Kickstarter Backers Complain About Facebook's Acquisition Of Oculus

26 March 2014

Wall Street Journal:

About 18 months after accepting $10 investments repaid with thanks (and with some venture capital investments along the way) the company today sold itself for $2 billion to Facebook.

Those almost 10,000 early investors on Kickstarter participated in one of history’s most lucrative funding rounds from the perspective of the people receiving the funding: a $2.4 million early-stage investment in what would become a $2 billion business in a year and a half, in return for 0.0% equity.

Kickstarter backers donated. They are not shareholders and they shouldn’t expect to be. Expecting a return upon acquisition is as preposterous as expecting a dividend next time you buy an iPhone.

As long as you received your reward1, you can’t complain. Kickstarter is weird because people feel like they are investors; the ‘backers’ terminology certainly doesn’t help. There are sites that let you crowd-invest (like Seedr), but Kickstarter isn’t one of them. It’s something people have to just get used to.

1 You could argue that you shouldn’t expect that either.