Quirky takes the power of crowdsourcing and channels it toward product development. People can pitch their ideas on the site for review by members of the 260,000 community and the Quirky team. The best are then quickly developed into reality, also using the wisdom of the crowd for inspiration, fine-tuning, and tweaking.
“It took one year and 45 days to build the Empire State Building,” said founder and CEO Ben Kaufman. “It takes most consumer product companies 18 to 24 months to launch a new vegetable peeler. Something is wrong here.”
Over the past three years, the company has produced more than 200 products. It is currently putting out two new products each week, and many of these items are available at national retailers like Target, Staples, OfficeMax, and Bed, Bath & Beyond. The selection ranges from convenient little cooking gadgets to headphone props.
The revenue from the products is shared with the people who participated in the project. The projects have an average of 800 contributors. To date, inventors and contributors have received more than $2 million. The community is growing fast, and Quirky will use this funding to increase its product development capabilities as well as refine the platform and grow the team.
With this hefty third round of funding, Quirky has pulled in a total of $97 million. Previous investors Norwest Venture Partners and RRE Ventures also participated.
Quirky is based in New York City. Now I know who to thank for the spoon that is designed to hang off my coffee mug. It makes continuously stirring the soy milk to prevent glopping much more convenient.