For many years, Backerkit has been the trusted back-end for crowdfunding projects, shipping management, and organizing logistics for Kickstarter campaigns. Now the San Francisco-based company is building its own crowdfunding platform, in direct competition with Brooklyn-based crowdfunding giant Kickstarter. Backerkit’s crowdfunding came out of stealth mode on Tuesday, and one of its first live campaigns will be led by one of its competitor’s biggest success stories: Cephalofair Games, creators of the critically acclaimed board game. dark haven.
Since 2015, Cephalofair Games has raised over $17.9 million on Kickstarter. His most recent campaign, for a game called Haven of Frost, is the largest tabletop campaign in Kickstarter history and the fourth most funded project on this platform. Cephalofair founder Isaac Childres, however, says he’s had enough of Kickstarter, and the straw that broke the camel’s back was Kickstarter’s recent push into blockchain technology.
“We disagreed” with the decision to sue the blockchain, Childres wrote in his company’s newsletter on Tuesday. “So we made sure to specify that our next project would be crowdfunded, but not necessarily a Kickstarter project. And we started seriously looking for other options.
In December 2021, Kickstarter unilaterally announced that it would switch its platform to blockchain technology. The response from its community of creators was swift. Kickstarter has since stalled, slowing but not stopping its transition to a new protocol based on “proof of stake” cryptographic technology. He’s also in the market for a new chief executive.
“Kickstarter has made it clear to us that they want to be at the forefront of a transition to Web3,” Childres wrote, “and Cephalofair Games just isn’t about that. Kickstarter hasn’t yet provided, within 7 months of their announcement, no concrete examples of how moving to a blockchain will improve crowdfunding for creators or funders, and pretty much everything we’ve seen in that time Since the crypto space is rampant in fraud, theft, and financial ruin, we are very hesitant to act in any way that would involve us or allow any of this.
Reached for comment, Kate Bernyk, Kickstarter’s senior director of communications, alerted Polygon to her company’s announcement, also made on Tuesday, that it had finalized the formation of its planned Community Advisory Board. He will be responsible for helping to “steer” Kickstarter’s “roadmap for future development,” the announcement says.
“Creators need to choose the platform that works best for them,” Bernyk added. “Kickstarter is a project-based platform, and we understand that what works for one project may be different for another. Our focus is our mission, not market share. We strive to ensure that our platform best serves the thousands of creators who use it to bring their work to life.”
Backerkit has traditionally handled creators’ post-Kickstarter campaigns, helping organize shipping, add-on products, community management, and all sorts of bells and whistles that come with modern board game campaigns. Childres cited this tenacity and flexibility in supporting clients as a major reason for the change.
“We knew they were the right people to do this because they are constantly innovating,” Childres wrote. “They are always paying attention, scrutinizing everything in the crowdfunding space to figure out how to make their service as useful and streamlined as possible.
It’s a sentiment that seems to be reinforced by Backerkit’s own statement about its goals and processes.
“We’re continually amazed by the workarounds creators come up with to engage with their existing backers and connect with new ones,” Backerkit wrote in its announcement. “Creators deserve a platform that embraces these strategies, encourages explorations, and creates tools that help creators adopt new techniques that prove effective. That’s why we believe in working closely working with creators, watching how they work, and listening to their feedback.Our goal is to make your experience with Crowdfunding by BackerKit better every time.
Crowdfunding by Backerkit will also include many other tabletop businesses. Its landing page includes an upcoming project from Exalted Funeral, Leder Games (Oath: Chronicles of Empire and Exile), Tuesday Knight Games (Mothership) and More Than Games (Sentinels of the Multiverse), among others.
Backerkit isn’t the only one looking for crowdfunding dollars on the table. Serial entrepreneur Marcin Świerkot, founder of board game publisher Awaken Realms, recently released his Gamefound crowdfunding platform from beta. Its goal this year is 25% of Kickstarter tabletop revenue for 2022, or $67.5 million, earned for tabletop campaigns in 2023.