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With a $15 Million Infusion, Crowdfunder Indiegogo Angles for World Domination

Photo of Jay A. Fernandez By Jay A. Fernandez | Indiewire June 12, 2012 at 1:7PM

Kickstarter may get a lot of the online crowdfunding press, but Indiegogo believes it's closer to world domination with last week's announcement that it's raised $15 million in round A financing to expand its global reach.
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The Indiegogo logo.

Kickstarter may get a lot of the online crowdfunding press, but Indiegogo believes it's closer to world domination with last week's announcement that it's raised $15 million in round A financing to expand its global reach.

Insight Venture Partners and Khosla Ventures led the new investments, along with existing backers Metamorphic Ventures, MHS Capital, ffVenture Capital, and Zynga co-founder Steve Schoettler, bringing Indiegogo’s war chest to $16.5 million. The company says that the new funding is earmarked “to scale customer acquisition, technology development and operations,” but that they don’t see Kickstarter as a true competitor.

“Indiegogo is only similar to Kickstarter in the fact that it is a crowdfunding platform,” says Rose Levy, a media strategist at Goldin Solutions, which represents Indiegogo. “Just like apples and oranges are both fruits.” The crowdfunding space continues to gain strength, as competitors such as Passerby crop up. (Click here for a massive list.)

For both Kickstarter and Indiegogo, film-related projects make up approximately 25% of the total number of crowdfunding campaigns on each site. Kickstarter’s data indicates that of 24,500 successfully funded projects, about 6,500 have involved movies. Indiegogo declines to give precise numbers for how many of its active campaigns have reached their funding quotas, but claims "tens of millions of dollars" have been contributed to film projects thus far.

Launched in 2008 as a platform focused on crowdsourced film funding, Indiegogo is now open to any kind of entrepreneurial effort without being confined to the U.S. “Indiegogo is totally open and doesn't require an application to start a campaign, offering anyone with an idea — creative, cause-related, or entrepreneurial — the tools to simply and powerfully raise money,” said Levy, pointing to Indiegogo’s presence in more than 190 countries.

“Indiegogo is open to any film and is not restrictive like other sites — truly democratizing fundraising,” said Levy. Indiegogo also has a “flexible funding” option that allows users to keep money raised even if it doesn’t reach the original goal. This option demands a 9% fee rather than the standard 4%, however, and tends to undercut the incentive for contributors to push to the full goal.

Among 100,000 Indiegogo campaigns thus far have been those for video games, charities, music archiving, education initiatives and, of course, filmmaking (such as the Sundance 2012 documentary, “Escape Fire”).

This article is related to: Kickstarter , Crowd Funding