Hardware · Kickstarter

Crowdfunding: Kickstarter v. Indiegogo...or another platform?

Aren Kaser Founder and CEO at Igor Institute

August 1st, 2014

We get asked quite a bit by partners, friends, and potential clients what crowdfunding platform works best, independent on whether its HW or SW. While there are advantages to each, (Kickstarter has more users, Indiegogo isn't all or nothing), does anyone have any of their own experiences that may highlight a more advantageous route to crowdfunding SW or HW projects successfully?

David Geertz Music and film start up & go to market specialist.

August 1st, 2014

I think your best bet for hardware based products would be KS as they do have a built in culture for this. 

I wouldn't use either of the top two for software; rather, I would venture over to the dutch company http://symbid.com as they have a unique way of allowing people to buy into your project and earn revenue from a coop style investing model. I would never personal do rewards based funding for software products and I don't think I'm alone with this. We all saw what happened with Diaspora on KS a few years back. 

Hope that helps. 

Bob Troia Entrepreneur. Builder. Creative Technologist.

August 2nd, 2014

It also has a lot to do with your product category. Until recently, if you were doing anything in the health/medical space you had to use IndieGogo as Kickstarter banned health or medical-related products. However, they now allow them (to some degree)  - http://rockhealth.com/2014/06/kickstarter-finally-ends-long-time-ban-health-campaigns-kickstarter-recently-announced-end-long-time-ban-health-medical-products-largest-crowdfunding-platform-1b/ 

ian johnstone Startup founder/advisor/consultant. Passionate about Tech for Good.

August 4th, 2014

My direct experience is with cause-related crowdfunding campaigns, but I've done a lot of research on the space in general.

None of the different platforms provide strong data around their ability to drive traffic (or purchasers) to your campaign, and I have to believe (if that were the case) they would go to great lengths to advertise that fact. The key things to consider are:
- Product: the social & referral tracking tools, usability of the platform, etc. - on this dimension, I like Indiegogo
- Credibility: really important for ecommerce in general, and even more so for brand new products - Indiegogo or Kickstarter would help in this dimension
- Fees: they can vary pretty significantly from one platform to the next. Crowdtilt (at the moment) has a white label platform (CT Open) that's virtually free (only take 2.5% for processing), compared to 7-10% of some of the other sites.

In my opinion, the difference between all-or-nothing vs. flex funding isn't too significant; it's better to set an appropriate target amount and run the campaign properly. 

If you have a strong network/community in place prior to launching the campaign, it might be worth saving on the fees and using Crowdtilt Open. If not, it probably makes sense to go with IGG or Kickstarter.

Robert H Lee

August 1st, 2014

I was going to suggest you talk to Highway1 about this but I see you are on their team.

David Geertz Music and film start up & go to market specialist.

August 1st, 2014

If I was raising money for a product that was hardware related and it was to put to use within the NPO sector I would look the one company that focuses on NPO related activities that was well financed by the silicon valley backer - https://rally.org/

Savneet Singh Founder of GBI

August 4th, 2014

Indiegogo is good for social cause campaigns (non profits) and KickStarter better for hardware


December 23rd, 2015

Short answer, we have found the 80/20 Rule applies here too: kickstarter unless there is a reason that disqualifies it.

Rafael Aguilar

December 24th, 2015

We are working in a new platform, that will give trust to backers, so they won't lose their money and take a little control over creators, so they can have more commitment with backers and don't create things that they won't deliver.