As a general rule: there is no one platform that’s right for everyone. Platforms are as unique as the products raising funds, and finding the best fit for you is dependent on your needs. We’ll link to and briefly describe each platform. Still, though a lot of the work has been done for you, it’s not unwise to check out each platform for yourself. Just like other steps in the pre-launch process, a researched and knowledgeable approach now will only benefit you later.”
AN INTRODUCTION TO CROWDFUNDING PLATFORMS:
Indiegogo — Founded in 2007, over $200 million raised in successful funding. Emphasizes creative projects, but unlike Kickstarter, also focuses on what they deem Entrepreneurial and Cause projects. Has a disappointing success rate of 9.3% of projects being fully funded, but projects can keep any funds raised, though there is a service fee. More flexible in what they expect out of proposed projects, with more flexible deadlines (1-120 days). Many failed and rejected Kickstarter projects end up at Indiegogo.
OneArmenia — We don’t believe in charity. We believe in investing in culture and technology. Culture and technology are universal equalizers. They know no borders and create limitless possibilities for the future. They are a mode for expression, a ticket to progress and accessible to anyone in their simplest forms. Armenia has a rich 4,500-year (and counting) history that is strongly rooted in its cultural practices and traditions. Meanwhile, its IT sector is booming, taking up a clean, corruption-free 20% of the country’s annual GDP. It’s the coolest place you’ve never heard of-a powerhouse of creativity and invention. [technically OneArmenia is not a crowd funding platform since they use Indiegogo as their primary platform, but they are just assume so I included them]
Ayo— Ayo! is you. It is every one of us who hears the voice of the Armenians and loves to support local initiatives. Armenians in Armenia know the challenges they face and the solutions that will work in their communities. We just need to say “yes” to their ideas, to give activists an extra push to provide local solutions to local challenges. The Fund for Armenian Relief, who helped initiate Ayo!, has a proven track record of improving the quality of life for Armenia’s most needy population and will guarantee that we implement these brilliant ideas to the highest standards that you set for us.
BoostBloom — is a crowd funding platform aimed at helping Armenians raise money. Backers do not “invest” in Boostbloom projects to make money; they “back” projects in exchange for an exciting reward. This type of support has proven to be far more effective that simply giving money. Beauty of Crowdfunding is that it creates a special relationship between crowdfunders and the project creators. Armenians inside Armenia and outside Armenia especially need that type of support implying direct involvement in the process and motivation to reach a goal.
HopHop — Also new and exclusively focused on the Armenian market. HopHop was created to provide a platform for an Armenian looking to promote their project in an Armenian focused platform. We also provide help it developing and marketing your campaign here in Armenia so you do not feel alone and helpless.
Global Giving — It accepts projects from social entrepreneurs and non-profits, and the range of projects is very broad. However, it requires a process to get there. The organization wishing to raise funds for a project through GlobalGiving will need to be nominated (self-nomination is also possible) and then submit an application. After a successful nomination and application process the organization will participate in an open challenge to raise money for the first project. If the applicant raises minimum $5000 from 40 donors during one month then the organization gets its permanent spot on the GlobalGiving web site.
RocketHub — Another creative-based platform, Rockethub also offers the ability for individual projects to collaborate with team members for a higher success rate. Rockethub will be working with A&E on ProjectStartup to give projects television exposure. Fuelers (backers) donate money to projects via “Rocketfuel,” a virtual currency. All-or-nothing approach like Kickstarter, the emphasis at Rockethub is getting funded as quickly as possible, though with deadlines ranging from 15-90 days, projects have a bit more time.
Kickstarter — [You will need a friend in the US or Europe, as you can not start a project in Armenia] Probably the most popular crowdfunding platform. Most predominantly used for creative projects like self publishing, concerts, dance, etc. While popular, Kickstarter’s reputation for late delivery (84% of projects are delivered late) has hardware teams looking elsewhere. Of the near 120,000 projects to date, Kickstarter has almost a 44% success rate. Of the over 50,000 successfully launched projects, $726 million has been raised. All-or-nothing approach to funding: projects that don’t meet funding goals get no money at all. Between 1-60 days to raise funds. Guidelines for hardware projects are particularly strict.
Crowdfunder — Not a project- or cause-based platform. Exclusively emphasizes entrepreneurs trying to build or fund a business. Good for tech startups, social enterprises, and small businesses. Funds are raised through donations and investments into individual listings. Efficient in connecting investors with entrepreneurs.
CHOOSE A PLATFORM CAREFULLY
There are many more platforms on the market, and this barely scratches the surface. Once again, if in doubt, review the list of similar products made in step one of the pre-launch process: where did the majority of these projects get successfully funded? For example, if many jumped ship to Indiegogo because they didn’t meet Kickstarter guidelines or failed to make their funding goals, then you probably shouldn’t go with Kickstarter.
Additionally, if your project is hardware or tech related, note that Kickstarter has just a 34% success rate in the that field, while their success rates for artistic projects (especially dance, theater, and music) are particularly impressive. Your product, target market, and timeline will determine your platform.