9 Million Dollar Businesses Launched with Crowdfunding

PopSockets, the button we attach to the back of our phone for anything from propping the phone up, to winding our earbud cords to simply satisfying our fidgeting needs began with a crowdfunding campaign.

In 2010, inventor David Barnett launched his business with $18,000 funded by more than 500 investors and today, the company has a net worth of $200 million.

Crowdfunding has been a valuable process in the entrepreneur’s world for over ten years. Not only do you receive immediate feedback, a level of interest and free marketing by word of mouth, most importantly, the funding is now available to launch your business and the new invention you’ve been dreaming about for years.

The potential for not only the inventor but the investor is exploding in recent years. Gone are the days of requiring a bank loan and big-name executives approving your idea. Experts suggest in the future, the middle man or corporation previously investing and securing your small business success will be a thing of the past as individual investors take over the position of supporting (and profiting) from a simple idea that skyrockets to success.

These lucky inventor’s have all used crowdfunding to see their dreams become a reality.

9 Oculus VR

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At 20 years old, Palmer Luckey launched a crowdfunding campaign in 2012 for the Oculus Rift, a virtual reality gaming device. Luckey raised $2.4 million from nearly 10,000 investors. Just two years later, Facebook purchased Oculus VR for 2 billion, making Luckey and his success one for the history books.

8 Allbirds

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Tim Brown and Joseph Zwillinger created a wool shoe, marketed as “the most convenient and comfortable footwear ever,” according to The Crowdfunding Formula. The shoe had no logo, was unisex and only came in one athletic style, yet the public said they approved. Nearly 1,000 people funded Allbirds with $119,196 in 2014 and is valued at more than $1.4 billion today.

7 Exploding Kittens

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Elan Lee, Shane Small and Matthew Inman got together and almost in a joking manner, created a simple and fun game they could play on the weekends. When they posted the idea on crowdfunding site, Kickstarter, hoping to raise $10,000 the men were shocked when they saw more than $8 million had been invested. With nearly 5 million decks of cards printed, an app version of the game and offers from toy companies and Hollywood studios, the trio continues to brainstorm and create new games for fans.

6 Peak Design

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Over and over, designer Peter Dering created a product, placed it on a crowdfunding site and simply asked others for feedback. Each time, the San-Francisco based company, offering messenger bags and other products would receive rave reviews and ultimately, $7.1 million over five separate campaigns. Dering has said he expects to double or even triple profit annually as sales and interest continues to grow according to Forbes.

5 Flow

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The beehive apparatus making it easier to harvest honey without disturbing the bees work was launched on Indiegogo and asked $70,000 to bring their dream to fruition. Surprisingly, the page went viral and according to US Chamber, the bee company brought in $250,000 and broke the crowdfunding site’s previous records. The Flow Hive eventually raised over $13 million.

4 Veronica Mars

Crowdfunding can be used for a variety of things, not just new inventions and products. Fans of the hit television show “Veronica Mars” launched a campaign to bring a movie to the big screen. They succeeded in raising more than $5 million and in 2014, the popular movie grossed $3.4 million.

3 Fidget Cube

No one could have predicted the toy made for adults to play could have raised $6.4 million by 155,000 backers in a crowdfunding campaign. However, the product created by Matthew and Mark McLahan of Antsy Labs became so popular, dozens of other companies began making variations for children with special needs, teens that want something to do when they’re bored and adults with stressful jobs.

2 MVMT watches

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Jake Kassan and Kramer LaPlante were looking to create a watch that had some of the same looks and features of the watches seen on the wrists of the ultra-rich, but for those with a college budget. The two college dropouts launched one Indiegogo campaign and a second a few years later, raising $300,000 from nearly 4,000 backers. In four years’ time, the young twenty-somethings had a company worth more than $100 million. Interestingly enough, their initial pitch for the watch line was rejected twice by Kickstarter before the pair found success.

1 Brooklinen

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A couple on vacation and a chance encounter with some fancy hotel sheets, led Rich and Vicki Fulop to investigate what makes bed sheets better or worse to sleep on and according to them, created the perfect set. In 2013, the Fulop’s launched a crowdfunding campaign and raised $237,000 with just under 2,000 backers. The company is now worth over $48 million.

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Sources: US Chamber, The Crowdfunding Formula, Forbes

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