man drawing crowdfunding images in notebook
From television shows and card games to virtual reality headsets, crowdfunding can be a lucrative way to get business ideas off the ground, and into the interests of many. — Getty Images/AndreyPopov

Crowdfunding on sites like Kickstarter or Indiegogo can be a lucrative way to get the money you need to grow your business. Analysis of successful crowdfunding campaigns shows the average campaign raises around $7,000.

[Read more: How to Raise Business Capital With Crowdfunding]

Of course, some crowdfunding campaigns go viral, striking gold in the process. Here are nine wildly successful companies and products that started out on a crowdfunding site.


Oculus, the massively popular virtual reality headset, was purchased by Facebook for $2 billion in 2014. But, before that, the company launched on Kickstarter seeking $250,000 to develop the Oculus Rift headset. Within four hours, the campaign reached its target; the campaign eventually raised $2.4 million.


Glowforge broke Pebble’s crowdfunding record, raising $27.9 million in one month. This high-tech, 3D laser printer lets people use everything from leather to plastic to make products. Not only is the product neat, but the company offered it at a significant discount during its crowdfunding campaign. Then, in 2018, the company raised another $10 million from other investors.

[Read more: Does Your Business Need Funding? Do These 5 Things First]


Flow Hive is a beehive box for your home that makes it easy to extract honey from the hive without disturbing the bees. In 2015, Flow Hive started a campaign on Indiegogo seeking $70,000 to bring their product to market. The page went viral: Flow Hive raised $250,000 on pre-orders and broke a number of Indiegogo’s records, becoming the fastest campaign to reach $2 million. Eventually, the product raised over $13 million.

Exploding Kittens

Exploding Kittens bills itself as “a game for people who are terrible at charades.” The game became the most-backed Kickstarter of all time in 2015, with more than 219,380 backers. A pledge of $20 or more got backers a copy of the card game, which features magical enchiladas, and murderous kittens. The game basically markets itself; eventually, Exploding Kittens went on to raise over $8 million.

[Read our full story on Exploding Kittens’ crowdfunding success here.]

Analysis of successful crowdfunding campaigns shows the average campaign raises around $7,000.

Veronica Mars

Successful crowdfunding campaigns aren’t always cutting-edge products. Sometimes, fans get excited enough to re-launch their favorite nostalgia project. Television show “Veronica Mars” was brought back to life seven years after going off the air when fans raised over $5 million to make a “Veronica Mars” movie. The movie opened in 2014 and grossed $3.4 million worldwide.


A boon for forgetful people everywhere, Tile is a Bluetooth-connected device that helps you find misplaced items. The toggle, which can be strapped to a keyring or attached to a phone case, connects with the app to send a beacon for your hidden item. The Kickstarter was wildly successful, reaching the $200,000 fundraising goal within 24 hours of launching the page. In the end, Tile raised more than $2.5 million.

The Coolest Cooler

The Coolest Cooler fundraiser is both a success story and a cautionary tale. The cooler, which features an ice-crushing blender, a Bluetooth speaker, a USB charging port and more, raised $13 million on their Kickstarter campaign. But demand far outpaced the company’s capacity to deliver. The company needed to raise an additional $15 million, part of which was needed to fulfill orders from the crowdfunding effort.


BauBax is a versatile, all-in-one travel jacket that had two successful back-to-back crowdfunding campaigns. The first, on Kickstarter, raised $9.2 million; the company followed that with a $2.3 million funding round through Indiegogo. Like the Coolest Cooler, they also encountered challenges when demand outstripped their production capacity.

Fidget Cube

This tiny desk toy, described as a “baby toy for adults,” raised $6.4 million on Kickstarter. The product has spurred dozens of knock-offs due to its simple design, yet continues to remain popular among those hyper-energetic adults relegated to an office working environment.

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