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Earlier this week I looked at how total Kickstarter new campaign volume has been trending down over the past eight months.

Because the overall volume of new campaigns seems to have slowed, it’s worth looking further into the data to see if it’s possible to find an explanation for the slowing momentum.

One potential area to examine is success rates. If new campaigns that launch do not succeed at a rate similar to that in the past, then it would make sense that over time less would eventually be launched. 

The data below, which is a snapshot of the cumulative success rate of all campaigns launched on Kickstarter on the last day of each month, shows a very slight decrease from June 2012 to February of this year.

Cumulative Success Rate - Kickstarter, June ‘12 - Feb ‘13


What does that tell us? Over the period, success rates for all campaigns dropped a very slight half a percentage point, from 44% to 43.5%.

However, for the new campaigns in this period to pull down the total cumulative success rate, I estimate new campaigns in this time were likely having a success rate at just below 43%, probably at about 42.9%.

So while there is a drop, it wasn’t a huge one. This shows that Kickstarter’s new campaign volume slowdown in the second half of 2012 wasn’t a result, to any significant degree, from success rates going down.

It should be noted, however, that perception issues are separate than actual performance, so it’s hard to measure if perception of Kickstarter as a platform over the past 8 months among the potential crowdfunding campaign hopefuls had any impact.

Vertical Breakdown

Looking at specific verticals, it appears that the largest segments (movies and music) were down very slightly, and others like publishing down a bit more.

However, good news for those in the tech space: the Kickstarter technology segment was up over the last 8 months.  

By how much? 

Let’s see…

Select Cumulative Success Rates, June ‘12 - Feb ‘13


Above is a chart shows a sample of select segment success rates are trending, as well as the overall success rate. As can be seen, games and dance are fairly stable, while technology is actually up from just under a 29% cumulative project success rate in June to about a 33.3% success rate in February. 

It should be noted that the recent increase in the success rate over the past 8 months would require a rate even higher than the cumulative 33.3% rate, and I would estimate recent technology campaigns are succeeding at a nearly 38% rate.

So what does this all mean? It’s hard to pull lessons from the overall success rates, and it should be noted again that the data shows that success rate decline isn’t a real issue for Kickstarter. 

As for technology, the recent increase in overall success for the segment could be attributable, in part, to the more recent adoption of of crowdfunding by a number of startups (which were possibly pulled to crowdfunding by the success of a few high profile campaigns like the Pebble Watch and Ouya).

In my next post I’ll look at some of the breakdowns in funding by size of project. 

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