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Crowdfunding Report 2013 on CNXSoft Blog

December 24th, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments

Crowdfunding has really took off in 2013, with sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, as they enable start-ups to launch new and innovative products, and some established, even large companies, I’m thinking Canonical with Ubuntu Edge here, have also tapped into that market, actually shifting part of the risks from shareholders, to customers / individual funders.

Indiegogo_KickStarter

In this post, I’ll go through all the crowdfunding projects, 16 Indiegogo and 25 Kickstarter campaigns, featured on cnx-software.com between the beginning of December 2012 till the end of November 2013, to find out which ones have been a stellar success in terms of funding and on-time delivery, and those that have failed in one way or another, with some being close to looking like scams. There was a wide range of products with dealing home automation, the Internet of things, wireless Arduino compatible boards, Linux development boards, media players and more.

Let’s go straight to the subject with a table sorted chronologically.

Date Project Crowdfunding Site Funded?
Pledged amount / Goal
Expected Delivery Actual Delivery Comments
6. Dec. 2012 StickNFind Indiegogo Yes
$931,870 / $70,000
03/2013 04/2013 There does seem to be quite a few complains on their Facebook page however
3. Jan. 2013 PlayJam GameStick Kickstarter Yes
$647,658 / $100,000
04/2013 10/2013
11. Jan. 2013 Crystalfontz CFA-10036 Kickstarter No
$12,184 / $30,000
03/2013 - The board is now available from the company website
21. Feb. 2013 CoolShip Indiegogo Yes
(Amount unknown)
04/2013 Delayed to eternity The Indiegogo page is gone, the company (Focuswill) website too, and nobody ever got their device. The project owner apparently took the money, saw he could not make profit, and ran with the money.
7. Mar. 2013 The Mojo Kickstarter Yes
$100,490 / $7,000
04/2013 04/2013
20. Mar. 2013 RFDuino Kickstarter Yes
$352,700 / $5,000
07/2013 10/2013 Shipping took place is several batches over 1 month starting in mid-October
12. Apr. 2013 UDOO Board Kickstarter Yes
$641,614 / $27,000
09/2013 10/2013 Boards shipped in several batches in October
29. Apr. 2013 CoAction Hero Kickstarter Yes
$12,110 / $10,000
07/2013 09/2013
2. May. 2013 DroneShield Indiegogo Yes
$8,708 / $3,500
09/2013 09/2013 Only a few units were shipped in September to people willing to be beta testers, and more units have been shipping slowly, with all items shipped by the end of December
28. May. 2013 Aithon Motor Control Board Kickstarter No
$8,460 / $18,000
09/2013 - Allegedly working with STMicro to complete the board design, but no news since June 2013.
5. Jun. 2013 Scanadu Scout Indiegogo Yes
$1,664,574 / $100,000
03/2014 -
14. Jun. 2013 Digitstump DigiX Kickstarter Yes
$107,783 / $50,000
09/2013 11/2013
17. Jun. 2013 Stealth Nighthawk F-117A Indiegogo Yes and No (Flexible campaign)
$7,404 / $40,000
08/2013 - The company promised the device to backers, but to date none of them received anything
20. Jun. 2013 Fargo Ethernet Boards Kickstarter Yes
$20,605 / $10,800
09/2013
12/2013 (R4DI)
10/2013
-
About 15 days delay for the first board, and probably about the same for the next one.
21. Jun. 2013 Babuino Stick & Board Indiegogo No
$9,241 / $40,000
10/2013 - The project appears to be canceled
23. Jun. 2013 BLEDuino Kickstarter Yes
$75,126 / $15,000
11/2013 Delayed Delivery might occur in February
26. Jun. 2013 Peloton Bike Kickstarter Yes
$307,332 / $250,000
11/2013 (US) Delayed Probably January in the US
30. Jun. 2013 Wimoto Motes Indiegogo Yes
$115,366 / $22,000
09/2013 Delayed Maybe early next year
10. Jul. 2013 Lernstift Digital Pen Kickstarter No
£26,794 / £120,000
11/2013 - Development is still going on
13. Jul. 2013 The Plug (renamed to Lima) Kickstarter Yes
$1,229,074 / $69,000
12/2013 Delayed Delayed at least until spring 2014 due to software redesign
20. Jul. 2013 WigWag Kickstarter Yes
$454,976 / $50,000
11/2013 Delayed Probably at least 3 months delay
23. Jul. 2013 Ubuntu Edge Indiegogo No
$12,814,216 / $32,000,000
05/2014 - Project canceled, but Ubuntu will be found on other phones
24. Jul. 2013 Red Pitaya Board Kickstarter Yes
$256,125 / $50,000
12/2013 Delayed Delivery now expected for February 2014
25. Jul. 2013 Borderless Arduino Board Indiegogo Yes
$164,303 / $12,000
09/2013 09/2013 There was however some issues with some parcels, which are almost resolved now.
2. Aug. 2013 OVO Media Player Indiegogo Yes and No (Flexible campaign)
$37,051 / $100,000
10/2013 10/2013
4. Aug. 2013 The “Smart Charger” Indiegogo No
$4,306 / $80,000
11/2013 - Project canceled?
12. Aug. 2013 HackRF SDR Platform Kickstarter Yes
$602,960 / $80,000
01/2014 -
21. Aug. 2013 SparqEE CELLv1.0 Kickstarter Yes
$72,155 / $70,000
11/2013 Delayed Delivery now expected for January 2014
22. Aug. 2013 Iteaduino Plus Indiegogo Yes and No (Flexible campaign)
$6,319USD / $20,000
09/2013 09/2013 On-time but shipping without tracking took a long time.
23. Aug. 2013 Sky Drone FPV HD Indiegogo No
$30,174 / $80,000
12/2013 - Project has carried on, and Sky Drone is available for pre-order via their website
29. Aug. 2013 Flutter Kickstarter Yes
$149,906 / $80,000
04/2014 -
30. Aug. 2013 Pressy Kickstarter Yes
$695,138 / $40,000
03/2014 -
7. Oct. 2013 Wizarm PVR MediaBox Indiegogo Yes and No (Flexible campaign)
$7,346 / $200,000
04/2014 - This flexible campaign did not reach their funding target, but backers have been promised to receive the device, as development and production will go ahead
10. Nov. 2013 Ubuntu for Raspberry Pi Indiegogo Yes
£2,567 / £2,500
04/2014 -
11. Nov. 2013 The VERVE Kickstarter Yes
$38,617 / $20,000
12/2013 Delayed Delivery now expected for mid-January 2014
14. Nov. 2013 NinjaSphere Kickstarter Yes
AUD $397,346 / $115,000
03/2014 -
20. Nov. 2013 Touch Board Kickstarter Yes
£122,907 / £15,000
03/2014 -
21. Nov. 2013 Neptune Pine SmartWatch Kickstarter Yes
CAD $801,224 / $100,000
01/2014 -
22. Nov. 2013 1Sheeld Arduino Shield Kickstarter Yes
$85,210 / $10,000
05/2014 -
23. Nov. 2013 Qubi Android Media Center Kickstarter No
$34,032 / $500,000
07/2014 - Project will go forward on its own
24. Nov. 2013 AlmaDom.us Indiegogo No
$663 / $150,000
06/2014 - Campaign still in progress (sort of)

