Venture Catalysts invests in handicrafts marketplace Rare Planet
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Rare Planet, a Kolkata-based e-commerce startup that sells handicrafts made by local artisans, has raised an undisclosed amount in an angel round of funding from incubation platform Venture Catalysts, a company statement said.

The firm will use the capital to strengthen its team and create a strong pan-India brand identity, the statement added.

The company claims that it will create a strong, independent self-sustained artisan force of 1 million by 2024.

Launched by Ranodeep Saha in 2014, Rare Planet has a small dedicated team of NIFT designers directly working with artisans from remote areas to modify existing traditional items and add to their appeal.

The company also enables the artisans to open bank accounts and follows a transparent and regular payment process determined by the order quantity and time. Furthermore, the organisation provides insurance to the whole family of the artisans associated with it and transfers the money to the account of the eldest woman member of a household.

“Today, we have more than 500 artisans onboard who have been empowered by Rare Planet’s operational model. With the current funding, we would like to grow our team to reach out to more such communities and bring rare, beautiful and unique traditional art to a larger audience,” Saha, a B-Tech graduate, said.

At present, Rare Planet is present across more than 50 premium locations in the country including stores like WH Smith in airports and bookstore chains like Crossword and SAPNA, to name a few.

“We believe that Rare Planet has the potential to disrupt the market with its noble and distinctive vision of facilitating and empowering local talent,” said Apoorv Ranjan Sharma, co-founder at Venture Catalysts.

Venture Catalysts

The Mumbai-based incubation platform was set up in December 2015 by Apoorv Ranjan Sharma, Anil Jain, Anuj Golecha and Gaurav Jain. It typically invests between $250,000 and $1 million in early-stage startups.

Its recent investments include wi-Fi and data network aggregator EasyFi, snacks brand Keeros Foods Pvt. Ltd, online procurement platform for restaurants Adurcup and rental accommodation space provider Grexter.

Last month, snacks and sweets brand Haldiram’s invested an undisclosed sum into Venture Catalysts to facilitate more investments in the packaged foods segment.

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