The Biggest Crowd Funding Failures in History

We review some of the most famous crowdfunding history failures, including a breathing device underwater, a fraudulent cancer treatment or a backpack to charge iPhones.

Crowdfunding is revealed as the most suitable formula of the 21st century to make disruptive projects of all kinds come true: from educational to technological. However, not all online crowdfunding campaigns on platforms such as Kickstarter, Verkami or Indiegogo end well, but in this way, in addition to resounding nonsense, colossal failures and online frauds have also been coined.

Below we collect some of the biggest crowdfunding failures in history, those that disappeared from the blow of their respective platforms, generated chaos on the Internet or uncovered as scams to get your hand in the wallet of their sponsors.


In Indiegogo iBackPack was marketed as an urban backpack that could store, load and help provide access points for your iPhone when traveling. In addition, it allowed to be connected anywhere by incorporating a WiFi module that can be connected to any 3G or 4G network.

The furor he unleashed raised more than $ 720,000 in 2015 alone, but after iBackPack disappeared, YouTube videos were removed and communication almost completely ceased. The company behind the project claims that the backpack ran into problems finding safe charging batteries, and the project never saw the light.


The CST-01 came to Kickstarter as one of the star projects of 2013, promoting itself as the thinnest watch in the world with 0.80 mm thickness, electronic ink screen and elegant stainless steel body.

In this way the project raised more than one million dollars from 7,600 sponsors. Time passed and in 2015 nobody had received his gadget, since all that money did not allow to create a watch of such benefits. Its creators, Central Standard Time, had to explain that they looked for 1.2 million dollars more from other sources.

Skarp Laser

The Skarp laser shaver was supposed to revolutionize the conventional shaving system by using a laser to remove hair. Apparently, human hair contains a chromophore (a particle that can absorb certain wavelengths of light) that allows the follicles to be cut off when struck at a certain wavelength.

Thus, the company Skarp Technologies, claimed to have a functional prototype. However, the video on the project page generated controversy and many experts claimed that Skarp’s technology could cut some hairs, but it would not be as effective as a regular razor. Kickstarter finally stepped in after more than 20,000 sponsors raised more than $ 4 million in funds.

An email sent to the sponsors reported that the company did not have a prototype in operation, so the company failed to comply with the rule that demands the work of prototypes of physical products that are offered as rewards. Soon after, the project moved quickly to IndieGoGo, where it raised almost $ 500,000. We will have to see if the product finally goes ahead or, on the contrary, ends up swelling the list of crowdfunding failures.

Jenny Cataldo

One of the most infamous and infamous crowdfunding cancer stories comes from Alabama, where Jennifer Flynn Cataldo, 37, created a campaign on the GoFundMe platform to help pay the medical bills associated with her hypothetical cancer. She received donations of more than $ 38,000 before being quickly convicted of fraud. Your assets are now being used to return the money to donors.

In Spain, a case of scam was that of Paco Sanz, one of the many examples of medical scams that take advantage of the potential of multimarking and the good faith of the people.


One of the most common reasons why crowdfunding projects fail is the lack of planning. The device that appears in the photo is ZANO, a small partially autonomous drone capable of taking photos, videos in HD and being controlled from the smartphone. After obtaining 2.3 million pounds thanks to crowdfunding, its creators proved to have little idea of how to manage the budget received to produce the drones en masse.

Although they did move forward the first order, the first round of ZANO never reached its destination because they had no money for the relevant shipments.

Triton Gills

Triton was a peculiar device that consisted of artificial gills to breathe underwater that swept all over the Indiegogo. Finally, the deceit was admitted to the sponsors, to whom the sponsors of Indiegogo had to reimburse nearly $ 900,000. The company initially suggested that its device could “draw breathable air” from the water, but in fact it used liquid oxygen cylinders that are not reusable.

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