With the most recently published statistics available in 2019, Kickstarter has raised $4,408,258,903 and fully funded 166,437 projects. So we decided to give this post a fresh update because there have been some new projects in the top ranks.

Of all these projects one of them is still active and new backers are joining every day. If you’re interested we wrote a huge post about using Kickstarter to launch new products you want to invent.

But breaking down this list we can see that 7 of 20 projects are in Technology but 5 of those 5 are in wearables. So it’s safe to say when it comes to kickstarter fame people love their technology.  8 of the top 20 projects are in the Game category but 6 of those 8 are card games.

It’s fun to see the trends change over time and see some of the older dominant players get knocked out with fresh competition. So let’s just get right into it!

Kickstarter Backstory– The Origins

Kickstarter, pioneer of the crowdfunding model, was launched on April 28, 2009 by Perry Chen, Yancey Strickler and Charles Adler. Sites like Kickstarter allow for people without funding to take a good idea and generate the funding they need to turn it into a finished product. It has served as the launchpad of several successful businesses, especially technology based ones.

Here are the Top 20 Most Funded Kickstarter Projects of All Time

#1 (Winner!) Pebble Time – $20,338,986

Pebble Time Awesome Smartwatch No Compromises

Project Overview:

Creator: Pebble Technology
Headquarters: California, USA
Backers: 78,471
Goal: $500,000
Amount Raised: $20,338,986

The biggest kickstarter of all time hit the market at the perfect time. Technology was improving quickly and wearables were becoming visually appealing. This was the second kickstarter Pebble Technologies ran which beat their original kickstarter from 2012 by over $10 Million dollars. At this point in 2015 it looked like Pebble Technology was going to run away with the smartwatch market. 2 years later after racking up millions in debt, Pebble was purchased by Fitbit for $23 Million.

#2 COOLEST COOLER – $13,285,226

COOLEST COOLER 21st Century Cooler that s Actually Cooler

Project Overview:

Creator: Ryan Grepper

Headquarters: Oregon, USA
Backers: 62,642 backers
Goal: $50,000

Amount Raised: $13,285,226

One of the few companies on this list that is still in business! Coolest Cooler turned the second most funded kickstarter project into a successful business. With the improvement in technology the cooler is currently selling for $187.99 after an original price of $249.99. But if you want ALL the bells and whistles like a built in blender, LED Lid Light and Battery USB Charger then the cooler will run you $299.99. This cooler is probably the best product on this list because it’s made with parties in mind. It will keep your drink cold and the waterproof bluetooth speaker will keep everyone dancing.

#3 Pebble 2 – $12,779,843

Pebble 2 Time 2 All New Pebble Core

Project Overview:

Creator: Pebble Technology
Headquarters: California, USA
Backers: 66,673
Goal: $1,000,000

Amount Raised: $12,779,843

This was Pebble Technology’s final kickstarter project before being purchased by Fitbit. Of the top 25 Kick starter projects of all time Pebble Technology is the only project to make the list more than once and they made it 3 times! Their biggest problem was not the technology or the demand, it was the infrastructure. At this point in 2017 they were competing against Apple, Samsung, Garmin, TomTom and a flooded smartwatch market. Even though Pebble was first to market, once bigger companies found there was demand they all had the money to execute faster and burn through cash faster.

#4 Kingdom Death: Monster 1.5 – $12,393,139

Kingdom Death Monster 1.5

Project Overview:

Creator: Kingdom Death
Headquarters: New York, USA

Backers: 19,264
Goal: $100,000

Amount Raised: $12,393,139

The creator of Kingdom Death: Monster 1.5, Adam Poots  is not a stranger to crowdfunding. In 2009 he launched a kickstarter to build a figurine called The Foresaker. It raised  $1,741 by 38 backers. Then his second attempt at crowdfunding was for the iPhone app version of Kingdom Death in 2009. According to Adam Poots it flopped but still raised $2,049,721 from more than 5,410 backers.

