What is the business model behind Kickstarter

Kickstarter crowdfunding platform : Jump-starting from the network

What to do if you really want something that you cannot afford on your own? Company founders in particular are generally dependent on start-up financing when they get their business started. But where to get the money and not steal it?

The American Perry Chen has found an answer to this question: crowdfunding. Together with two friends, he founded the Internet platform Kickstarter in 2009, which helps people turn ideas into reality with the help of donations. On the website of the start-up, professional musicians, artists, filmmakers, designers, but also hobbyists, company founders and other creative types can present their visions of new projects and innovative products and advertise for donors online.

A business model that works perfectly: Over the past five years, Kickstarter has collected around one billion dollars (the equivalent of around 728 million euros) from 6.1 million people around the world and distributed it to the idea providers. The platform works on the principle of all or nothing: If the financing is successful, the crowdfunding platform collects five percent of the set target amount. If, on the other hand, a project does not find enough supporters, funding will fail. In this case, no fees are due.

Me, you, Neil Young - everyone does

It's people like you and me, but also celebrities like Neil Young, who use Kickstarter to bring creative projects to life. The Canadian musician was bothered by the poor quality of music files, which are drastically downscaled for use in mp3 players and smartphones. Now Young wants to bring a player for high-quality sound onto the market: the "Ponoplayer". He wanted to raise at least $ 800,000 (the equivalent of around 581,000 euros) from Kickstarter by mid-April to build the device - but the project found so many supporters that Young had raised almost a billion euros in just one day. The financing is secured - and the donors will receive the Ponoplayer, which is due to hit the market this October for 399 dollars (290 euros), as a thank you at the preferential price of 300 dollars.

The Berlin start-up Bonaverde has also more than exceeded its original financing target with the help of Kickstarter. Within two years, the company's founders have developed a machine that roasts, grinds and brews raw coffee beans at the push of a button. With their product, the young entrepreneurs want to revolutionize the coffee trade and shorten the traditionally long trade routes for the raw material from the producer to the end consumer - and enable coffee farmers overseas to do fairer business. The innovation, according to Bonaverde's vision, should enable German households to enjoy fresher and healthier coffee in the future.

The Bonaverde team built more than 100 prototypes for development; around 100,000 euros were required for the subsequent series production. And thanks to Kickstarter, it has been running at full speed since December: the first machines are due to be delivered in autumn. For a contribution of around 180 euros, small investors could secure one of the first models. Those who contribute 7,300 euros get a flight to a coffee farmer in addition to the roast, grind and brew coffee machine.

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