So, you have a great idea, you turned it into a product, and 2019 is the year you’re ready to start crowdfunding.
Crowdfunding is ideal for startups looking for product validation and for those seeking exposure. A well executed crowdfunding campaign can attract the interest of a VC, open your company up to new geographics and demographics, or get you the type of media exposure money just can’t buy.
Your first important crowdfunding decision will be to choose which platform to use. The two biggest ones out there are Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Here’s what we’ve learned about the unique benefits of each platform, having worked extensively with clients on both.
Similar in concept, yet quite different in execution, the structure of these two crowdfunding sites is important to understand before you start.
Although Kickstarter is better known, Indiegogo provides more flexibility. Indiegogo’s campaign policies are less cut-and-dried than Kickstarters. Campaigns can run indefinitely and are subject to fewer restrictions.
Kickstarter’s more rigid requirements make it more accountable, which builds trust and likely contributes to its greater popularity with patrons.
Kickstarter takes vetting products (more) seriously, which lessens the need for caveat emptor, but requires entrepreneurs to budget the mandatory 2 to 3 day review period into their schedule. Kickstarter projects must adhere to guidelines specific to each category (there are 15!). You should identify campaign regulations well in advance of your launch.
Campaign end dates are final on Kickstarter and backers of Kickstarter projects aren’t charged until the end of a successful campaign. Indiegogo’s adaptable platform allows entrepreneurs to adjust campaign goals in media res and extend sales beyond their original dates through the In Demand function.
(Pro Tip: Many successful campaigns on Kickstarter move over to InDemand on Indiegogo afterwards, to take advantage of their favorable conditions. If you ask really nicely, Indiegogo might even set the whole thing up for you!)
Additionally, Indiegogo’s Marketplace functions more like Amazon and entrepreneurs can just sell their goods without running a formal campaign.
Tracking your Campaign
Different hallmarks guide the backend of each site too. Kickstarter publishes detailed statistics on all of its projects, boasting a 36.64% success rate. Despite Kickstarter’s transparency, Indiegogo lets users tap into their public API to “receive real-time backer information insert analytics, tracking and conversion pixels and much more”.
Kickstarter does allow you the same freedoms, however the process is more complex and limited. Kickstarter allows you only to insert a Google Analytics tracking ID or use Kickstarter’s customized referral tags.
Still not sure?
If neither of these platforms appeals to you or aligns with your goals, please scroll to the bottom for a compendium of sixteen lesser known alternatives.
Overall, Kickstarter is the more reputable and larger of the two. Yet, it’s lack of flexibility sometimes hinders startups instead of helping them. Do your homework and read the category guidelines thoroughly before you make your decision!
- RocketHub is a crowdfunding platform that helps fund science, business and art projects.
- FundRazr uses a Facebook app for crowdfunding.
- Pozible is an Australian crowdfunding platform for creative projects and ideas
- Ulule gives unique and original projects a chance to be recognized in a busy crowdfunding environment. Ulule is geared towards a dominantly European audience.
- Fundable charges $179 per month to run a campaign and raise funds and a 3.5% fee on a successful campaign. It sounds expensive but it actually works out to be cheaper than a lot of other platforms.
- Quirky is a crowdfunding site that specializes in funding projects that are in the idea and planning stages of the implementation process.
- Go Get Funding was set up to be a more flexible crowdfunding site where everybody’s welcome (aka less restrictions).
- Crowdfunder prides itself on being a friendly resource for a great number of different projects.
- Crowdcube provides investment to businesses across the world.
- BEAM helps the homeless to find work.
- GoFundMe specialises in charities and good causes.
- BRITBOTS Crowd is the world’s first dedicated robotics crowdfunder.
- JustGiving is primarily for charities and tributes.
- GavaGives is primarily for charities, but sometimes hosts companies doing social good.
- appbackr is a niche community for mobile app development.
- AngelList connects tech startups with crowdfunding from Angel investors (as well as actual investment).
If you’re preparing for a big pitch and need some help with the script and presentation, get in touch with us at G3 Partners.