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Equity Crowdfunding and Venture Capital, More Friends than Foes?

By Motley Fool Staff - Mar 24, 2017 at 7:41AM

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Indiegogo's founder shares his thoughts on the trends shaping equity crowdfunding.

Equity crowdfunding is just starting to get its feet off the ground, but some trends are already becoming apparent in the industry.

In this clip from Industry Focus: Tech, Motley Fool analyst Dylan Lewis interviews Slava Rubin, founder of Indiegogo, and the two talk about how venture capitalists' views of crowdfunding platforms have changed, and what it might mean for the future of equity crowdfunding.

A full transcript follows the video.

This podcast was recorded on March 17, 2017.

Dylan Lewis: Within the VC space, and maybe in the equity crowdfunding space, any trends that you guys have noticed? Like I said, it's early, but anything that you've seen emerge so far?

Slava Rubin: Before we even go to the equity crowdfunding space, you've noticed on the perks crowdfunding with Indiegogo in the early days, VCs would look down on an opportunity on Indiegogo. And then slowly, they would take notice. Now, it's almost become a standard approach to first further validate your ideas, is to go through a perks-based campaign on Indiegogo, or we become a discovery engine for a lot of VCs and institutions now. So, there's been well over $1 billion of venture capital and institutional money that has gone into companies that have first funded on Indiegogo. So, funny, again, Republic Restorative, just an example, they first did Indiegogo perks, got off the ground, and then could have gone toward a few different paths to get more institutional money, but then they came on to our partnership for equity raise. So, it's an interesting example of the graduation from one to the next. And then, as relates to equity crowdfunding and the trends related to the VCs and such, I think we're seeing it is quite complementary, and VCs are seeing it as another opportunity. I do see in the future, I think, where this is evolving is, some VCs will use it as a validation element, or even more interesting will be, as the total raise, let's call it 100%, a portion that total raise will be carved out and said, "OK, the VCs took 70% of it. Here's 20% of it, put it on equity crowdfunding so we can engage our fans, our audience, our customers and get them more involved." So, I can see this being a complementary thing.

Lewis: Yeah, the way you're describing, sounds like the traditional crowdfunding, where you give $20 and you get a T-shirt, or you give a larger amount and maybe get an early prototype. It's kind of a court of public opinion on the concept itself.

Rubin: That's for perks.

Lewis: Right, for the perks-based one.

Rubin: And that helps for the VCs to jump in. But then, I also think the VCs will want to give a portion of venture round to us to then distribute it through our unaccredited pool to be able to get more people involved, especially their customers.

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