No two crowdfunding websites were created equal, but Kickstarter and Indiegogo have certainly risen to the top. These 2 are streets ahead of the thousands of other active and popular crowdfunding platforms with different funding models currently littering the web.
Gofundme is also a platform for fundraising but for personal or charity-based campaigns — not a topic we tend to cover — so it just leaves intrepid fundraisers with the artistic and commercial focus of Indiegogo and Kickstarter.
But which one will it be? Which one should you choose? Indiegogo or Kickstarter?
You can find all sorts of creative projects on both platforms, and depending on the kind of product you’re planning on launching, you may opt for one or the other. However, each has its positives and negatives.
Read on to discover how they rank according to the 16 factors we’ve analyzed. From their page builders to the maximum duration of the campaigns, their analytics, platform fee, and much more. Buckle up, and let’s start the battle of Indiegogo vs Kickstarter.
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In case you’re in an absolute hurry, I’ve created a summary table so you can get the overall image. But I can’t promise that you’ll understand all the whats and whys. That’s why I highly encourage you to read all the sections as there is so much to learn about before you can choose between Kickstarter and Indiegogo.
|Open to discussion, but strict
|Is more flexible
|Rewards & Pledges
|Updates & Messaging
|A little risky
|Number of Campaign Days
|Unique Monthly Visits
|Organic traffic (Ahrefs): 740K
|Organic traffic (Ahrefs): 2.1M
|Media & Outreach
|Less trusted by the media
|More popular and trusted
|Supports Meta Pixel
|Supports Meta Pixel
|Supports native referrals
|Provides when backed
|After the campaign is closed
|Flexible and fixed
|Can transfer to it
Let’s start by discussing some similarities between Indiegogo and Kickstarter.
Generally speaking, both platforms are not suitable for:
Related article: Unlock the Secrets of Successful Kickstarter Marketing
Historically, loyal backers of both Kickstarter and Indiegogo grew around distinct differences in the preferred products they love to back the most.
For example, Kickstarter is famous for its tabletop gaming category. This crowdfunding category is so famous on Kickstarter that it adds up to almost half of the total raised funds on the platform.
For some reason, Indiegogo hasn’t had much success with tabletop games. Instead, Indiegogo is famous for its electric bike category, which outperforms Kickstarter by the number and amount of successful campaigns.
You could say that one of the biggest differences between Kickstarter and Indiegogo is the preferences of their users. In general, Kickstarter backers are design lovers, and Indiegogo’s audience is full of functionality lovers. Products that fit into the categories of interior, wearables, travel, and photography do considerably better on Kickstarter. While product categories such as SSDs, home automation, laptops, and gadgets do better on Indiegogo.
Indiegogo’s audience is more sensitive to the price and generally loves to get highly capable gadgets affordably priced. On Kickstarter, people can afford to spend a bit more to get the best products as long as they stand out from their competitors and have great functionality and aesthetic design.
Before we compare Kickstarter vs Indiegogo, let’s discuss each platform individually. So, what is Indiegogo?
Initially focused exclusively on independent films (hence the name), Indiegogo started accepting projects from any category a year after its launch. Established to provide more opportunities to backers than Kickstarter, Indiegogo is usually perceived as a less strict and more flexible platform.
It is available in over 230 countries and provides more categories (28 in Indiegogo vs Kickstarter 15). It also gives backers control over whether they want the funding model fixed (all or nothing) or flexible (the creator gets whatever amount they collect.)
Indiegogo has successfully launched over 800,000 ideas with its 9-million-strong community. At any given point, it has around 1,200 live and 1,800 InDemand campaigns (Kickstarter has 3,000+). It also isn’t all that fussed with metrics (you’ll struggle to find the kind of statistical data Kickstarter is happy to publish), but you will come across the odd estimate or three.
If Kickstarter reckons around 39.4% of its campaigners are successful, then the digital world puts Indiegogo’s success rate somewhere around 9%. It sounds terrible, but it does have a few other things going for it. Its flexible funding scheme allows you to get funding without reaching your fundraising goals. Plus, from our experience, we’ve seen their customer support as pretty approachable and helpful — something that Kickstarter can’t say.