Hall of Shame

Let’s get the projects with the worse possible outcome – backers money transferred to project owner, but perks never delivered – out of the way first. The worst project featured on CNX Software has to be FocusWill Coolship. This Linux keyboard powered by Rockchip RK3066 seemed promising, but the funds have just gone to money heaven, as the devices were never delivered, the Indiegogo page has disappeared, as well as FocusWill website, the company behind the project.

Stealth Nighthawk F-117A, not the fighter jet, but an HDMI TV Stick based on Broadcom BCM2835 (as found in the Raspberry Pi) capable of running XBMC, comes in second. The campaign was never successful, as it raised $7,404 out of $40,000, but the company still got the money thanks to Indiegogo flexible funding option. The company promised the device to backers, but none of them seem to have received it.

Most Projects Are Delayed

Out of the 41 campaigns, 9 projects did not get funding at all. Out of these 9, only 2 or 3 appear to have definitely been canceled, with the others just carrying development and manufacturing on their own. So a total of 5 products will never seen the light of day, meaning although 75.6% of projects get funded, 87.8% of products may be mass-produced. The Crowdfunding reality is probably much lower, as projects getting media exposure are obviously the most interesting ones.

Failure to meet the estimated delivery is a recurring issue with most crowd-funded projects. Many are just delayed one of two, but some others go way beyond that time frame, such as PlayJam GameStick (6-month delay), and the “Plug”, now called Lima, with project completion now estimated to be in spring 2014 instead of December 2013.

Hall of Fame

The Mojo, an FPGA development board which raised an impressive $100,000, well over their initial $7,000 funding target, appears to be the only fully funded project that delivered perks on time. The project was successfully funded on March 24, 2013, and according to updates and comments, the boards shipped in April, just as promised.

