Nikhil Agrawal, an investment banker, and Ravi Mittal, an investment manager, were both excited about the potential of crowdfunding. They started working on their idea and along the way got Manish Harodia, a seasoned entrepreneur, on board as the third co-founder. The idea was to create a reward-cum-donation-based crowdfunding platform – DreamWallets.
Explaining the idea, Manish says, “DreamWallets is a platform where users can browse through a bouquet of ideas that appeal to them and be a part of the process to convert the project creator’s dream and passion into reality. The contributor in return gets rewarded in unique non-monetary ways full of gratification.” The idea of crowdfunding has been always there. With the online channel, anyone now has the potential to raise money from any part of the world.
Talking of motivation, Nikhil says, “We’d been contemplating about starting something on our own and to create something which can help people in general. We have been closely observing crowdfunding industry, including regulatory developments and growth on International crowdfunding platforms.” Propelled by their beliefs, the trio launched DreamWallets, which is based out of Jaipur.
In the west, Kickstarter and Indiegogo started the trend but they still have limitations with respect to international projects. In India, Wishberry was the first to come to light after which others like Ketto.org and Catapooolt have been floated. DreamWallets is another idea in the same direction. Within six months, DreamWallets has a team size of 15 people and are helping ideators start crowdfunding campaign across 16 categories like Movies, Theatre, Events, Art & Craft, Music, Literature, Photography, Travel, Tech Product/ Service, Social causes, etc. “We are also happy to share that we have contributors coming in from over 200 cities and tens of countries worldwide, which gives us the motivation to make it better with every passing day,” says Ravi.
Passes to the premier show of the movie, an autographed DVD of their supported singer, or a chance to meet their star cast at the back stage are some of the unique rewards which a project owner offers to people for their support.
They also take active interest in enriching the eco-system which, many a times, develops very slowly mainly due to financial and strategic inputs. They encourage startup events at prominent institutions (like the IIMs), and are also volunteering as the city mayor for Pune (for www.entrepreneurcafe.org). They believe that small steps taken towards this will create a strong pool of first-generation leaders who can use the “wisdom of crowd” through our platform to get their products validated and create the next big project out of India.
DreamWallets has been associated with more than 40 organisations to curate the projects. “We have been associated with various events in India to make people aware about crowdfunding as an alternate tool available to raise resources for their ideas and causes. We have been crowdfunding partner for startup event organised by IIM Kozhikode, IIM Ranchi and working very closely with the startup eco system in this country,” says Manish.
DreamWallets has raised more than Rs. 10 lakh through their platform. “Pramod Sanghi has successfully raised more than Rs. 3 lakh (more than 100% of his target funding goal) for Pinjra, a movie on women empowerment,” says Nikhil. DreamWallets offers both ‘fixed’ and ‘flexible funding’ model for the idea creator. Their revenue model is two-fold:
- Flexible funding (keep what you raise model) – 5% fees of the funding amount raised if the campaign successfully reaches its funding goal and 9% fees of the funding amount raised if the campaign doesn’t reach its funding goal. This is to ensure project owner set reasonable funding goals and work on their campaigns to make it successful.
- Fixed funding (must meet your funding goal) – 5% fees of the funding amount raised if the campaign successfully reaches its funding goal and 0% fees if the campaign doesn’t reach its funding goal. Money gets refunded to contributors by deducting close to 3% (the actual) as payment gateway charges.
Global crowdfunding market was at $6.1 billion in 2013, $16.2 billion in 2014, and is expected to reach $34.4 billion in 2015 (Source: Massolution). When it comes to India, crowdfunding is still at a very early stage and more efforts like DreamWallets are helping to raise awareness and bring it to limelight.
(Article contributed by Gautam Pai with inputs from Jubin Mehta)