Hollywood stars Levar Burton and Kristen Bell have got nothing on Pebble when it comes to crowdfunding.
The smartwatch maker on Tuesday unveiled the Pebble Time, its second-generation product, and fans of the company couldn't hand over their cash fast enough.
Within 17 minutes, the company had met its initial funding goal of $500,000. By the 49-minute mark, it had hit $1 million, obliterating the previous record for that milestone. (Reaper Miniature Bones took 2 hours, 42 minutes to raise that in 2012.)
By 4:15 p.m. ET, six hours after the campaign had started, the company had raised more than $5.7 million.
To put that in perspective, that means the Pebble Time campaign is already one of the top six Kickstarters of all time, and it will likely be in the top four or five by the end of its first full day of availability. At just under seven hours, it had raised more than any high-profile video game that had ever been on Kickstarter, more than the campaign to bring back the educational series Reading Rainbow, and more than the Veronica Mars movie.
And all of those Kickstarters took a month to reach their totals.
Pebble has a storied history on Kickstarter. When the company first unveiled its smartwatch in 2012, it instantly resonated with the crowdfunding audience, going on to raise just under $10.3 million in a month, surpassing its funding goal by 10,266 percent.
Since then, the Coolest cooler has claimed the all-time top Kickstarter position, but its $13.3 million record looks very much at risk now.
Many analysts points to Pebble's initial overwhelming success on Kickstarter as a reason other companies, including LG, have made smartwatches a priority in subsequent years.
In April, Apple will jump into the market with the Apple Watch, which the company hopes will be a comprehensive health and fitness device with many other uses.
Available in three versions, the device is more technologically advanced than Pebble's Time, but it suffers from a few potential stumbling blocks, as well. first among those is battery life. While the Pebble Time uses a low-power e-ink display and, as a result, can run for seven days without a charge, the Apple Watch may need to be charged daily.
There's also a significant price difference. Pebble is charging $179 for Kickstarter backers and will charge $199 when the Time hits store shelves. The Apple Watch will start at $349 but will run much higher, depending on the model you choose.
The original Pebble watch was a roaring success. A year ago, the company said it had sold more than 400,000 of the devices (it has not updated the sales totals since then). In comparison, analyst group Canalys estimates just 720,000 Google-powered smartwatches shipped in 2014.
While it's almost certain that the Pebble Time's funding won't continue at its current pace throughout its campaign, it's sure fun to imagine what would happen if it did.
Kicktraq, an estimating service for Kickstarter projects, predicts that if things stay at this pace, the Pebble Time could end up raising nearly $154 million.