Indiegogo is rounding the bend into 2015 with momentum on its side. In the last year, the popular crowdfunding platform has become the go-to venue for entrepreneurs looking for a non-traditional way to raise money for their product or startup.
"We've become the YouTube for entrepreneurs," Indiegogo CEO and co-founder Slave Rubin tells Inc. As the limits and risks of the venture capital model become ever more pronounced, Indiegogo is creating an alternate route for access to capital that and democratizing innovation.
A recent successful example is the Jolla Tablet, known as the "first crowdsourced tablet," created by a Finland-based consumer tech startup and independent mobile operating system developer. The Jolla Tablet Indiegogo campaign aimed to raise $380,000 but ended up with almost five times that amount, closing in on over $1.82 million raised.
The Jolla Tablet is not the only Indiegogo campaign that has reached its million-dollar goal. According to Rubin, Indiegogo has hosted more campaigns that have raised $2 million or more than any other platform in the last 6 months.
Consumer tech has taken crowdfunding by storm in 2014. Nine of the ten most popular Kickstarters have been to fund consumer tech products, from 3D printers to camera drones.
The success of consumer tech products has lured other major companies to use Indiegogo has a testing ground for upcoming products. In 2014 companies like Phillips and Honda have conducted Indiegogo campaigns.
"It's a great way for businesses to mitigate risk and validate demand," says Rubin, who does not seem to be concerned about big companies trumping the indie spirit of Indiegogo. Rubin believes crowdsourcing is just in its early days and more companies will come onboard as part of their development strategy.
As for Indiegogo's own business growth, the San Francisco-based startup is still raising money the good old-fashioned way: venture capitalism. In January, Indiegogo closed a Series B fundraising round and raised $40 million. Since then, the startup has redesigned its website, introduced mobile apps and launched Indiegogo Life, a companion service for raising money for personal causes, like college tuition or medical expenses, with no fees.