March 3 (Reuters) - Crowd-funding Internet portal Kickstarter reported on Monday that pledges through the site for movies, games and other creative projects had passed the $1 billion mark.
“It happened at 4:03 a.m. East Coast (U.S.) time” on Monday, Kickstarter Chief Executive Officer Yancey Strickler told Reuters by telephone, adding that the pledges had come “from every country in the world”.
He said the figure was a cumulative total since April 2009, when Kickstarter was launched as a conduit for funding of projects ranging from films and stage shows to video games and restaurant openings.
Strickler noted that a Kickstarter-funded documentary, “The Square”, about the tumultuous events in Cairo’s Tahrir Square that led to the ouster of Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak, had been nominated for an Oscar in Sunday’s Academy Awards ceremony.
Other high-profile projects in the Kickstarter portfolio include the Veronica Mars movie project and a proposal to bring the Bret Easton Ellis novel “American Psycho” to the London stage.
Strickler said Kickstarter contributors do not get a financial return from projects they back, but can claim “bragging rights” for the ones that get noticed by a wider public. They also may get a free DVD or a ticket, he said.
He also said that, after the website announced last month that hackers had gained access to some customer data, but not to credit card details, the level of contributions had increased rather than dropping off.
“Actual pledges are higher than ever,” Strickler said. “There hasn’t been any drop-off in people using Kickstarter, just the opposite.”
He said the site had made improvements in its security and would be announcing new features in the coming weeks. (Writing by Michael Roddy; Editing by Toby Chopra)