Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Kickstarter and Indiegogo a short history

Kickstarter and Indiegogo are international crowdfunding platforms (or websites) based in the U.S.. They assist people in bringing creative projects to life. They have an idea. Before producing it, they want to see if enough people would buy it. If they do, then great, if not then that is good for them too, because they have spent much less than if they would have done it other ways. The target market is anyone with an idea, who wishes to raise capital in order to finance his/her goal. The funds raised can also go to charity or even start-up businesses. The sites charge a 5% fee on these contributions, while the donor receives a gift instead of an equity stake. 

Several people and business organizations across the globe have been reported to back the activities done by these sites. Kickstarter, has received pledges of more than 1.5 billion US dollars from more than 7.8 million people who endorse the funding of around 200,000 creative projects like music, film, stage shows, journalism, comics, technology, video games and even food-related projects. 

History of Indiegogo

In 2002, Danae Ringelmann co-produced a play’s reading done by Arthur Miller and ran short of financial incentives. In 2006, she started a business at the Haas School of Business with a hope of “democratizing” fundraising. She met Slava Rubin and Eric Schell who had the same fundraising experiences. Later in 2007, the three developed their concept and named it Project Keiyaku. The website was officially launched in January 2008 at Sundance Film Festival and in 2010 MTV joined Indiegogo in developing additional content from the projects accomplished by the site.

In September 2011, 1.5 million USD was raised by the company to finance series seed led by Steve Schoettler, MHS Capital, ff Venture Capital and Metamorphic ventures. In February 2012, Barack Obama backed the company, which saw Indiegogo partnering with the US government in offering crowdfunding to the country’s entrepreneurs and by 2014, the company had raised a total of $ 56.5 venture capital.

History of Kickstarter

Kickstarter was launched in 2009 by Yancey Strickler, Charles Adler and Perry Chen. The New York Times named it the people’s NEA (National Endowment for the Arts) as it was perceived as one of  America’s best inventions in 2010 and among the best websites launched in 2011. This may be the reason why the company reportedly raised 10 million USD funding fromNew York based venture firms and Angel investors. 

In 2013, the company released an iPhone iOS app called Kickstarter targeting mobile phone users who create or back projects. Kickstarter is recognized internationally, it has opened projects based in United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, Denmark, Norway, Ireland, Sweden, Spain and Australia.


Kickstarter and Indiegogo have earned reputations as among the most sought after crowdfunding websites in US and are generally received positively by their users. The majority of user reviews praise the two sites due to their commendable customer support and ease of use. Indiegogo is presumed to be more tolerant to projects since it lets people finance creative projects that would never be done by Kickstarter.


You can find a wealth of statistics about Kickstarter here.

I am most impressed by 1.9 billion raised.

On the other hand, 2014 was a breakthrough for Indiegogo as the company launched a service (named Indiegogo Life) that enable people to raise funds for emergencies, celebrations, medical expenses or any other life event. This attracted several people as no platform fees are charged.
For more information on the success stories of these sites, refer to


Not all good news

Despite the success stories above, many fully funded, some projects have flopped – or been successful and then never delivered to their customers.  Among them include: Asylum, Kobe Red, Kreyos Meteor Smartwatch and Haunts: The Manse Macabre.

I’ve been fascinated by crowdfunding for a couple of years. I’ve even tried to do a few different projects with just a little bit of success. There is an upcoming product launching the middle of September that will be interesting and I’ll be watching.

Have you ever had any success (or failures) with crowdfunding.  
I have purchased a couple of products through them as well – some I have really enjoyed, a couple were mediocre and one or two didn’t even ship. There seems to be a problem especially with games so I will definitely be doing more due diligence with those before I start to purchase.

Let us know your experiences (good or bad) in the comments.

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