Indiegogo may not have as many campaigns or raise as much money as Kickstarter, but goshdarnit, it will give its users more options.
The site launched a new feature today that enables companies to embed crowdfunding campaigns to their own websites that mirrors campaigns on Indiegogo.
“As Indiegogo and the crowdfunding industry have evolved, our campaign owners have become increasingly savvy and through their feedback, we’ve discovered that some have wanted the ability to run campaigns on their own websites, with their own customized branding and established audience,” Indiegogo CEO Slava Rubin told VentureBeat. “Indiegogo Outpost will give these individuals and companies the crowdfunding experience that works best for them and offers the resources that many want to help them raise as much money as possible.”
Rubin claims it’s the first crowdfunding platform that permits companies to raise funds simultaneously on two sites at once (although Vancouver-based FundRazr was quick to say it has done this for a while.)
The new capability, called Indiegogo Outpost, means companies don’t have to pick between using a crowdfunding platform or running their own campaign — they can do both.
Popular crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo provide companies raising money with a large audience, an identifiable brand, and various marketing and analytics tools. However, it also means that all the traffic for a campaign is not directed to the company’s own website but rather to a third-party.
In theory, the main reason to use a third-party platform is that they have a strong network of interested donors to draw from — Indiegogo said it has nine million monthly unique visitors.
But the reality is that most successful campaigns don’t reach their goal thanks to strangers.
“Internal studies have shown that the success of a crowdfunding campaign is predominantly driven by the support of friends and family — both financial support and support for ‘spreading the word’ about the campaign,” said Kevin Berg Kartaszewicz-Grell, who directed a report on crowdfunding for research firm Massolution. “Any company that is capable of leveraging social capital will be able to benefit from this form of financing. Crowdfunding is friends-and-family funding on steroids.”
Basically, a company will only achieve their crowdfunding goals if they have a strong existing network of their own, in which case they may not need a third-party platform like Indiegogo or Kickstarter at all.
Indiegogo’s idea: Why not make it possible to do both, so companies don’t have to make a choice. It seems a little odd to split fundraising efforts like this, but I suppose if the goal is to raise a lot of money, “spray and pray” isn’t a bad approach.
Crowdfunding has generated millions of successful campaign and billions of dollars around the world over the past couple years. It gives creators, startups, small businesses, and good causes a potentially useful new channel to raise money they need for projects. With this momentum, hordes of crowdfunding sites have cropped up a variety of niches imaginable.
The reaction to all this noise is empowering individuals and businesses to set up their own campaigns. Crowdtilt, another crowdfunding platform, rolled out Crowdhoster last year. Billed as “the WordPress for crowdfunding,” it makes it easy for anyone to set up a campaign.
“Crowdfunding is too powerful and makes too much sense for it only to invest in silos,” CEO James Beshara told VentureBeat. “Kickstarter [or Indiegogo] is not the future of crowdfunding.”
Kickstarter campaigns have raised six times as many dollars than Indiegogo, and the average success rate is much higher. Indiegogo has more flexible campaign guidelines, and Indiegogo Outpost is an effort to further distinguish itself from its stronger, more popular rival.
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