Special mentions go to:

  • The UDOO board, as they were very successfully with over $640,000 pledge for the Freescale i.MX6 Linux and Arduino boards, and manage to deliver most perks in October (Starting on the 4th), against a promised delivery in September.
  • Iteaduino Plus, despite failing to gather the complete funds, still received orders because the project was on a flexible funding campaign, and managed to ship perks on September 2013, just as promised. Actual delivery took a long time however, even 2 months in some cases, due to the shipping method used.

That’s all for today. If you have a good or bad crowd-funding experience to share, feel free to do so in the comments section.

Merry Xmas everyone !!!

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  1. Patola
    December 24th, 2013 at 22:52 | #1

    You did not mention the Parallella board, which you also noticed here: http://www.cnx-software.com/2013/06/30/99-parallella-supercomputer-is-now-open-source-hardware/

  2. mary
    December 24th, 2013 at 23:40 | #2

    thanks for this summary table

  3. adem
    December 25th, 2013 at 14:43 | #3

    Going off topic here sorry but i am going to die if i cannot get a answer. while i was playing around inside my pc something touched the gpu and i saw fire and next i noticed the gpu was making too much noise like when you forget to plugin the power to your gpu the fans tend to go full speed. i think there is no power going from the pcb to the fan and made a video about it.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jY6jJiMPRbM
    just wondering can i use something like rockmans deepcool like the item below or do you guys have any suggestions thanks in advance

    http://www.deepcool-us.com/Product/ROCKMAN_PWM/

  4. sk
    December 25th, 2013 at 15:43 | #4

    Think you shouldn’t restrict yourself to the 2 main crowdfunding platforms…it’s worth noting that PunchThrough Design managed to successfully close about $145k (target: $20k) for Cortado using their own, just a couple of hours ago:
    http://punchthrough.com/

    I had learnt about them through your blog:
    http://www.cnx-software.com/2013/11/27/20-lightblue-cortado-is-an-arduino-compatible-board-programmed-wirelessly-via-bluetooth-le-crowdfunding/

  5. Paul
    December 26th, 2013 at 01:21 | #5

    Great survey, thanks for finding time for that!

    It’s a pity that latest projects didn’t fit in. I understand that it’s too early to make conclusions, but http://www.cnx-software.com/2013/12/02/micro-python-brings-python-to-mcu-boards-and-robots-crowdfunding/ was both a great funding success and very solid project technically. It’s also that type of project where good project planning and marketing make it possible to develop not just hardware, but also software. Hardware comes and goes, but there always should be good software to run it.

    Recently mentioned NavSpark http://www.cnx-software.com/2013/12/21/15-and-up-navspark-is-a-tiny-gps-gnss-arduino-software-compatible-board-crowdfunding/ is also an interesting project, too bad it’s not going to reach funding with such approach (typical mistake of project creators – they think just great project and good price is enough – nope, it takes daily PR efforts throughout the entire campaign, virus marketing on its own fires too rarely).

  6. December 26th, 2013 at 10:36 | #6

    @Patola
    That’s because Parallela funding took place in 2012 (during my holidays), but I only wrote about it in 2013 when they released the open source code.

    @sk
    Another successful “self-crowdfunding” project was the Earl tablet: http://www.cnx-software.com/2013/05/09/earl-rugged-e-ink-tablet-for-the-outdoors/

    But I chose to skip these. Maybe I should have at least mentioned them at the end.

  7. Vinicius Tinti
    December 26th, 2013 at 18:15 | #7

    It is not from 2013 but still worth to mention Cubieboard!

    The project with flexible founding has reached almost twice as the pledge of U$ 50.000 and was closed earlier to meet the deadlines! I don’t remember if it did but I am very happy with it.

    http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/cubieboard-open-arm-box

  8. sk
    January 18th, 2014 at 17:43 | #8

    A good read on crowd-funding scams:
    http://www.gadgetreview.com/2014/01/7-scamtastic-crowdfunding-campaigns.html

    Also, some people are reporting/tracking kickstarter scams here:
    http://www.kickstarterforum.org/fraud-watch-f13.html
    (First link above was from this forum)

  9. Bo Dangren
    February 2nd, 2014 at 13:58 | #9

    This is interesting. I received my Coolship last year. I assumed everyone else did, too. It was kind of a cool project, but the build quality basically sucked. I used it as a bedroom computer with an old HD monitor for about six months. I definitely got my investment out of it. I was hoping for an upgrade board for it, which was one of the selling points, and ended up on this page as a result of searching for one. I guess I’m out of luck.

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