A crowd-fund in need is a friend indeed!

Priyanka Pani Mumbai | Updated on January 09, 2018 Published on August 08, 2017


How online platforms are helping to raise funds for worthy causes

When actor-director Rajat Kapoor needed money for a project, and drew a blank with commercial film financiers, he turned to an unlikely source — Crowdera, an online crowd-sourced fund-raising platform — and raised ₹2.5 crore.

And ImpactGuru, another Mumbai-based crowd-funding platform, recently helped a family raise about ₹10 lakh in just a day to meet expenses following the death of a family member.

From helping people raise funds for medical treatment or for education to providing independent artists a financial lifeline, fund-raising platforms have set cash registers ringing in the ₹300-crore online donation market in India.

Many of them work on a 3-5 per cent commission, while others like Crowdera offerlarger non-profits, foundations and corporate entities a subscription model that lets them access advanced features.

Crowdera recently helped raise ₹20 lakh in two days for the treatment of a young cancer patient in Maharashtra. Founded in 2014, it has run about 195 campaigns funded by 3,500 donors from 35 countries, impacting over 15,000 lives. It is now looking to raise about $5 million in capital to expand its operations.

ImpactGuru, founded in Harvard University in 2015, has raised about ₹329 crore. It, too, is looking to raise pre-Series A funding of ₹15 crore.

ImpactGuru founder Piyush Jain told BusinessLine that crowd-funding for social causes is growing in India, but is largely an urban phenomenon owing to lack of awareness in small markets. “We are tying up with global and Indian NGOs to reach smaller markets,” he said.

Indicatively, ImpactGuru has partnered with Oxfam, SOS Children’s Village, Habitat for Humanity, Wockhardt, Dalberg and Asha Impact and has tie-ups with the Tata Group and Godrej. In collaboration with GlobalGiving, it offers tax benefits to donors in the US and the UK, especially the Indian diaspora, which accounts for half of online donations in India.

Chet Jain, who founded Crowdera in Silicon Valley in 2014, notes that crowd-funding campaigns are not just about providing medical aid. They could be for beach-cleaning, or funding a village school — or to help someone pursue a passion, be it movie-making or singing. The platform harnesses technology, data science, and old-fashioned paperwork procedures, to weed out fake campaigns.

A World Bank study estimates the global crowd-funding market to touch $96 billion by 2025. In India, the entry of players such as Wishberry, FuelADream and Ketto is fuelling the growth of the market.

While this space is currently unregulated, several companies told Business Line they would like SEBI to bring in regulations that will usher in more transparency in this segment.

Published on August 08, 2017

A letter from the Editor

Dear Readers,

The coronavirus crisis has changed the world completely in the last few months. All of us have been locked into our homes, economic activity has come to a near standstill. Everyone has been impacted.

Including your favourite business and financial newspaper. Our printing and distribution chains have been severely disrupted across the country, leaving readers without access to newspapers. Newspaper delivery agents have also been unable to service their customers because of multiple restrictions.

In these difficult times, we, at BusinessLine have been working continuously every day so that you are informed about all the developments – whether on the pandemic, on policy responses, or the impact on the world of business and finance. Our team has been working round the clock to keep track of developments so that you – the reader – gets accurate information and actionable insights so that you can protect your jobs, businesses, finances and investments.

We are trying our best to ensure the newspaper reaches your hands every day. We have also ensured that even if your paper is not delivered, you can access BusinessLine in the e-paper format – just as it appears in print. Our website and apps too, are updated every minute, so that you can access the information you want anywhere, anytime.

But all this comes at a heavy cost. As you are aware, the lockdowns have wiped out almost all our entire revenue stream. Sustaining our quality journalism has become extremely challenging. That we have managed so far is thanks to your support. I thank all our subscribers – print and digital – for your support.

I appeal to all or readers to help us navigate these challenging times and help sustain one of the truly independent and credible voices in the world of Indian journalism. Doing so is easy. You can help us enormously simply by subscribing to our digital or e-paper editions. We offer several affordable subscription plans for our website, which includes Portfolio, our investment advisory section that offers rich investment advice from our highly qualified, in-house Research Bureau, the only such team in the Indian newspaper industry.

A little help from you can make a huge difference to the cause of quality journalism!

Support Quality Journalism
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor
You have read 1 out of 3 free articles for this week. For full access, please subscribe and get unlimited access to all sections.