Kickstarter vs. Indiegogo: What’s the Best Crowdfunding Platform?

When it comes to launching a crowdfunding campaign, the how is as important as the what. While there are many fine crowdfunding platforms to choose from, product-based businesses will likely want to focus on Kickstarter and Indiegogo, two companies that, aside from accommodating an impressive assortment of eCommerce ventures, have been dominating the crowdfunding game for over a decade.

If finding the perfect host for your bright ideas has you feeling puzzled, allow us to help you out with this handy guide for the indecisive entrepreneur. Keep reading for a breakdown of Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and how you can make the right choice for your online business!

All About Kickstarter & Indiegogo

We’ve already covered the basics of crowdfunding and established that Kickstarter and Indiegogo are the leading crowdfunding platforms, but, before we dive into the specific factors you should be considering, let’s talk a little more about each company and how they are generally perceived today. 

Although Kickstarter and Indiegogo are similar in many aspects, they have, over time, managed to carve out their own defined spaces within the industry. For example, Kickstarter kicks butt with tabletop games — click around their website and you’ll likely run into an abundance of creative and innovative projects. Indiegogo, on the other hand, seems to excel in campaigns geared towards gadgets and technology.

A crucial distinction between both platforms is that Kickstarter only allows crowdfunding for physical products, while Indiegogo also caters to communities and organizations that want to raise money for charity or other services. Neither platform allows for the fundraising of apps, software, or personal causes.

Alright, now that we have that out of the way, it’s time to take a look at the nitty gritty!

8 Things to Think About

#1. Eligibility

For both Kickstarter and Indiegogo, the eligibility criteria for campaign creators states that they must be:

  • 18 years of age or older.
  • Residents, with an address and bank account, of eligible countries — 25 countries for Kickstarter and 22 for Indiegogo. 
  • Creating a campaign in their own name or on behalf of a registered legal entity of which they must be affiliated. 

For the full scoop, including which countries make the eligibility cut, check out Kickstarter and Indiegogo’s guidelines.

#2. Rules

A major difference between Kickstarter and Indiegogo is that Kickstarter is, by most accounts, a little stricter with their rules. Before campaigns go live, they must be approved by the Kickstarter team. Additionally, all projects must show backers a product prototype. Both campaigns do not allow certain prohibited items (like alcohol and weapons) to be offered as rewards. 

Again, since we’re dealing with some high-level stuff, head on over to…

Prior to taking the plunge with either platform, we recommend getting super acquainted with the procedures you’ll be expected to follow.

#3. Categories

Kickstarter offers only 15 categories, while Indiegogo offers 28 categories split across three sections: Tech & Innovation, Creative Works, and Community Projects. Some shared categories include art, music, dance, theater, and photography. 

#4. Funding Options

Kickstarter uses a fixed, all-or-nothing mode, meaning that, if your campaign is ultimately unsuccessful, you will not be receiving any of the funds. With Indiegogo, funding can be fixed or flexible — you choose!

#4. Fees

Both Kickstarter and Indiegogo charge a 5% platform fee. Kickstarter’s payment processing fees are 3% plus $0.20 per pledge, with pledges under $10 having a discounted fee of 5% + $0.05. On the other hand, Indiegogo’s payment processing fees are 2.9% + $0.30. 

#5. Campaign Deadlines

Campaigns on Kickstarter and Indiegogo can last for a maximum of 60 days, with most crowdfunding pros agreeing that 30-40 days hits the sweet spot, as it creates a greater sense of urgency for backers. 

Kickstarter does not allow for a goal to be changed once a campaign goes live, but creators are welcome to add incentives if they reach their goal before the deadline. Indiegogo offers a one-time extension, but a deadline cannot be shortened once it’s set. 

#6. Popularity

As of March 2021, Kickstarter brought in 26.91M visitors, while Indiegogo got less than half as many hits with 10.17M visitors. 

#7. Success Rates

As of November 2020, Kickstarter’s success rate is 38.21%. Although Indiegogo’s metrics are a little less straightforward, their estimated success rate hovers at around 18%.

#8. Customization

For flair and pizzazz, Indiegogo edges out on Kickstarter by offering basic HTML and CSS capabilities. Both platforms allow for images and gifs, although images can only be uploaded as rewards on Indiegogo. Kickstarter uses its own video platform, while Indiegogo relies on YouTube and Vimeo. 

Of course, we can’t end this article without talking about your demographic. At the end of the day, a major factor to consider is where your audience is located. If you already have some sort of following on either platform, it may be a good idea to listen to High School Musical and stick to the status quo.

We hope you loved this deep dive! We loved writing it for you. For questions, concerns, and adoring compliments, don’t hesitate to hit us up.

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