For all the potential upsides of crowdfunding, backing a project always feels like a gamble. And some fairly high profile campaigns over the last few years have helped removed some of the model’s luster. Indiegogo’s hoping to curb some of those failures with guaranteed shipping, a new feature that suspends funding unless a product actual ships.
The crowdfunding site has laid out the terms of the program, which was first highlighted by The Verge. Guaranteed shipping will launch with a select number of campaigns early next year. Those Marketplace campaigns will feature a a badge letting users know they’re covered.
“Pre-Order sellers undergo an assessment for a period of up to 90 days to determine whether they will be able to ship on time,” the company writes on an FAQ page. “If Indiegogo isn’t satisfied with the results of that assessment, we’ll refund your order.”
The concept isn’t a rethink of crowdfunding exactly, but it does signal a shift in thinking for platforms in the wake of the first bubble. Indiegogo has spent the last few years attempting to diversify and reposition its offerings after former COO David Mandelbrot took over CEO duties from co-founder Slava Rubin back in 2016.