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How Not to Raise Funds: 4 Popular Crowdfunding Failures


Enthusiastic entrepreneurs frequently utilize crowdfunding when conventional means of funding prove to be unappealing or conditional. While everybody loves a triumphant story not every campaign on crowdfunding platform, such as Kickstarter or Indiegogo, has a sparkling finish.

According to the industry website CrowdFund Insider, the overall success rate of Kickstarter in August 2013 was just 44% and campaigns on Indiegogo only succeeded in achieving their funding goals by less than 10%. The possible reasons for this inconsistency include the flexible funding model of Indiegogo which supports campaign originators to raise the funds they need without achieving their funding goal despite paying the fees. This platform also favors more openness with the type of campaigns it allows.

If your ventures of crowdfunding do not perform as expected you can rest assured that you have good companionship. Let us now look at the four largest crowdfunding failures of 2013.

New York City Opera On Kickstarter

The New York City Opera which was established in 1943 by Mayor Fiorella LaGuardia and named as the people’s opera was facing trouble after seven decades and was prepared to call it quits. The establishment had been grappling for many years and was borrowing against its endowment despite breaking away from its longtime home at Lincoln Center in 2008 and slashing the schedule of its performances.  In September 2013, the City Opera mentioned that it needed $20 million for financing compositions for the remaining part of the 2013-2014 season apart from $7 million to survive the month.

The city Opera had requested private donors for the largest part of the money and also created a campaign asking people to donate $1 million through a Kickstarter campaign that was ongoing for 22 days. On the final day of the campaign on Kickstarter which was September 30 the New York City Opera only had 2180 supporters promising $301,019 out of the goal of $1 million. The people’s opera had no options but to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on 3rd October, 2013.

The Ubuntu Edge Phone On Indiegogo

The largest failure on crowdfunding platforms was perhaps one of the biggest triumphs in reality. Ubuntu was unable to make the smartphone and desktop PC-in-one a success and the campaign on Indiegogo ended on 21st August, almost $20 million short of its goal of $32 million. However, the campaign had raised nearly $12.8 million in just 30 days including a record-breaking $3.4 million in the initial 24 hours which was more than remarkable.

The efforts, however, gave Ubuntu Edge the publicity it was looking for and got numerous people paying attention to the little-known software company Canonical. However, Ubuntu was still required to return the contributions made by 27,000 supporters.

Melissa Joan Hart’s Romantic Comedy On Kickstarter

Once teenage television star Melissa Joan Hart was expected to comprehend the footsteps of triumphant Hollywood movie projects on Kickstarter by celebrities such as Kristen Bell as well as Zac Braff. Hart’s campaign in the spring was aiming to raise $2 million to produce a romantic comedy named Darci’s Walk of Shame. Unfortunately for Hart, her proposal was a significant difference from the type of roles her fans had recognized her for as a down to earth juvenile witch.

The campaign failed miserably! It just received support from 315 backers and managed to achieve a fraction of its goal in a month before Hart decided to walk away from the project. The campaign only received pledges of $51,605 against a goal of $2 million.

The Music Video Of Zosia Mamet On Kickstarter

Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright David Mamet’s actress daughter, Zosia Mamet, decided to request support on Kickstarter in order to raise $30,000 for the funding of a music video project. Zosia is best known as Shoshana Shapiro on the popular HBO series Girls and was looking forward to making a music video for a folk song she had written with her sister Clara. She was describing the song as a unique brand of folk via the body, percussion, banjo, and harmonies.

The funding goal set by Zosia was only $30,000 and was significantly smaller as compared to other celebrity projects but it only received the backing of 80 supporters who pledged $2783 indicating that the public wasn’t interested in funding any project for two affluent women.

The campaigns mentioned in this list should give you an indication that the potential of failure also exists on crowdfunding but entrepreneurs can rest assured they will be joining the esteemed company of celebrities, and may also receive publicity they had never expected, despite failing to reach their fundraising goals.


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