Kickstarter announces NZ launch date

By Ben Chapman-Smith

Film director Taika Waititi was able to self-release his film 'Boy' in the US after raising $100,000 through Kickstarter in 2011.
Film director Taika Waititi was able to self-release his film 'Boy' in the US after raising $100,000 through Kickstarter in 2011.

US crowdfunding platform Kickstarter - which has helped raise more than $US800 million for creative projects - will be opening its doors to Kiwis in just over four weeks.

Kickstarter broke the news today via its online blog, naming November 13 as the start date.

"In August we announced that Kickstarter would soon open up to projects based in Australia and New Zealand for the first time. Today we're happy to announce that the day has finally come!," the blog read.

The company said New Zealanders could start building their projects now and would be able to launch those projects on Wednesday, November 13.

"We thought the month-long gap would give everyone plenty of time to build and tweak their projects before launching. Beginning November 13, they can launch and share their projects with the world."

Crowdfunding is a modern alternative to traditional funding avenues such as bank loans. It enables people to raise money through pledges from a large number of people, usually through a web-based campaign.

Until now, Kickstarter has only been open to US, UK and Canadian citizens.

Those New Zealanders who have run projects on Kickstarter - such as New Zealand film-maker Taika Waititi - have needed to be based in one of those countries.

Since it was founded in 2009, the company has helped about five million people to pledge $826 million, funding 50,000 creative projects.

Its launch in New Zealand will provide competition to several existing local crowdfunding platforms, such as PledgeMe and Boosted.

There will not be a New Zealand-specific Kickstarter site but locally-based projects will be listed alongside others on the main site.

Kiwi projects will be listed in New Zealand dollars and will be open to people from anywhere in the world.

Before making a pledge, backers from outside the country will see an approximate conversion to US dollars.

Kickstarter will charge a 5 per cent fee to successfully funded projects and no fee to unsuccessfully funded projects.

A workshop for New Zealand-based creators looking to use Kickstarter will be held on November 5, in Auckland.

A new law coming into effect next year means individuals and firms will be able to offer equity in a project through crowdfunding, without having to issue a formal prospectus.

The Financial Markets Conduct Act, described as a "once-in-a-generation law change", recently passed its third reading in Parliament and will be phased in from April next year.

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