'Crowdfunding site Indiegogo, launched in 2008, was a pioneer in helping anyone anywhere raise money from anyone in the world. While the site now has much more competition from venture-backed startups such as Kickstarter or niche sites such as CrowdSupply, Indiegogo has recently seen an uptick in high profile journalism-related campaigns. There was the “Crackstarter” campaign (ironically using a play on “Kickstarter” on Indiegogo) by Gawker to raise money for a video allegedly showing the Toronto Mayor Rob Ford smoking crack. Activists tried to counter the Koch brothers by raising money in a quixotic campaign to buy the Tribune Company for $660 million. And literary publisher Graywolf Press raised money to launch a new website.
Perhaps what attracted those campaigns was the platform’s open nature. In a discussion with Indiegogo co-founder and CEO Slava Rubin at the NYT Global Forum, he told me that the site has no judgments on campaigns, no matter how controversial.
“For us, it’s a completely open platform, where it’s what the funders want,
they get. We don’t decide, we don’t judge and we leave it up to the market,” Rubin said. “There’s no application, no human judgment before you launch a campaign, because we believe the market should be open. After that, we have to make sure that it’s legal, that it’s compliant with our Terms of Service. In general, we want to keep it as open as possible and limit censorship... '