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Kickstarter Pledges Topped $480 Million in 2013

Kickstarter, the online crowdfunding company for creative and commercial projects, has released a year-in-review for 2013: The website raised more than $480 million in pledges from 3 million backers.

That's almost $1,315,520 pledged daily, or $913 every minute. Nearly 20,000 projects were successfully funded over 2013. That's a sharp increase from 2012, which saw 18,109 projects successfully funded by roughly 2.2 million people pledging around $320 million, Kickstarter said.

The crowdfunding platform hasn't always proved to be quite as revolutionary as some of its most ardent believers think it to be.

The 2013 report highlighted several Kickstarter successes from 2012 that came to market in 2013. The list includes the first version of the Pebble smart watch (which raised $10.3 million on Kickstarter in 2012), the Android-powered video game console Ouya ($8.6 million), the virtual reality gaming device Oculus Rift ($2.4 million) and the construction toy GoldieBlox ($286,000).

These projects were all "successful" in that they surpassed their funding goals on Kickstarter. But they haven't made a significant dent in their respective markets. The Ouya was met with middling to outright negative reviews by the majority of video game critics and was quickly overshadowed by the release of Sony and Microsoft's next-generation video game consoles, the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Pebble, meanwhile, is still trying to make a piece of wearable technology that most people actually want to wear. And the Oculus Rift is still a prototype — albeit an increasingly impressive one.

Other projects that came to fruition in 2013 might have been more successful in terms of the final product, if not the amount of funding raised from that backers. For example, Kickstarter highlighted two independent films that were successfully funded in 2012 — "Blue Ruin" ($37.8k) and "Inocente" ($52.5k) — and went on to win prizes at the Cannes International Film Festival and Oscars, respectively.