Smartwatch Ticks Up $20m From Crowdfunders

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Investors keeping a watching brief on a crowdfunding pitch from Pebble Time have seen the deal become Kickstarter’s largest ever fund raiser.

Pebble raised $20,338,986 from 78,471 backers – the second time crowdfunding projects from the company breached the $10 million barrier.

The first campaign hit $10.3 million in 2012, but the latest pitch eclipsed the total by raising more than double the amount of the last.

Pebble is regarded as the world leading smartwatch brand, ahead of Apple Watch.

Supporters claim Pebble beats Apple hands down on price, battery life and durability.

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Google is also about to enter the smartwatch market with a tie-up with prestige brand Tag Heur.

Pebble’s pitch was a reward based deal giving discounts and other incentives to backers.

Effectively, Kickstarter was used to promote the new product and to test the market to see how the new watch would sell.

The Coolest beer cooler, which swallowed $13.3 million in funding in August 2014 was the previous Kickstarter record holder.

“The strength of Pebble is users are not forced into the Apple or Android walled gardens with their smartwatches as Pebble works with both systems,” said Pebble CEO Eric Migicovsk.

“Just look at our backers and you can see this is the product the market wants.”

Low carb spud pitch

Dietician Rick Aspell is looking for seed capital on Crowdcube to crowdfund a low-carb potato idea.

His Oxford Consultancy Group wants to collar £500,000 by May 7.

Dubbed ‘Lo-Pos’, his potatoes are genetically modified vegetables with fat bearing carbohydrates replaced with amino acid DNA.

His market is anyone looking to keep an eye on their weight – with followers of the low-carb Atkins and Paleo diets as his main targets.

Aspell is no stranger to crowdfunding vegetable projects – he raised £150,000 for a revolutionary brussel sprout burger that flopped during development.

This time round, the money is earmarked for developing lo-po fields, which he says ring fences his new vegetable from contaminating carbohydrate leak in the soil from other potatoes.

An Oxford Consultancy spokesman explained that scratching potatoes off the menu was a real problem for many low-carb dieters.

“Potatoes are a vital ingredient of so many British recipes that finding a viable alternative is a real problem,” said the spokesman.

“Lo pos solve the problem and remove the guilt from eating traditional foods.”

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