Indiegogo’s narrowing focus on establishing and growing businesses, rather than supporting a broad range of artistic and personal projects, is paying off, CEO David Mandelbrot tells Fast Company. The company expects this month to cross the $1.5 billion mark in funds raised for users since its founding in 2008. Annual revenue jumped 50% from 2016 to 2017, he says, although the privately held company has yet to report a profit.
The slightly younger Kickstarter has raised about $3.2 billion for successful projects since 2009, and it’s been profitable since 2010. Mandelbrot hints that Indiegogo could be in the black as early as 2019, noting that it hasn’t taken any investment in over four years. “We don’t need to raise funds at least through the end of this year, if ever,” he says. “In other words, I anticipate us getting profitable before our current cash expires.”
Indiegogo and Kickstarter dominate rewards-based crowdfunding, says University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School assistant professor Venkat Kuppuswamy. Yet the platforms are on divergent paths. In 2012, concerned that it was becoming a de facto ecommerce site, Kickstarter published a blog post titled “Kickstarter Is Not A Store.” In 2017, Indiegogo opened an online store, called Indiegogo Product Marketplace, where makers of successfully funded products can continue selling. (Amazon has assumed this role for Kickstarter merch.)
“We’re still an open platform where people can raise money for a variety of things,” says Mandelbrot. “Where we’ve invested, where we’ve truly innovated, has…