Add to that the fact that pledges are non-refundable, so the creator knows exactly how much money they’ve raised (Kickstarter campaigns tend to drop 3-4% of backers — more on this later), and Indiegogo starts to look like a very attractive option.
So, chances are you’ve heard about Kickstarter. If you’re going with this option for fundraising, you probably have a pretty good handle on this platform’s basic pros and cons, but to be thorough, let’s cover all our bases and start at the beginning.
Today, crowdfunding is mostly synonymous with Kickstarter. It’s the biggest crowdfunding platform there is. It’s also got a bunch of metrics that are happy to sing its praises. Kickstarter campaigns have already raised over $7.109 billion. It’s hosted over 234,000 fully funded, successful projects and has nearly 21.7 million backers — of which one-third support multiple campaigns.
Almost 700 campaigns have broken the $1 million mark. And a further 9,648 campaigns have raised over $100k. Need I go on?
This crowdfunding goliath boasts 15 campaign categories. Film and video, music, and games are the most popular types of projects and, hence, campaigns, but design and technology have picked up in recent years and are exciting more and more backers. These last three are also the most funded Kickstarter categories on the site (as a side note, Wednesday afternoon is when most backers put their hands in their pockets).
Impressed yet? Well, you might be a little less so when you learn that all those impressive stats only account for 39.4% of all Kickstarter campaigns. The rest — over 60.6% — fail to achieve their funding goals.
But don’t get disheartened. Kickstarter still has a few aces up its sleeve.
With a reputation for launching whacky, innovative, and downright marvelous ideas, Kickstarter gets a fair bit of coverage from the media and bloggers. One well-placed article could win you a place in that top 37%.
Now that you know about each crowdfunding platform, let’s compare Kickstarter vs Indiegogo on another level.
Rather than rattle off a list, our clever infographics guys whipped up a table to help you distinguish the differences between the two. As a successful crowdfunding marketing expert, I have made a comparison chart and marked my preferences in the boxes in green.
Of course, I’m going to rattle off a list! How else will you determine which crowdfunding platform is right for your venture?
First, Kickstarter has certain rules you aren’t advised to pass by, as the staff is performing the review process manually to determine whether you comply with these or not. So there are 4 main rules you need to stick to:
At first, Kickstarter was available only in the US, but then it enlarged its borders to include Canada, the UK, and Australia. Now, it is available for creators in 25 countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
So, you’re from one of those 25 countries, and you match the first 4 criteria — creating your project on Kickstarter should be easy, right?
The crowdfunding platform is very strict with its selection process. You will also have to match a bunch of other requirements. Let’s have a deeper look at them:
* Underage users may also register a project on Kickstarter, but only under the guidance of an adult or a parent who can verify their identity and banking information and assume responsibility from beginning to end.
Don’t make the mistake of assuming any of these aren’t strictly enforced.
A project offering a laser shaving experience was suspended from Kickstarter (no tangible product) after funds raised more than $4 million. In response, the project creators registered the project on Indiegogo (which has no such rules) and collected the required amount (admittedly a lot less than $4 million).
Kickstarter and Indiegogo have guidelines for creators that shed more light on the types of projects they’ll accept. Either way, Indiegogo is more open to discussion and allows projects forbidden on Kickstarter.
And while Indiegogo won this point in previous years, as it used to be available nearly everywhere (officially in 224 countries), missing out on maybe a couple of villages in Siberia, it has recently followed in Kickstarter’s footsteps. Now, the battle of Indiegogo vs Kickstarter availability ends in a tie. Indiegogo backtracked its international availability and limited itself to 33 countries.
These are Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong (China campaigns may be eligible), the Republic of Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK, and the US.
Similarly, Indiegogo has its own requirements:
However, remember that even if you’re not from one of those lucky 33 countries, you might be able to incorporate your company in the US through their payment processor’s service, Stripe Atlas.
Either way, the 2 crowdfunding platforms tie in their registration capabilities — or restrictions.
One point each!
The finished Indiegogo and Kickstarter campaign pages may look similar, but both platforms’ tools to make your vision a reality are vastly different.
