In a world where banks have become less willing to fund projects and business ventures, Kickstarter and other funding platforms like it have become a successful medium for just about any project. On Kickstarter, everyday people fund the projects they like. The project runners often offer awesome perks to backers such as an early release of the product in return for their donations.
Many of these products fill a void you didn’t even know was there. Sometimes they’re completely new products, and other times they’re improving on something we already use.
With that said, here are fifteen of the most successful Kickstarter campaigns of all time and what they did to pull it off.
The Coolest Cooler is just that — a cooler that looks good and functions even better. Nowadays, we expect all our stuff to be high tech, and the Coolest Cooler is everything you could want and more. This cooler doesn’t just keep stuff cool. It can crush ice for a margarita, play music with its built-in Bluetooth speaker, or even charge your phone for you.
It’s no wonder that the Coolest Cooler is one of the most funded kickstart campaigns in Kickstarter history — over 60,000 backers raised a whopping 13.2 million dollars to make the Coolest Cooler a reality.
Thanks to Kickstarter, you can now buy your own Coolest Cooler off of Amazon. With its enthusiastic reviews, we can see it was made to be every bit as cool as expected.
The World’s Best Jacket
Sometimes, we just need an everyday object that’s done better. The World’s Best Jacket was specifically designed for travelers and pretty much anyone who needs more pockets in their life. This jacket does everything.
Need a place to carry your beer? There’s a pocket for that. Did you get dust on your cell phone while snapping photos of the Grand Canyon? This jacket has a built-in microfiber cloth.
Need a place for your iPad so you don’t have to cram it into your carry-on bag? Got it. Built-in sleeping mask so the overhead lights on your red-eye flight don’t bother you? Check. Crick in your neck? No worries, you can inflate the collar of this jacket and turn it into a pillow.
With 15 features to make traveling easier, it also looks great. It’s no wonder that almost 45,000 backers raised nine million dollars for this project.
Check out their promo YouTube video!
When the makers of the Ouya posted their Kickstarter, they had an ambitious funding goal of $950,000. Their goal was to create a new kind of gaming console, one that used Android as a base. It would be open to any game designer to place their games onto it, and it would work much like the Android platform we know today. The other catch? All games that are placed on the Ouya must have at least a free demo available.
The idea was an instant success and smashed all records. Instead of the $950,000 they asked for, Ouya finished their month of fundraising at 8.5 million.
Unfortunately, the Ouya was a commercial failure and was discontinued in 2015.
Kingdom Death: Monster 1.5
This simple board game shattered records in an exciting way when it came out. The update for this popular board game raised one million dollars in the first 19 minutes of launching. It went on to raise over 12 million dollars.
Kingdom Death: Monster 1.5 combines Dungeons and Dragons with The Sims in a dark but entertaining board game made for adults. It’s no wonder so many adults pulled out their wallets when the update for this board game became available.
The updated board game is scheduled to be released in 2020, and many late-night board game players are counting down the days until they can create new worlds once again.
Sometimes when you’re working on a project that requires deep thought but not a lot of movement, you can find yourself distracted. With the popularity of the fidget spinner, it’s no surprise that the fidget cube was an equally large success.
The fidget cube has all of your fidgeting needs met thanks to its six sides. Like to click pens? One side features five buttons for your clicking pleasure. Three of them make a satisfying noise, and the other two are silent, in case you need a stealth mode. Each side offers a different way to fiddle, whether you require a tab, a slider, or the smooth glide of a joystick to help you think.
Best of all, the cube is small, so you can quickly hide it away if you’re an embarrassed fidgeter and don’t want people to know about your habit. Over 150,000 fidgeters united to raise 6.4 million dollars for the project, making this one of the more popular products by the number of backers alone.
The Everyday Backpack
Relatively few backpack designers actually sit down with pen in hand, address all the shortcomings of their backpack or tote, and think of ways to fix them. The Everyday Backpack provides an answer to the real problems people who use backpacks everyday face.
This backpack offers pockets that are big enough to do real things with, such as an easy-access laptop pocket. It has straps, so you can quickly and easily carry objects that are too big for the backpack itself, and even the straps are well-designed.
It’s little wonder that this project quickly raised over six million dollars with 26,000 backers. After all, a thoughtfully designed backpack is really hard to come by.
Pebble Time Smartwatch
Have you ever looked at a smartwatch and wished you could add more features? Maybe you bought a smartwatch because it had all the features you wanted, but the battery life makes enjoying them impossible. It seems like when it comes down to these fun and useful tools, there is always a compromise.
Fortunately, consumers aren’t the only people who noticed this lack of uncompromising quality in smartwatches. A start-up company, Pebble Time (recently bought out by Fit Bit), set out to create a smartwatch that does it all.
They designed a watch that was water resistant, customizable, and had up to a seven-day battery life. For the first time ever, you didn’t have to pick between whether you wanted a fitness watch that could keep track of your steps or a watch that could display your text messages and emails.
Their Kickstarter campaign for the Pebble Time Smartwatch, which resolved all the common issues people had with their watches, was a hit. It became the highest funded Kickstarter of all time at over 20 million dollars and had over 70,000 backers.
When it came time for an upgrade, they launched their Pebble 2 campaign and made it into the top 10 most funded Kickstarters again, crowdfunding 12 million dollars from 66,000 backers. The Pebble company is the only company that’s used Kickstarter to launch three campaigns in the top 10 most funded. Their watches continue to be popular today, though they’re owned by Fitbit.
Games are one of the most popular types of product on Kickstarter to be supported. Everything from board games, computer games, to simple card games have been successful on Kickstarter. One such card game that became one of the most funded campaigns on Kickstarter was a card game called Exploding Kittens.
