The indiegogo project for the Ubuntu Edge has failed to reach its target of $32 million, losing the largest amount ever pledged by crowdfunders.
The Linux-based smartphone, which aimed to function as a dual smartphone-and-desktop-PC device, received nearly $13 million in pledges from backers.
However, the considerable sum, the biggest ever offered by backers to a crowdfunding project, was still short by $19 million by its August 21st deadline, meaning that all $13 million will be returned to donators, as is standard with crowdfunding sites such as indiegogo and Kickstarter.
The largest ever successful crowdfunding project remains the Pebble Smartwatch, which raised over $10 million, but only needed $100,000 to receive the money.
The biggest backer of the failed Ubuntu Edge project was Bloomberg, which offered $80,000 in return for a hundred of the Edge smartphones. Nearly 20,000 other backers, including celebrity tech-lover Stephen Fry, coughed up the $700 for the Edge, which was due for production and release in 2014.
In an optimistic post-mortem post on the Edge’s indiegogo page, Mark Shuttleworth, who acts as a leader for the Ubuntu platform and who proposed the Edge, thanked supporters and stated that ‘the big winner from this campaign is Ubuntu,’ mentioning the number of Ubuntu-based phones that would be appearing in 2014, partly boosted by publicity surrounding the Edge.
Shuttleworth also praised crowdfunding, saying that ‘it’s a great way to give consumers a voice and to push for more innovation and transparency in the mobile industry,’ and suggesting that ‘perhaps one day’ he and the Edge team may return and ‘try it all over again.’