Go back just a few years, and using the term ‘crowdfunding’ would have received some very blank stares.
For Danae Ringelmann, co-founder of Indiegogo, crowdfunding represents a democratisation of access to capital.
Founded in 2008, and now with offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York, Ringelmann said her crowdfunding platform was the result of seeing creative ideas fall by the wayside, because both herself, and friends couldn’t find ways to fund them.
“We thought that access to finance was totally unfair, and totally inefficient, and needed to be fixed. The reason being, we saw ideas all across the world going unborn because of inefficient access to capital,” Ringelmann said in Sydney yesterday.
“Finance has traditionally been controlled by the credit decision makers, with the power to decide which ideas are born, and which are not. But with the advent of the Internet and technology, we’re sitting on an opportunity,” Ringelmann said.
In the country to launch the site’s new availability in Australian dollars, Ringelmann said the site has grown by 275% in the local market.
“That growth really shows that the Australian market is entrepreneurial, innovative and creative,” she added.
For the first time all Australian campaigns will be able to raise money in AUD, making the experience of crowdfunding more customised, and cheaper because of fewer fees.
Indiegogo is open to everyone with an idea that requires funding to get it off the ground and covers a wide range of categories such as technology, film and education – there is no limitation on what the campaigns can raise money for.
As an example, the platform has so far raised $13,750 for the Australian entrepreneurs behind Conscious Step (of its $20,000 goal), and raised $41,439 (of its $30,000) for the production company behind an Aussie comedy feature film, ‘Me and my mates vs. the Zombie apocalypse’.
“Our company’s mission is to democratise funding worldwide and empower people to raise money for the projects that matter to them most. Together with our campaigners, Indiegogo has seen thousands of ideas come to life through the generosity of everyday people who have been inspired by the campaigns on the site,” Ringelmann said.