NEW YORK (MainStreet) — It’s official: Kickstarter has become a powerhouse for venture capital.
The online crowd-funding network’s community pledged an incredible $100 million to help fellow users get their projects off the ground in 2011, or roughly four times the amount that was pledged in 2010, according to annual data released by the site.
With that money, Kickstarter ended up successfully funding 11,836 projects in the course of the year ranging from building a new cultural center in Brooklyn to funding a documentary on firefighters in Detroit. That’s up from just shy of 4,000 projects funded in 2010.
Unlike traditional venture capital firms, aspiring innovators can pitch a project to the Kickstarter community and ask fellow users to pledge as little as $5 to help fund the idea. If enough money is raised to meet the target funding goal, the person or people who pitched it get the money to launch the idea. If not, the users get the money they pledged back.
As time goes on, the percentage of projects that successfully get funded is increasing. Some 46% of the 27,000 project ideas pitched in 2011 reached or surpassed their target funding goals, up from 43% the year before.
So if your New Year’s resolution is to take on a project of your own this year, you might want to join Kickstarter. The odds are increasingly in your favor.