17-yr-old starts crowd funding platform braving many odds


Crowd funding is a phenomenon that has spread like wild fire in the West and today it is an important factor to estimate the success of a product. We have only a few players in this field of venture crowd funding platform in India like Wishberry and Ignite Intent. Fundlined, started by 17 year old Siddharth Shetty, is a new entrant in this field.

“This is a crucial year of my life since I am in class 12, and here I am starting my own venture instead of trying to crack IITs and get into other premier Indian colleges,” he says, adding that he is keen on taking Computer Science as an undergraduate course. “I never really liked coding, but it was only when Fundlined happened that I realized what an amazing world it is.”Siddharth had never heard about crowd funding either before he started Fundlined. It was while listening to a promo of a startup conference in Goa on the radio that the idea of creating a centralized platform was born.

Siddharth says the USP of Fundlined is that it works with each and every campaign creator at a personal level to ensure that their campaign has the best chance of being a success. “Our platform is designed to ensure that users enjoy simple, fun and safe crowd funding experience.”

He plans to roll out a number of features, and plans to tie up with strategic partners to change the landscape of crowd funding in India.

Siddharth had a rough time trying to convince the required people about his ability to start a crowd funding venture. “Who would grant an approval to a 17-year-old CEO of a company which is venturing into the crowd funding space?” he says recounting his experiences. Siddharth remained optimistic, kept his cool and handled the situation instead of just grumbling about it.

Fundlined is pan India and has people working remotely from Goa, Roorkee, Mumbai, Bangalore and Noida. He says remote working is better for everyone – “you don't need to waste time coming to office every day; you can complete your work at a time convenient to you as long as it gets done.” Right now they have split their operations into three main sectors - Entrepreneurial, Cause and Creative. They are bootstrapping and Siddharth says they will raise funds only once they find an investor who is more like a 'mentor' and who can guide them to make Fundlined bigger and better.

Coming from a business family, the biggest challenge this young entrepreneur had to face was his family’s reservations about his venture.  “A year ago, when I had shared my idea about Fundlined with my family and asked them to allow me to take a year off from school they had refused.” The family even cut-off all funding for his venture when they realized his grades were slipping.

Despite these setbacks he remains spirited and says, “These challenges will come and go. As you overcome such obstacles, it gives you a sense of confidence that you can tackle any future challenge head on.”

What advice would you give this young entrepreneur? We would like to know.