Indiegogo has long had a reputation as the tech-related crowdfunding campaign for projects that may not have been suitable for Kickstarter… often because they don’t have the working prototypes required by Kickstarter.
But now Indiegogo is taking steps to ensure that backers of crowdfunding campaigns on its platform are better informed about the current status and potential risks of backing a project.
The company now requires any project in the Tech & Innovation category to disclose what product stage they’re at (with options ranging from “concept” to “shipping”). And Indiegogo also now requires projects to offer updates to backers at least once a month to keep them informed of the current status.
Does any of this mean that you’re guaranteed to get that smartwatch, coffee grinder, toothbrush, or pseudo-scientific-sounding weight loss gadget on time… or that it’ll actually live up to the developer’s claims? Nope, not really.
There’s always a chance that the creator of a crowdfunding campaign has unrealistic expectations about how much time or money it’ll take to go from concept to product, or if it’s even feasible at all. But Indiegogo’s new rules should make it a little easier for you to make a well-informed decision before deciding whether to put your money into a project that may or may not ever result in a real product (remember: backing a campaign isn’t actually the same thing as pre-ordering a product… it’s helping to fund a project in hopes of being one of the first to get an item as a “reward”).
Indiegogo does note that it will consider using a collection agency to help recover money in instances where a campaign violates the company’s terms of service.