WARNING: How FundedToday Helps But Mostly Hurts Kickstarters & IndieGoGo Projects

funded today

[UPDATE 03/14] One of Funded.Todays former customers has come out saying that their project required a $5,000 “Test Fee” followed by 40% of the rewards earned. [And … WSJ Reported last year that the number was 35%.]

[Editorial Note] Here’s the takeaway from the below article, based on their own statistics, it would appear that your Kickstarter has a greater chance of FAILING with Funded.Today.

Now whether they are just VERY unlucky with who they decide to partner with or their promotional help causes their campaigns to exceed the scope at which their project creators have experience with, are a very real possibility. However, between their ADs, and the below article, we will leave you to make your own judgement.

Shout out goes to the ‘always spamming my Facebook feed’, My Top Kickstarter Projects for pointing out the following.

If you’ve never heard of My Top Kickstarter Projects, they act as a Facebook Page for their company Funded.Today. Companies will hire them to build out a marketing campaign for their Kickstarter campaign.  Then, they create a sponsored post with some fantastic click-bait.  A catchy headline, some cheesy circle or arrow on an image, and once they secure your click, they accept whatever check or % of the final Kickstarters sales were. I.E. When Kickstarters already are working off of an impoverished or shoestring budget, Funded.Today taking a gigantic cut sure doesn’t help.

Here’s a sample AD.

When you click on the ad above, you get thrown to a URL that looks like this, http://283dsa.fnd.to/steadicam. That URL contains a URL redirection script, that adds on their referral code and tracking information.

document.location.replace("https:\/\/www.kickstarter.com\/projects\/tiffencompany\/steadicam-volt-smartphone-stabilizer-shake-free-vi?ref=FundedToday&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=283dsa.fnd.to");

You can see here that their referral code is “FundedToday” or also known as, https://funded.today/.

You can also assume that they are purely an advertising agency, which is why you can assume that any projects that you see as an advertisement through them should be scrutinized heavily.

Lets view some of the projects that My Top Kickstarter Projects and Funded.Today have “helped”, the products are in the order they are listed on their bragging page of their website.

#1. Trunkster

Current Status: 2+ years behind schedule, backers still waiting, no reply from company. Assume they are never shipping.

This project was launched on 11/18/2014, Funded.Today showed up at 12/26/2014, this is currently their #1 case study on their website. View all their backers begging for answers here.

#2. BetterBack

Current Status: Also 2 years behind schedule, backers still waiting. Reports in their comments that their product is a rip-off of another product.  But this hasn’t stopped them from launching a second campaign.

This project was created on 03/31/2015, and Funded.Today showed up at 04/21/2015.

#3. Free Wavz

Current Status: Also 2+ years behind schedule, backers still waiting, no reply from company. Assume they are never shipping.

This project launched on 06/23/2104, and Funded.Today showed up on 08/02/2014. View all their hated backers here.

#4. Basics Wallet

Current Status: They shipped to some of their backers in early 2016, almost 1 and a half years later, however as of Feb 2017, they still haven’t fully shipped all of their wallets, and there are reports of poor quality control issues and fraying.

This project was launched on 09/30/2014, and Funded.Today arrived on 10/09/14, it would appear this product (and in our opinion very ugly, was plagued with errors

 

Based on their very own statistics, your Kickstarter has a greater chance of FAILING if you hire them to take a percentage of your money.

Other projects Funded.Today has “helped”:

(Note they list 357 products in order of total funding, we took the first 31 most funded projects that have passed their estimated original delivery date.  Out of the first 31 projects, 23 failed, 9 succeed. Determination of success and failed projects was determined by the comments by the backers on each project.)

Funded.Today Failed Projects:

Period of Happiness – Failing Product and customers have never received.

Garlic Shaker – Simply the Best Way to Peel Garlic – Supposed to ship Jan 2016, it’s currently Feb 2017, and still haven’t shipped. Additionally you can pre-order it for the same price as the early backers paid.

Baubax Travel Jacket – Defective Products Shipped 

The Everyday Messenger: A Bag For Cameras & Essential Carry – Not as waterproofed as claimed, broken bags, people never received products

MEATER: The Only Wire-Free Smart Meat Thermometer (IndieGoGo) – Never shipped products, no replies to comments, application won’t install on users devices, No support from company.

MEATER: The First Truly Wireless Smart Meat Thermometer (KickStarter) – They helped them with both of their campaigns, and surprise, both were failures. 

The ADV3NTURE Hoodie – People still waiting for their products, behind schedule.

PUGZ-World’s smallest wireless earbuds charged through phone – Yeah … these are never shipping.

Ravean – The World’s First Heated Down Jacket w/ 6X Mobile Charging – Yeah, jackets are falling apart, missing cables, claims to be boosted from “Seven Figure Crowdfunding Courses” def failure. 

