“VCs won’t be able to get anywhere near crowdfunding’s impact in a few years.”
Having cash on hand is the number one challenge for any new business. Fewer than 1% of startups are funded by venture capital, and most bank loans require years of established revenue. Equity crowdfunding offers an alternative to traditional methods, and it allows a wider range of founders and investors to benefit financially from success.
Equity crowdfunding is even more powerful when it’s paired with crowdfunding on Indiegogo. More and more entrepreneurs are doubling their crowdfunding benefits by running a campaign on Indiegogo to fund a product and running an equity crowdfunding campaign to fund their business. Entrepreneurs are able to leverage the communities they’ve already built to spread the word about their product, find investors, and convert new users.
Enter StartEngine, Indiegogo’s celebrated equity crowdfunding partner. StartEngine is an Indiegogo equity crowdfunding partner that has helped over 500 companies raise more than $400M from a community of 400,000 prospective investors. The company boasts 190% year-over-year growth, and has secured the backing of Shark Tank’s Mr. Wonderful.
Waverly Labs translates their user base into funding
For Andrew Ochoa, Founder and CEO of Waverly Labs, the parallels between Indiegogo and equity crowdfunding are clear. Waverly Labs is a tech startup that specializes in wearable translators and to date, the company has run three equity crowdfunding campaigns on StartEngine. They’ve also run two crowdfunding campaigns on Indiegogo: for the Pilot in-ear translator in 2016 and for its business-traveler cousin, the Ambassador, in 2019.
“There are a lot of similar processes between Indiegogo and equity crowdfunding,” Andrew explains. “You don’t just go on Indiegogo or Startengine and expect a bunch of donations or investments. You have to develop a community well before you go on the platform. You have a lot of the same experiences pre- and post- campaign, so we were able to use what we’d learned from one campaign to the next.”
Waverly Labs put a lot of work into building a community on Indiegogo and that helped them run successful StartEngine campaigns. “We knew it would be an easy transition for us to run a campaign on StartEngine because we were successful on Indiegogo,” says Andrew, whose first Indiegogo campaign raised $4.4M on Indiegogo. “A lot of backers from our Indiegogo campaign became investors on StartEngine. There was a lot of crossover. And what we learned from our StartEngine campaign influenced our Indiegogo campaign. Our first StartEngine campaign helped inform our next Indiegogo campaign.” Waverly Labs raised roughly $4.5M in total on StartEngine.
Scooterson is on a roll with two crowdfunding campaigns at once
Electric scooter startup Scooterson is simultaneously running campaigns on Indiegogo campaign and StartEngine to fund the Rolley smart eScooter. Both campaigns are currently live. Founder and CEO Mihnea de Vries sees crowdfunding as an essential part of their go-to-market strategy. “Crowdfunding isn’t just a place where you can find people who are interested in your product. It’s a way to find early adopters who are excited about what you have to offer,” says Mihnea. “A lot of startups these days are turning to crowdfunding because you can build a user base and raise funds at the same time.”
He believes that equity crowdfunding will eventually replace venture capitalist funding for seed and series A funding rounds. “We think that VCs won’t be able to get anywhere near crowdfunding’s impact in a few years. That’s because with crowdfunding, there are no strings attached. VCs always want all sorts of crazy things in exchange for their money. They want a big say in the company. Not so with equity crowdfunding. And with crowdfunding, you build a community right off the bat that can propel your business forward.”
Mihnea sees Indiegogo and StartEngine as going hand in hand. “Indiegogo and equity crowdfunding work together really nicely,” says Mihnea. “Both types of crowdfunding have been really good for us.”
Equity crowdfunding for the future
Indiegogo and StartEngine work symbiotically to help entrepreneurs ignite their communities and boost their business. Together, they can help new companies raise money faster than other funding methods and cut through red tape.
“Indiegogo isn’t just a way to raise money or build a product, it’s a place to promote your brand and create a larger user base,” says Mihnea. “Indiegogo was the best traditional crowdfunding platform for us. The way they promote, the way they help with digital marketing, and even on a personal level: their experience was impressive and the people we talked to were really passionate about helping us.”
Combine that with a powerful equity crowdfunding partner like StartEngine, and businesses can get exactly what they need to thrive — today and for years to come.