The US crowd-funding platform Kickstarter is to formally open its doors to UK start-ups later this year, it announced on Monday via Twitter.
Although it is already possible for those in the UK to set up Kickstarter fundraising projects, they have to have a US bank account to do so. The official move into the UK will mean start-ups no longer have to do this, if they want to use Kickstarter rather than local alternatives.
People in the UK will be able to launch projects on Kickstarter starting this autumn! More info soon! <3 <3 <3— Kickstarter (@kickstarter) July 9, 2012
Kickstarter lets individuals and start-up companies solicit funding from the general public for projects ranging from the technological to the cultural. If a pre-set target is not reached, no one who has pledged money to the project has to pay.
The announcement of Kickstarter's impending UK arrival came just days after a similar platform, Seedrs, said it was now open to investors and entrepreneurs. As its name suggests, Seedrs is focused on helping start-ups raise very early-stage investment in exchange for equity.
Seedrs said in May that it had taken a year to get authorisation from the Financial Services Authority (FSA), and that it was the only crowd-funding platform in the world to have gained this kind of approval from a major financial regulator.
In the US, where crowd-funding has been going on for some time, it was only this year that a change in the law let such projects offer equity in exchange for funding, rather than being limited to providing T-shirts and other paraphernalia as rewards.