SUPERIOR FUNDRAISING Axanar produced this patch to memorialize its fundraising prowess on Kickstarter and Indiegogo.

Crowdfunding Platforms

Axanar raised its operating funds from fundraising efforts on the two most prominent crowdfunding platforms, Kickstarter1) 2) and Indiegogo.3)

Over the course of three crowdfunding campaigns in 2014 and 2015, Axanar raised in excess of $1.1 million from more than 8,000 donors, with additional undisclosed funds from direct donations and merchandise sales to donors.

This is one in a series of AxaMonitor articles examining Axanar’s crowdfunding efforts, its spending, its goals and how it has reported on those activities. The entire series is listed here.

Crowdfunding Campaigns

See also: Prelude Kickstarter Details, Axanar Kickstarter Details and Axanar Indiegogo Details

The following charts offer some basic breakdowns describing the success of Axanar’s three crowdfunding campaigns.

'Prelude' Kickstarter

See also: Prelude Kickstarter Details

This was the first of Axanar’s three crowdfunding campaigns, a thirty-day effort in March 2014.

Campaign Backers Amounts Raised
Prelude Kickstarter4) Total Backers (with perks) 2,067 $94,210
Launched March 2014 Grand Totals* 2,123 $101,171
Goal: $10,000 Difference 56 $6,961

* Kickstarter’s grand totals include donors who chose no rewards.

Distribution of Backers

Click image to see full size.

Further Analysis

Read more analysis of the Prelude Kickstarter campaign.


'Axanar' Kickstarter

See also: Axanar Kickstarter Details

This month-long crowdfunding campaign launched in July 2014, following release of the 20-minute short, Prelude to Axanar. The effort succeeded in raising $638,471 from 8,548 backers.

Campaign Backers Amounts Raised
Axanar Kickstarter5) Total Backers (with perks) 8,272 $610,065
Launched July 2014 Grand Totals* 8,548 $638,471
Goal: $100,000 Difference 276 $28,406

* Kickstarter’s grand totals include donors who chose no rewards.

Distribution of Backers

Click image to see full size.

Further Analysis

Read more analysis of the Axanar Kickstarter campaign.


'Axanar' Indiegogo

See also: Axanar Indiegogo Details

This campaign, part of Indiegogo’s “In Demand” program for ongoing campaigns, ended abruptly, a couple of weeks after the copyright infringement lawsuit was filed against Axanar.

Campaign Backers Amounts Raised
Axanar Indiegogo6) Total Backers (with perks) 6,558 $504,645
Launched July 2015 Grand Totals* 7,660 $574,434
Goal: $1.32 million Difference 1,102 $69,789

* Indiegogo’s grand totals include donors who chose no perks.

Distribution of Backers

Click image to see full size.

Further Analysis

Read more analysis of the publicly available information about Axanar’s Indiegogo effort.


Crowdfunding Grand Totals

Budget Grand Total* $2,059,642
Total Raised via Crowdfunding $1,314,076
Left to Raise $745,566

* Budget Grand Total covers the entire project for both Prelude to Axanar and Axanar.

Progress to Axanar

After the lawsuit forced premature closure of Axanar‘s Indiegogo campaign in January 2016, the production was left with only 44 percent of the money it needed to produce the entire feature film.

Producers announced they needed to raise $1.32 million from Indiegogo to produce the film as four “episodes”; they announced September 8, 2015, they had raised enough to begin production on the first two.7) But fundraising, other than that raised via the undisclosed direct donations on the film’s website, remains stuck with 66% of the budget yet to be raised.

Click image to view full size


Financial Reports

COVER IMAGE from the Axanar 2015 Annual Report.

Axanar released an Annual Report in December 2015 that reported its fundraising and expenditures through July 2015, encompassing spending from its two Kickstarter campaigns.8)

The report promised a follow-up due in the first quarter of 2016. It is unknown whether that schedule is affected by the lawsuit.

Undisclosed Proceeds

In addition to raising funds on Kickstarter and Indiegogo, Axanar created direct revenue streams through:

  • The PayPal link added to its Kickstarter page after the campaign closed.9)
  • On its own website.10)
  • Via its exclusive Ares Digital Donor Store, where donors can purchase additional Axanar merchandise.
  • “Retroactive donations” that entitle backers to Blu-rays of Prelude to Axanar.

