Some very big names apparently believe Indiegogo has at least a fighting chance against larger crowdfunding rival Kickstarter. San Francisco-based Indiegogo announced eight new investors today, and the list reads like a Who’s Who of tech celebrities.
Topping the list (in order of name recognition) is Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson. Branson was unavailable to talk to VentureBeat Monday but had this to say about Indiegogo in the press release Tuesday: “One of the biggest challenges faced by entrepreneurs is access to capital. Indiegogo helps to solve that problem and empowers anyone in the world to do well and do good.”
The group is rounded out by Google X VP Megan Smith, former Drugstore.com CEO Dawn Lepore, former Visa president Hans Morris, and Andor Capital Management CEO Dan Benton.
A spokesman said Indiegogo and the investors are not disclosing the amounts of the individual investments, nor will they divulge the total value of the round.
This “celebrity round” is Indiegogo’s second funding event this year. The last round came in late January when it took in $40 million. That round was funded by Insight Venture Partners, MHS Capital Management, Institutional Venture Partners, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Metamorphic Ventures, and ff Venture Capital.
Indiegogo says it will use the new money to “continue expanding globally and improving user experience with a focus on mobile, personalization, and trust.” Of course, the subtext here is that Indiegogo needs more resources and financial flexibility to attract funding campaigns that would normally go to Kickstarter.
While a report last year claimed that Kickstarter campaigns make far more money than Indiegogo ones, Indiegogo claims that funds raised on Indiegogo have grown by 1,000 percent over the past two years. Indiegogo says it has now hosted more than 200,000 campaigns from 190 countries.
“We launched Indiegogo so everyone in the world would have the ability to fund their dreams,” says Indiegogo CEO and cofounder Slava Rubin in the press release. “Six years later we are very grateful to attract these incredible operators as investors and advisors to help accelerate our vision.”