9 Tech Brands You Didn’t Know Started With Crowdfunding

Success on Kickstarter and Indiegogo has built entire companies, fueled business growth and propelled million dollar revenue streams and billion-dollar acquisitions. However, these crowdfunding success stories are rarely talked about.

This is evident in my conversations (almost daily), where people still wonder if crowdfunding is still a viable way to launch their idea.

People see “big brands” they want to be like and think: there’s no way any of those brands started off with crowdfunding; they must have done something different. 

Well, guess what? I’m here today to dispel the myth that “big brands” don’t start from crowdfunding. And yes, you too can launch a project on crowdfunding and create a thriving business.

Here are crowdfunding success stories from some of your favorite tech brands.

1. Oculus Rift

That VR system that you keep hearing about? Yes, that started on crowdfunding. What started out as a dream for Palmer Luckey became one of the biggest crowdfunding success stories of all time. All he wanted to do was bring the VR experience to passionate gamers just like himself. The VR project ended up raising $2.4+ million from 9,500 backers on Kickstarter. Beyond crowdfunding, the company was acquired by Facebook for a cool $2 billion. 

Crowdfunding: Kickstarter campaign started in 2012

Funded: $2,437,429 USD

Backers: 9,522 people

Website: https://www.oculus.com/

Link to crowdfunding page: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1523379957/oculus-rift-step-into-the-game

2. Flic

Founded by 3 Swedish entrepreneurs who craved simplicity, Flic launched to great fanfare to a hungry crowdfunding tech crowd. The company launched their hardware product based on the simple premise that managing your tech life can be as simple as pressing a button. They’ve gone on to create partnerships with brands like Domino’s and continues to grow. Flic quickly became one of the many crowdfunding success stories that are rarely talked about. They started out in the startup area at CES (the world’s largest Consumer Electronics Show), raised over $1.1M USD and have now graduated to the “growing” company section at the electronics show.

Crowdfunding: Indiegogo campaign started in 2014

Funded: $640,640 USD

Backers: 9,833 people

Website: Flic Smart Button

Link to crowdfunding page: HERE 

3. MVMT

The premise was simple: create well-made watches at affordable prices. After noticing the true need in the market, founders Jake Kassen and Kramer LaPlante went straight to work and launched MVMT on Indiegogo. During their crowdfunding run, they became the second-highest funded fashion brand on Indiegogo in 2013. By 2018, they sold over 1.5 million accessories, amassed millions in revenue and was acquired for $100M for all of their hard work. And now, MVMT is still currently one of the world’s fastest-growing watch brands and one of the most high-profile crowdfunding success stories.

Crowdfunding: Indiegogo Campaign started in 2013 and another one was launched later

Funded: $300,000 USD

Backers: 3850+ backers

Website: MVMT | Premium Watches, Sunglasses & Accessories

Link to crowdfunding page: HERE

4. Bragi 

Despite disbelief from audio experts around the world, Nikolaj Hviid created wireless headphones that does it all. With the Dash, users can do everything from listen to music to track their fitness to monitor their heart rate and more. Years after their crowdfunding campaign, the Munich-based company continues to create cutting-edge audio products and has an estimated annual revenue of $2.7M.

Crowdfunding: Kickstarter campaign started in 2014

Funded: $3,390,551 USD

Backers: 15,998 people

Website: Bragi.com – Software Suite for Truly Smart Audio Products 

Link to crowdfunding page: HERE 

5. Elevation Lab

The premise was simple: create a high-quality minimal iPhone dock. Little did Casey Hopkins know that when he went on Kickstarter in 2011, the campaign would just explode. He ended up amassing tens of thousands of backers excited about his project, which propelled him to continue to create and design other accessories. Today, the vastly popular Elevation Dock is flanked by everything from cable organizers, monitor stands, watch stands and more.

Crowdfunding: Kickstarter campaign started in 2011

Funded: $1,464,706 USD

Backers: 12,521 people

Website: ElevationLab | iPhone docks, Apple accessories, & more 

Link to crowdfunding page: HERE

6. M3D

Founders David Jones and Michael Armani realized the true power of 3D printers early on. It gave power back to consumers to create anything that they wanted or needed in the comfort of their own home. They looked at the market, realized that there was nothing truly affordable to the average consumer and set out to create one. Today, the company boasts an estimated annual revenue of $1.7M and continues to make tiny and beautifully designed 3D printers for the consumer market. 

Crowdfunding: Indiegogo campaign started in 2014

Funded: $3,401,361 USD

Backers: 11,855 people

Website: 3D Printers, 3D Printing Filaments, 3D Printer Parts 

Link to crowdfunding page: HERE 

7. WobbleWorks

After a successful Kickstarter campaign for the world’s first 3D printing pen, Max Bogue and Peter Dilworth quickly shipped out all pre-ordered units and set their sights for more. They created new product lines, expanded their footprint and added new partnerships. Four years after their crowdfunding success, the company reached $20M in revenue and successfully built a business around 3D printing pens. Today, the 3D pens are available for sale at Target, Michaels, Best Buy, Amazon, Brookstone and at retailers across the world. 

Crowdfunding: Kickstarter campaign started in 2013

Funded: $2,344,134 USD

Backers: 26,457 people

Website: 3Doodler: The World’s First and Best 3D Printing Pen 

Link to crowdfunding page: HERE 

8. Brydge 

Brydge adds a fully-functioning keyboard and speakers to any iPad, allowing users to do more with the simple tech. Starting with this simple idea of simple products that help people do more, the company has continued to add innovative products to their line. Most recently, they’ve created a clip-on keyboard for the iPad that includes a trackpad, essentially creating a Macbook from your iPad. After their successful crowdfunding campaign, they’ve amassed over $8.2M in revenue (2017) and continues to sell their tech products at more than 2,000 retail locations worldwide. 

Crowdfunding: Kickstarter campaign started in 2012

Funded: $797,979 USD

Backers: 3,266 people

Website: Brydge – Award Winning Wireless Keyboards 

Link to crowdfunding page: HERE 

9. Peloton

Peloton brings home the studio cycling experience. As an avid cycling fan and frequent studio cycler, founder John Foley knew the benefits and thrill of cycling. After frequenting places like SoulCycle and Flywheel, he also realized that most people didn’t have the time, money or access to take these studio classes. From there, he set out to create the perfect workout system – hardware and software – for the home. After their successful Kickstarter launch, Peloton continued to make inroads with fitness enthusiasts and debuted on the stock market (PTON for anyone interested) in 2019. 

Crowdfunding: Kickstarter campaign started in 2013

Funded: $307,332 USD

Backers: 297 people

Website: Peloton® | Workouts Streamed Live & On-Demand

Link to crowdfunding page: HERE 

And there you have it, 9 tech brands you didn’t know started out with a successful crowdfunding launch. 

Are You The Next In The Series Of Crowdfunding Success Stories?

Looking at the present, there’s never been a better time to start a business than now. Platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo make it possible for people to start businesses that would’ve otherwise never had the chance.

By launching your idea through crowdfunding, you’ll build an initial base of dedicated backers and raise revenue to fuel production of your idea – all without the high upfront costs of businesses in the past.

At the end of the day, if you have a good idea, a great product, and a sound marketing strategy that will allow you to reach your desired audience, you too will be able to launch a successful project and build it into a full-fledged and thriving business. 

If you want to be the next crowdfunding success story, head over to the Masterclass where I tell you the 3 secrets from all successful crowdfunding campaigns.

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