More than 5 million people have backed a Kickstarter project

Crowd-funding giant Kickstarter unveiled some of its latest stats on Tuesday, showing just how quickly the company’s community is growing. More than 5 million people have now backed a Kickstarter project, and almost a third of those people are repeat backers (people who give money to more than one project).

Kickstarter’s backers have successfully funded over 50,000 projects, and the project success rate is around 44 percent (or a little under half). Even more eye-opening, the total amount of money that has been pledged to projects has now hit $849 million, and Kickstarter estimates that by early next year — around their 5th birthday — that amount will cross a billion dollars.

Now that is a big economy. The crowd-funding ecosystem is large and becoming a real source of funding for the arts, for devices, for movies and games, and for design. Most of the projects make up a tiny fraction of the overall funding — 64 percent of projects raised between $1K and $10K, while a small amount (861 projects) raised more than $100K. An even smaller amount (50 projects) raised more than $1 million.

I’ll be discussing the role that crowd-funding plays when it comes to designing new hardware and devices at our Roadmap conference on November 5 and 6 in San Francisco. I’ll be interviewing Indiegogo’s founder and chief customer officer Danae Ringelmann, and Mladen Barbaric, founder and CEO of Pearl Studios — Barbaric was the lead designer on Misfit Wearable’s Shine device, which raised $846K on Indiegogo. At last year’s Roadmap we interviewed Kickstarter co-founder Perry Chen.

RoadMap 2013