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November 02, 2012

Kickstarter launches in the UK

Kickstarter, the US-based crowd-funding website established in 2009, has launched in the UK. It enables users to attract funding by sharing project proposals with a large community of potential investors.

Over $350m has already been pledged to support more than 30,000 creative projects on the Kickstarter website in the USA.

Entrepreneurs in the UK can now launch their projects on Kickstarter by clicking on the "Start a new project" button and selecting the UK as their country. Projects must be within a creative sector such as art, music or theatre.

There is no UK-specific website – instead, projects will be listed alongside all the other Kickstarter projects. And backers can support UK-based projects from anywhere in the world. All UK projects will be listed in pounds sterling.

The mechanics of Kickstarter remain the same as the US model, including all-or-nothing funding. However, backers of UK projects enter their payment information directly on Kickstarter rather than through Amazon Payments. As in the US, Kickstarter will charge a 5% fee to successfully-funded UK projects and no fee to unsuccessfully-funded projects.

Kickstarter is one of several crowd-funding websites in the UK. Another crowd-funding website, Crowdcube, has raised £4.25 million for 29 deals in the past 18 months. Luke Lang, co-founder of Crowdcube, said: "It's exciting times for the UK crowd-funding industry. The buzz created by the much-anticipated launch of Kickstarter in the UK will raise awareness of crowd-funding."

Nicole Anderson-Mort, business development director of Sage UK and Ireland, said: "Kickstarter's entry into the UK market, and the opening up of an accessible alternative source of finance, is good news for entrepreneurs and small businesses who still struggle to secure backing from banks. Those entrepreneurs that can effectively sell the concept of their business to the widest audience possible will have the best chance of success."