April 11, 2014 · IGG

Trust and the Future of Open Funding


When Eric, Danae, and I started Indiegogo in 2008, the crowdfunding industry did not exist. Inspired by our own frustrations attempting to raise money for things we cared about, we decided to launch a business that would give anyone, anywhere a fair shot at bringing any idea to life. Our core belief was that the platform we created had to be open – a platform without judgment or gatekeepers – that celebrated the entrepreneurial spirit and empowered innovation.

Six years later, Indiegogo has seen a crowdfunded New York Times ad activate support for a revolution in Turkey, a loving family welcome the first crowdfunded baby, a first-time filmmaker earn mainstream distribution after being turned down by studios, the first medical tricorder (think Star Trek) developed and brought to market, and thousands of people rally together to give a bullied bus monitor the chance at a new life.

Our open philosophy has recently inspired a healthy debate about the role you want us to play in protecting the platform from potential abuse, specifically in the case of the Healbe campaign. We embrace the opportunity to address your concerns and highlight the significant investments we have made toward enhanced security.

Regarding Healbe and the broader discussion about our approach, we see this as two separate topics: the issue of a campaigner who intends to deceive and the issue of the feasibility or deliverability of a campaign.

To date, the Healbe team has been responsive and cooperative with our inquiries. Their campaign continues to follow our trust guidelines and they have voluntarily offered refunds upon request. For more information on refunds or our policies, please email support@indiegogo.com.

Specific to the first issue, our anti-fraud program employs a three-pronged approach:

  1. Algorithms – we monitor data for patterns and look for outliers or those angling to take advantage of the system
  2. Personnel – to supplement the data, we have built a sophisticated team of experts dedicated to ensuring the integrity of our platform.  Our in-house Trust & Safety team reviews the data closely, and in many cases, investigates further.
  3. You, the crowd – we welcome comments, emails, and other notifications from the community.  This information is aggregated and supports our investigations.

As to the second issue about the feasibility or quality of delivery, we know that potential contributors are best served when they get educated, know the facts and can therefore make informed decisions. That’s why open dialogue has always been encouraged on the platform.

Finally, we continue to look for ways to improve and evolve our product through scalable solutions that better facilitate communication, transparency and education. Feedback like yours ­– past, present and future – helps us create a better experience for all.

At Indiegogo, nurturing a trusted open platform is our top priority.

Slava Rubin
CEO and Co-Founder

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