The original game was launched on Kickstarter in 2015 but the upgraded version is available for purchase now. When the project first launched it held the record for second most funded game on kickstarter behind exploding kittens which we’ll mention later. Since then it has beaten exploding kittens by more than $4 million dollars.

#5 Travel Tripod by Peak Design – $12,143,435

Travel Tripod by Peak Design

Project Overview:

Creator: Peak Design
Headquarters: California, USA

Backers: 19,077
Goal: $500,000

Amount Raised: $12,143,435

#6 Critical Role: The Legend of Vox Machina Animated Special – $11,385,449

Critical Role The Legend of Vox Machina Animated Special

Project Overview:

Creator: Critical Role
Headquarters: California, USA

Backers: 88,887
Goal: $750,000

Amount Raised: $11,385,449

What the heck is Critical Role you ask? Well according to their Kickstarter campaign critical role is a weekly live streamed table top role playing game that features well known voice actors. Their original series concluded in 2017 and reached 115 episodes and centers around a storyline about a group of adventurers known as Vox Machina.

The livestream was so successful they decided to turn their original story into an animated series and that’s where this Kickstarter project took off. With a hugely loyal fan base Critical Role exceeded their goal by over $10 Million dollars and launched this project to the 5th most funded Kickstarter project ever. Look for the animated series to be released in 2020.

#7 Pebble: E-Paper Watch for iPhone and Android – $10,266,845

Pebble E Paper Watch for iPhone and Android

Project Overview:

Creator: Pebble Technology
Headquarters: California, USA

Backers: 68,929
Goal: $100,000

Amount Raised: $10,266,845

Back in 2012 this was THE MOST funded Kickstarter project in history. A lot can change in 7 years as it drops down to #6. (Update) Since then in 2017 Fitbit Purchased Pebble Technology for $23 Million and laid off over 60% of the employees.

You can argue that the smartwatch market the way we know it today was launched because of Pebble. The Pebble E-Watch was the watch built for the 21st century. This watch is easy to customize with apps such as heart rate monitoring, exercise tracking, and more. Pebble connected with smartphones using Bluetooth, and alerts you to incoming calls, emails and text messages.

Once Pebble proved the concept and found an audience all the major technology companies jumped in. After the successful Kickstarter in 2012 Apple came out with their smartwatch 1 year later. Pebble couldn’t compete with Apple and sales declined. It’s probably where Apple got the idea for the iWatch from…

#8 The World’s Best Travel Jacket – $9,192,055

The World s Best Travel Jacket with 15 Features

Project Overview:

Creator: BAUBAX LLC
Headquarters: Chicago, USA

Backers: 44,949
Goal: $20,000

Amount Raised: $9,192,055

Still in 2019 the BauBax jacket is the most funded clothing project ever on Kickstarter. There isn’t much this jacket can’t do and one of it’s most amazing features is the built in neck pillow. Not to be outdone by their success in 2015, the new 2.0 version of the jacket has over 20+ features and comes in different styles from sleeveless vest, windbreaker, sweatshirt and finally the signature bomber jacket. The 2.0 version even comes with straps specifically for your Apple airpods. The prices have increased since 2016 and can range from $157 to $199.

Again, not to be outdone by creating the most funded jacket. Currently on Indegogo, Baubax has launched the most funded pair of pants in crowdfunding history. They have an active crowdfunding campaign for the best pair of travel pants ever made (according to them). You can check it out here.

#9 Exploding Kittens – $8,782,571

Exploding Kittens Kickstarter

Project Overview:

Creator: Exploding Kittens
Headquarters: California, USA

Backers: 219,382
Goal: $10,000

Amount Raised: $8,782,571

Exploding kittens has dropped from #7 to #8 in 3 years so not too bad while other projects have gotten the boot off this list. Honestly, the game looks like a fun cross between Uno and Cards Against Humanity. You can buy the main set of cards and a ton of expansion decks that look incredibly funny. You can buy the cards on Amazon but I would recommend checking out the website first to see everything they have to offer. You might find yourself wanting to buy a party pack, plush toy and cool lego set. You can tell these guys are trying to build a long lasting brand.

