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Kickstarter in 2012: The Numbers You Need to Know
© Image: Anton Root / (logo: Kickstarter)

Kickstarter in 2012: The Numbers You Need to Know

The concept of crowdfunding permeated the public consciousness in 2012, but it was also a big year for industry poster child Kickstarter, which to casual observers is becoming increasingly synonymous with the online capital-raising process. It’s easy to see why: from Double Fine’s Adventure to Pebble’s e-paper smartwatch, Kickstarter set and reset crowdfunding industry records last year, making headlines with each big campaign. But the stats are even more impressive when you step back and look at the big picture.

This week, Kickstarter released a ‘Best of 2012’ feature detailing its myriad accomplishments during the last twelve months. Here are the numbers you need to know… and a few we’ve thrown in just for fun.

Last year, 2,241,475 people pledged a total of $319,786,629 USD to campaigns on the platform. That’s $606.76 per minute, a 221 percent increase from 2011. Backers successfully funded 18,109 projects, which cumulatively raked in $274,391,721, of which Kickstarter collected $13.7 million (five percent) in commission revenue — not too shabby for its for its fourth year of operation.

The ratio of backers to projects is particularly significant because it helps validate the crowdfunding model, notes founder Carl Esposti. “The argument for crowdfunding is that it helps people reach beyond friends and family for capital,” he said. “These campaigns are clearly interesting distant contributors that are not dirtectly connected to the person or team running them.”

There were seventeen — that’s right, seventeen — Kickstarter campaigns that garnered more than a million dollars in pledges, the largest of which was the $10.2 million, oft-delayed Pebble watch. In comparison, only two Indiegogo campaigns reached the one million mark last year: the Nikola Tesla museum, and the Robot Dragonfly, which came to a close December 31 (we’ll count it).

Gaming projects dominated Kickstarter last year, as you can see in the full category breakdown below, while film and music campaigns proved the most common on the platform. Fashion designers, meanwhile, faced the most difficulty reaching their campaign goals.

Kickstarter Category breakdown

For more information on Kickstarter’s fruitful year, check out the company’s ‘Best of 2012’ feature.

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