Any startup operating in the vast and varied world of tech will know the industry is characterised by its constant state of flux, and an eternal commitment to breaking new ground is crucial for any tech company hoping to stand the test of time.
The costs associated with research and development alone, however, can make the creation and successful launch of innovative new products simply too expensive to be viable.
Thankfully, crowdfunding hubs like Kickstarter, Indiegogo and Crowdcube offer a financial lifeline to ambitious startups ready and waiting for the funds needed to make their big idea a reality. In this post, we’ll explore some of the most sensational British crowdfunding case studies throughout the world of tech, giving like-minded developers, engineers and creatives across the UK the inspiration to take their exciting new product to the public.
Success in numbers: £1,225,246 in pledges from 13,387 backers (Kickstarter)
In November 2013, what was intended to be a month-long Kickstarter campaign designed to raise $100,000 took in excess of $1.5 million, allowing London-based Kano to mass produce and launch the computer kit of the same name. With backers including, but not limited to, Kickstarter co-founder Yancey Strickler and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, the DIY computer kit “designed to help people of all ages assemble a computer from scratch” saw unprecedented crowdfunding success. This campaign was a huge hit and served as proof that aspirational entrepreneurs with a truly unique concept can find the funds to share their creation with the world.
Success in numbers: £196,362 in pledges from 5,236 backers (Kickstarter)
April 2013 saw John O’Nolan, former deputy lead for the WordPress User Interface team, release a video demonstrating his new prototype blogging platform: Ghost. A 29-day Kickstarter campaign with a crowdfunding target of £25,000 reached its goal in a mere 11 hours, with this user-friendly, open source blogging platform generating a substantial £196,362 in pledges by the time John’s 29 days were up. Created to simplify online content publishing and put the fun back into writing, this no-nonsense alternative to platforms like WordPress proved that less is more when it comes to user interfaces.
Success in numbers: £50,423 in pledges from 868 backers (Indiegogo)
The “world’s fastest charging battery” promises to fully charge an iPhone in just 15 minutes. Otherwise known as the Petalite Flux, this high-speed pocket power outlet was inspired by EV supercharging technology and, thanks to a truly simple and exciting concept, managed to supercharge its crowdfunding success in January 2015. Aston University graduate Leigh Purnell created this innovative device in the hopes of removing “the stress and worry of having a mobile phone on low battery when you are out and about” and, in this mission, he has well and truly succeeded.
Success in numbers: £216,460 in pledges from 132 backers (Crowdcube)
Email and messaging platform Fantoo started its life on Crowdcube, thanks to company founder Jordan Fantaay. With an initial crowdfunding goal of £173,170, the platform raised 124% of its target with the help of just 132 backers in total – one of whom invested an incredible £49,000. Billed as the “future of email”, Fantoo harnesses the power of machine learning to help users navigate to important files and folders with ease, securely interact and collaborate with colleagues, and save precious time throughout the working day.
Octer (AKA SHAREIGHT)
Success in numbers: £662,160 invested through equity crowdfunding (Seedrs)
Originally named SHAREIGHT, the record-breaking ecommerce app now known as Octer smashed its equity crowdfunding target of £350,000 on Seedrs back in March 2014. In only 17 hours, the app reached its financing goal – ultimately raking in no less than £662,160. Bringing together the collective benefits of competitive product comparison, a user-friendly shopping portal and a no-nonsense checkout process, Octer found its opportunity in the vibrant crowdfunding community, thanks to a commitment to offering customers something new and necessary.
If you’re the owner of an ambitious tech startup looking to innovate your sector through pioneering concepts or methods, the broad spectrum of available crowdfunding platforms could be your business’s first step to industry acclaim.