Crowdfunding platform Indiegogo announced that it has raised $40 million in a round led by Institutional Venture Partners (IVP) and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB), with the participation of existing investors Insight Venture Partners, MHS Capital, Metamorphic Ventures and ff Venture Capital.
According to co-founder Slava Rubin, this round of funding will be used to make key hires, expand globally and focus on mobile users, personalization and building trust.
“If the 80s were about desktops, the 90s were about commerce and the 00s were about social, then the next decade is going to be about crowdsourcing,” he said. Rubin said the company now had close to 1,000 competitors but as the largest player it was well positioned to maintain its lead. “We bring the crowd to crowdsourcing,” he noted.
Crowdfunding platforms have gained significant traction in the past two years and funding-seekers have been using it to launch their inventions, albums, films, or even raise financial support for medical treatments.
“Indiegogo is playing a central role in the transformation of the global economy,” said John Doerr, general partner at KPCB. “We are excited to partner with Indiegogo to help support the dreams and aspirations of the Indiegogo community and continue establishing Indiegogo as the leading international platform for funding new ideas and innovation.”
There are now a number of crowdfunding platforms that will cater to specific categories or purposes. For those who are innovators, inventors, small business entrepreneurs, artists, or even those who just want to be noticed and backed financially, below are some of the platforms available.
Kickstarter started it all
This crowdfunding platform is much like Indiegogo as it backs almost any kind of project as long as it meets the guidelines. However, launching a project and getting funded successfully doesn’t necessarily mean that the project will push forward – it all depends on the project creator. On the flipside, some projects may push forward with launching, even if they did not reach their target funding.
When launching a project on Kickstarter, creators are given a time-frame to promote their project and convince others that it is worth funding. The best part about Kickstarter is that anyone can fund a project for as little as $1, but shelling out more could earn supporters a special package for being an early adopter.
4 niche crowdfunding sites on the rise
Gambitious is a hybrid crowdfunding platform just for video games, accepting both donations and investments. Anyone over the age of 18 can pledge to a project they are interested in, but international investors are reminded to conduct the proper due diligence about investment laws in their countries.
Gambitious stands apart from other crowdfunding platforms because it requires a meet up when a creator submits a project to review his or her working business plan and to ensure the project has a solid roadmap for the future before it is approved. Gambitious is also accredited by the Crowdfunding Accreditation for Platform Standards (CAPS), an initiative by Crowdsourcing.org to promote the adoption of best practices for the operation of crowdfunding platforms globally.
Catapult is a crowdfunding platform that supports projects advancing the lives of girls and women around the world. It was developed by the non-profit organization Women Deliver in 2011. Catapult operates through donors browsing different projects by location, topic or need and donating individually or creating donor teams to fund projects that interest and inspire them. Once a project is fully funded, donors can access detailed information as to how the funding was used to change lives. Catapult’s “Curator” feature also lets people promote projects in their specific areas of focus, fueling a funding powerhouse for girls and women. And the best part is that Catapult never charges a fee to partners.
Appbackr is the first and only digital wholesale marketplace for the application market. The site helps developers sell copies of an app to wholesale buyers (“backrs”) on their marketplace, giving developers immediate funds. And thanks to social media and other tools, getting apps backed is made even easier.
Appbackr has three products: appscore,a predictive analytical ranking system for apps, scoring on quality, customer ratings and reviews; Xchange which provides a platform for developers to receive offers from stores and platforms to port their apps; and the Marketplace which helps developers distribute their apps.
A crowdfunding platform launched in September 2013, HWTrek is designed to revolutionize the crowdfunding process by focusing on the hardware side of technology. HWTrek pairs project teams with manufacturing and design experts who help guide the projects from concept to production, delivering a high-quality product at scale, on time and on budget, to hardware enthusiasts excited to back promising product innovations.
HWTrek was created by TMI Holding, a business incubator and venture capital firm that designed the Hardware Acceleration Program (HAP), a team that helps project owners get their products manufactured and to market.