Since beginning a crowdfunded campaign for the Ubuntu Edge smartphone, Canonical has raised $10,288,472 in pledges. It has set the record, raising more money in pledges than any other venture before it, even passing last years record which was set by Pebble for a smartwatch.
Although this is an achievement, in the bigger picture it does not look so good. There is six days left for the campaign and the target for Canonical is $32 million. If the target is not reached, then all the money received will have to be returned.
However Mark Shuttleworth, Canonical’s founder, is still optimistic and has said that public interest in the Ubuntu Edge phone was high.
“The campaign has sparked a level of interest that has surprised even us,” he said, adding that it had seized the attention not only of phone enthusiasts but innovators and futurists as well as manufacturers.
Mr Shuttleworth has admitted that the device may be too different from the current style of smartphone for institutional investors, like major telecom companies, to consider backing it now. “We would have been bringing the future forward a year or two at least”, Mr Shuttleworth said.
“Risky new technology is difficult for mainstream manufacturers,” he said, adding that the campaign’s funding target was “head and shoulders” above anything else.
Canonical have learned lessons from this campaign, with Mr Shuttleworth saying he would rethink the discounted price that was offered to early contributors.
He also added that if the campaign made significant ground in the next few days then Ubunutu would consider extending the online campaign but if it was still far from the target, then all the money would returned to those who contributed.
The campaign runs until August 21.
[Image via th3tech]