How many of us chase our dreams to start something we have always wanted to but never had the courage or capital to do so. Here is where Indiegogo comes into the picture. Founded by Danae Ringelmann, Slava Rubin and Eric Schell, as their website quotes’ “founded to revolutionize funding”.
With over 15 million people visiting their website from all over the world each month, Indiegogo has easily become the most sought after name in crowd funding arena.
Indiegogo is an international crowd funding web site; headquartered in San Francisco, California. It was one of the first websites to offer crowd funding .Crowd funding is the practice of funding a project or venture by raising monetary contributions from a large number of people, typically via the internet.
150,000 campaigns for organizations, nonprofits and individuals raising money all across the world, gives a fair idea of how big an impact Indiegogo has made since it was started in 2008.
As Danae puts it succinctly, the trio wanted to build a platform for anyone with an idea to give it go and prove themselves. It was at University of California at Berkeley Haas School of Business that Ringelmann met her two co-founders, Slava Rubin and Eric Schell, both of whom came from tech backgrounds,sharing their vision for democratizing finance.
What Indiegogo stands for
Interestingly the word Indiegogo was coined by them when they were heading to an event and wanted to print cards. Zeroing in on Indiegogo worked since it encapsulated the vision and independent spirit of their idea.
Currently Danae Ringelmann works as the Founder & Chief Development Officer at Indiegogo, Slava Rubin works as the CEO; Rubin had started a charity fundraiser for cancer research, after losing his father to cancer as a child.
Eric Schell co-founded Indiegogo to bring advances in Internet technology to the creative community. He offers expertise in software development, technology architecture, and IT analytics and governance. Prior to Indiegogo, Eric was an IT Strategy Consultant at Diamond Management & Technology Consultants, working for Fortune 500 Companies across Financial Services, Insurance and Telecom industries.
The concept of crowd funding at Indiegogo
The site runs on a rewards-based system, meaning donors, investors, or customers who are willing help to fund a project or product can donate and receive a gift, rather than an equity stake in the company. Unlike Kickstarter which is another popular crowd funding platform , users can create a page for their funding campaign, set up an account with PayPal, make a list of “perks” for different levels of investment, then create a social media–based publicity effort. Users publicize the projects themselves—through Facebook, Twitter and similar platforms. The site levies a 4% fee for successful campaigns. For campaigns that fail to raise their target amount, users have the option of either refunding all money to their contributors at no charge or keeping all money raised minus a 9% fee.
Funding campaigns can be started for music, education,community, sports, technology. In 2014 Indiegogo life was launched to offer people a chance to raise money through crowd funding for health and medical related emergencies. Indiegogo life doesn’t charge a fees for the money raised. Indiegogo offers a platform to raise funds for any project – creative, entrepreneurial or cause-related.
Slava has stated that the company is interested in moving towards equity funding in the future once laws around it become clearer in the U.S
List of successful projects
•In December 2014, Code.org held a successful Indiegogo crowd funding campaign – An Hour of Code for Every Student that raised over $5 million to help educate school children on coding.
•Let’s Build a Goddamn Tesla Museum, which raised $1.3 million, The Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe raised money through crowd funding to purchase the property for the Museum.
•The Storm Electric Bike, which as of February 19, 2015 has raised $3.5 from 6,293 funders.