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Summary:

When you’re looking to crowdfund your latest project, does it matter who you list with? Two Silicon Valley workers scraped the data to compare Indiegogo and Kickstarter, but results are mixed.

fighting over money
photo: Thinkstock

When a startup company needs money to complete a project, does the place its chooses to raise funds matter? While conventional wisdom indicates a project with any sort of traction will do well no matter where the funds are solicited, a data scrape by two Silicon Valley startup guys suggests differently.

After observing Kickstarter’s publicly available data on the success of projects, Jonathan Lau and Edward Junprung decided to see how it compared to statistics from Indiegogo. When they noticed that Indiegogo didn’t have the same statistics available, they pulled data from the website over multiple months using a scraper bot.

According to their methodology, Kickstarter projects have successfully raised more than six times the funds that successful Indiegogo projects have raised:

Data source: Jonathan Lau and Edward Junprung

Lau and Junprung’s data suggest that Kickstarter has given companies $612 million, compared to $98 million from Indiegogo. Lau and Junprung also accuse Indiegogo of hiding unsuccessful projects that raise less than $500 from its data systems, artificially boosting the company’s success rate to 34 percent (compared to Kickstarter’s 44 percent). Kickstarter has also hosted more than 10 times the number of million-dollar projects than Indiegogo.

In the wake of the data report, Indiegogo denied the accuracy of the statistics to VentureBeat.

“Indiegogo as a general policy does not discuss competitive, proprietary data. It never has,” said the Indiegogo spokesperson.

While Lau and Junprung’s data says a lot about the volume of money that flows through Kickstarter and Indiegogo, a crowdfunding platform’s success isn’t solely measured in money alone. Kickstarter and Indiegogo have different policies for funding, different rules, and different percentage cuts once money is earned. What may be good for a person looking to do a small-scale project on very little money may not work with a startup looking to fund their first hardware project. Also, Lau and Junprung’s data does include the Ubuntu Edge campaign, which, while unsuccessful, remains the most funded project ever.

While there are a lot of questions surrounding the accuracy and validity of Lau and Junprung’s data, it’s clear that Kickstarter has been a big part of many large-scale projects. But don’t let money alone dictate where you start your crowdfunding, or you may be disappointed in the long haul.

  1. Gossy Ukanwoke Friday, August 30, 2013

    Indiegogo gives a lot more flexibility and openness. The rather strict policies of Kickstarter allows them narrow down and accept only projects that are expected to be successful.  Also Kickstarter has some headstart on Indiegogo. Indiegogo may not match Kickstarter at this time, but it is closer than how the metrics in this article show it.

    PS: We chose to use indiegogo for our fundraising campaign (http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/bau-outreach-and-growth-fund/x/529021)

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  2. For most of us what matters is how well we publicize the project. Kickstarter has a slightly higher level of awareness but small projects from most indies won’t get any special attention beyond that. So, in the end it is up to the owners of the project to determine its success.

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  3. This data is skewed because of the outliers that we’ve seen over the past year on Kickstarter. I’d like to see a study on the median amount raised for successful campaigns on a multitude of platforms. That would help users compare apples to apples.

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