Kickstarter Vs. Indiegogo – Which Platform Should You Choose?


Understanding the differences between Kickstarter and Indiegogo ensures creators make the right decision for their campaign.

Each platform has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, but the key is knowing which platform can better set you up for success.

Who funds more (big, successful) projects?

Comparing funding statistics between the two is difficult, as Indiegogo does not publicly disclose data. However, as of March 2020, Kickstarter campaigns raised over $4.8 billion and had a total of 17.6 million backers. Over 430 projects broke the $1 million mark, and over 6,400 campaigns raised over $100,000.

Indiegogo has also seemingly done well over the past few years. As of January 2019, the company has raised $1.6 billion for startups.

When considering which platform to launch on, it’s important to consider what stage your product is in, what categories are available for each and the type of data you can collect on Kickstarter versus Indiegogo.

Kickstarter Project Categories

If you’re considering Kickstarter, note that projects cannot raise money for a charity, nor can they offer revenue sharing or investment opportunities. Kickstarter supports projects and products only in these categories: Arts, Comics, Crafts, Dance, Design, Fashion, Film & Video, Food, Games, Journalism, Music, Photography, Publishing, Technology and Theater.

Of Kickstarter’s 15 categories, the most popular are:

  • Games – $1.14 billion successfully raised with a 40.63% success rate
  • Design – $1 billion successfully raised with a 38.12% success rate
  • Technology – $801.73 million successfully raised with a 20.66% success rate

Keep in mind that there is also a list of prohibited items that are not allowed on the platform, including products that claim to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent an illness, energy food and drinks, alcoholic rewards, political fundraising and coupons.

Indiegogo Project Categories

By contrast, Indiegogo supports most any project or product ranging from local community projects to building an app. The platform offers 28 subcategories that fit into three overarching categories: Tech & Innovation, Creative Works and Community Projects.

Of Indiegogo’s categories, their most popular category is Tech & Innovation where nine out of their top 10 projects in 2019 launched. The majority of these campaigns launched as a Fashion & Wearables, Transportation, or Travel & Outdoors project.

Similar to Kickstarter, Indiegogo also has a list of prohibited items, including vaporizers and pipes, weapons, alcoholic perks, and forms of lottery and gambling.

Crowdfunding Platform Rules

There are thousands of impressive projects and products on both Kickstarter and Indiegogo. However, creators must agree to Kickstarter’s rules, which are more demanding, prior to launching their campaign. Indiegogo’s rules are less strict. For instance, Kickstarter products must feature a fully functional prototype. Indiegogo does not require this step; products may simply be conceptual with non-working prototypes.

Indiegogo has also extended its business model to compete against programs like Amazon Launchpad by offering a platform for products that are in line to be shipped. In 2015, Indiegogo went a step further and separated cause or charity campaigns from personal campaigns, forming a new platform called Generosity.

In addition to each platform’s rules and guidelines, you should also consider the logistics of your campaign. Can you ship worldwide? How much funding do you need? How much are the platform fees?

Countries You Can Ship To

Another reason to explore both platforms prior to launching your campaign is your country’s eligibility. Kickstarter authorizes campaigns from only 22 countries. So, if you live in a certain country in Asia, Central or South America, Africa or certain E.U. countries, Kickstarter is not an option. Indiegogo, similarly, supports project creators residing in 21 countries.

The Importance of Funding Goals

Your campaign funding goal shows the public how much money you need in order to make your product a reality. While that number varies by campaign, Kickstarter and Indiegogo differ in how these are portrayed.

Kickstarter shows a funding amount that’s “locked in” meaning you can’t adjust it once your project launches. If you hit your funding goal and continue to raise money throughout the duration of your campaign, then your project is considered a successfully funded project. If you don’t reach your funding goal by the time your campaign ends then it’s labeled as unsuccessful.

Indiegogo offers two funding goal options: fixed or flexible funding. Fixed funding is similar to Kickstarter’s model in that it’s all or nothing. In other words, you won’t receive any funds unless you reach your goal. On the other hand, flexible funding on Indiegogo allows creators to set a funding goal but take whatever money they end up raising (even if it’s unsuccessful).

It’s important to note that backers typically avoid flexible funding campaigns on Indiegogo as they’re not guaranteed the product should the campaign be unsuccessful and the creator takes the funds raised.

Crowdfunding Data Types

The dashboard on Kickstarter and Indiegogo are very different, so you should consider what type(s) of data you want to collect during your campaign. Both platforms will show the source of your contributions, as well as how many visitors have come to the page and what rewards or perks are the most popular. While you can add a Google Analytics code to both platforms, you can only run a retargeting campaign on Indiegogo.

Indiegogo also features a weekly roundup of products that are trending or doing well on the site. If your campaign is selected for the newsletter, you can anticipate seeing some momentum come to your project. Kickstarter also features a newsletter, though it doesn’t always perform as well as Indiegogo’s. Pledges from the respective newsletter will appear in your project’s dashboard.

Crowdfunding Platform Fees

If you do not reach your funding goal within the timeline on Kickstarter, no pledges earned will be paid out and no fees will be charged. The five percent fee Kickstarter charges (plus three to five percent on payment processing fees) are considered reasonable.

Similarly, Indiegogo charges a five percent platform fee plus a payment processing fee that varies by your location and currency. Note that the fees on both platforms are based on the total amount you raise, not your public funding goal.

Post-Crowdfunding Campaign Options

With Indiegogo, campaign owners can choose to enroll in InDemand, a platform that is essentially an extension of a regular crowdfunding campaign that makes it easy for creators to keep raising funds after their campaign ends. InDemand also lets creators continue to grow their community, reach new audiences and receive ongoing exposure on the Indiegogo platform. Creators are only eligible for InDemand if they meet their goal by the campaign deadline and are in good standing with Indiegogo.

If you used Kickstarter for your campaign, it is still easy to transition to InDemand. Creators on Kickstarter must contact the Indiegogo team, who can help transition their campaign over to Indiegogo. Once their campaign is set up, they have the ability to edit their story, perks, payment details and more. However, they cannot edit their original funding goal or how much their campaign has raised.

So, Which Should You Choose?

It ultimately depends on the project or product you are creating. If you have a creative project that fits within the confines of Kickstarter’s rules, then because of sheer size and audience reach, Kickstarter is probably the best choice. This is especially true if you have a fully functioning prototype.

However, if your campaign is charitable in nature, in the “concept” stage, or is eligible for Indiegogo’s Arrow Certification Program, then Indiegogo is best.

If you are still not sure which platform is best for your project or have additional questions about crowdfunding services, turn to the experts here at Enventys Partners. Our team can help with product development and marketing services that take your idea from concept all the way through to execution. We will help you crowdfund, design, market test, manufacture and sell your product, transforming not only your life but the lives of consumers as well.

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Want to learn more about how we’d prepare your product for launch? Request a quote today.

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