The premise of the game is simple, you draw cards until you draw the exploding kitten card so the game gets more exciting as you play. However there are cards in the deck, like Uno where you can change the flow of the game and make it difficult for everyone else. Fun game to check out.

#10 OUYA: A New Kind of Video Game Console – $8,596,474

OUYA A New Kind of Video Game Console

Project Overview:

Creator: OUYA
Headquarters: California, USA

Backers: 63,416
Goal: $950,000

Amount Raised: $8,596,474

OUYA was the second most funded project on Kickstarter back in 2012 and that was the most success it ever saw. Now it’s dropped down to #9 and most people don’t even know it existed.

(Update) The company was split up and its software assets sold off in 2015 to Razer Inc. In June 2019 Razer officially shut down OUYA’s hardware and stopped all support to the console. According to Tech Crunch OUYA never found a loyal audience and couldn’t find talented developers to work on the software.

OUYA was a $99 game console for the TV, powered by Android.  All the games on it were free to try. Developers had access to OUYA’s open design so they can produce their games for the living room, taking advantage of everything the TV has to offer.

#11 Snapmaker 2.0 Modular 3-in-1 3D Printer – $7,850,866

Snapmaker 2.0 Modular 3 in1 3D Printers

Project Overview:

Creator: Snapmaker
Headquarters: Delaware, USA

Backers: 7,388
Goal: $100,000

Amount Raised: $7,850,866

From their humble Kickstarter beginnings in 2017 where snapmaker raised $2.2 Million and became the 3rd most funded kickstarter project in the 3D printing space. Snapmaker is now the 11th most funded Kickstarter of all time.

Snapmaker 2.0 creates modular 3D printing technology that also doubles as a CNC Lathe and triples as a laser engraver. Normally these are 3 separate and expensive machines that are limited to big machine shops. What makes this machine different is that you can work with most materials available in machine shops metals, plastic, wood and acrylic on every machine controlled by one software. It takes all the headaches associated with these machines and standardized it for simple projects which opens the market to brand new users.

The most expensive model is selling on Snapmaker’s website for $1,199. It’s selling at a price point that most amateur builders would be happy to afford.

#12 The 7th Continent – $7,072,757

The 7th Continent What Goes Up Must Come Down

Project Overview:

Creator: Serious Poulp
Headquarters: Paris, France

Backers: 43,733
Goal: $40,000

Amount Raised: $7,072,757

The first international kickstarter project to make the list comes to us from France. The 7th Continent is an adventure card game where you’re the hero. Up to 4 players can play and what this project was raising money for was an expansion card set called ‘What Goes Up, Must Come Down” where you can play in 2 scenarios or “curses” as the hero and try to make it through.

The creators explain in their kickstarter that the only way to get the game is to support them on Kickstarter because since the game is so expensive to make there’s no way to bring it into stores. Either way, The 7th Continent seems to have an extremely loyal worldwide audience.

#13 The Everyday Backpack, Tote, and Sling – $6,565,782

The Everyday Backpack Tote and Sling

Project Overview:

Creator: Peak Design
Headquarters: California, USA

Backers: 26,359
Goal: $500,000

Amount Raised: $6,565,782

You can argue that photography people are the biggest early adopters of any other niche. That’s why there are two photography products on this list. Any product that makes their lives easier and more convenient is something photographers are willing to try. 2 years ago this kickstarter project was the 10th most funded Kickstarter project of all time but now it’s down to lucky number 13.  It’s no surprise that the new #10 is from the same company!

A bag made for photographers desperately looking for a new alternative to carry all of their equipment this bag was a life saver. Peak Design has become a powerhouse in the photography niche and they’ve mastered the crowdfunding platform. You can tell they’re passionate about what they do and want to release the best products on the market.

