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Life After Crowdfunding: Startups That Landed VC Money After Online Campaigns

For some projects, there's a VC waiting at the end of the crowdfunded rainbow.

Robert Kneschke / Shutterstock

There are many different kinds of things that raise money on crowdfunding platforms. There are headphones that communicate sound by vibrating against your skull, Internet-connected meat thermometers, electric skateboards and so on.

But what happens after crowdfunding? For the Kickstarter-funded Oculus, it meant getting bought by Facebook for $2 billion. For many, many other successfully crowdfunded efforts, the people who donate (invest?) money don’t really get anything out of it; earlier this year Gideon Lewis-Kraus took a long look in the New York Times Magazine at what happened with one such project, the ZPM Espresso machine.

A CB Insights study from last year said that 9.5 percent of hardware startups funded on Kickstarter or Indiegogo went on to raise VC money. The report also noted that “there doesn’t appear to be a relationship between the amount a campaign raises on a crowdfunding platform and the amount it raises from VCs.”

To help understand what post-crowdfund VC funding looks like, Indiegogo provided Re/code with more hard numbers about successfully funded campaigns that scored follow-on funding from institutional backers. The investors include hosts from ABC’s “Shark Tank,” as well as well-known venture capital firms like Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. In total, Indiegogo projects have raised more than $500 million from investors after campaigns, and more than $750 million has been raised on the platform altogether.

Of course, just because the projects were able to raise more money later on, that doesn’t mean they won’t fail in the end. We’re talking about startups, after all.

Embedded below is a spreadsheet of the different Indiegogo campaigns that have raised money after successful crowdfunding (click here to open in a new tab). Some highlights:

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