In an April 1, 2016, interview Peters refused to state how much had been raised from these sources, saying that information would be released in the future only to donors.11)

On September 29, 2016, a motion to compel discovery filed by Axanar’s lawyers against CBS and Paramount revealed the studios now had the audit that had been performed on Axanar’s books, and that its undisclosed income totaled something like $200,000, raising the previous $1.3 million to $1.5 million.

Source Data

Download the source documents for the series of articles. The data was assembled into spreadsheets from publicly accessible information made available by the crowdfunding platforms and/or the Axanar Annual Report. Click on the citation number to access the downloadable spreadsheets. 12)

Submit Findings

Readers who make interesting findings by sorting the crowdfunding and financial data on their own are invited to submit them to AxaMonitor. Please use the Feedback page to submit new information. Thank you!

About Kickstarter

Kickstarter logo

Kickstarter is an American public-benefit corporation based in Brooklyn, N.Y., which has built a global crowdfunding platform supporting creative projects. As of 2015, Kickstarter has reportedly received more than $1.9 billion in pledges from 9.4 million backers to fund 257,000 creative projects, such as films, music, stage shows, comics, journalism, video games, technology and food-related projects.

People who back Kickstarter projects are offered tangible rewards and one-of-a-kind experiences in exchange for their pledges. This model traces its roots to subscription model of arts patronage, where artists would go directly to their audiences to fund their work.

Kickstarter is one of a number of crowdfunding platforms for gathering money from the public, which circumvents traditional avenues of investment. Project creators choose a deadline and a minimum funding goal. If the goal is not met by the deadline, no funds are collected, a kind of assurance contract.

Kickstarter Model

Kickstarter applies a 5 percent fee on the total amount of the funds raised. Their payments processor applies an additional 3–5 percent fee. Unlike many forums for fundraising or investment, Kickstarter claims no ownership over the projects and the work they produce. The web pages of projects launched on the site are permanently archived and accessible to the public. After funding is completed, projects and uploaded media cannot be edited or removed from the site.

There is no guarantee that people who post projects on Kickstarter will deliver on their projects, use the money to implement their projects, or that the completed projects will meet backers’ expectations. Kickstarter advises backers to use their own judgment on supporting a project. They also warn project leaders that they could be liable for legal damages from backers for failure to deliver on promises. Projects might also fail even after a successful fundraising campaign when creators underestimate the total costs required or technical difficulties to be overcome.

About Indiegogo

Indiegogo logo

Indiegogo is an international crowdfunding website founded in 2008 with headquarters in San Francisco, Calif. The site is one of the first sites to offer crowdfunding. Indiegogo allows people to solicit funds for an idea, charity, or start-up business. Indiegogo charges a 5 percent fee on contributions. This charge is in addition to credit card and PayPal charges that range from 3.5 to 9 percent.

Fifteen million people from all around the world visit the site on a monthly basis. The site runs on a rewards-based system, meaning supporters who donate to fund a project or product can receive perks, rather than an equity stake in the company.

Portions of this article were adapted from the articles, Kickstarter, and Indiegogo.

Indiegogo Model

Users can create a page for their funding campaign, set up an account with PayPal, make a list of perks for different levels of investment, then create a social media–based publicity effort. Users publicize the projects themselves through Facebook, Twitter and similar platforms. The site levies a 4 percent fee for successful campaigns. For campaigns that fail to raise their target amount, users have the option of either refunding all money to their contributors at no charge or keeping all money raised minus a 9 percent fee.

Unlike similar sites such as Kickstarter, Indiegogo disburses the funds immediately, when the contributions are collected through the user’s PayPal accounts. Indiegogo also offers direct credit card payment acceptance through their own portal. Those funds are disbursed up to two weeks after the conclusion of a campaign.

According to The Wall Street Journal, by 2014 more than 200,000 campaigns had been launched on the platform, raising millions of dollars for projects in at least 70 countries every week. Already-funded projects have also used Indiegogo to create publicity or find distributors.


Keywords

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10)
Axanar Donation Page, retrieved 5/2/16.
12)
Download Excel spreadsheet with data from Axanar crowdfunding campaigns on Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Also, the Axanar Financials spreadsheet summarizes data from the Axanar Annual Report, 2015, Revised, and the data used to generate charts in the Ambition vs. Achievement article.