Oct 14, 2013 · 2 minutes

A few weeks back, two developers, Jonathan Lau and Edward Junprung, claimed that successful Kickstarter campaigns have raised more than six times more money than Indiegogo campaigns. We need to take the findings with a grain of salt, since Indiegogo doesn't publicly share data, and the company has vociferously disputed Lau and Junprung's conclusions.

While most would assume Kickstarter is the bigger crowdfunding platform, if it's six-times ahead of its closest competitor it isn’t just “leading the space.” It’s total domination. Indiegogo says this is completely bogus, but told us it won't be dragged into a game of he 'said, she said' and coerced into releasing proprietary data just to debunk what it characterizes as inaccurate information.

Nonetheless, there are a few things to note about the data. Lau and Junprung themselves are quick to note that Indiegogo delists failed campaigns that raised less than $500, so the total number of campaigns, around 44,000 is low. According to the Verge, 142,301 campaigns had ended on Indiegogo at that time. And an Indiegogo press release from last week states that the total is up to over 150,000 campaigns.

We will grant Indiegogo that it and Kickstarter, while both crowdfunding modules, have different models. Indiegogo accepts anybody. Kickstarter does not. Indiegogo gives campaigns the option of keeping all of the money if they miss their goal. Kickstarter does not. So yes, while Lau and Junprung's data may paint a picture of Kickstarter dominance, it’s also not an apples-to-apples comparison.

To put a fine point on data sets like these, we've tapped Simran Khosla, a Master's student at NYU's Studio 20 digital journalism program. [Disclosure: I went there, too.] As part of her final semester coursework, she's building a series of data visualizations for us. Here's her first, which charts the stock prices of various IPOs leading up to Twitter's public offering.

Today, she's rendered Lau and Junprung's "Kickstarter vs Indiegogo" data, although keep in mind that Indiegogo contests these numbers. If you want to catch all of Simran's visualizations, follow our data blog on Tumblr.

Also, in the interest of fairness, here's a statement from Indiegogo:

Indiegogo crowdfunding campaigns receive more than 90 percent of all dollars pledged on our platform, turning dreams around the world into realities. This demonstrates why Indiegogo's mix of flexible and fixed funding is such an extraordinary global success. Sadly, the chart below uses data that is both inaccurate and mischaracterized to misrepresent what Indiegogo continues to achieve.
Editor's note: Because the infographic is based on third-party data, it's hard for us to judge which numbers are accurate and which are not, especially since Lau and Junprung claim they scraped Indiegogo's data from its site. If Indiegogo's claim that 90 percent of all dollars pledged on the platform go to the campaigns, then it would follow that the numbers for Indiegogo are indeed wildly inaccurate. As a result, PandoDaily cannot vouch for the accuracy of the figures in the infographic. We also have a policy against pulling pieces after they have been published. Therefore, we encourage readers to use their best judgment. No one disputes Kickstarter's numbers, and besides, look at all the pretty colors. 


[Infographic by Simran Khosla]