Los Angeles Business Journal

Laffster Rebrands in Effort to Expand User Base

By Justin Yang Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Santa Monica’s Laffster Inc., which connects comedians and entertainers with fans through live streaming events, changed its name Tuesday to Cogo as part of a rebranding effort.

Chief Executive Dan Altmann said Cogo will focus on crowdfunding and broaden the different types of entertainers and artists it hosts moving forward. Altmann said he wanted to add video game designers and musical acts, among others, to the platform.

“We saw that there was a bigger opportunity to be had outside of comedy where other artists also have super fans,” he said. “At this point, it’ll be less about being category specific. If you have super fans, we want to work with you.”

The crowdfunding aspect allows artists and performers to raise money from their fans, who receive incentives like personal video chats in exchange. The company takes a percentage of the money raised. While fans can watch Cogo’s streaming content for free, Altmann said they donate $90 on average.

Cogo, Latin for gather, has been using the crowdfunding feature for the past six months, mostly with comedians. Comedians Zach Galifianakis and Patton Oswalt, along with actor Jon Hamm, raised $140,000 for charity Smile Train through the platform in November.