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Kickstarter crowd-sourced funding service goes live in UK

Crowd-sourced funding website Kickstarter has finally expanded its services to the UK.

The website enables people to appeal to the goodwill of fellow Internet users all over the world in order to gain funding for creative projects, such as electronic devices, books and video games.

In return, donors usually receive privileges like early access to products or other perks. They do not receive a share of the company or acquire any sort of say in how the project will be handled.

Before now, UK businesses wishing to use the service were required to use American bank accounts and addresses.

Kickstarter was launched in the US in 2009 and has, to date, provided funding to over 70,000 distinct projects. Of these, more than 40 per cent have successfully achieved their funding targets.

In order to successfully construct a project on the site, one must own a functional prototype of the creation in question, as well as photos and videos of the envisioned final product.

Ouya is perhaps one of the best examples of the goods Kickstarter can deliver. The console netted $8,596,474 (£5,334,736) from benefactors (opens in new tab) back in August, though some sceptics wondered whether crowdfunding is a scam (opens in new tab).

However, not all projects prove successful, even after receiving adequate backing. The video game Haunts (opens in new tab), whose development team disintegrated, demonstrates this quite tragically. However, Rick Dakan, the project's creator, offered to refund all those who contributed to his cause.

Unlike the US platform, which uses Amazon for payment processing, UK Kickstarter users will be able to securely enter payment information directly on Kickstarter's website.

UK residents with entrepreneurial ambitions have been able to register and submit their projects since 10 October (opens in new tab), in order to go live today. Currently, there are 198 UK projects (opens in new tab) listed on the Kickstarter website, the majority of which are based in London.

Similar services are provided by the lesser-known Indiegogo and PleaseFund.Us, which have catered to UK users for some time.

Aatif is a freelance copywriter and journalist based in the UK. He’s written about technology, science and politics for publications including Gizmodo, The Independent, Trusted Reviews, Newsweek, and ITProPortal.