How crowdfunding platform TheHotStart helped raise funds for Kalyaanam


“Kalyaanam is about every bride to be; it’s about her questions, her presumptions, her judgments, her stance, and most importantly her fun. This will be the biggest project I have worked on till date. Please go through the project details and help me tell the story,” said Aamir Tameem, the brains behind Kalyaanam, in his pitch video for funding the 10 minute short film.

Aamir used the platform provided by TheHotStart to crowd-fund the project. “When he submitted his project, we were thrilled to hear his ideas and concept,” says Rajat Das, Co-founder and Head of Relations and Engagement at TheHotStart.

TheHotStart is the latest entrant to the crowd-funding ecosystem in India, which already has players like Catapooolt, Wishberry, Ketto, Hopemonkey and others. Since their inception in December last year, they have seen a number of successful projects, one of which was Kalyaanam.

The short film, one of the first projects to be crowd-funded through the platform, has been selected to be a part of the London Indian Film Festival. The story explores the emotions of a woman who is on the verge of beginning a new life. It poses a satirical comment on the institution of marriage and questions the precedence of the theatricality of a wedding over the sanctity of a marriage, in our mindsets.

The Kalyaanam project reached its target of INR 50,000 with 42 contributors between the ages of 20 and 40. “Aamir did an incredible job of reaching out to his entire contact base in a very smart manner. He leveraged his first and second degree contacts well, resulting in contribution coming from people who had no association with Aamir,” states Rajat. The project received contributions from cities like Pune, Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad and Bangalore.

“We’ve learnt a few things along the way. Firstly, a strong and well-made pitch video can go a long way in drawing audiences towards a project. We could see that with Aamir’s pitch. Secondly, gaining traction early on is very important. Once there is sufficient momentum the task of making value proposition understandable becomes easier. The early days after the launch of such a campaign are crucial,” explains Rajat.

TheHotStart has received healthy support in the past few months of its existence; the platform has seen success in crowd-funding of the projects posted. “We are trying to do things a little differently here, by trying to act as evangelists for the concept of crowd-funding itself. We have a few initiatives which will hopefully help bring crowd-funding to the center stage,” states Rajat.

The crowd funding platform has come with a concept called ‘Handpicked’. To build on the ecosystem, they have created something called ‘Handpicked Night’ where young musicians away from the mainstream get an opportunity to play live at select venues in Delhi. The first ‘Handpicked Night’ was at Turquoise Cottage in Saket. “We are planning to do many more such events in the city. Our next Hanpicked Night is scheduled at Café Mocha Bar in Defence Colony in Delhi,” states Rajat.

The organization prides itself in its stringent due diligence process. “We have adopted a strategy of quality over quantity. Of the 50-odd projects we have received so far, we’ve only gone ahead with a handful,” Rajat states. One of the projects that they’re currently supporting is to create the first crowd-funded Arts Residency in India. The project has been started by the founder of Atelier Theatre Group, Kuljeet Singh. The first phase of the project requires an investment of INR 20 lakh.