Kickstarter crowdfunding platform goes live in the UK

UK-based projects can now officially start raising cash through the crowdfunding platform without having to go through the rigmarole of setting up a bank account in the US.
Written by David Meyer, Contributor

The crowdfunding platform Kickstarter has now fully launched in the UK.

It has been possible to submit a UK-based project to the site since earlier this month, but it was only on Wednesday that it became possible for people to start donating money to those projects.

Previously, those in the UK who wanted to launch a Kickstarter project had to somehow set up a bank account in US, as the system's use of Amazon Payments dictated that funding came in dollars. Now, the site allows people to submit funds in sterling directly to the site, through a different third-party payments provider.

Those setting up Kickstarter projects, which range from tech startups to artistic endeavours, establish a target for funding. If the target is not reached, nobody who has pledged money has to pay out. If it is reached — the success rate is around 40 percent — then the money goes to the project, minus a five percent cut that goes to Kickstarter.

Those funding Kickstarter projects do not get equity, rather receiving T-shirts or first-run products for their support. This is largely down to crowdfunding restrictions in the US that are set to be lifted through the JOBS Act.

However, even in the UK, crowdfunding operations are supposed to have supervision from the Financial Services Authority (FSA) if they are to act as a platform for granting equity. Seedrs is one UK platform that meets this criterion.

Although Kickstarter is the best known crowdfunding platform, it does have some key rivals such as Indiegogo, which is more internationalised.

However, according to the BBC, Kickstarter is using its UK launch as a step towards spreading to other non-US markets.

Editorial standards