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Kickstarter to launch in the UK on October 31

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Kickstarter, the crowd-source funding website that has helped raise millions of dollars for new projects, is to launch in the UK at the end of this month.

Previously only available to North American projects, the services has generating some huge sums for new companies, including the record of $10 million (£6,433,000) for the Pebble smartwatch.

However, Kickstarter announced in July that it was expanding to Great Britain, and has now confirmed that Kickstarter UK will go live on October 31.

Double Fine Adventure


British entrepreneurs and developers can now start building their projects on Kickstarter by clicking on the "Start a new project" button on its website, and then selecting the UK as their country.

When Kickstarter is ready for projects to launch on October 31, it will send out emails letting people know that they can hit the launch button and ask for pledges.

The online platform works by allowing entrepreneurs, established or not, to post a pitch for their idea on Kickstarter and then make an impassioned plea for donations from the community.

People can pledge as much as they want, including amounts totalling up to $10,000 (£6,433), depending on how much they believe in the idea.

Instead of an equity share as in traditional investment, they are offered a reward on a sliding scale depending on their pledge, including typically some really exclusive items for the larger donations.

Alongside the Pebble watch, other US projects that have had huge success using Kickstarter include games studio Double Fine, which raised $3.45m for its Double Fine Adventure point-and-click game.

Double Fine started with a target of just $400,000 from the allotted 30-day funding drive, but exceeded that goal in only nine hours. Double Fine Adventure then passed $1m in 24 hours, only the second Kickstarter project to do so at the time.

Last year users pledged $100m to projects on Kickstarter and by May this year, that amount had increased to $250m. Alongside fundraising, Kickstarter has also expanded its business model to include design and technology support services.

> Kickstarter: The future of games funding?
> Wasteland 2 breaks the $2m Kickstarter barrier

The mechanics for the UK Kickstarter are exactly the same as for the US. However, backers of UK projects will enter their payment information directly through Kickstarter, as the site was unable to complete a deal with Amazon Payments, which it uses in the US.

Just like in the US, Kickstarter will make money by charging a 5% fee to successfully funded projects (unsuccessful ones won't be charged anything). Pledges of less than £10 will be charged at 5% + 5p, while pledges of £10 or greater incur 3% plus 20p.

Creators are now able to add international shipping costs to their pledges, or limit rewards to just domestic backers if they don't want the cost of sending rewards to overseas backers.

In a blog post, Kickstarter said: "We're really excited! This is the product of months of work by our team, and we want to thank them for their hard work.

"Thanks as well to all the UK creators who have patiently waited for this day. We can't wait to start backing your projects."

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