Kickstarter versus IndieGoGo

in Crowdfunding Journal

This post is part of our online series Crowdfunding Journal which chronicles our open crowdfunding campaign.

One of the first things we found out, upon researching Kickstarter, was that there are other options. They are not mentioned nearly as much as Kickstarter, and don’t have nearly as much traffic. However, they do exist. And what’s more – they present some perks that Kickstarter doesn’t. We are not yet sure which we are going to pick, but here are our notes on each of the ones that we looked in to. There are some major differences in how these platforms work that could, possibly, affect the outcome of your project.

We originally included PeerBackers and RocketHub, but did not debate them for long because they did not seem as developed as IndieGoGo and Kickstarter. We have still included them in the comparison table, however.

Basics

Kickstarter IndieGoGo
Campaign Duration Max 60 Days 1 – 120 Days
Payment Processor
  • Amazon Payments
  • Credit Card
  • PayPal
Focus
  • Creative
  • Creative
  • Causes
  • Entrepreneurial
  • Partners
Funding If successful Can accept regardless
Platform Fee 5% if successful
  • 4% if successful
  • 9% if unsuccessful but accepted
Additional Payment Fee 3 to 5% (Amazon) “Around 3%”

PeerBackers RocketHub
Campaign Duration 15 – 60 Days 15 – 90 Days
Payment Processor
  • PayPal
  • Credit Card
  • PayPal
Focus
  • Entrepreneurial
  • Creative
Funding Can accept regardless of goal Funds regardless of goal
Platform Fee 5% if successful 4%
Additional Payment Fee 2.9% (PayPal) 4%

Kickstarter

The famous one. The coca-cola of crowd-sourced funding platforms. The benefits are obvious, the drawbacks are interesting. Keep in mind, what is a drawback to us may be a benefit for your campaign, so read through analytically:

Pros

  • It’s famous. Kickstarter projects go viral. There’s a lot of people on this website. People have heard of this website.
  • They have a lot of resources, like Kickstarter School.

Cons

  • Unlike other platforms, Kickstarter has no options for projects being funded if the goal is not reached in time.
  • Their target market does not match our own. Kickstarter focuses on creative projects, artists, etc. Our target market is primarily working professionals, entrepreneurs, etc. These don’t line up at all.

IndieGoGo

Not as well known, but it’s still been covered by media. It has a wider focus than Kickstarter (not just creative projects).

Pros

  • Has an entrepreneurial section, so part of their market matches our target market
  • We can accept the money if we haven’t reached the goal as long as it’s close to the goal and we can still make the kickbacks

Cons

  • Not the name-brand “Kickstarter” which may or may not matter. We just wonder if conversations would go differently: “Check out project out on Kickstarter!” “You’re on Kickstarter? No way!” versus “Check out project out on IndieGoGo!” “Huh?”
  • Smaller base to draw from versus Kickstarter. This may not be bad, because there’s probably proportionally fewer projects for the audience to look at. But say you got featured, being featured on Kickstarter would bring much more eyes than being featured on IndieGoGo
  • Successful projects have lower average raised funds versus Kickstarter

So what do you think? Kickstarter, IndieGoGo, or another?

6 Responses to “Kickstarter versus IndieGoGo”

  1. Declan

    I’m not in the U.S. so wanted to check whether or not it was possible for me to start a project.

    from IndieGoGo:
    IndieGoGo is based in the United States, but we have members in 210 countries and counting. You can post and fund a campaign from any country as long as you have a valid bank account or credit card.

    from KickStarter:
    To be eligible to start a Kickstarter project, you need to satisfy the requirements of Amazon Payments:
    Be a permanent US resident and at least 18 years of age with a Social Security Number (or EIN), a US bank account, US address, US state-issued ID (driver’s license), and major US credit or debit card.

    Peerbackers uses paypal and say:
    Anyone with an idea, project, business or invention can apply to post on our site from anywhere in the world.

    Rockethub:
    RocketHub encourages Creatives to post projects from all over the world.

    Reply
    • alexobenauer

      Declan – this is great, thanks for looking this up! We’ll add this in to the table in a few.

      Reply
  2. Dave Ijams

    I am trying to determine if Indiegogo will allow me to pay out a share of profits to donors as if they were investors and not give “Perks”.

    Reply
    • alexobenauer

      That’s actually currently illegal in the US, so I’d check up on your country’s laws regarding that.

      Reply
        • alexobenauer

          SEC regulations currently forbid most people from investing in companies for equity. Qualifiers must make $200k / year, or have $1m+. This regulation makes giving percentage equity, a percent of the profits, to crowdfunding backers impossible. There is a lot of movement right now though to strike down that legislation specifically so that crowdfunding can be possible, and backers can receive equity, and therefor, percentage profits.

          Reply

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