Kickstarter opens for projects in the UK

Kickstarter opens for projects in the UK

Summary: British start-ups and other people wanting backing can now start submitting projects to the crowd-funding site, with donations to kick off at the end of October.


Popular crowd-funding site Kickstarter has started inviting cash-hungry British projects to submit their pitches for its UK site, which will go live at the end of October.

The company is opening up to UK-based projects for the first time, New York-based Kickstarter said in a blog post on Wednesday. Submissions can be made via the 'Start a new project' page on the existing US-focused site, and UK users will be able to launch their projects on 31 October.

Kickstarter allows people to pledge or donate money to projects they like the look of — mainly technology innovations, such as an Arduino-based game adapter, or creative efforts, such as films.

"The mechanics of Kickstarter (all-or-nothing funding, rewards, etc) are identical for US and UK projects," the Kickstarter team said in the blog post. "When pledging, however, backers of UK projects will enter their payment information directly on Kickstarter rather than through Amazon Payments."

Since Kickstarter launched in April 2009, over $350m has been pledged by more than 2.5 million people, funding more than 30,000 creative projects, according to the firm. Other crowd-funding sites have followed in its wake, including IndieGoGo and GoFundMe.

Kickstarting an interest in start-ups

"Because Kickstarter enjoys such a high profile from their huge success in the USA, their arrival will help to raise the profile of the attraction of investing in start-up projects and businesses," said Jeff Lynn, CEO of UK investment platform Seedrs, in a statement.

"Kickstarter's arrival will help to raise the profile of the attraction of investing in start-up projects and businesses" — Jeff Lynn, Seedrs

However, Lynn was quick to point out that Seedrs is regulated by the Financial Services Authority, and as such can call for investment, rather than donations and pledges, and can offer investors a share in the business they are funding.

As it stands, only businesses under FSA regulation can do this — which has led to the lack of enthusiasm in the UK for funding start-ups, according to Andy Moseby, corporate partner at technology and digital media law firm Kemp Little.

"The main reason for this is that such investments fall under the ambit of restrictive financial services regulation," Moseby said in a statement. "Now that the technology is available to allow individuals to participate in crowd-funding online, it may be time to consider a relaxation of the law, similar to the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (or JOBS Act) proposed in the US."

Topics: Start-Ups, United Kingdom

Sam Shead

About Sam Shead

Sam is generally at his happiest with a new piece of technology in his hands or nailing down an exclusive story. In the past he's written for The Engineer and the Daily Mail. These days, Sam is particularly interested in emerging technology, datacentres, cloud, storage and web start-ups.

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  • Kickstarter

    Its about time. It gives people an opportunity to realise their goals backed by people who believe in their ideas. Its also a great business model for the VC's behind Kickstarter as it gives them the ability to cherry pick the best ideas and propel them forward with a larger financial investment.
  • Eon Puzzle

    IndieGoGo, Kickstarter, and other crowd funding sites offer a convenient venue to folks who want others to help bring an idea to the marketplace. However, as is the case with most marketing services, using these sites yields no guarantee that lots of people will see and take note of the idea being presented. It is for this reason, together with the associated site fees, that Eon Puzzle is attempting the presentation task apart from established crowd funding venues. Can this particular go-it-alone attempt be successful? The history is still in the making.
    Eon Puzzle
  • Kickstarter

    In general, I'm definitely on board with opening up this model to other countries. With that in mind, I'm a bit skeptical on the level of accountability that will be imposed by Kickstarter in ensuring that projects supporters are not taken advantage of by project creators that fail to deliver what they have promised.

    What do you think?

  • niche crowdfunding

    While I do fully support crowdfunding as an idea, I feel these massive crowdfunding companies are not always the way to go. With crowdfunding being the shiniest toy on the market right now, I think it's easy to find one that's specific to your cause. For example, I needed a surfboard and how am I gonna crowdfund that through Kickstarter? So I googled about a bit, found this site called friendfund and voila, I now have a new board. Now all I need is an ocean, haha.