Mojio used Indiegogo which was invaluable for leading us to some important strategic relationships that continue to help our company. Besides the opportunity for consumer funding, we also had an opportunity to poll our backers for key insights into their perception of our primary value propositions. Indiegogo helped us learn more about our target market than a pre-lunch company ever could have over such a short period (and for free).
We also made valuable connections with venture financiers, distributors, carriers, corporate customers and app developers for our platform who all watch the crowdfunding sites. Our inbound interest created by the campaign was more valuable to us than the money we ultimately raised.
It's been a really interesting path as our offering has significantly improved from our original focus as a direct result of crowdfunding. This has lead to our launch being pushed out, but ultimately we have a much stronger solution that has much more to offer than we had originally planned.
You are correct Junko. I have actually tested this crowdfunding thing. It is never "crowd". It is largely a "network". There are people that will not help you without a network connection. So anyone that thinks that he can go online and expect to raise $1m from strangers because he has a great idea is living in another planet. That said, we will not know until the Acts takes off. It is becoming that some VCs will devote some funds into crowdfunding investments. It could blow up or it could work for those that are well networked and connected.
But if crowdfunding is to be used as series A by VCs, I think the hurdle for startups has just gotten higher, than lower. As the story says, crowdfunding isn't something you can do on the side. And just as you are at the whim of VCs (to get that much needed Series A funding), you are at the mercy of the crowd's likings, which isn't necessarily easy to read.
It is possible that crowdfunding can have Series B,C, etc that we do not need VCs anymore. These crowdfung guys will specialize (series A, B, etc) as time goes on with some focusing on growth phase etc. I just wish we break the power of VCs and their big guy club.
This makes a lot of sense. With all of the fitness devices out there, there is clearly a demand for and interest in developing apps for muscle enthusiasts. Most of the attention in the fitness market has remained in cardio, but this is definitely an area to watch as people tend to me be very careful about body fat percentages and muscle mass when working out.