New trends in crowdfunding that make it a potent fund-raising tool
Photo Credit: Mukul Mudgal/VCCircle

Over the years, crowdfunding has become popular among entrepreneurs mainly because it's a great way to test the waters before you actually launch the product or service. You understand your idea's worth and where it stands in the industry. It's actually the crowd telling you what's working and what needs to be weeded out—that's what any entrepreneur wants. If your idea is powerful, crowdfunding is your perfect launch pad.

Regardless of whether you want to raise Rs 100 or a few lakhs, crowdfunding can take you closer to your funding goal.

At Ketto, we've seen people invest in promising products. For example, a tech company called Leaf Wearables developed a product for women’s safety, Safer, and raised Rs 5.16 lakh. Unico, the world’s smallest pair of bluetooth earphones, raised over Rs 90,000. Additionally, edible spoons from a company called Bakeys raised over Rs 24 lakh. In all these cases, the concept was strong and promising. A few years down the line, maybe we'll see revolutionary ideas like the Pebble and Oculus opting for crowdfunding them.

(L to R): Zaheer Adenwala, Kunal Kapoor and Varun Sheth founded crowdfunding platform Ketto in 2012
The direct benefits of crowdfunding include market traction, early adopters, social proof, press coverage, potential investor interest, pre-selling, access to capital and risk-hedging, among others. It also helps generate user feedback, allowing product enhancements.

Lately, we have seen some new trends emerge in India's crowdfunding space, making it an even more powerful tool for fund-raising.

Recurring funding

This model enables campaigners to raise funds from donors on a recurring basis. For instance, if the campaigner is an artist, the donor will be his or her fan. Fans get exclusive subscriptions to an artist’s work in return for their contributions. The recurring model ensures a constant source of income for these artists, helping them focus only on their art.

Campaigner verification

The authenticity of campaigners has always been an issue. But most crowdfunding platforms, including Ketto, now focus on the identity, motive, and objective of the campaigner. The details of the goal amount are shared on the campaign page through graphs.

Page trending

Nowadays, the most active campaigns are placed and showcased on the official trending page. This helps viewers understand which campaign is grabbing more eyeballs,  so they can directly make a donation.

Microsite

Microsites can be used by various organisational partners, such as non-governmental organisations (NGOs), media channels and colleges, for their campaigns. For instance, Ketto created microsites for Global Citizen, Colors Infinity and the Indian Army's campaigns.

Team fundraise

Having more hands multiplies your reach and helps you raise more. The Ketto dashboard, for example, allows one to add more members.

Nowadays crowds also provide their full support for unique projects. Ketto has witnessed that for many of its creative campaigns. For example, Bakeys edible cutlery is made of flour and contains no chemicals or preservatives. It was established to provide an alternative to plastic cutlery and bamboo chopsticks. The campaign raised around Rs 25 lakh. Similarly, Mexer Foods and Beverages LLP, a startup from Mumbai that markets ready-to-drink, fizzy, caffeine-free beverages, raised over Rs 2 lakh.

India is just beginning to understand the value that crowdfunding can add to entrepreneurial dreams. These new trends will only add to the popularity of this emerging concept.

Varun Sheth (CEO), Zaheer Adenwala (CTO), and Kunal Kapoor are founders of crowdfunding platform Ketto

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