Barracuda: Collapsible Luggage + Tray + GPS + USB Charger – Oh we’ve written about these guys, here, here, and here. FAILURE. And still offering pre-orders? They’ve been pre-ordering for years now.

BetterBack – Fail, see above.

LVL – The First Wearable Hydration Monitor – Never shipped 6+ months late. 

Solo Stove Bonfire | The World’s Most Unique Fire Pit – Never shipped 6+ months late.

FaceCradle Travel Pillow – Upgrade to Sleeping Class! – Guess what? Never shipped 6+ months late.

FireFlies – Truly Wire-Free Earbuds! – I’ll let this comment sum it all up, “When can we expect the replacements to begin shipping again?”

8-in-1 EVOLUTION BRA: The World’s Most Advanced Bra – Oh this one is great, non fitting, they offered “Skype fitting sessions”, non shipping, list goes on and on.

Redefining Italian Luxury Watch – Filippo Loreti – People appears to be on their 3rd replacement already, glass falls out, etc … 

Space Case 1 – The World’s Most Advanced Smart Suitcase – They’ve been trying to ship since 2015.

Hub+ for USB-C: Get your MacBook ports back. – Another 2015 project, looks like they are attempting to refund? But also failed delivering to their customers and selling on Amazon?

BioLite BaseLantern – Smartgrid Goes Off-Grid – Supposed to ship in October 2016, they missed that, some people are reported reciving their products, however they are plagued with problems, and making buyers pay for returning a faulty product.

iBand+: EEG headband that helps you Sleep and Dream! – 6 months late with shipping, can’t wait to see this never ship.

UsBidi- The World’s Most Intelligent Charger Ever! – Technology projects rarely ship it seems, same with this one.

Lifepack: Solar Powered & Anti-Theft Backpack – Broken parts of the backpack, missed ship date, people still asking about their bags. Looks like they went with the cheapest items for most of their features.

Funded.Today Successes Projects:

dio Naked Reversible USB cables for Lightning and Micro – Looks like they managed to ship a good portion before leaving the cable business for good. They are now running a company called truSheet.  However their comments are loaded with people who are on their second and third cable, their defect rates are at least 8% though we suspect higher now.

GOBAG – A Carry-On Bag For Any Adventure – Success! It looks like they shipped over a 6 month period but Oct 2015 – May 2016 isn’t horrible in the kickstarter world.

Purple Pillow – This will be another blog article in itself, but yes, a success.

The NOMATIC Travel Bag – So far appears to be a success. Though users are reporting things missing from their package that were promised.

The Field Skillet: Lighter, Smoother Cast Iron – Mixed opinions on this one, it appears people  have been broken up into multiple order ‘runs’, and people are getting them, however there are some concerns as to what it’s actually coated with.

Xpand Lacing System: Shoelaces Redesigned – Looks like a success actually, people got their laces.

Roost Laptop Stand | Free yourself from laptop neck pain – Actually looks like a success, see simple kickstarters can be a success,  just nothing more complicated than a couple pieces of plastic.

KP Duffle – The Ultimate Travel Bag – Seems to have had a delay on shipping, but very few comments and most have been positive, so success!

Trakline “Express Belt” | KORE Essentials – Looks to be a success.

Whether they are just VERY unlucky with who they decide to partner with, or the their marketing help causes their campaigns to exceed the scope at which their project creators have experience with are a very real possibility.  However this article, we feel, says it all.

The question that remains however is why they chose to highlight and brag about their failing campaigns first, maybe honesty, really is the best policy.

 

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About author

Tiffany Rush 112 posts

Tiffany Rush My background includes being a novelist and a non-fiction writer specializing in MBA thesis topics. Additionally I'm an investor and strategist for a few tech startups (which will not be written about here). Go ahead, challenge my wit!

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  • Wafiq

    i got both the better backa nd basics wallet products. are you sure you have the correct information?

  • Kenyon Ellis

    Wow… bad journalism at it’s finest. As a backer and project creator, I have had experience with Funded Today first hand and definitely agree that they are not the greatest company to deal with. BUT Funded Today has nothing to do with the production and fulfillment of a project and the examples you listed are terrible! I have the betterback, basic wallet, biolite baselantern, Ravean heated jacket, and everyday messenger bag. All of these companies have been amazing to work with. Please get your facts straight before spreading “rumors” around the internet.

    • They weren’t “rumors” we followed the links from their website, we also followed the product links from their provided order which was most funded to least funded. We felt that they were showcasing their products in that order to promote their company and would assume that they would have put their best, most successful products first.