Kickstarter has a very limited page builder in contrast with Indiegogo. You only get 2 styles, Header and Paragraph. And they’re both always left-aligned. Indiegogo, on the other hand, has many more styles and even lets you write basic HTML/CSS!
Also, both crowdfunding platforms offer bullet points, but Indiegogo also has numbering.
And while both allow you to upload images and gifs, they do it slightly differently. Once uploaded, Kickstarter doesn’t let you change an image — you must delete it and reupload a new one. With Indiegogo, you can just double-click it and select a new one. However, it is much easier to upload gifs to Kickstarter. It’s just the same as a regular image! In Indiegogo, you must dive into the HTML to add a self-hosted (or giphy-hosted) <img>-tagged gif.
Indiegogo carries its image candy into its perks — each can have an image. Kickstarter rewards are just a bland text block, so think about presenting your rewards well on the campaign page!
Likewise, Indiegogo allows you more freedom when choosing external images — Facebook share image, thumbnail, card image, etc. — while Kickstarter just offers the thumbnail.
And finally, the options for updates follow the same pattern. Kickstarter provides the same lacking interface as it does for the campaign page. Indiegogo is slightly different from its campaign page editor but offers a boatload of additional functionality.
Without a doubt. Point to Indiegogo!
Another big difference in the Indiegogo vs Kickstarter battle is video hosting. Kickstarter uses its video hosting service, and Indiegogo uses YouTube and Vimeo.
While there are pros and cons to having your video hosting service, one thing is certain — YouTube is the second biggest search engine. It provides great marketing opportunities for small and large businesses to attract new users. So that’s two birds with one stone since more views on your YouTube video mean higher rankings on YouTube while your campaign runs on Indiegogo. As a result, your success rate increases.
If you have an audience, who will share your video and comment like crazy, then even better. If not, it might be worth asking everyone you know to comment on your video because Indiegogo will show off all those interactions on your crowdfunding page, and no comments are hardly an incentive for backers.
Here’s a formula for creating the best Kickstarter (or Indiegogo) videos.
This point goes to Indiegogo, hands down!
Indiegogo has imposed a limit of 20 reward levels. Kickstarter hasn’t — at least not for the first 50 we’ve tried! 20 reward levels might be more than enough to attract your backers in most cases, but if you want to organize something creative (who knows), it’s always nice to have the freedom to do so.
Kickstarter also doesn’t let you hide old perks. This means new potential backers will see every pricing change in the past (but not in the future). Whenever they arrive at your campaign, it will look like they’re getting the most expensive version!
Another feature Kickstarter doesn’t have, compared to Indiegogo, is the secret perks. You can create tailored perks to send to influencers or via your direct sales channels with secret perks. This works great if you want to incentivize subscribers and provide them with limited additional benefits.
Indiegogo takes this one step further with add-ons. As the name suggests, these perks can be added to any other perk and combined to give the backers more freedom in choosing the package they want.
One thing Kickstarter does have that Indiegogo doesn’t is the timed perk. When creating a perk, you can select its start and end dates, and it will automatically lock when it’s crossed. This is perfect for creating super early bird deals that are only live for the initial 24 hours, for example.
Kickstarter charges all backers at the end of the crowdfunding campaign if the goal is reached, so backers show a pledging intent rather than a pledge and are only charged when the campaign reaches its goal. This means they can change their mind anytime until the end of the campaign and cancel the Kickstarter pledge. The Kickstarter pledge manager will help you keep track of pledges and backer information and help you further collect payments and fulfill rewards. This, unfortunately, translates to a 5-10% drop in backers for most campaigns.
In contrast with Kickstarter, Indiegogo charges the backers instantly.
It offers so much more that I’d give them 5 extra points, but for the sake of consistency: 1 more point to the pink giant!
[BONUS LEARNING] How to create better rewards on Kickstarter and Indiegogo.
[BONUS TIP] And for a great automation tool that manages all your rewards on both Kickstarter and Indiegogo, check out Perkfection. Maintaining a constantly limited supply of rewards can increase conversion rates by up to 30%! And for most of the crowdfunding’s existence, creators would do that by hand — constantly monitoring their quantities and adding more when supplies ran low.
