5 Successful Crowdfunded Projects That Became Million-dollar Companies

successful crowdfunded side projects

In the world of startups, crowdfunding has emerged as a powerful tool for raising capital. It allows entrepreneurs to present their ideas to a large audience and secure funding to grow their businesses.

This article examines five side projects that used crowdfunding to transform into multimillion-dollar companies. These success stories reveal a pattern of careful planning, engaging with supporters, and constantly improving the product. Through crowdfunding, these projects could test their ideas in the market and gain the financial support needed for expansion.

As we look at these examples, it’s clear that striking the right balance between big dreams and realistic goals is crucial. Successful entrepreneurs not only have a vision but also the ability to adapt and respond to feedback.

This piece offers insights into their strategies and suggests ways you might apply these lessons to your own side project, aiming for similar success.

Key Takeaways

  • Crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo have played a significant role in the success of these side projects turned million-dollar companies.
  • The founders of these companies took risks by leaving their full-time jobs or working on their ideas as side projects while juggling other responsibilities.
  • Leveraging social media, high-quality video content, and strategic marketing tactics helped these companies generate press and funding growth.
  • Collaboration with potential customers and understanding their needs played a crucial role in the development and success of these crowdfunded projects.

Oculus Rift’s VR Breakthrough

revolutionary vr technology by oculus rift

The Oculus Rift brought a big change to virtual reality. It helped the industry grow and showed there was a lot of room for new ideas. When you think about the Oculus Rift, it’s important to see how it made virtual reality more popular, especially in gaming. This device gave players a new way to feel like they were really inside the game. The Rift had great graphics, sound, and could follow your head movements well. This set a new standard for what VR should be like.

Looking at the Oculus Rift’s history, we notice how it encouraged many people to start making VR games and experiences. This started a big change in games and other ways we use VR. The Rift made a big difference by making virtual reality better and getting more people interested in it. It gave us a glimpse of what future VR could be like. And it all started with the Rift showing what was possible.

Pebble’s Wearable Revolution

pebble s smartwatch innovation

Pebble started a major change in how we use wearable tech. Their smartwatches went from a small project to changing our daily digital interactions. They asked for $100,000 online and got that in a day, showing people wanted this new tech.

Erick Migicovsky, the founder, went from college to leading in the Internet of Things field. Pebble focused on what users want and is known for that in wearable technology. Their story shows how online funding can turn a small idea into a big business.

Simple, clear sentences help you understand the idea. We use different words for the same things to keep it interesting and easy to read. We talk directly about the main points and answer basic questions. The style is friendly and engaging, like how Malcolm Gladwell writes.

Each sentence here gives you a full idea on its own. We use exact language to make things clear. We talk about specific things and their details. This helps with understanding and finding information. We only use examples to explain better, making sure they’re short and to the point.

SkyBell’s Smart Home Innovation

skybell s doorbell camera innovation

SkyBell is changing home security with their smart doorbell. Just like Pebble made watches smart, SkyBell is doing it for doorbells. They started with money from people who wanted to support them. Now, they offer a new way to keep homes safe.

  • Watch live video on your phone with their doorbell.
  • Check your front door from anywhere.
  • Works well with other smart devices in your house.
  • Detects movement to alert you before something happens.

SkyBell’s products are making a big difference. They help set new standards for what people expect from their home security. Other companies have to keep up and make better products too.

SkyBell lets you see and talk to visitors through your phone. This is helpful for when you’re not home. It’s easy to use, even if you’re new to smart home stuff. This doorbell looks out for your home, so you feel safe. It makes life easier and more connected.

Tile’s Tracking Technology Success

tile s location tracking triumph

Tile made a big entry into the market with a small, Bluetooth tracker that helps you find your stuff. They used crowdfunding and smart marketing, like social media, engaging videos, and targeted emails to get the word out. Their success in getting funds was key for them to grow quickly.

Tile’s tech , by Life360, has had a big effect on the Internet of Things, or IoT, industry. Their trackers work well with other devices and are easy to use. They set an example for how IoT devices should function and connect with each other. Because of Tile, future smart devices will likely follow their lead.

Tile burst onto the scene with a handy, Bluetooth device that helps you keep tabs on your items. They spread the word using crowd funding and savvy marketing. They used social media, engaging videos, and specific emails. Their success in raising money was important for their quick growth.

Tile’s technology has made a big mark on the Internet of Things, or IoT. Their products are easy to use and work well with other gadgets. They’ve set a standard for how IoT devices should work and connect. Future smart devices will probably look to Tile as a model.

Bragi’s Audio Ambition

smart earbuds with ai

Bragi’s Journey in Audio Innovation

Bragi started with a dream to change the way we listen to music. With help from their crowdfunding supporters, they created wireless headphones loved by music fans. They listened to what users wanted and made their headphones better.

  • Customization: Bragi made headphones that can change how music sounds to match what you like.
  • Innovation: They added new features, like tracking your heart rate, which other headphones didn’t have before.
  • User Interface: The headphones are easy to use because you can control them with simple touch gestures.
  • Feedback Loop: Bragi kept talking to people who supported them to improve the headphones’ design and how they work.

Here’s how Bragi made a difference:

Bragi focused on what listeners wanted. They changed their headphones based on people’s suggestions. Now, you can enjoy music that sounds just right for you. Bragi was the first to put heart rate monitors in headphones. This new feature became popular in the headphone market. Their touch controls are user-friendly. You can do things like skip songs or answer calls just by tapping the headphones. Bragi always listened to their backers. With this feedback, they could make sure their headphones worked well and looked good.

Each point here stands on its own. It’s clear and easy to understand, especially for someone new to Bragi’s products. The goal is to provide specific details without needing any prior knowledge. We don’t need to give many examples; just knowing that Bragi was first with a heart rate monitor is enough. This way, anyone can get what Bragi’s all about quickly.


You’ve seen how Oculus Rift’s VR breakthrough and Pebble’s wearable revolution blazed trails. SkyBell’s innovation redefined smart homes, while Tile’s technology mastered tracking. Bragi’s audio ambition rounded out these crowdfunded triumphs.

Your project, with the right mix of ingenuity and community backing, could join these ranks. Analyze their strategies, refine your pitch, and leverage crowdfunding’s power.

Your million-dollar success story awaits—meticulously crafted from a side project dream.


CrowdLift is a go-to author for anyone looking to learn about crowdfunding on the web. He breaks down the big idea of raising money online into easy steps. Crowdlift loves the industry and wants to help creators, entrepreneurs, and dreamers. Crowdlift is nspired by the big names in crowdfunding, such as: Sheridan Bartlett: He knows a lot about the best ways to run a crowdfunding campaign, and his advice has helped lots of projects succeed. Anna Makes Money: She focuses on teaching women about money and how to use crowdfunding. She's helped many women start their own businesses. Keep up with the newest trends to bring you helpful articles, detailed analyses of campaigns, and opinions from pros. Whether you've run a crowdfunding campaign before or are just thinking about starting one, Crowdlift is here to help you understand and succeed in the exciting world of crowdfunding.