Kickstarter

The venture capitalists fueling Occupy Wall Street

October 19, 2011: 8:00 AM ET

Is the Occupy movement the coming out party for Kickstarter?

Occupied Wall St Journal

source: Flickr

FORTUNE -- The Occupy Wall Street movement may hate corporate greed, but they're not averse to raising seed money like any good start-up. In addition to the $300,000 the group has raised through its website and deposited at union-owned Amalgamated Bank, organizers are raising money for their Occupy newspapers using Kickstarter, a crowd-source funding platform for creative projects started two years ago by Brooklynites Yancey Strickler, Charles Adler and Perry Chen.

Little known outside of tech circles, Kickstarter enabled the Occupy organizers to raise $75,690 to launch its Occupied Wall Street Journal last week, about six times the group's initial goal. Now Occupy groups in Boston are raising money for their own Occupy Boston Globe paper, while other groups are raising money for photos and films about the protests.

Founded to focus on crowdsoucing funding for creative projects such as cloth-backed books and iPhone cases, Kickstarter takes a 5% commission on projects that get fully funded (no fee for partial funding) and passing along credit card processing fees. While Kickstarter may be enabling small donations, the company itself has gotten big donations totaling $10 million from an impressive list of VCs and other investors, including Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, Union Square Ventures (Foursquare, Zynga) and Betaworks (bitly, Tumblr).

Is the Occupy movement the coming out party for Kickstarter? I haven't heard back from any of the VCs I contacted for comment, but judging by the list of backers, there are high hopes:

In addition to the three investors mentioned above, the other $10 million funding round investors, via Crunchbase:

Scott Heiferman, CEO of Meetup
Zach Klein, Vimeo cofounder
Caterina Fake, Flickr cofounder
Joshua Stylman, wide ranging angel investor including in Yipit
Peter Hershberg, president of SocialFlow
Chris Sacca, Twitter investor, former Google employee
Joi Ito, director of MIT Media Lab
Joshua Schachter, Delicious creator
Jared Kushner, New York Observer owner, real estate empire scion
Matt Haughey, builder of Metafilter
Chris Kaskie, president of Pitchfork Media
Chris Dixon, cofounder of Hunch
Dan Rosensweig, CEO of Chegg.com
Craig Shapiro, founder of Collaborative Fund
Thrive Capital, a Kushner family VC fund

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