But if you run out — let’s face it, you have to sleep sometime — you could lose out on hundreds of new conversions. So, rather than wasting your time constantly monitoring and updating your rewards, Perkfection lets you set up your desired limits and automates your reward top-ups!
Keeping in touch with your backers is one of crowdfunding’s most important factors. Compared to typical e-commerce, this differentiating feature is one of the things that brings superbackers back time and again.
This connection is generally managed through updates, publicly displayed on the crowdfunding page, messages, and comments.
Both crowdfunding platforms offer the same features, but Kickstarter has several cards up its sleeve. With Kickstarter, you can save your updates as drafts and return them later. And when you send out messages (i.e., emails), they’re not sent for 30 minutes. This might sound like a disadvantage, but it’s really not. How many times have you pressed send, only to realize you misspelled your product’s primary benefit? Or have the old, more affordable price listed? Oh no!
With Indiegogo, on the other hand, emails are sent immediately. And there’s no way to save your updates as a draft. Sure, you could just save them in Google Docs and copy them when they’re ready — but we appreciate this added functionality.
Edit it, format it just right, and send it out whenever you’re ready. Just like we’re sending out our first point Kickstarter’s way!
You can also use tools like CrossProm to collaborate with other campaigners to cross-promote each others’ campaigns in your updates.
Pico’s Kickstarter campaign made an extra $50,000 through CrossProm that it would have otherwise missed out on. And doing so is 100% free and really easy — just find yourself a campaign with something in common, partner up, and start sharing your audiences and successes!
CrossProm only works on Kickstarter, as Indiegogo doesn’t like cross-promotions on its platform.
It’s just as well that we gave Kickstarter the point!
Both platforms allow you to run campaigns between 1 and 60 days long. However, both platforms recommend keeping your campaign length below 30-40 days. The longer it goes, the less urgency your backers feel.
Another similarity between Indiegogo and Kickstarter is the ability to extend your campaign length. Although you can’t surpass 60 days from launch, if you started with a 30-day campaign and realized you wouldn’t be hitting your goals on day 29, you’ll be able to extend your campaign’s deadline.
With Indiegogo, you can extend your campaign only 1 time for a maximum of 15 days. Once you extend your campaign deadline, you won’t be able to extend it again, i.e., if you add 7 days to your project, you won’t be able to add another 7 later.
If you choose Kickstarter, it only allows project extensions to approved campaigns. You’ll need to enquire and wait for a response. Luckily, you can extend it for longer than just 15 days. Nevertheless, they won’t provide extensions over the funding limit of 60 days. Plus, extensions are only provided during the last week of your campaign.
You can only do this once both on Kickstarter and Indiegogo, so use your chance wisely.
One benefit Indiegogo offers is the possibility of going to InDemand, and extending your campaign indefinitely. This works for campaigns that you start on both Indiegogo and Kickstarter, although the platform fees will be slightly higher if you’re joining from the competition…
It’s a tie! One point to each.
Unique monthly visits show how much traffic these crowdfunding sites get, and it’s an important factor to consider — without visitors, there are no backers.
This statistic is one of ours (calculated from official figures and estimates) and suggests that Indiegogo gets an average of 6 million unique visitors a month. Kickstarter attracts between 15.5 million (around 2.6 times as much).
Before I award the point, let’s consider this: more traffic isn’t necessarily the best way to go. Each platform has its own categorical strengths. For example, Indiegogo has a thriving technology community, while Kickstarter’s gaming community is formidable.
At the end of the day, however, Kickstarter’s massive organic traffic can help your campaign get going. And if you get a little popular, Kickstarter will start featuring you higher and higher in its search results, bringing you thousands of new potential superbackers looking for the next best thing.
Kickstarter wins in most cases. Point taken!
Similarly, the media loves Kickstarter, so it does get way more coverage than Indiegogo.
The reason for this infatuation is Kickstarter’s strict quality-controlled image. They deliver higher quality products, so journalists don’t have to wade through campaign after campaign rubbish to find a story.
