With $12.8M raised, Ubuntu Edge campaign fails, but it’s not all in vain

August 22, 2013
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The Indiegogo campaign for the Ubuntu Edge smartphone failed to raise its goal of $32 million. While the project won’t go ahead, the campaign succeeded in raising public awareness of Ubuntu Phone.

ubuntu edge

Canonical’s adventure in crowdfunding has come to its predictable conclusion. With $12,809,906 raised in 30 days, the Indiegogo campaign to fund the Ubuntu Edge smartphone broke records and generated countless headlines in tech media, but ultimately that was not enough to make the Edge a reality.

Because Canonical opted for a fixed funding campaign, it won’t get to keep the money it raised and all backers will be refunded their contributions.

According to an update from Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth, almost 20,000 people have contributed to the campaign with hundreds of dollars each, along with three businesses that opted for the $7000 Enterprise Starter Kit perk and one massive contribution from Bloomberg LP, which contributed $80,000.

Ubuntu Edge broke the record for the largest crowdfunded sum, which was previously held by the Pebble smartwatch Kickstarter project. Still, Pebble remains that largest successful campaign ever.

It’s safe to say that the Ubuntu Edge campaign was very successful from the perspective of raising awareness about Canonical’s Ubuntu Phone project. The fact that several thousand people were ready to pay $700 or more for a phone that doesn’t even exist is very encouraging from Canonical’s plans to bring to market by 2014 the first devices running Ubuntu Phone, a mobile-optimized version of Linux.

What about Ubuntu Edge? The dual-booting (Android + Ubuntu Phone) device raised the pulse of quite a few technology fans. Will it ever make it to market? Mark Shuttleworth hinted that a new campaign is possible:

“Who knows, perhaps one day we’ll take everything we’ve learned from this campaign — achievements and mistakes — and try it all over again.”

And there’s always the possibility that Edge will be founded by a corporate backer or through venture capital.

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