E27.CO: Mumbai-based crowdfunding platform for social, personal and creative projects Ketto has raised US$700,000 in funding, led by Pradyumna Dalmia, a member of Calcutta Angels and Sudhir Rao of The Chennai Angels.
Others who participated in the round include Singapore Angel Network, Anupam Mittal, Indian Internet Fund, LetsVenture, The Chennai Angels, Calcutta Angels, Intellecap Impact Investment Network (I3N), Ah Ventures and Project Guerrilla.
With this funding, the startup plans to double its technology and business development team with an aim to reach US$100 million in volume by crowdfunding. Ketto also wants to expand operations to Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia, among other Southeast Asian countries.
“The fresh round of funds will be used to build a world-class platform which will facilitate users to raise funds across multiple categories for any project of their choice,” said Varun Sheth, Co-founder and CEO of Ketto.
Founded in October 2012 by Sheth, Bollywood actor Kunal Kapoor and Zaheer Adenwala, Ketto is a crowdfunding platform for social, personal and creative projects. The company claims it has witnessed a growth of 3,000 per cent year-on-year in terms of volumes.
In the last 12 months, multiple celebrities and corporates have backed various projects by raising funds on Ketto. The list includes names like – Hrithik Roshan, Amitabh Bachchan, Anushka Sharma, Myntra, and StarSports, among others.
TECHINASIA: Skip the bank and get a small business loan from this Indian startup
When Harshvardhan Lunia was working in the small loan division of ICICI Bank, which is India’s second largest, he realized that small business owners were often denied financing despite being credit worthy. He also identified that SMEs and startups were frequently unorganized, with sloppy or missing paperwork a large reason that conventional banks would turn them away. So in 2010, he quit his job to build a platform that makes Indian SMEs bankable.
According to Lunia, there are 57 million enterprises, excluding large corporates, in India. “Banks have funded US$110 billion to small businesses and there is still an unmet need of US$141 billion,” he says. At first, Lunia launched an advisory business designing and arranging credit solutions for small businesses. It specialized in arranging alternative modes of financing for small businesses from institutions like the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) and India Finance Corporation Of India (IFCI). However, he realized that there was widespread information asymmetry in the SME lending space. SMEs lacked resources to carry out financing transactions and the ones which did needed hand holding for the processes.
In early 2014, Lunia’s advisory practice evolved into LendingKart which takes a data-driven approach to arrive at a credit score and then arranges capital for small businesses. His co-founder, Mukul Sachan, is a former Indian Space Research Organisation scientist and an old school friend. Read the full article