By Padmavati Prabhu
“Fundlined is a crowdfunding platform just for India. Anyone can raise funds for an idea, project, start up or cause on Fundlined. Our aim is to empower people by democratising funding and it’s with this vision that we’re going to revolutionise crowdfunding in India forever”, says the confident 18-year-old Siddharth Shetty, Founder and CEO of Fundlined.
After working on Fundlined for more than a year, it was finally launched on May 15, 2014. In about three months since its launch around 10 outstanding crowdfunding campaigns have been launched on Fundlined and 2.5 lakhs rupees has been raised.
Explaining the concept of crowdfunding, Siddharth says, “It’s the practice of funding a project or venture by raising many small amounts of money from a large number of people. ”
“In case someone would like to raise funds for an idea, project, start up or a cause all they need to do is get in touch with us and our team of crowdfunding coaches personally helps them through the entire process. Once you’ve raised necessary funds via your crowdfunding campaign, the campaign creator gets to work on his idea, project, start up or cause”, informs Siddharth.
Currently, Fundlined has a 15-member pan India team with team members based in Goa, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Kolkata, Roorkee and Bangalore. They comprise of pass outs from various prestigious colleges like IITs, SRM and Symbiosis among others. There are also a number of teams within Fundlined.
Speaking about how issues faced by campaign creators are addressed by Fundlined, Siddharth says, “Currently, in India, people love doing something good like contributing to a campaign, but the campaign creators are themselves sometimes hesitant to tell people that they need funds. We have team members who would work with every creator at a personal level, to address their issues and motivate them to raise funds. Every creator has his personal crowdfunding coach who helps him in the creation as well as running of the campaign.”
Siddharth informs that there are two types of crowdfunding – reward-based crowdfunding and equity-based crowdfunding. “We are a reward-based crowdfunding platform, which is legal in India. This has been further clarified by SEBI. In such types only tangible and intangible rewards can be offered in return for contributions and equity cannot be offered as a reward. Equity-based crowdfunding is illegal in India. In equity-based crowdfunding, any person can invest in an idea, project or start up and get equity in return”, explains Siddharth.
Speaking about how he wants to make Fundlined popular, Siddharth says, “Besides using social media, we would be organising crowdfunding boot camps across the country that people could attend and get the entire lowdown on what crowdfunding is all about. These would be held in various locations including colleges – thus attracting college students and anyone else who would be interested.”
Pointing out that the entire journey is fairly gradual, Siddharth says, “In a start up, there aren’t that many high points as there are low points, and these keeps fluctuating on a daily or even hourly basis. One minute you are extremely stressed out and feel like giving up, questioning your very existence and everything you’ve done so far and the next minute you receive some good news from your team-member, and you jump up with joy. This basically sums up the life of most start up entrepreneurs.”
“Crowdfunding is estimated to become a 70 billion dollar industry in the near future, and we’ve got a number of plans, some of which are already in the implementation stage to take Fundlined to the next level”, Siddharth concludes.