BANGALORE: Fairfundr, a social crowdfunding platform was launched on Thursday in the city. It is supported by swissnex India, a Swiss government initiative that makes Swiss startups 'India-ready'.
The platform helps entrepreneurs spread awareness and raise funds in local currencies for their projects in over 100 countries.
Rajiv Srivatsava, co-founder, Fairfundr, said that in the past three years, the total volume of crowdfunding has grown from $1.5 million to $5.1 million. By the end of 2014, crowdfunding is estimated to add at least 270,000 jobs and inject more than $65 billion into the global economy.
When asked why they think a country like India would benefit from crowdfunding, he said, "If India is looking to grow, new businesses and projects are the only way to go. We're looking to empower people to use their talent and knowledge to set up enterprises that will not only help them make money, but also help their society along the way. If you look at a city like Bangalore, you see that businesses and entrepreneurs here are innovating at the right momentum. It's a manageable growth chart, unlike cities like Mumbai and Delhi. There's a lot of potential here for crowd-funding."
Among the projects is a Bangalore-based platform for budding musicians, Octavium, which hopes to raise Rs 50,000 in 45 days to support the growing community of young artists and provide music lessons for one underprivileged child.
Studio Kokaachi, a small, independent storytelling house based out of Cochin and Bangalore hopes to raise Rs 5 lakh in 45 days to produce NO, a fun illustrated picture book for young children.
"It educates and empowers them to say NO! in circumstances where they are forced to do something against their wish,” said Pratheek Thomas, co-founder of Studio Kokaachi. “Our vision is to make great things happen for people every day and enable them in advancing arts, entrepreneurship and philanthropy in creative ways. In doing this, we want to help people transition into everyday changemakers equipped with the tools they need to rally their community and create actionable impact on society”, said Jeannine Srivastava, co-founder, Fairfundr.
Creators can keep 100 per cent of the funds raised and the model followed is quite flexible to suit specific needs. "We sit with these creators and brainstorm over the strategy to raise funds for their specific product. We help them in whatever way they need, from curation to setting the number of days for funding. Some of these meetings take days, while others get over in a couple of hours," said Rajiv.
Rajiv and Jeannine, themselves turned entrepreneurs only four years ago, having spent most of their careers in the organised corporate sector. "It was only when we turned entrepreneurs that we realised the importance of seed capital and the importance of support.
It took us nearly three years to raise $250,000 to set up our company and initially we were even supported by the government," added Rajiv.