Crowdfunding Canada 2013: Hits, Misses and Drama

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2013 was the year of crowdfunding.

This year eleven Kickstarter projects joined the million-dollar club and Indiegogo had its most successful campaign in its five-year history with a medical tricorder raising over $1.3 million. The global crowdfunding market is expected to have reached $5.1 billion this year, up from $2.7 billion in 2012.

The crowdfunding floodgates were flung wide open here in Canada back in September when Kickstarter launched support for Canadian projects. Just one month after the launch, Canadian Kickstarter projects saw over three million dollars pledged.

Yesterday we reported that the Neptune Pine, a standalone smartwatch project from Montreal, had successfully raised over $800,000 on Kickstarter making it the most successful crowdfunding campaign from Canada this year.

But Pine is not alone. Canadian entrepreneurs found a lot of success on both Kickstarter and Indiegogo, especially in the emerging technology space. Some of the biggest wins of 2013 were hardware projects in wearables, 3D printing and the Internet of Things.

Among the big wins this year was The Matterform 3D Scanner and the food tricorder, TellSpec. Both Toronto-based campaigns raised over $300,000 on Indiegogo with Matterform finishing up at $471,082 back in April, making it the second most successful Canadian campaign of 2013. (Correction: Peachy Printer from Saskatchewan was runner up to Neptune Pine with over $650,000 raised).

Neurio from Vancouver and Piper from Ottawa represented successfully funded smart home projects while Montreal’s Hexoskin and Toronto’s PUSH join Neptune as heavyweights in the wearable space.

But it wasn’t all wins in Canada this year. Ottawa’s Nuvyyo found more success in raising capital than from their Indiegogo campaign. Their tablet DVR project, Tablo, finished just about $20,000 shy of its $50,000 mark earlier this month.

Pet owners who were hoping to ease their guilt of leaving doggie at home were left feeling more empty as automated treat dispenser/camera, PetBot ended their campaign last month without reaching their goal. The POSH iMirror, robotic kit Moti and intelligent security system Alertly were also amongst the neat ideas which weren’t able to get off the ground.

This year was not without drama. Montreal Kickstarter campaign Luci was pulled after raising over $360,000 for their dream-inducing wearable, being red flagged for possible fraud. And a fake crowdfunding project for Bionym’s heartbeat authentication bracelet Nymi went live for just over 24-hours before Indiegogo took it down.

But these bad apples didn’t spoil the pie, as they say. Here are just some of the most successful Canadian crowdfunding projects from Indiegogo and Kickstarter this year:

  • Neptune Pine (Montreal): $801,224 (801%) Funded December 21, 2013
  • Peachy Printer (Saskatchewan): $651,091 (1302%) Funded October 20, 2013
  • Matterform 3D Scanner (Toronto): $471,082 (582%) Funded April 30, 2013
  • TellSpec (Toronto): $386,392 (386%) Funded November 30, 2013
  • Piper: Smart, elegant security and home automation (Ottawa): $309,119 (309%) September 20, 2013
  • Neurio: Home Intelligence (Vancouver): $267,373 (281%) Funded November 15, 2013
  • Hexoskin: The first wearable movement, respiration and heart activity tracker (Montreal): $165,821 (166%) Funded October 18, 2013
  • Spiri, a programmable flying robot (Halifax): $140,623 (112%) Funded September 12, 2013
  • PUSH: The first fitness tracking device that measures strength (Toronto): $133,812 (167%) Funded November 19, 2013
  • Little Robot Friends (Toronto): $123,660 (225%) Funded October 11, 2013
  • ORD 5 Color/Material 3D Filament Printer (Cambridge): $116,592 (466%) Funded November 11, 2013
  • Wimotos -Tiny Wireless Helpers for your life (Toronto): $115,366 (524%) July 11, 2013
  • The Minuumum Keyboard (Toronto): $87,354 (874%) Funded April 17, 2013
  • AEON Attire: Finally Leather Gloves Smart as your Phone (Toronto): $52,685 (2107%) Funded December 8, 2013
Tom Emrich

Tom Emrich

As a writer, consultant and community builder, Tom Emrich uses his passion for new technologies to act as a catalyst to bring on the future. He founded We Are Wearables, an organization that rallies the tech community together to learn, discuss and celebrate the wearable tech space in order to foster adoption and facilitate innovation. We Are Wearables currently has chapters in Toronto and Chicago. Tom writes regularly about wearables and other emerging technologies for MobileSyrup, BetaKit and Designers of Things. He also works with startups, and large organizations as an advisor and consultant offering assistance on product development, marketing and organizational strategy.