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How to kickstart your Kickstarter project

Crowd-funding platform Kickstarter is going from strength to strength; to date it has raised over $1 billion for a variety of films, books, gadgets and apps. But the truth remains that Kickstarter projects only have a 44% success rate. A new start-up, Prefundia, aims to give that figure a boost, by creating buzz around projects before the launch of a crowd-funding campaign.

Prefundia provides entrepreneurs a space to showcase their idea to prospective supporters in much the same way that they would on a Kickstarter or Indiegogo page, minus the request for donations. According to co-founder Jeff Schwarting, Prefundia is “specifically designed to help Kickstarter projects acquire a mass following, so when they do launch there, they can come in with momentum and rake it in on the first day.”

This “momentum” is backed up by some pretty impressive statistics. Over a thousand campaigns have used Prefundia since it launched in summer 2013, and Schwarting claims that projects which begin on the platform have a 689% greater success rate than those which go straight to Kickstarter, Indiegogo or other crowd-funding sites.

Part of Prefundia’s value-add, he believes, is that user comments can actually drive changes and improvements in a concept before it reaches the funding stage, meaning the final product has a much better chance of wowing potential investors: “From the research we’ve done on projects that do well, success is guaranteed when they spend a lot of time in the pre-marketing phase, gathering information and emails.”

The Prefundia team are currently working on a benchmarking tool which will enable developers and designers to gain a clearer idea of things like market size, conversion rates and other performance metrics. Schwarting is keen to open the platform up to the fast-paced app development world, where entrepreneurs will be able to rapidly test and pilot new ideas.

“The model just works,” he told Mashable. “People who build a community first and launch second see much greater success than those who launch first and try to build a community second.”

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