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Kickstarter opens to crowdfunders in Japan

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Kickstarter has opened its proverbial doors to creators in Japan.

Though people in Japan have always been able to back Kickstarter campaigns from around the world, those seeking to crowdfund their own projects have had to look elsewhere. Moving forward, the Kickstarter app is available in Japanese, with local customer support and project reviewers also on hand.

Japan actually represents the third Asian market launch for Kickstarter after it landed in Singapore and Hong Kong last year. But with a population of around 130 million people, Japan is far and away the biggest of the company’s markets on what is the most populous continent on Earth.

So this is a notable launch from Kickstarter, which is now open to creators in 22 countries. The company is also adamant that it has enough brand recognition in the region to hit the ground running.

“Since our launch eight years ago, more than 300 creators in Japan have worked with collaborators in other countries to run Kickstarter projects, including a documentary about sake production, an action platformer from a legendary video game designer, and a toy robot that connects family members through voice messages,” noted Kickstarter’s director of international, Sean Leow, in a blog post. “In the same time frame, nearly 100,000 backers from Japan have supported Kickstarter projects from all of our creative categories and from all over the world.”

Founded out of New York in 2009, Kickstarter has emerged as the poster child of crowdfunding and has helped facilitate more than $3 billion in pledges across thousands of projects.

The Japan launch is the first new market since cofounder and CEO Yancey Strickler announced he was stepping down. The company has yet to appoint a successor.

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