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Kickstarter raised half a billion dollars in pledges in 2014

More than 3 million people contributed money last year to help kick-start projects on the crowdfunding site.

People who tried to drum up money to develop products and projects last year collectively raised $529 million via Kickstarter.

This cooler -- with a Bluetooth speaker, USB charger and built-in ice crusher -- was one of the most-backed projects on Kickstarter last year. Coolest

The site, where people can request pledges from the public to get an idea off the ground, revealed on Tuesday just how its crowdfunding fared in 2014. In a snapshot of the year called "2014: By The Numbers," Kickstarter said that 22,252 projects were successfully funded through the site last year, more than ever in the past.

Since its launch in 2009, Kickstarter has become a popular way for inventors, entrepreneurs and other people to raise money for various projects. In the past, such people may have had to turn to banks or venture capitalists to generate funds. But with Kickstarter, the public backs a project in return for certain benefits based on the amount of each contribution. The amount of money raised last year shows that the site can be a successful source of capital for would-be inventors, developers and designers.

A hefty 3.3 million people from almost every country backed a project last year. (That compares with 3 million people in 2013 who pledged $480 million to projects. Also, 19,911 projects were successfully funded that year.) The United States was home to more than 2 million backers, who together pledged more than $335 million last year. More than 2 million people backed a project for the first time; 773,824 people backed more than one project; 71,478 people backed more than 10 projects; and 1,125 people backed more than 100 projects.

In terms of contributions, August was the hottest month, with 2,311 successfully funded projects. Among the nine categories that scored more than 1,000 successfully funded projects, music, film and publishing were at the top of the list.

What were some of the year's most-backed projects?

LeVar Burton & Reading Rainbow raised $5,408,916 from 105,857 backers to bring Reading Rainbow's library of interactive books and video field trips to more platforms and provide free access to classrooms in need. Ryan Grepper raised $13,285,226 from 62,642 backers to create a 21st century ice cooler outfitted with a Bluetooth speaker, USB charger and built-in ice crusher. And Warhorse Studios raised 1,106,371 pounds ($1,679,083) from 35,384 backers to create Kingdom Come: Deliverance, a role-playing game set in medieval Europe.