2019 Kickstarter vs. 2019 Indiegogo – What the hell’s the difference?!

by | Jan 1, 2019

The 3 Biggest Differences Between Kickstarter & Indiegogo

Woah, woah, woah!

Kickstarter doesn’t care about profits?
Indiegogo has terrible projects?
And now they sell bread and milk too?

That nifty looking chart looks good and all, but it probably raises more questions than answers. Let’s break down the biggest differences between crowdfunding’s most popular platforms.

Does Kickstarter care about profits?

  1. Kickstarter doesn’t really care about their profits.

Ok that’s a bit of a stretch. They definitely do care about making money, but it’s not their top priority. Kickstarter is a Benefit Corporation, meaning they’re obligated to consider the social impact of their business decisions. Kickstarter’s own charter says, “(Our) mission is to help bring creative projects to life. We measure our success as a company by how well we achieve that mission, not by the size of our profits.”

Here’s a recent featured project on Kickstarter’s home page.

Kickstarter Featured Project

If Kickstarter cared about profits, they sure wouldn’t be featuring, “Heartbreak Quadrant,” a project that’ll be lucky to meet its $4,000 goal. Kickstarter has multiple million dollar tech campaigns running at all times, but they choose to feature this one. That says a lot.

On the flip side, Indiegogo’s homepage features are almost always products that have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars. Like this one:

Indiegogo Featured Project

We’re not saying Indiegogo is one the bad guys. There are PLENTY of businesses who couldn’t care less about their impact on society. But Kickstarter really stands out by actually living by their mission statement.

Are there better projects on Kickstarter or Indiegogo?

2. Kickstarter has higher project standards.

Kickstarter and Indiegogo both have their fair share of awesome projects. On a percentage basis though, a higher proportion of Kickstarter’s projects are fully prepared to deliver the promised product compared to Indiegogo. That’s largely because Kickstarter has more demanding rules that creators must meet before launching their campaign. Namely, all Kickstarter projects involving products must feature a fully-functional prototype – a requirement absent from some Indiegogo projects.

Fidget Cube Kickstarter

Some of the most popular Indiegogo projects don’t feature a full, working prototype. In these cases, creators hope to use the money raised from crowdfunding to help develop a prototype, and eventually, the final product. So you’ll find some really cool ideas on Indiegogo, but creators may still be a little far off from actually making the product.

But at the end of the day, that very strategy is what crowdfunding’s really about – getting thousands of regular people to think your idea is so cool that they give you real money to help it come to life.

What is the Indiegogo Marketplace?

3. Indiegogo is becoming more of a marketplace.

Indiegogo does a nice job of explaining its Marketplace here. Essentially what they’re trying to do is build out a branch of their business that doesn’t necessarily have to do with crowdfunding. In order to be featured in the Indiegogo Marketplace, a product must be ready to ship. That’s a key distinction from most crowdfunding campaigns where it’s often several months before backers receive a product.

Indiegogo Marketplace

If you’re familiar with crowdfunding, you may be thinking to yourself, “Well, that sounds a lot like InDemand.” And you’d be right. Marketplace is definitely similar to Indiegogo Indemand, with two key distinctions.

  1. InDemand is only for previous crowdfunding projects. Marketplace products may have never been crowdfunded.
  2. Marketplace products must be ready to ship. InDemand products are likely still in development.

Indiegogo is trying to create a longer, more natural lifecycle for crowdfunding campaigns. One where they go from a live campaign to InDemand before finishing in the Marketplace.

Kickstarter, for now at least, has shown no interest in hosting any kind of E-commerce option that doesn’t involve live crowdfunding campaigns.

Filippo Loretti Watch Kickstarter

Summary: The Biggest Differences Between Kickstarter & Indiegogo

  1. Kickstarter cares far more about helping creative people share their ideas with the world than they do about their bottom line.
  2. Kickstarter has more rigorous project standards. Compared to Indiegogo, Kickstarter campaigns are often further along in development.
  3. Indiegogo, while continuing to focus on live crowdfunding campaigns, is extending its business model to compete against the likes of Amazon Launchpad by providing a platform for products that are ready to ship.

If you’re interested in learning more about the ins and outs of crowdfunding, and don’t have hours to spend researching, check out our fun & simple guide to crowdfunding.


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