Crowdfunding is the process of soliciting financial contributions from a large number of people, referred to as backers, over the internet. The financial contributions are used for a wide variety of projects including business ventures, social causes, and support for individuals with a special need. By using the internet, projects can gain access to funds outside of traditional sources such as banks or capital markets. A number of organizations, referred to as platforms, have developed to connect someone seeking funds with those who have an interest in contributing.
Projects related to design, games, technology, and video are currently some of the most popular crowdfunding projects. Some examples include Pebble Time—Awesome Smart-watch, Coolest Cooler, Flow Hive: Honey on Tap Directly from Your Beehive, and The World’s Best Travel Jacket. A few years ago the Ice Bucket Challenge raised millions of dollars for research into ALS and was one of the most popular crowdfunding projects of its time.