  • Better Back

    Hey hey! This is Charlotte from the BetterBack team! We’d definitely like to request an update to this information — unfortunately it’s just not true. I’m so happy to say that we did in fact ship out rewards on time for our 1st Kickstarter project to thousands of backers around the world. BetterBack is definitely not a rip off, and was created by our founder Katherine to help solve her own personal back pain, since there weren’t any products on the market that were up to par. We are super proud to be selling BetterBack and it has helped thousands of people ease back pain and improve their posture 🙂 We’re here and more than ready to answer any questions and verify any of this — you can reach us at hi@getbetterback.com! Thanks, Tiffany!

    • Aurora Joan

      I use mine all the time! Thanks for the great product 🙂 Definitely not a fail.

      • Better Back

        Hi there!

        It’s SO great to meet you (virtually) and I hope you’re having a wonderful day!! 🙂 You’ll hear from me in the next 24-48 hours,
        but I wanted to share some quick info just in case it helps with
        your Q:

        * Orders are shipping same day or next business day, depending on
        what time your order was placed
        * You’ll receive an email from us as soon as a postal courier
        picks up your package!
        * From there, current average delivery times are:
        * USA // 2-5 business days
        * International // 7-14 business days
        * Express // 2-5 business days (so long as your package isn’t
        held up in customs, which is up to customs)

        * Here is a link to answers to our most frequently asked
        questions: http://getbetterback.com/pages/faqs

        I’m really looking forward to getting to know you and helping you
        out. Talk soon and thank you SO MUCH for supporting our dream
        over here at BetterBack.

        Charlotte

        PS The next generation of BetterBack is now available for
        pre-order on Indiegogo ( http://bit.ly/2lKrsnU )! We’d love for
        you to check it out. Would you consider backing us?

        It’s been called a hot tub, a La-Z-Boy and a soft pillow for your back. Really, it supports you sitting upright and re-trains your posture in 15 mins a day — plus now you can get pain relief and healing with hot/cold therapy, get the deliciousness of NASA
        memory foam, and pick from two experiences — a targeted posture trainer or broader sitting support all day.

        Hop on over to BetterBack Therapy now: http://bit.ly/2lKrsnU

  • Your case above doesn’t make much sense to me—it seems to be full of both unjustified assumptions and distorted perspectives. Entrepreneurs hire Funded Today, like other crowdfunding marketing agencies, to help them to market their campaigns. Hiring a marketing partner doesn’t necessarily affect their ability to fulfill their orders in a timely manner. It’s generally good policy to avoid blaming people (like Funded Today’s personnel) for things over which they have ability to predict and/or control. If anyone is to blame for failed fulfillment, it’s arguably these projects’ creators. And many of them are struggling (sometimes single-handedly) to bring a new product from concept to reality for the very first time in their lives, which can be a monumental undertaking. Can you blame them for sometimes underestimating how long it will take to get things done?

  • Pascal Friedmann

    Hello Tiffany, I’m with Funded Today, and as others here have said, you are making a very weak case based largely on outdated and inaccurate information. Let me clarify some things for you:

    1) We are not an advertising agency. Yes, we run advertisements as part of our promotion mix. but most of our now 42 employees do not work in the paid media department of Funded Today. We are a full-service agency that generates significant revenue for our clients through PR, cross collaborations, strategic partnerships with both Kickstarter and Indiegogo as platforms, and a very effective cashback program with thousands of enrolled backers. Our ability to provide a full package of services to our clients is unmatched in our industry. And as you seem to be so keen to talk about statistics, well. One in 1500 campaigns on Kickstarter raises more than one million dollars. We’ve just completed our 26th million dollar campaign. We are outpacing the expected “natural” number of million-dollar campaigns we’ve run by more than 40 times, although we have very limited pre-qualifications for projects to partner with us. Actually, our most recent million-dollar campaign was the one with the “clickbait ad” you mentioned in the article. They’re on BestBuy now, by the way. Customers and people in the industry must have liked them, or something.

    2) None of the items you have brought up here are any of Funded Today’s business. Talk to happy customers and even happier creators who are on every corner of Kickstarter and Indiegogo. It’s crowdfunding. Some well-funded ideas fall through, and most people who back a crowdfunding project get that it isn’t Amazon with overnight shipping. But really, we as an agency that generates funding have nothing to do with what happens during the production stage or after.

    3) In preparation for writing this article, you visited our website. That’s great and all, but at no point did you make an effort to reach out to Funded Today so you could better understand the scope of our activities and responsibilities within campaigns. I know you didn’t, because I would have most likely been your point of contact. As a former journalist myself, I find your lack of commitment to hearing two sides of a story very disturbing and professionally disqualifying. Someone who – in her blogger short bio – calls herself a non-fiction writer should probably not sell fiction as fact on her blog.

    All else has been said previously. A good day to you, and a better job reporting next time.

    Best,

    Pascal Friedmann
    Director of Earned Media

  • Melissa Styles