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Manufacturing and Process Management

What is the role of Crowdfunding platforms today?

Crowdfunding has evolved rapidly over the last five years. Originally just a platform for garage entrepreneurs to raise money, it quickly became a hotbed for innovation. Nascent companies such as Oculus and Pebble helped jump start the long-dormant Virtual Reality and Wearable technology markets.

But today you’re just as likely to see headlines about major companies using crowdfunding sites as pre-order platforms, or successful campaigns going under because of manufacturing or funding issues. Crowdfunding sites have changed too to help campaigns plan ahead, sell more, and better engage with the people giving them money (or even taking a share of their company).

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IDG Connect has spoken to more than 100 campaigns on Kickstarter, IndieGoGo, Crowdsupply and other crowdfunding sites. We surveyed them to ask them: What is the role of crowdfunding today? A pre-order platform? A marketing hype tool? A real alternative to traditional Venture Capital funding?

Technology & rewards-based crowdfunding tries to answer some of those questions. We look back on the 100+ campaigns we’ve spoken to over the last three years, learned what happened next, talked to them again about their experiences and gathered best practices, and found out whether they’d go back for another campaign.

The updated version of this report – originally published in 2016 – includes updated statistics and takes a closer look at how IndieGoGo and Kickstarter have changed from merely platforms with which to raise money to include a broader set of services including eCommerce, customer engagement, supply chain and manufacturing, and even venture funding.

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Dan Swinhoe

Dan is a journalist at CSO Online. Previously he was Senior Staff Writer at IDG Connect.

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