Posted On January 30, 2014 By Melanie Williamson
Backer is a new crowdfunding platform launched by App.net. It is designed specifically for developers, who want to raise money to create new software or to develop new features for existing software. App.net was actually enhanced as a result of a crowdfunding campaign, which helped increase their understanding standing of crowdfunding and the need within the developer community.
Backer will allow supporters to pledge money using bitcoin, credit card or both. Another benefit for developers using this platform is that open source projects can use the service for free. For projects with locked down sources, there is a 5% fee taken by Backer if the campaign is successful. What’s interesting is that app.net is asking visitors to pledge BTC in order for them to begin accepting bitcoins, which they will do if they raise 10 bitcoins by February 20, 2014. So far the campaign has raised 6.354 BTC, with about 20 days to go.
Some may argue that there was really no need for yet another crowdfunding platform. However, Dalton Caldwell, the founder of App.net sees things differently. He believes he is filling a gap in the crowdfunding options.
Caldwell explains, “If you recall, App.net wrote our own crowdfunding tool because the Kickstarter TOS specifically didn’t allow software/service businesses. That is still the case. The impetus for us building and launching this now was that we were trying to figure out whether or not to accept bitcoin for App.net subscriptions, and every single other startup founder I asked said they were wondering the same thing. If you survey the current tools available, there are none that would work for this. When I asked other founders if they would use something like Backer to decide whether or not they should accept Bitcoin they said yes.”
Similarly to Kickstarter, Backer has reserved the right to control what projects are launched. According to the website, “projects will be vetted to ensure your Backer project runs alongside other high-quality, legitimate projects.” Although they are filling a gap creating in the restriction of crowdfunding websites like Kickstarter, it is still important they work to ensure quality throughout the website. Doing so will enable them to build a strong reputation.