#14 Fidget Cube: A Vinyl Desk Toy – $6,465,690

Fidget Cube A Vinyl Desk Toy

Project Overview:

Creator: Matthew and Mark McLachlan
Headquarters: Colorado, USA

Backers: 154,926

Goal: $15,000

Amount Raised: $6,465,690

The story of fidget cube is one for the ages. The creators of the Fidget Cube is a company called Antsy Labs and they destroyed their goal by 43,000%. I wish I was making that number up but it’s true we did the math! The truth is that they weren’t prepared for the demand their idea was creating.

The goal was to get the products manufactured and sent to backers by Christmas of 2016 and unfortunately the guys ran into trouble with the factory in China. According to Polygon Magazine this delay caused them to message all of their 154,926 backers and explain to them their orders would not be shipped by Christmas.

Antsy Labs was not willing to pay their Chinese manufacturer for the defective product. So the factory in China was stuck with hundreds of thousands of defective products and no buyer. Unfortunately the factory decided to flood the market with slightly defective knockoff fidget cubes before Antsy Labs was able to finish their final product. Antsy Labs screwed up.

Eventually Antsy Labs finished their products and got their product in the hands of their backers but not without suffering some headaches first. Antsy Labs has a whole line of products now and you can get the fidget cubes in different styles, colors and configurations.

#15 Shenmue 3 – $6,333,295

Shenmue 3 Kickstarter Project

Project Overview:

Creator: Ys Net
Headquarters: Tokyo, Japan

Backers: 69,320
Goal: $2,000,000

Amount Raised: $6,333,295

14 years after releasing Shenmue 2 the creators of the game decided to launch a Kickstarter campaign to fund the follow-up game. Shenmue was one of the first video games created that used the “open world” genre where players could travel in any direction and chose their own journey. It’s a completely immersive coming of age story where the main character Ryo Hazuki travels from Japan to China looking to Avenge his farther. Along the way he makes friends, runs into trouble and more importantly completes his Kung-Fu training.

#16 Tainted Grail: The Fall of Avalon – $4,940,030

Tainted Grail The Fall of Avalon

Project Overview:

Creator: Awaken Realms
Headquarters: Wroclaw, Poland

Backers: 41,939
Goal: $40,000

Amount Raised: $4,940,030

On their Kickstarter project the creators of the game refer to it as a dark re-imagination of Arthurian legends. It’s an adventure board game made for 1 to 4 people. A lot of thought went into this game especially since one of the designers Krzysztof Piskorski is a well known Polish fantasy writer.

#17 Pono Music – $6,225,354

Pono Music Where Your Soul Rediscovers Music

Project Overview:

Creator: The PonoMusic Team
Headquarters: California, USA

Backers: 18,220
Goal: $800,000

Amount Raised: $6,225,354

Back in 2013 when this Kickstarter was first launched I’m sure there was a desire to have a more immersive listening experience when it came to music. It’s the same reason people still listen to records, they want a rich sound to their music. Fast forward to 2019 and Pono is no longer in business and their website doesn’t even exist anymore. This was one of those projects that would have been cool if it turned into a thriving business but with creator Neil Young behind the project as busy as he is, it was probably more work than he had time for. There’s a market for people that want to listen to studio quality audio recordings but it’s a niche enthusiast market in 2019.

#18 Bring Back Mystery Science Theater 3000 – $5,764,229

Bring Back Mystery Science Theater 3000

Project Overview:

Creator: Joel Hodgson
Headquarters: Minnesota, USA

Backers: 48,270
Goal: $2,000,000

Amount Raised: $5,764,229

A show that lasted from 1988 to 1999 and reached 197 was cancelled in 1999. Beloved by millions of people there was no way until the crowdfunding era to bring something like this back. It was the perfect storm of circumstances. Mystery Science Theater 3000 was able to raise enough money for a whole new 14 episode season (season 11) and then was picked up by Netflix for a six episode season (Season 12).

