Video Streamer Laffster Expands Beyond Comedy Crowdfunding

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Zach Galifianakis

The startup has rebranded as Cogo to help actors, musicians, athletes and authors raise money for charity.

Laffster, an online video platform for comedians to engage fans and raise money for causes, announced Tuesday that it has rebranded as Cogo. The name change is meant to help the website expand beyond comedy.

“The word cogo in Latin means to bring together or to congregate,” says CEO Daniel Altmann. “We thought this was a fun name to show what we are about. Cogo brings the community together around content.”

The startup began as a platform for comedians to stream live videos for their fans. Since launch, it has staged about 100 shows.

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The videos are free but viewers can purchase specialty items while watching to help the performer raise money for a charity. Stand-up comedian Jimmy Pardo, for example, enlisted Zach Galifianakis, Jon Hamm and Patton Oswalt to participate in a 12-hour fundraising event for non-profit Smile Train. They raised a total of $140,000 during the live-streamed event. 

Altmann says the company is hoping to scale larger by opening its platform to people outside the comedy world.

“We saw so much success in comedy and humor that we wanted to take it to other categories,” he says.

Cogo will stream shows from Fred Armisen, documentarian Ken Burns, The Roots leader Questlove and the cast of Glee in the coming weeks. 

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