Online charity platform Donatekart has raised Rs 2.55 crore (around $360,000) in seed funding from a clutch of investors led by early-stage investment firm LetsVenture.
The Hyderabad-based company said in a statement that the individual investors who participated in the round included MS Unnikrishnan, managing director and chief executive officer of engineering firm Thermax; Pravin Gandhi, founding partner of investment firm Seedfund; Arun Diaz, advisor at impact investor Avishkaar; and Pradeep Nair, regional director of non-governmental organisation Ford Foundation.
Donatekart said that it plans to use the proceeds to strengthen its technology functions, scale its team and launch new products.
It also plans to expand to other geographies such as the US and UK and raise at least Rs 100 crore in donations in the next three years, the statement added.
Donatekart was founded in 2016 by National Institute of Technology-Nagpur graduates Anil Kumar Reddy and Sandeep Sharma. Donors can ‘buy’ products such as flood relief material on the platform which are then sent to social organisations for distribution. The platform gives donors updates about how the products they have purchased are being used.
“Indians traditionally prefer giving in kind to charities and we are making the whole giving experience seamless and efficient using a technology platform,” said Anil Kumar Reddy, co-founder and chief executive officer of Donatekart.
Since the platform was launched, Donatekart claims to have assisted more than 450 non-governmental organisations all over India in procuring products worth Rs 5 crore from more than 35,000 donors.
The startup is currently incubated at Hyderabad-based incubator T-Hub and it was previously part of the Zone Startups India accelerator.
LetsVenture founder Shanti Mohan has now joined the board of Donatekart.
Established in 2013, LetsVenture is an online platform that connects Indian startups with seed and angel investors.
Owned and operated by Bengaluru-based IndiePitch Solutions, LetsVenture claims to have enabled more than 180 funding rounds with a total of about $70 million being raised so far.
LetsVenture also allows startups to get their business plans reviewed by experts and helps them connect with mentors.
Testbook, DailyNinja, Wishberry, Engrave, MyUpchar, Amigobulls, Ketto, and PosterGully are some of the companies that have raised investment through the platform.
LetsVenture had last October announced the launch of an open-ended angel fund. It said that the fund would enable early-stage investments worth Rs 1,000 crore (around $135 million) over the next two years.
In a recent interaction with TechCircle, Mohan had spoken about LetsVenture’s maiden angel fund and the evolving nature of investments on the platform.
LetsVenture had also launched a new arm named LetsGrow last year to start making growth-stage investments.