TORONTO – Crowdfunding site Kickstarter said Monday that it passed $1 billion in pledges with backing from 5.7 million people.

Canada’s $44,913,678 worth of support was the third highest amount after the U.S. ($663,316,496) and the U.K. ($54,427,475).

With more than half of the money pledged within the last year, Kickstarter is an increasingly popular option for entrepreneurs and inventors to garner funding for creative projects.

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The list of ventures is long and diverse: Board games, musicals, food trucks, bassoon quartets, a Veronica Mars movie, video games and more.

The online fundraising campaign has attracted donors from 224 countries and territories across all seven continents, with project owners offering rewards or special experiences in exchange for the money to bring their work to life.

The New York-based site debuted in Canada last September after its initial launch April 28, 2009. Kickstarter joined other sites like Indiegogo that already had a strong presence north of the border.

Crowdfunding has become a tool for tech startups and also more traditional businesses that may have trouble getting bank or government grant financing.

Kickstarter officially opened to Canadians Sept. 9, 2013.

Screenshot/Kickstarter杭州夜网

According to the data on the site, it might be addictive. About 30 per cent (1,689,979) of backers fund more than one project. Then there are the super-users: Almost 16,000 people have backed more than 50 projects each.

Kickstarter also shared some fun facts: March 13, 2013 was the single day with the most pledges (who said 13 was unlucky?)

They also tried to put the $1 billion in perspective, noting it’s the same amount as NBA player Lebron James’ current contract for 50 years (imagine he got into crowdfunding?)

Aside from a hacking incident last month when two Canadian users’ accounts were affected, Kickstarter has enjoyed largely positive reviews and has been hailed as the “future of business” by Forbes magazine.

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