How Indiegogo and Title III Are Eliminating Gatekeepers

Slava Rubin

By Slava Rubin CEO at

Before we started Indiegogo in early 2008, a select group of elite gatekeepers were responsible for determining which ideas were “good” and thus deserved funding. In our personal and professional lives, my co-founders and I saw again and again that only people who had connections to venture capitalists, or easy access to lines of credit could bring their ideas to life. Countless ideas were left unfunded for all the wrong reasons. We believed that all ideas deserve a shot at success, so we created an open platform where the crowd gets to decide which ideas get funding. Through our rewards-based model, backers receive perks when they contribute to a campaign. Perks offer tangible proof to backers that their contributions were essential to a campaign’s success, which reinforces the spirit of partnership that makes Indiegogo special.


Our mission to even the playing field has had a tremendous impact over the past 8 years.  For example, less than 10% of VC funds are invested in female-led companies, while at Indiegogo almost 50% of contributions go to teams led by women. And it’s certainly not just female-led companies that benefit from Indiegogo. Misfit was able to validate the market for their discreet wearable fitness tracker which is now available through major retail outlets, and Canarywas able to disprove the VCs who initially doubted them by raising almost $2M on Indiegogo instead.

Misfit and Canary are just two of many that have collectively gone on to raise over $500M in institutional investments after the success of their Indiegogo campaign. Most recently Yota Devices (the makers of YotaPhone) raised a whopping $100M from Chinese investors. Indiegogo is increasingly proving itself as an incubation platform, and the demand for the ideas funded on our platform is clear. We want to continue to support our campaigns beyond crowdfunding, as they continue to grow and scale, and one of the options we are considering is an equity-based model.

Although we currently use a perks-based model, when we initially began thinking of ways to bypass the gatekeepers to capital we wanted to give funders the opportunity to invest in startups by purchasing equity stakes. Much like the traditional VC model, it would allow backers to share in the profits of the young companies they were most excited about, but our model had a unique twist. It would enable the crowd to decide which ideas were worth funding, and partake in both the risks and rewards. Unfortunately, because of the Securities Act of 1933 “regular” people, or unaccredited investors, could not play a direct role in investing in and building companies. Instead, we came up with a solution that has since become the industry standard.

But recently the SEC, with input from Indiegogo and other companies like us, has been creating a series of guidelines to expand investment opportunities to the people. We were honored to be invited to the White House when President Obama signed the JOBS act in 2012. We invited Samantha Abrams from Emmy’s Organics to join us, because it’s businesses like hers that equity crowdfunding will benefit the most. Emmy’s was denied traditional bank credit, to redesign their packaging, but thanks to their existing community of supporters and a successful Indiegogo campaign, their products are now sold in grocery stores around the country.

As Title III evolves, we are actively collecting feedback from both campaigners and contributors on how equity crowdfunding can help them reach their goals, and we’re exploring whether this model can fit into our platform. We want to keep supporting our campaigns as they transition into new phases, and we are always looking for new ways to democratize finance for everyone – whether they be entrepreneurial creators, or just people looking to back the next big idea.

To learn more about equity crowdfunding, visit:

Tags: , , , , , ,


AZCentral.comTiny companies lure investors under Arizona crowdfunding lawAZCentral.comInvestors who make bets under the state's one-year-old crowdfunding law certainly have the potential to get in on the ground floor, but they must be patient and might not receive any returns. Th [...]

BloombergCouples Desperate For Children Turn to Crowdfunding FertilityBloombergCrowdfunding has become a popular mechanism for many couples who can't afford the high costs of IVF, or adoption and surrogacy. “It's not an easy thing to share publicly,” says Crystal Barrett, 33 [...]

WTTV CBS4IndyCrowdfunding effort to save Dorothy's iconic ruby red slippers from 'Wizard of Oz' raises $300000WTTV CBS4IndyThe Smithsonian has launched a campaign on Kickstarter aimed at raising $300,000 to preserve the ruby red slippers worn by Judy Garland in the belo [...]

Crowdfund InsiderMassive Rule 147 Amendments May Be On The Horizon Impacting ...Crowdfund InsiderAlmost a year ago, the SEC proposed certain amendments to the current Rule 147 which were intended to help foster, and increase the viability of, Intrastat.and more » [...]

Mountain XpressFaces in the crowd: WNC crowdfunding initatives | Mountain XpressMountain XpressEach week, Xpress highlights notable WNC crowdsourcing initiatives that may inspire readers to become new faces in the crowd. This week features a feature ...and more » [...]

MarketWatchWhy a crowdfunding site is giving out $10000 scholarshipsMarketWatchCrowdfunding site GoFundMe announced Thursday that it will award $10,000 to 10 students with pages on their site that fundraise for education. The award is part of a contest the site held throughout Septemb [...]

Android Authority (blog)Crowdfunding project of the week: Remix IO is an Android 4K set-top ...Android Authority (blog)The 'Crowdfunding project of the week' series is where we highlight some of the hottest campaigns from sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo. There's pl [...]

Huffington PostReal Estate Crowdfunding's Pathway of ChangeHuffington Post“Crowdfunding is just the Internet,” stated Attorney Mark Roderick as he opened last month's RealCap Chicago. RealCap is an annual conference that joins crowdfunding leaders and innovators to propel th [...]

WestwordProgressive-Rock Band Marillion Pioneered CrowdfundingWestwordThat was the beginning of crowdfunding for us — and for every band, really.” When it came time for the recording and release of the followup to the 1999 record, Kelly and the band realized that one of [...]

BBC NewsNHS trust 'relies' on crowdfunding to equip wardBBC NewsAn NHS trust has launched a crowdfunding appeal to buy equipment for a new hospital unit because "it cannot get started without donations". The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital (RNOH) in Stanmore, n [...]

CFB Finance

Press Release

CrowdFund Beat News


Live Crowdfunding .tv

What's Next Step in Regulation A+ JOBS ACTS Title IIII :L Interview : Steve Cinelli with Brian Korn Securities and Crowdfunding/Peer-to-Peer Lending Lawyer, Watch more video library | Conference | Interview | Campaign Showcase | Research | Education |