This unlikely sounding game appears to be quite fun and crazy. The idea is very simple. You keep drawing cards until you get an exploding kitten card. If you get an exploding kitten, you lose. To make it more than random chance, there are other cards you can use to get out of losing, force other people to take your turn, and more.
It’s a wild game of strategy and is made even more fun by the cute and whimsical cards. Over 219,000 backers raised over eight million dollars for this card game. Take a look below!
Yet another game to hit the most funded list, 7th Continent is one of the first board games in the world created to play like a choose-your-own-adventure RPG. You can play it by yourself or with up to four friends, and you build the board piece by piece through playing the game. The goal is to lift the curses placed on you for landing on the 7th continent.
Citing the expense of bringing board games to stores, 7th continent is not available outside of the initial Kickstarter campaign. They requested $40,000 to be able to create the game at all and received over seven million dollars in funding.
The success of this game was so great that expansion packs were created in response to the excitement of consumers. The campaign has now ended and sadly there are no more games available.
In the 1990s, Shenmue was one of the very first free form games available. Unlike earlier games, which had a very strict storyline that could not be progressed through if you went in the wrong direction, Shenmue allowed you to play the game how you wanted to. With dozens of mini-games as you went along, you could play in a variety of different ways without messing up the main plotline.
That didn’t mean it didn’t have a plot at all, of course. The game followed the story of Ryo, a man trying to avenge his father and complete his training as a kung fu martial artist at the same time.
For those who loved the original Shenmue and want more from the story, the creators offered the opportunity — 69,000 fans quickly raised 6.3 million dollars to see Shenmue 3.
The Return of Reading Rainbow
If you grew up in the 80s and 90s, you may recall turning on your television for a chance to watch Reading Rainbow. On each show, the host LeVar would take you through a delightful storybook and inspire children of all ages to pick up a book and read.
Of course, like all shows, Reading Rainbow came to an end, but for LeVar Burton and over 100,000 backers, it wasn’t completely forgotten. Years later, LeVar Burton joined Kickstarter with a passion project. He wanted to bring Reading Rainbow back. He asked for one million dollars so that kids of the next generation could have access to this wonderful program.
Fans answered, quickly bypassing that goal as if it was nothing and raising five million dollars. Some of the money raised was even matched up to $1,000,000, making the total money raised over six million.
Thanks to these donations, not only was Reading Rainbow brought to the web, but to many other platforms and to thousands of classrooms for free. It is one of the more inspiring Kickstarter campaigns and an accomplishment well worth mentioning.
Gravity – Weighted Blanket
At first, this product might not seem like anything special. After all, how much more can you improve on blankets after the creation of a heated blanket for winter? Yet, if you’ve ever had a child with sensory issues, or simply wished for a natural way to relax and wind down, you’d love a weighted blanket.
For years, people who knew of the powerful comfort a weighted blanket could provide have sewn rice into blankets to make them heavier. Gravity offered a new solution — a weighted blanket that can be washed.
As an added benefit, the blanket was designed with a warm outer layer and a cooler inner layer, so you could enjoy the blanket in every season.
This somewhat offbeat project was a hit with backers, who together raised 4.7 million dollars for the project. Gravity blankets are available today, thanks to the efforts of these comfort loving backers.
Relatively few of the common products we use every day have been revolutionized. Just like thousands of people clambered for the new and improved backpacks, environmentalists and people who simply wanted a better showering experience were equally excited to get their hands on a Nebia.
The Nebia is a shower system, completely modernized and rethought to be friendly to the environment. The shower head atomizes the water you use. Not only does this new way of showering reduce water consumption by 70%, it also leaves your skin feeling cleaner and hydrates it as well.
8,000 backers pledged over four million dollars for this incredible product.
Zano – A Nano Drone
Drones are all the rage right now, but where many drones are delicate, large, and often awkward to fly, Zano is the opposite. This tiny little drone is durable enough to withstand being carried with you as an everyday object and is equipped with a camera to take high-quality pictures and videos of you, no matter where you go.
The innovative little drone was designed to be used in combination with your smartphone and flies in response to the motions of the phone. It also has a free-flying mode that can be controlled by swiping your fingers on the cell phone.
As an added bonus, when the Zano senses it’s too far away from the phone or running low on battery, it automatically returns to you, saving you from having to find it when it can no longer fly. Over 12,000 backers pledged 2.3 million pounds (over three million USD) to make this an overwhelming success for the company trying to build the little drone.
Ashes of Creation
Rounding up the last of the most funded products is Ashes of Creation, an MMORPG that once again thrived by rethinking an old product. Ashes of Creation is an MMORPG (massive multi-player online role-playing game) that doesn’t rely on over-done plots or a ton of grinding.
Instead, players themselves choose the direction of the game. The game responds to how people play, with the rise and fall of cities, and the history of the game itself is entirely dependent on the players.
As an added incentive, the game is not pay to win. Where so many games rely on stat boosting items that give only those who pay a way to get ahead, Ashes of Creation is subscription only. While you may be able to purchase cosmetic items for your characters, these will not give any kind of advantage to players.
In a world where nearly every game is P2W, Ashes of Creation was a wild hit with backers. 19,500 backers raised just under four million for the creation of this game.
These Kickstarter campaigns are among the most popular and well-funded of all time, but they are by no means the only successful ones. Many amazing products have come to life thanks to Kickstarter.
If you’re looking to launch your own successful Kickstarter campaign, Cad Crowd can help. We have the best 3D modelers and product designers that can help turn your idea into a ready to go product. Contact us today for a free quote!