Crowdfunding refers to raising money online from the public for a particular project or cause. Two of the most popular crowdfund sites on the web are kickstarter.com and indiegogo.com, and here investors can find new opportunities and startup businesses and others can find the funds they need for their products or projects. Take a quick look at the best and worst crowdfunding projects from the past few years.
One surprising crowdfunding project in recent memory is the movie based on the “Veronica Mars” TV series, which needed some $2 million to be produced. Fans of the show went viral with the project and it actually raised over $5 million from online sources. Pebble customizable watches also needed a mere $100,000 to get off the ground, but investors came forward with some $10 million in funds.
When a 68-year-old bus monitor was shown on video being bullied by middle school students, the video went viral and soon a project was posted indiegogo.com, hoping to raise $5000 to send her on a vacation. The public responded with more than $700,000. Online site The Oatmeal also posted a project to raise money as a response to a frivolous lawsuit they faced, promising to send half to benefit wildlife and half to benefit cancer research. The project requested $20,000 but raised ten times that, over $200,000.
Not all stories from crowdfunding are so successful. Some projects lack the expertise needed to make them successful and others are outright scams. Mythic: The Stories of Gods and Men was a video game project that was proven to be something of a scam, as the so-called creators claimed to have been designers at Activision and Blizzard. In reality, they were simply office aids and the project was canceled before backers lost any money.
Eyez by ZionEyez was another failed crowdfunding project, although not necessarily a planned scam. After three years and some $300,000 invested by backers, there were no glasses produced or product of any sort. Unfortunately the backers lost all their investment before the project was pulled. Kobe Red was another project that was proven to be a failure, as many red flags on the project caused investigators to close it an hour before it was scheduled to pay out. The funding goal of $2000 had been exceeded to over $120,000 but fortunately no backers lost their investment on the project.