Impact Guru, a startup in the financial technology domain that offers full stack crowdfunding solutions to NGOs and startups, has managed to raise an investment of $500,000 (Rs 3.3 crore) in its seed round of funding.
Speaking on the topic, Piyush Jain, Co-Founder and CEO of Impact Guru said,
The traditional charity and social enterprise fundraising model in India is broken. The alternatives to online fundraising are outdated, expensive, and ineffective. We firmly believe that a full stack crowdfunding solution that combines social, rewards, and investment crowdfunding will make Impact Guru a platform of choice for individuals, nonprofits, social enterprises, or startups for all their fundraising needs – be it small or large.
For those who are unaware of it, Impact Guru is a crowdfunding platform that aims to let anyone give to nonprofits and social causes in India. The platform was incubated at Harvard Innovation Lab’s Venture Initiation Program — which is one of leading startup incubators in the United States. ImpactGuru manages to combine social or donation crowdfunding, rewards crowdfunding, and investment crowdfunding for individuals, nonprofits, social enterprises, and startups, into a sparkling cocktail of money to fulfil their financial needs.
The company which was founded in 2014 by Khushboo Jain and Piyush Jainand claims that its crowdfunding platform has the potential to decrease the fundraising cost of startups and NGOs to less than 10% of the original, which can in essence, help those entities scale faster and increase their impact.
The platform has tied up with the likes of leading non-profits and corporates like Tata, CNBC TV18, Harvard Club of Mumbai, Dalberg, Asha Impact, Godrej Group, Wockhardt Foundation, Oxfam, SOS Children’s Village, Habitat for Humanity etc, to create a variety of campaigns for different social causes.
The company is also unique in being the only crowdfunding platform in the world to allow people to give to causes without making a direct financial contribution through its SMILE (Social Media Impact Linked Engagement) program.The innovations lets people give real, tangible aids to causes by doing something as simple as sharing on Facebook. Every share can be equivalent to a donation of upto Rs 1,000 depending upon certain factors.
The participants in this round included Singapore-based VC firm RB investments, and Southeast Asia-based private investment platform Fundnel. Meanwhile, the funds will let the company upscale and upgrade its model.
Harshavardhan Bothra, Director at RB Investments said,
Impact Guru is well aligned with our investment philosophy of investing in companies with great founders, who are tackling a complex multi-faceted problem through a disruptive approach that provides a rapidly scalable business opportunity. Crowdfunding and fintech are at a very early stage of evolution in India and Southeast Asia. The strategic partnership with Fundnel differentiates Impact Guru from other players in the market and will further accelerate its growth. Impact Guru is one of several startups that is inspired by the Start-up India Stand Up India initiative of the Indian government.
Startups and social enterprises in India and Southeast Asia will also be able to leverage Fundnel’s own private investment network for facilitating equity or offline debt funding.
Kelvin Lee, Co-Founder of Fundnel said,
We believe that this exclusive partnership will give us access to more investors and deal flow from the Indian community, which will allow us to provide more products and services to our existing customer base in Southeast Asia.
Impact Guru also announced the addition of Harvard Business School Professor Ramana Nanda and Gaurav Gupta, Regional Director for Asia, Dalberg to its advisory board, which already included the likes of Sam Raymond, lead crowdfunding strategist at World Bank’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Unit, Calvin Zhang, Managing Director, JPMorgan Asia Pacific, Anthony Oundjian, Managing Director and Partner, Boston Consulting Group, David Back, co-founder of Zoomcar, a Sequoia portfolio company etc. The board is responsible for providing the core team with important strategic direction and mentorship.
Well, in a time when businesses are raking in money in their billions, it is good to see a social initiative get so much support — financial and otherwise — from the leading figures in the corporate sector.