Less than two weeks away from the big screen release of one of the most successful Kickstarter projects in history, the crowd-funding site today revealed a milestone $1 billion in pledges.
That's $1,000,000,000, equal to a slightly less auspicious but no less impressive £599,231,636. The total sum has been provided by 5.7 million people, backing thousands of projects that eventually saw the light of day, and plenty of others that didn't.
More than half of that was raised in the last 12 months — exactly a year since Rob Thomas and Kristen Bell launched their campaign to fund a Veronica Mars movie. The $5.7 million (£3.4 million) project broke records and revived a cult television show, and helped Kickstarter reach new heights.
The global effort was helped along mostly by US donors, who have dropped more than $663 million (£397 million) on the site since its inception five years ago. The UK, Canada, Australia, and Germany round out the top five sources of crowd-sourced cash, raising a collective $152,724,766 (£31,592,405), Kickstarter said.
Kickstarter's interactive map helps folks pinpoint exactly how much their country or location on the globe has contributed.
Sandwiched between half a decade of statistics, the company took a moment to highlight some of the most important people on the site, including Neil Gaiman, author and Kickstarter maven, who backed his first project in 2010.
"There's a sort of weird and lovely magic of, I'm part of this, I helped create this, this thing exists because of me, isn't this fun!" Gaiman said in a statement.
Kickstarter engineer Tieg Zaharia earned the title of "Most Kickstarter," having supported more than 1,000 projects since December 2009. He even holds an in-office film festival during which he screens films he's backed on the site.
And he's not alone: Almost 1,690,000 people have backed more than one project; 15,932 have donated to more than 50.
Even the most arctic of users — Espen Artzen, who lives in a remote area of Norway, just a two-hour flight away from the North Pole — is able to connect with people and projects all over the world.
"[I] back projects that aren't so much about making a product, but rather helping out a community," Artzen told the site. "I try to support projects that I think are interesting and that wouldn't normally get made with more traditional funding methods."
Kickstarter's metrics also break down the days of the week most funding materialises. Most of Kickstarter's $1 billion was collected during the work week, it turns out, with Wednesday coming in as the peak day for fundraising. Saturday and Sunday barely cross the $100 million line, while weekdays average $150 million in pledges, according to the site.
But just what does $1 billion amount to? Kickstarter broke it down, revealing that a cool billion covers 400 million New York City subway rides, 40 million copies of the popular Cards Against Humanity game, Lebron James's current contract for 50 years, 44,555 Robocop statues, and four Titanics — the boat plus the movie (not adjusted for inflation).
And while Kickstarter has been the jumping-off point for everything from music albums to comic books to public murals to cat videos, it also the place that got the ball rolling for the Oculus Rift, the Pebble smartwatch, the Ouya game console, and, of course, everyone's favorite snarky teen PI, Veronica Mars.
"$1 billion means that people care about new ideas, and that sharing them with our friends, our families, and the entire Internet can lead to some amazing stuff," the company blog said. "Here's to all of the great ideas of the world, all the ones yet to come, and all of you for being you. Thanks a billion."