Kickstarter is the undisputed leader of the crowd-funding game. Competitors like Indiegogo have kept the company on its toes, but at the end of the day it’s Kickstarter that enabled readily accessible campaigns for companies looking to gain support from the masses for projects that would, at least in theory, be more successful if those supporting them were more engaged. Now, the award-winning startup has surpassed $1 Billion in funds pledged, with more than half of that money being donated in the past year. Certainly, much of that money has come from multi-million dollar campaigns, but $619 million has come from donors, meaning that crowd-funding is a genuinely sustainable practice: in total, 5.7 million people from all seven continents have pledged money on the site. It speaks to the power of a good idea, as well as the power of the Internet – and more specifically, data – to achieve positive goals. Crowd-funding is officially mainstream.