Kickstarter Passes One Million Backers And $100 M. Pledged

Graph from Fred Benenson

Kickstarter’s Fred Benenson and Yancey Strickler are back with another data-rich post about growth at the hot New York startup, which helps creative projects crowdsource their funding needs. The two-year-old company just received a pledge from its one-millionth backer, and is seeing new users pledge for the first time at a rapidly accelerating rate.

As Kickstarter writes:

Let’s start by defining what we mean by backer. Someone becomes a backer when they pull out a credit card and pledge money to a project. Being a backer is a higher bar than a user (someone who signs up for a site), and different than a pledge (the transaction itself). One million backers means one million different people from around the world have pledged money to a project on Kickstarter.

The above graph shows the cumulative path to 1,000,000 backers. The first 200,000 backers took 16 months; the last 200,000 took just three months. Currently about 75,000 new backers pledge to projects each month.

Kickstarter projects succeed about 44 percent of the time, but backers have a much better average. 89 percent of backers have given to a successful project, while only 11 percent have not. Mr. Benenson singles out Neil Graham who has backed 94 projects to date and 83 out f 84 have finished successfully, ten pledges are for ongoing projects. That’s a 98% success rate, the highest anyone on Kickstarter.

The positive experience seems to keep users engaged. Sixteen percent of users come back to support another project, and these power users contribute 32 percent of the total funds pledged. 90 percent of the $100,729,560 pledged so far has been in increments of $100 or less. Mr. Benenson concludes:

To put this in some context, the 2011 fiscal year budget for the National Endowment for the Arts is $154 million. At the current pace of more than $2 million in pledges each week, Kickstarter backers are pledging more than $100 million a year.

Interestingly the milestones of 1,000,000 backers and $100,000,000 pledged came within 48 hours of one another. This suggests the value of each backer being $100, and that’s about right. The average pledge amount is $71 and the average backer pledges to 1.4 projects.

Be sure to check out all the stats and amazing graphs over on Kickstarter’s blog. And don’t forget the old saying, more money, more problems. Kickstarter is currently suing a particularly persistent patent troll, who claims to have invented crowdfunding for creative projects.

What does it take to get big VC funding? Don’t forget to check out our first original web series: The Pitch Kickstarter Passes One Million Backers And $100 M. Pledged