As a former Dragons’ Den ‘Dragon’ (original BBCTV UK series 1 & 2) I still get many requests from businesses for start-up funding.  

My recommendation is always: “Look into Crowdfunding”.

Why?  Because not only is it a much faster way to raise monies than traditional bank or angel investor equity finance, CRUCIALLY crowdfunding gives you an opportunity to test the market for your proposed product or service.  

If your crowdfunding campaign falls dead in the water at least you haven’t spent months (years?) pouring time and energy into creating something that there is no market appetite for.

Next question I am always asked: “Which crowdfunding site do you recommend?” 

To date I have run 4 crowdfunding campaigns for various projects.  The last two were on Indiegogo.  Main reason? Unlike (which is the biggest crowdfunding site in the world) you don’t have to hit target to receive your funds.  

Or so I thought!

My first campaign on Indiegogo (back in 2016) went well – I crowdfunded a book I had written and raised sufficient funds to cover the printing and distribution. Slick, easy, no problems.

The second campaign (launched in October 2018) has been closed for almost 6 weeks now but there is still no sign of any of the monies raised.  When questioned, I was told that we needed to post a campaign update to qualify for the funds to be released.  Campaign update duly posted but another technical hitch was found and here we are still awaiting both clarity on what to do next – with the added issue that the ‘Customer Happiness Team’ take forever to respond to emails.

And of course there is no telephone number to get this sorted!

Our largest backer confirmed his bank account was debited back in early October – meaning that Indiegogo have been sitting on the bulk of our funds for over 2 months now.  The cynic in me wonders whether it’s all a way simply to generate more interest on the monies raised in addition to the hefty commission they levy.

VERDICT: Not a great service and not a platform I will be using or recommending again.


Rachel Elnaugh, award winning entrepreneur, former Dragons’ Den ‘Dragon’, creator Red Letter Days, co-creator Source TV, published author, inspirational speaker and business mentor.

11 December 2018