It's coming to the UK soon too: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-18780184
Maybe this is a way to fund professional edits, cover design, website design etc. for the promotion of a novel. There's a need to provide backers with some form of reward. From examples I have seen (yes, fantasy novel included), the rewards could be exclusive ebooks, acknowledgments in the published work, tweeting and blogging mentions, paperbacks, hardbacks, naming rights over characters, commissioned work ... everything seems possible.