Kickstarter eyes Down Under, but is it just playing catch-up?

Kickstarter is promising an expansion to Australia and New Zealand, "soon."

Kickstarter is promising an expansion to Australia and New Zealand, “soon.”

Kickstarter, fresh off its launch in Canada, is promising to come to New Zealand and Australia “soon.” Experts say it’s natural for the crowdfunding platform to go global, especially since rivals are already there.

Kickstarter is growing more international, almost by the day. The platform officially expanded to Canada at the beginning of the week, and is now promising to head Down Under “soon.”

The crowdfunding portal has put up a page on its site saying “Australia. New Zealand. Soon.”

The promise to Australia and New Zealand comes amid a larger push to go international for the site, which launched in the United Kingdom late last year and officially came to Canada this week.

Kickstarter also allows creators to launch campaigns that make their appeals in German and French.

But what makes the U.K. and Canadian launches different is that campaigns will be able to take donations in local currencies, rather than the U.S. dollar.

International moves like this are particularly important, because Kickstarter is competing with Indiegogo in the rewards-based crowdfunding sphere, and Indiegogo is arguably ahead of Kickstarter internationally.

That site already allows campaigns to accept donations in pounds, euros and Canadian dollars.

“Although it looks like an expansion, this is actually a necessary ‘catch-up’ move for Kickstarter to maintain its dominance in crowdfunding. Any business model that utilizes social media and deals in intangibles must ultimately be global to succeed,” writes Howard Orloff, founder ofwww.Crowdfunding-Website-Reviews.com, in an email to Upstart Business Journal.

Jonathan Frutkin, chief executive at crowdfunding consultancy Cricca Funding LLC had a little bit different take.

“It’s a real natural fit for a successful company like Kickstarter to expand internationally,” he told me. “It’s maybe a surprise it took so long.”

We reached out to Kickstarter but so far the company hasn’t responded to our query.

Kickstarter does things big, though, as its Canadian launch revealed. More than 50 projects from Canada went up with the launch, including an effort to build a better hockey stick.

Makes one wonder what will happen in the land Down Under.

Source: Upstart Business Journal – Kent Bernhard Jr Money & Finance Editor

Link: http://upstart.bizjournals.com/money/loot/2013/09/11/kickstarter-eyes-down-under-expansion.html?page=1

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