As the nascent industry of crowdfunding “matures” (read more profitable for fatcats), some big-name investors are getting involved. Indiegogo, an early player, said an all-star list of tech entrepreneurs and venture capitalists is now backing the company.
The new investors include Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson, PayPal co-founder and Yelp chairman Max Levchin, Yahoo board chairman Maynard Webb, Draper Fisher Jurvetson Founding Partner Tim Draper, Drugstore.com’s former Chief Executive Dawn Lepore, and a former Visa President Hans Morris. The company didn’t reveal details about amounts invested.
The new money follows a $40 million Series B financing the company raised in January to accelerate its international expansion and develop new product features.
As the industry matures, the field of crowdfunding is also growing cluttered and competitive, with a proliferation of sites that help users connect with donors, investors, or customers willing to “pre-order” projects and products before they’re made.
At the same time prospective backers are being offered an even wider choice of places to lose their money to charletans.
Institutional Venture Partners and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers led the Series B round, joined by the company’s existing investors Insight Venture Partners, MHS Capital, Metamorphic Ventures and ff Venture Capital.
The new funding brings the company’s total venture capital raised to $56.5 million, according to co-founder and Chief Executive Slava Rubin.
The company does not disclose how much money its platform has raised on behalf of its campaign creators, nor does it disclose the percent of campaigns that attained funding.
Mr. Rubin says Indiegogo distributes “millions of dollars” to people running crowdfunding campaigns in 70 to 100 countries every week. Those campaigns include charity fundraisers, startup teams seeking to “customer-fund” the creation of a new app or device, and filmmakers, musicians and other artists seeking to fund a creative project.
Kleiner Perkins’ Partner John Doerr says that to remain a leader in the increasingly cluttered field of crowdfunding, Indiegogo should “continue to obsess on the customer…[and] emulate Android and YouTube’s global, open platform strategy.”
[seriaas? They are clearly obsessed by the money, NOT the customer based on our present negative experience with Indiegogo’s customer happiness support programme which issues stereotyped form responses to compalints about rip-off campaigns jk]
John expects the company to invest near term in hiring engineers, accelerating its international expansion and developing new product features that “matter to users.”
Jules Maltz, a general partner with Institutional Venture Partners, also noted the company’s open model, saying he expects Indiegogo to become “the Android of crowdfunding” while viewing Kickstarter as “the Apple of crowdfunding,” referring to the tighter limits Kickstarter imposes on the kinds of campaigns it allows.
[And this clearly is the reason why the sondors ebike was campaigned on Indiegogo, not Kickstarter! jk]
“If people can’t back a campaign right then and there, a campaign will lose a lot of conversions,” Mr. Rubin said…
[and I stand to lose a lot of money…jk]