With its third successful Kickstarter campaign underway, it would make sense that fundraising would be a breeze for the creator of cases and lenses for smartphone photography. But that wasn’t the case.

Share story

The third Kickstarter campaign by Seattle startup Moment reached its $500,000 funding goal with almost a month to spare before its April 8 deadline.

The company, which creates cases and lenses to improve smartphone photography, had raised $626,954 as of Friday afternoon for its campaign to manufacture and market new products for the iPhone 7 series, 6 series and the Google Pixel.

It would make sense that the third time raising funds on the crowdfunding website would be a breeze — the formula perfected, the path ahead knowingly laid out.

But that wasn’t the case.

Most Read Stories

Unlimited Digital Access. $1 for 4 weeks.

Kickstarter, and crowdfunding in general, has become an increasingly popular way to raise money and draw attention to a variety of projects. But with so many projects for potential donors to sift through, there’s more noise this time around, said Moment CEO and co-founder Marc Barros.

“It’s much harder to break through at a consumer level,” Barros said. “You just have to get smarter and smarter about ‘what do customers want?’ ”

Customers also expect more back story, Barros said — they want to feel part of something. Moment has been achieving this by hosting live videos on its Kickstarter page, giving a look into everything from design to manufacturing.

It’s all about the details, he said.

Moment also relies on peer reviews. The company lets some of its most active customers test the new products so they will tell others about their experiences.

Barros and the Moment team decided early on to crowdfund every product that the company releases. It’s the best way to make sure people actually want the item you are about to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to sell, he said.

Ironically, demand increased for Moment’s current products after the Kickstarter campaign for the upcoming products went online, Barros said, something he attributes to the influence of online retailer Amazon.

“Amazon created a culture of expecting stuff to ship today,” he said.

But plenty of people are still willing to wait for Moment’s new cases. More than 4,100 have backed the project on Kickstarter.

Moment launched in 2013, and now has 20 employees in its Sodo office space. The company raised $3 million from investors last year, and its first and second Kickstarter campaigns raised $451,000 and $693,000, respectively. Moment sells nearly all its products directly to consumers through its website and its own Amazon store.