‘Reading Rainbow’ Closes Kickstarter Campaign At Over $5.4 Million

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Forbes | Amit Chowdhry  | Jul 3, 2014

Reading RainbowAccording to LeVar Burton, the host of Reading Rainbow, one in four children in America are growing functionally illiterate. Over the last two years, millions of people have read books on the Reading Rainbow tablet app for iPad and Kindle Fire. Many teachers believe that the Reading Rainbow app should be accessible for free in classrooms and across additional platforms, which is why Burton launched a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign with a $1 million goal. That goal was surpassed in 11 hours.

The Reading Rainbow campaign has now closed after 35 days with $5,408,916 in total crowdfunding investment, provided by 105,857 backers. With the funding, Burton will expand the Reading Rainbow app to Android, Roku, Xbox and other mobile platforms. The app will now be available for free across thousands of classrooms in America. A classroom version of the app will be created for teachers and a web-enabled version of Reading Rainbow will be developed for the home, which is expected to launch in May.

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Seth MacFarlane, the creator of Family Guy, promised to match every dollar pledged following the $4 million mark to the $5 million mark if the campaign reached $5 million. MacFarlane’s $1 million is separate from Kickstarter because the crowdfunding website has a $10,000 pledge limit per person. This means that Reading Rainbow now has over $6.4 million in total funding.

Reading Rainbow received the Kickstarter record for the most number of donors for a single project at 105,857. This beats ‘The Veronica Mars Movie Project’ with 91,585 donors, the ‘Double Fine Adventure’ game with 87,142 donors and the ‘Torment: Tides of Numenera’ game with 74,405 donors.

Reading Rainbow is the fifth most funded campaign in Kickstarter history. The top four are: Pebble ($10.2 million), OUYA ($8.5 million), Pono ($6.2 million) and the Veronica Mars movie ($5.7 million).

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