Beef in the Crowdfunding Game

Indiegogo’s ‘Scampaign’ Problem: Latest Crowdfunded Smartwatch Is Total Garbage

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Crowdfunding sites like Indiegogo and Kickstarter can be a great place to make impossible dreams come true. Some campaigns are total pipe-dreams, sure, but they at least they often have a few working test models and a real plan. Others are simply empty promises and total trash.

The latest dubious campaign is the Kreyos smartwatch, which promised a waterproof, voice-activated wearable device. As revealed by Android Police late last night, the project founders never delivered on their promise, refused refunds, and have since made off with the cash. Read More

the future is now

RocketSkates, a Roller-Blade With an Engine, Raises Almost $500K on Kickstarter

Rocketskates are motorized and balanced-based — like little Segways for your feet. (Image via Rocketskates)

Every once in a while, someone will share that obnoxiously photoshopped meme of the date in Back To The Future 2 when we’re supposed to have the flying cars and hover-boards. The truth is that our world looks much closer to Marty McFly’s 1985 than it does to the fictional 2015. But every once in a while, we get a small taste of that Jetsons-style future.

A Kickstarter to fund the first batch of motorized roller-skates, called RocketSkates, has gone well beyond their $50,000 goal to raise almost $500,000 — a milestone they’ll surely reach by the time the campaign ends in 7 days. Once the Kickstarter is finished, they’ll go into mass production, and the skates will be shipping “well before Christmas,” a company representative told Betabeat. Read More

Kickstart It

Long-Awaited Kickstarter Canned as Creators Fail to Explain How They’ll Invent Magical Color Scanning Pen

It seems to be working?(Image via Kickstarter)

Word of an up-and-coming campaign for a pen that would scan and instantly reproduce colors excited crowdfunding fans and artists alike earlier this summer.

After numerous delays, the Scribble campaign finally launched earlier this week, only to be pulled by its creators two days later after both backers and Kickstarter began raising questions. After all, it wasn’t clear exactly how the pen was taking colors from objects in the environment and changing the pen’s ink. Read More

The Equity of the Crowds

Projects on Kickstarter Four Times More Likely to Get VC Funding Than Indiegogo Campaigns

(Photo via Espen Sundve)

Crowdfunding began as a cool way for your college roommate to raise money to finally record his first album, but has quickly gone on to be a bigger part of how the tech industry does business.

CB Insights, a research analytics firm that bills itself as the “OkCupid for venture vapitalists,” has released the first study of crowdfunding’s growing role as a serious part of the tech business. The survey took a look at every crowdfunded tech hardware project on either Indiegogo or Kickstarter, which came out to 443 projects. Read More

Kickstart It

Adorable Kickstarter Needs $15K For Documentary About Skipping Stones

Ross Byars, world record holder in stone skipping, will be featured in the documentary. (Screengrab: Kickstarter)

It all started when Ryan Seitz and Daniel Skaggs were drinking beer and skipping stones in Texas this past Memorial Day, and started wondering if competitive stone skipping existed.

The pair, both directors with Highway Goats Productions, used the Internet to learn it does, indeed, exist — and is apparently really popular. Now, they’ve created a Kickstarter campaign to fund an adorable-looking documentary on what they describe as the “global phenomenon” of competitive stone skipping. Read More

The Equity of the Crowds

Indiegogo CEO Says New Crowdfunding Laws ‘Will Totally Change the World’

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Quick, who is the first name you think of when someone says crowdfunding? We bet it’s Kickstarter. That name has become synonymous with using the crowd to fund projects that would otherwise never see the light of day. But the truth is, crowdfunding really owes its roots to Indiegogo.

They may not have the same notoriety, but Indiegogo CEO and cofounder Slava Rubin is having a great year. They’ve rebranded the site, raised a $40 million Series B, and as of this morning, launched their new mobile app. Read More

hey haters

Solar Roadways Founders Strike Back At ‘Haters’ in the News Media

Solar Roadways wants to turn the nation into Tron-like vision of environmental sustainability. (Photo via Solar Roadways)

Since Solar Roadways reached full funding, many news outlets — ourselves included — have thrown serious shade at the idea that the country might eventually be covered with light-up solar panels.

The founders of Solar Roadways, Scott and Julie Brusaw, have responded to the criticism with a counter-argument/rant on the Solar Roadways site which they’ve titled “Clearing the Freakin’ Air.” Read More

Freshly Minted

Freshly Minted: Solar Roadways Will Almost Definitely Not Happen

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Welcome to Freshly Minted, where we examine an overlooked deal or funding announcement in tech from the past week, and tell you what you need to know, and why it matters.

The deal: Solar Roadways, an experimental project to replace every road in the country with light-up solar panels, has raised $1.6 million in funding in the past six weeks.

Solar Roadways has clearly captured the imagination of its backer community, as well as a slew of mainstream media coverage. Since April 21, the crowdfunding campaign has raised $1.6 million to start manufacturing and testing the panels at a larger scale, and has set an Indigogo record for the most individual backers on a single project, at over 35,000.

It’s also impractical, expensive and, as the editors of Equities put it, “really silly.” While the project might make its backers feel like they’re helping contribute to a greener society, there’s no way Read More