All in all it’s an incredible story about a huge fan base funding their own television program. The show is in limbo right now and no one knows if it will be picked up by Netflix for a new season. No matter what happens this goes to show that if a group of creators want to get together and bring something back it’s possible for fans to fund it. In the meantime the two new seasons, 20 episodes total, are on Netflix to watch.

#19 The Veronica Mars Movie Project – $5,702,153

The Veronica Mars Movie Project Kickstarter

Project Overview:

Creator: Rob Thomas
Headquarters: California, USA

Backers: 91,585

Goal: $2,000,000

Amount Raised: $5,702,153

In 2014 this project shattered most of Kickstarter’s records:

Let’s review our accomplishments for a moment, shall we?

  • Fastest project to reach $1 million.
  • Fastest project to reach $2 million.
  • All-time highest-funded project in FILM category.
  • Third highest-funded project in Kickstarter history.
  • Most project backers of any project in Kickstarter history.

Now in 2019 it’s the 19th biggest project in Kickstarter history. Not too bad! The movie premiered at South by Southwest in 2014 and grossed $3.5 million worldwide. On July 26th 2019, 12 years after the final season of Veronica Mars season 4 will be released on Hulu.

#20 Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night – $5,545,991

Bloodstained Ritual of the Night

Project Overview:

Creator: Koji Igarashi
Headquarters: Tokyo, Japan

Backers: 64,867
Goal: $500,000

Amount Raised: $5,545,991

This project is one of only 2 console games to make the Most Funded Kickstarter list. Backers were able to receive a copy of the game in whichever platform they chose to play on. Which included: Steam (PC/Mac/Linux), GOG.com (PC/Mac/Linux), XBOX One, Playstation 4, Wii U, and PS Vita.

Wrapping This Up

Looking at this list really gets my mind thinking about what’s possible to create. There isn’t one specific thing that people in Kickstarter are looking for.  Backers want something awesome that’s unique and fulfills a desire. The best projects are the ones that make people wonder why it never existed before.

If you’re interested in launching a new project on Kickstarter make sure to email us [email protected](dot)com because we have a partner, Morpho Manufacturing that specializes in launching Kickstarter projects.

Do you have any questions or want to continue the conversation? Comment below.

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Author

Avatar for Will Mitchell
Will Mitchell

Will Mitchell is a serial entrepreneur and Founder of StartupBros. You can learn more about him at the Startupbros about page. If you have any questions or comments for him, just send an email or leave a comment!

  • Avatar for Isaiah Coe Isaiah Coe says:

    Didn’t know Oculus Rift and the 3d prineter started on Kickstarter. Amazing how things can be started now a days. Won’t need big investors to get something started!

    • Avatar for Kyle Eschenroeder Kyle Eschenroeder says:

      Yes, sir! Start now!

    • Avatar for Will Mitchell Will Mitchell says:

      I didn’t, but that’s awesome. 3d Printers will eventually change the world once they become cheap and efficient enough. It seems Kickstarter has solidified their place in the history books 🙂

  • Bros, nice collection, when are your names going to hit that list?

  • Avatar for Tristan Tristan says:

    Kinda forgot Star Citizen, which raised over $2 million on its kickstarter, and has continued to raise nearly $40 million via crowdfunding on its own site since.

    • Hey Tristan, Star Citizen wouldn’t even make the top 25 list in 2019 anymore! Crazy how raising $2 million is not significant anymore but $40 million on their own website is insane.

  • Avatar for Shannon Jacobs Shannon Jacobs says:

    Such articles need to include dates, since this kind of information changes quite rapidly. Can only guess that as of early 2015 it must be at least two years out of date… What I was really looking for was data on how successful or unsuccessful these projects have been, not in terms of raising money, but in terms of accomplishing something significant…