AppStori taps crowd-sourcing craze with Kickstarter-style service for mobile apps

Mobile developers looking to crowd-source their funding now have another option on the table: AppStori, a Kickstarter alternative specifically for mobile apps.

AppStori is very similar to Kickstarter in the financial sense — developers set a funding goal and a deadline for their campaigns, and potential donors are only charged if the campaign is successful. Developers can also entice potential donors by offering a tiered rewards system, another feature borrowed from Kickstarter’s model.

Where the platform looks to set itself apart is collaboration. According to AppStori co-founder Arie Abecassis, this is what makes the service a better choice for mobile developers than “all-purpose” funding platforms like Kickstarter or Indiegogo.

“We started AppStori to address a need in the market that we felt was being underserved, namely to bring app developers and consumers together much earlier in the creation process,” he explains. Developers who list their apps with AppStori can post “Want Ads” with their campaigns, giving them an outlet to hire help, draft volunteer beta testers and gather feedback from a community that will have both a personal and a financial interest in their app.

“The relationships that app developers and entrepreneurs build during the creation process don’t disappear at the end of the funding cycle, or when the app hits the market,” says Abecassis. “The AppStori platform is designed from the ground up for mobile app enablement and discovery.”

Developers wishing to use AppStori’s service are prohibited from listing projects with references to pornography, gambling, firearms or what the company calls “other generally accepted sin stocks.” The company also pre-screens all projects before they’re approved to ensure only legitimate campaigns make it onto the AppStori site. At the end of April the Kickstarter campaign for the PC game Mythic was cancelled after it was discovered the project was a scam.

If a campaign is successful, the AppStori keeps seven percent of the money raised. This sum does not include the additional 2 to 3 percent cut Amazon Payments collects for its part of the service, meaning overall the service is slightly more expensive that its competitors.

Fees aside, crowd-sourced funding platforms have become immensely profitable and lucrative over the past few months, but so far iOS devs have had mixed results on the platform. Last week developers Camouflaj and Logan saw a successful conclusion for the campaign for their “AAA iOS” game République, raising over $555,000. Conversely, independent studio SiXiTS wasn’t able to meet the goal for its mobile game Robota: Vengeance. Despite a strong start the campaign maxed out at just over $25,000, well short of the developer’s $100,000 goal.