VentureBeat ran a story about the huge amount of capital flowing into Chinese businesses through Indiegogo.
According to Indiegogo, over 3,500 China-based innovators have raised more than $150 million since 2016. Thirty-five products have raised more than $1 million, and a number of startups based in China have launched more than one crowdfunding campaign on the platform.
These numbers are impressive, but quantity isn’t the only peculiar thing about this story — Indiegogo is starting to adopt practices of an incubator or VC.
In late 2017, in an effort to help small teams scale up quickly, Indiegogo launched Concierge, a program that provides staff assistance to crowdfunding projects that have raised $500,000 or more. Much like Kickstarter’s Hardware Studio, it connects budding companies with Indiegogo partners such as Arrow Electronics and Ingram Micro.
Indiegogo and Kickstarter don’t have residual ownership of their projects, yet they are still offering services like Concierge, or connecting them to their established corporate networks. Part of this is surely for optics, a successful long-lasting company is way better than a short lived one, but companies are more likely to use the service rather than other bootstrapped options if they think they can get business advice or connections.
Crowdsourced ventures are as famous for their colossal dollar investments as they are for their titanic failures, but this is also true of venture backed companies and projects, so they can be a little unfairly maligned. With a little help and assistance, it’s likely that, at least on the margin, a few more crowdsourcing entrepreneurs will be able to make it through the early stages of their business.
These services only started in 2017, but as these teams at Indiegogo get more experience, knowledge, and expand the network of companies they work with, this could become an increasingly attractive option for new or even adolescent businesses.
Read the whole story here.