How Gurugram-based startup Skillbox is providing struggling artists with a platform to find success
Anmol Kukreja, a guitarist, realised a few years ago that he was unable to find a platform to display his talent. This led him to found Skillbox, a Gurugram-based startup that connects artists with the right opportunities.
“The live event market in India is highly fragmented with no platform or service that provides a one-stop solution for seamless services. Artists have various requirements, from publicity to landing the right gigs, technical needs, and monetisation and legal issues, among others. On the other side, businesses are faced with the challenge of discovering and connecting with bona fide and talented artists. As a result, the entire process is non-transparent, cumbersome, and inefficient. This is where Skillbox steps in,” says Anmol, CEO and Co-Founder of Skillbox, which was founded along with Ravi Pardhi in 2016.
The startup helps artists – including musicians, bands, DJs, producers, session artists, photographers, designers, and sketch artists – to connect with enthusiasts and businesses. Skillbox serves as a platform that addresses all the needs of an artist, whether established or upcoming.
As a music enthusiast, Anmol always wanted to provide a platform that would help musicians and other artists showcase their skills to the world. Being a technology expert, he understands how new-age tools can bridge the gap between artists and their clients.
While looking for funds to start Skillbox, an investor referred Ravi to Anmol. Ravi, the CTO at Skillbox, is an electronics and communications graduate with over 10 years of experience in product development, R&D, engineering, and QC.
Once they connected, it was clear to both of them that a platform such as Skillbox was a shared dream. Since then there has been no looking back. Till date, the team has served over 5,000 artists and completed 3,000 events.
The Skillbox platform is designed to provide end-to-end solutions that address the needs of artists and businesses like venue owners/organizers.
“People looking to organise events come to our platform or approach us in person and select an artist based on their portfolio, past work, ratings, type of art etc. They can book the artists online. For people who are not comfortable with technology, we offer an in-person facility and hold their hand throughout the process, from booking artists to bringing the end-users (their customers) on board,” Ravi says.
Using the platform’s ‘Artists Profiles’ section, users can easily create visually appealing profiles and gain visibility in promoting themselves. Its audio-streaming service, StreamBox, provides musicians a reliable way of showcasing their work to discerning audiences online and monetising their work. Musicians can also stream their music videos with the highest production value. Additionally, Skillbox leverages data science to generate insightful trend reports that help in accelerating artists’ careers.
Other key features of the platform include a feed section that makes it easy to publish and sell art, a discover section that makes the finding of thousands of artists effortless for enthusiasts and businesses, and a blog section that meets the news and knowledge needs of the community.
“For businesses or clients looking for promising artists having the right synergy with their brand, event, or audience, Skillbox is the ideal platform for exploring thousands of verified and talented artists and booking them instantly on fair and mutually beneficial terms,” Anmol says.
The numbers game
Skillbox competes with the likes of other startups such as WebCanvas, Highsnobiety, and TrueLinked. According to a FICCI-KPMG report, the Indian art market was estimated at around Rs 14.6 billion in 2017.
Commenting on their revenue stream, Ravi says, “We are currently clocking monthly revenue of over Rs 20 lakh. We aim to more than double our topline to Rs 50 lakh per month by mid-2020.”
Skillbox had secured an undisclosed amount of seed funding from a couple of HNIs in 2018.
The company plans to handle one million events in the next three years in India and abroad. It is also looking at expanding to other fast-growing and popular art categories, such as the visual and performing arts including stand-up comedy acts.
(Edited by Athirupa Geetha Manichandar)