Kickstarter to help fund UK projects later this year

the onion rips kickstarter a new one video feature largeEntrepreneurs in the UK will soon be able to fund their wildest dreams using Kickstarter, as the crowd-sourcing website has announced it’ll be opening there later this year.

Since it began in 2009, Kickstarter has only allowed those with a US address, social security number and passport to start a project; although anyone, regardless of location, could help fund one.

The announcement came from the company’s Twitter account, where an excitable tweet said “People in the UK will be able to launch projects on Kickstarter starting this autumn! More info soon!”

Kickstarter has been a considerable success, having funded more than 20,000 projects, many of which have attracted a huge amount of press coverage, especially when they smash their targets or top $1 million.

As with many products these days, it helps if they’re associated with something made by Apple, as proven by several of the top-earning projects over the past months.

Crowd-sourcing platforms have exploded in popularity in the States recently, and eConsultancy.com reports that there are now 191 different websites offering such a service, nearly half of the 530 platforms around the world.

Not the only game in town

Kickstarter is the big name in crowd-funding though, and the cache of having a project on the site will be very attractive to UK entrepreneurs. However it’s not the only game in town, and it’ll be up against more than 40 other sites offering a similar service in the UK, and at least another 100 across Europe.

These smaller, general crowd-funding sites may find it difficult to compete, as the majority of publicized success stories usually come from Kickstarter. The Pebble watch is one of the best known, thanks to its $10 million final total, and cult musician Amanda Palmer gained a lot of press after she reached her $100,000 target in just six hours, eventually going on to reach $1 million.

Palmer’s story is particularly interesting because she decided not to sign with a record label, and instead asked her fans to donate towards her new album. She called crowd-funding “the future of music.”

To combat Kickstarter’s expansion into the UK, other crowd-funding sites may chose to focus on certain niches, instead of trying to compete for general interest projects. It’s not just tech, music, movies and games being funded either — as sites such as VoiceBunny proves, as it crowd sources voice talent for recording companies — so no subject is apparently too small.

An exact launch date for Kickstarter UK has yet to be announced.