This means that on Kickstarter, your campaign has more opportunities to garner press coverage (discover some tools that will ease your work during your Crowdfunding PR efforts). If you’re doing PR, your project also stands more chances of getting a positive response and brand recognition from journalists if it’s on Kickstarter.
Big advantage. And one point to Kickstarter.
Remarketing (or Retargeting) is a powerful tool to target your ads (e.g., Facebook ads) to visitors who have already visited your website.
It works by inserting a pixel code into your webpage, detecting all the visitors, and creating an audience of people who visited the specified webpage. You can then show them a separate ad campaign that answers their doubts, gives them additional information, and warms them up further to ensure a conversion. It’s also a powerful tool for discovering new audiences by building lookalikes.
Indiegogo allows campaigners to insert the pixel code and create a Remarketing audience.
Kickstarter also recently introduced a new feature that will help you understand the traffic coming to your project page and reach out with targeted ads. It is possible because of Meta Pixel, which provides insights into user behavior on Kickstarter campaigns. Meta Pixels’ data can help you better understand what’s working and where improvements need to be made.
When ready to add your Pixel, enter it at the bottom of the Promotion tab in the project editor before launching. If already launched, head over to the creator dashboard, select “Dashboard” from the creator tools menu, and add it.
Once your project is ended, you will have no opportunity to add the Pixel.
Seems this battle ends in a tie.
In 2011, Kickstarter released a new Project Dashboard, which gives campaigners access to a more powerful analytics system. It shows lots of important stats regarding the campaign.
The first feature is the funding graph to keep you in the loop about what’s going on in the project’s totals.
The biggest — most influential change — Kickstarter released is referrals. Referrals are personalized links that let you define custom audiences and see where backers are coming from. Maybe they saw your Facebook ads or a blog post. Either way, now you can differentiate them from those who just discovered your campaign page while browsing Kickstarter. This is a piece of hyper-valuable information that can quantify thanks to referrals.
Though Indiegogo announced its analytics dashboard much later, the long wait was compensated by a series of cool improvements. One of those updates was that since 2013 campaigners can integrate their Google Analytics accounts with their Indiegogo campaigns.
It allows you to monitor traffic in real time directly from Google Analytics. This definitely makes it easier to hit two birds with one stone. And as Indiegogo’s video hosting is Youtube or Vimeo-based, viewers from those giant video platforms often slide over to the campaign page, impacting your campaign’s reach and awareness.
Nevertheless, Kickstarter wins this point.
Indiegogo provides contact information for backers the moment they hit the “pay” button.
Kickstarter waits until you reach your funding goal, so you’ll have to conduct a survey and ask your backers to provide you with their contact information if you want any feedback before the campaign closes.
Indiegogo, you win again, my friend!
Both Kickstarter and Indiegogo have advanced FAQs.
Any problem or question you might have during the launch of your crowdfunding campaign or running it is presented in detail on both platforms. And you don’t even have to be logged in to pass on your question to one of their agents. You can easily get your question answered as a guest.
However, none has got 24/7 or telephone support. This often leaves both backers and campaigners on their own in case of urgent questions.
However, Indiegogo is usually better when you get an answer. Kickstarter is happy just copy-pasting sections of their guidelines in their first few responses without really analyzing your request as an individual.
Really, they both need to wake up and start doing a better job at responding to their backers and creators.
They’re both equally bad at this.
Kickstarter uses an “all-or-nothing” funding model. If your project doesn’t reach its goal, nobody is charged, nobody gets paid, and money doesn’t change hands.
As for Indiegogo, you can choose between fixed and flexible funding options(receiving funding as it comes in). In this case, Indiegogo also holds onto Reserve Funds. These funds are stored in case there need to be refunded.
So, you won’t receive that last 5% until you deliver your product to your backers.
As a campaigner, it is much less risky to go with flexible funding options (i.e., getting funds immediately), but don’t forget that you have to deliver on your promises, regardless of what you raise.
From a backers standpoint, fixed funding (all or nothing) is way more attractive and comes with a lot less risk, so bear that in mind when making your decision.
But Indiegogo offers both options, so it gets extra credit. As long as you can manage delivery without that final 5%.
