Gurugram-based social network and discovery platform for artists, SkillBox, has raised undisclosed seed funding from US-based angel investor Sandip Ranjhan.
The platform, owned by SkillBoxes (India) Pvt. Ltd and founded in 2016, helps musicians, producers, DJs, session artists, photographers, designers and sketch artists connect with businesses and enthusiasts. SkillBox addresses issues such as publicity, technical requirements and monetisation. It creates profiles for artists and businesses, apart from providing a streaming platform Streambox for musicians to upload their content.
Founded by Anmol Kukreja, Ravi Pardhi and Nitish Bhardwaj, the platform generated over Rs 1 crore of business. It has over 2,000 artists and has facilitated over 1,200 gigs.
“We hope to scale up rapidly and transform into a significant player over the next one year with the investment,” said Kukreja, co-founder and chief executive of SkillBox, in a statement. Bhardwaj has worked as an audio engineer.
Kukreja, previously at Harman India for two years nine months, is a computer engineer by education. Pardhi, co-founder and tech head at Flexirental, is an electronics and communications engineer by education.
SkillBox competes with platforms such as UrbanClap and JustDial, which register small and niche businesses as service providers. These platforms do not, however, provide discoverability.
Unlike UrbanClap and JustDial, certain platforms cater to artists only. One such is Canvs.in, a community for artists and designers in India. In 2016, TechCircle reported that Canvs.in received an undisclosed amount of angel investment from Pratik Seal, former chief marketing officer at Housing.com.
Canvs aims to bring together talent from industries such as advertising, marketing and entertainment on a single platform and connect them with like-minded people.
Owned and operated by Gurugram-based Insignia Art Collect Pvt Ltd, BestCollegeArt.com is another platform that wants to give a voice to budding artists in India, as well as make art affordable to collectors in the country.
Artists can upload up to five works (no minimum limit)—including photographs, paintings, sculpture, prints and works on paper—at a time on the site, which is displayed for four months. After that, all designs are deleted and the artists can upload new ones (again the limit is five), ensuring that new art is always added on the site.
Uploading is free; however, for every art piece sold, the company takes a 40% cut.
Touchtalent is another platform for artists.