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Indiegogo Opens Digital Bazaar for Crowdfunded Gadgets

Indiegogo, the crowdfunding site that lets businesses raise funds in exchange for gifts or ownership stakes, has opened an online storefront for gadgets that make it into production.

The new part of Indiegogo’s website is called Marketplace, and the homepage is adorned with products ranging from smart nightlights to headbands that send electrical pulses into the brain to improve sleep. It said that hardware not funded on Indiegogo could also be sold in the online bazaar and that, like eBay and Etsy, it would take a percentage of every sale.

“When the company originally launched, the original goal was just to make it easier for founders,” said Dave Mandelbrot, Indiegogo’s chief executive, in an interview with technology news site Recode. Indiegogo is lending aid to businesses in other ways: Last year, it partnered with Arrow Electronics to walk them through supply chain and part sourcing issues.

“Launching the marketplace is really the last step of that to ensure that — once they have a product — that is ready for purchase,” Mandelbrot said.

The marketplace also gives Indiegogo another way to stand out from Amazon, which runs a similar site for selling crowdfunded merchandise, and Kickstarter, which carefully curates the gadgets allowed on its site. Kickstarter does not sell gadgets directly and requires businesses to disclose risks and share hardware prototype pictures. Concept drawings are prohibited.

Like Indiegogo enlisted advice from Arrow, Kickstarter has also partnered with Avnet to provide a helping hand to companies choosing factories and manufacturing devices like wearables, robots, and smart appliances. Through the deal, engineers can obtain software to project production costs, refines products for manufacturability, and records bills of materials.

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