Indiegogo’s percentage matches Kickstarter funding’s flat 5% rate whether you reach your goal.
Considering the 5% that Indiegogo withholds until the campaign’s delivery… Kickstarter has the edge here again!
For a while, Indiegogo was getting quite a lot of attention for freezing business accounts.
The platform was using Paypal to process payments from backers. And it’s not a secret that Paypal doesn’t like to accept funds for products still in the middle of production. That was one of the reasons that prompted Indiegogo to start supporting Stripe for payment processing.
Kickstarter understood the advantages of Stripe over Paypal earlier than Indiegogo. Stripe was far more accommodating. It does seem to grasp crowdfunding a bit better. Thus, Indiegogo removed Paypal and left Stripe as the only option to process payments for crowdfunding campaigns on the platform.
Besides platform fees, note that you’ll also have to pay a small fee to the payment processor (it charges a processing fee.) This fee depends on where you are but is usually a nominal amount plus around 2-3%. For both platforms.
Seems like it’s another tie.
The Indiegogo InDemand option allows campaigns to continue collecting funding after their campaign ends. It’s a move that sees Indiegogo transformed into a marketplace where you can have your page and enjoy getting funds for your perks. You can also place a project on Indiegogo’s InDemand after a successful Kickstarter campaign so it doesn’t really give Indiegogo extra credit.
Kickstarter has a couple of other features, like Projects We Love. Here, staff members manually pick the projects they like, giving more credibility to the project and a boost in views. One of the staff-picked projects then becomes the Project of the Day and gets featured on the front page, so that’s more traffic.
No preference here.
Feel free to explore the other options of Indiegogo vs Kickstarter in our chart.
That was close! Have you been keeping track?
Indiegogo vs Kickstarter battle finishes as even!
So what does that mean?
The best option depends on your campaign.
The culture of the different crowdfunding platforms varies somewhat, so it’s important to clearly understand your audience. If they’re more likely to opt for one platform over another, you need to consider that. Familiarity breeds confidence and makes visitors more open to pledging.
So how do you know which platform will likely be a better match for your audience? Generally speaking, you’ll find more artists, musicians, filmmakers, geeks, and techy gadget makers on Kickstarter. You’ll see more small businesses, controversial ideas, NGOs, and mass manufacturing on Indiegogo. And if you own a Fortune 500 company, go with Indiegogo. It even has a special service catering to big brands.
The demographics between the crowdfunding platforms also vary. Maybe surprisingly, Indiegogo has a more female-friendly audience.
We analyzed the annual data of the top 250 projects launched during 2021 across two platforms in December 2021, and here’s what we got (sorry the stats are not updated to 2022 yet, we’re working on it).
Although Kickstarter benefits from having 2.3 times more traffic than Indiegogo, the total money raised by the top 250 projects within one month is only 2.5 times as high as in Indiegogo.
In fact, in 2021, the top 250 projects on Kickstarter received $310,217,108.77, while the top 250 projects on Indiegogo raised $125,492,862.28. It’s worth mentioning that access to the data was limited, so the above information is based on our estimations.
The Tech & Innovation categories drive the lion’s share of Indiegogo’s funding among the top 250 projects- The top 3 are Home, Transportation, and Health & Fitness. For analysis, we combined the two categories as we decided on the category based only on the marketing tactics of the creators. Tech & Innovation categories within the top 250 projects on Indiegogo raised $115,069,116 or 91,5% of the platform’s annual funding.
Similar campaigns on Kickstarter raised $ 117,257,925, or only 37,5% of the total funding. Where did the rest of the funds go on Kickstarter? I hear you asking. Of course, games! Tabletop and Video Game categories within the top 250 campaigns of the platform raised $171,177,063, or about 55% of the total amount.
For the final comparison, we decided to compare the number of projects that crossed the $1 Million mark on both platforms. In 2021, 96 Kickstarter and 32 projects on Indiegogo crossed the $1 Million mark. The record-breaking project in 2021 was the tabletop game Avatar Legends: The Roleplaying Game, which raised more than $9.5 million on Kickstarter.
Get a more detailed analysis of the two platforms here.