that the top four are all nations where English is the first language. As people in other lands get more comfortable with Kickstarter and the crowdfunding patois, then the company might have to headline a future announcement with an old quip from its mother tongue: A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you're talking big money.

Photo of Antarctica is from Jim Ross/NASA via Wikimedia

More crowds kicking in on SmartPlanet:

— By on March 4, 2014, 5:13 AM PST

Mark Halper

Contributing Editor

Mark Halper has written for TIME, Fortune, Financial Times, the UK's Independent on Sunday, Forbes, New York Times, Wired, Variety and The Guardian. He is based in Bristol, U.K. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure