Crowdsource funding website Kickstarter has launched in the UK.

The website allows projects to turn to the internet for their funding, taking small or large donations from thousands of backers in return for credit, early access to products or other benefits.

Since its launch in the United States in 2009, Kickstarer has been used to fund video games, albums, books and electronic devices that might otherwise have not been realised.

More than 70,000 projects have been funded, for a total of $340m. About 40% of those projects which look for the community's support are successful. Some projects like the Ouya indie console have raised millions of dollars, while one man's mission to turn himself into a robot was also successful.

They include several which are based in the UK or run by British entrepreneurs, but who had to run their funding drive through an American address and bank account.

One such project, by 25-year-old Piers Ridyard, saw more than $384,000 pledged in just a few weeks to fund a Macbook hard drive-SD card hybrid, which is built in the UK.

"We've been contacted by several people who are budding entrepreneurs in the UK and want to use the service, which is an amazing platform... but the US restrictions had stopped those outside the US from doing so," he said earlier this year.

Now businesses here will be able to sign up through a British version of the site, and start looking for funds more easily.

In order to be accepted onto Kickstarter businesses need to have built a working prototype of their product, and have video and photos of what they eventually want to produce.

While it is the best-known website of its type, Kickstarter is just one of a series of similar services, some of which have already launched in the UK. They also include IndieGoGo and PleaseFund.Us.