By Marisa Kendall
The Mercury News
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Since Kickstarter launched in 2009, it’s been used by more than 4,000 tech projects to meet their funding goals, with 51 of those projects raising at least $1 million. Crowdfunding has been especially beneficial for women in business. While studies show that men get far more vc funding, WOMEN outperform men on crowdfunding sites like kickstarter.
When Oakland startup MegaBots needed cash to give its 15-foot-tall, 12,000-pound combat robot more firepower, the company put out a call for help online.
The founders set up a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter.com last summer, explaining that their giant robot needed modifications to prepare for a duel with another robot built by a team in Japan. A month later, MegaBots had raised more than $550,000 from almost 8,000 supporters.
Crowdfunding is becoming a popular option for early-stage startups that need capital to get off the ground. It generates buzz among potential customers and, for a few companies, can raise seven figures. It may be an especially attractive option in the current market, with venture funding harder to come by. But multimillion-dollar success stories remain rare, and it isn’t expected to replace VC funding anytime soon.
Since Kickstarter launched in 2009, it’s been used by more than 4,000 tech projects to meet their funding goals, with 51 of those projects raising at least $1 million. And the market may be about to expand exponentially, thanks to new federal regulations that go into effect this spring making it easier for startups to give their online backers a share in their company instead of just a thank-you T-shirt.
“I think in five years, every company that wants to raise money, the first thing they do is go online,” said Markley Roderick, a crowdfunding attorney in New Jersey who works with California clients.