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How Crowdfunding work in India/ All about Crowdfunding


What is Crowdfunding?

Crowdfunding is the practice of funding a project/venture or social cause (Medical/Education/ Sports) by raising money from many individuals for a common goal. Continue reading more on equity crowdfunding, reward-based crowdfunding, and what are the SEBI rules in India about Crowdfunding. Different crowdfunding platforms in India are also compared.Crowdfunding India
Before going deep into the topic of crowdfunding, let us know the exact definition of crowdfunding and how it differs from fundraising. Most often, people get confused between crowdfunding and fundraising.

Getting to the absolute basics, we know:
Crowdfunding is the practice of funding a project or a venture by raising money from a large number of people, especially via the internet. These people are called investors, and they can contribute any small amount of money depending on their capabilities. It targets individual donors.
Fundraising is seeking financial support for a cause or a charity. It reaches more audience because Someone who starts a fundraiser campaign has a lot of followers/support and the supporters persuade their networks to garner more reach.
There is a misconception that fundraising is more effective as compared to crowdfunding. However, the power of Internet, social media, virality and trends make crowdfunding campaigns more successful as opposed to traditional fundraisers. Did you know over US$34 billion was raised during 2015 using crowdfunding?
We'll be covering the aspects of fundraising later in this post.

How Does Crowdfunding Work And What Is Its Origin/History of Crowdfunding?

If you're wondering that crowdfunding is a new concept which is slowly taking over, it is not. It has been practiced in India since ancient times, mostly for funding cultural and religious causes. We called it "Chanda" back then. The modern day crowdfunding originated from the West and is one of the best financing options for any cause, especially if it has a mass appeal.

Types Of Crowdfunding:

Is crowdfunding a single element? 
The answer is NO. There are various branches which come under the umbrella of crowdfunding.

  1. Litigation crowdfunding and lastly,
Here's more about each of them.

Types Of Crowdfunding:

  1. Equity-based crowdfunding:  Before knowing more about this kind of crowdfunding, you should know that equity-based funding is illegal in a country like India. In simple words, it is a joint effort made by individuals to support the cause of other people or any other organizations in the form of equity. This is legal when we consider the United States, where it is mentioned in the 2012 legislation which allows a pool of small investors to come together.
  2. Reward-based crowdfunding: This type of Crowdfunding is also known as the non-equity way of funding your project. It has been widely used for funding campaigns like supporting a free development of software, promotion of motion pictures, aiding scientific research and development of inventions, etc. The people who are funding are hopeful of returns from the project.
  3. Debt-based crowdfundingThis is popularly known as 'Peer to Peer,' 'P2P,' 'marketplace lending' and even 'crowdlending.' Borrowers create campaigns to fulfill their financial needs, and lenders contribute towards the goal for an interest.
  4. Litigation crowdfunding: It is a type of crowdfunding in which the plaintiff reaches out many different people to get funds for a court case; it mostly happens confidentially. The plaintiff asks money either in the form of a donation or gives a reward in return. Later on, if the claimant wins the case, the investor may get more than what he has invested. 
  5. Donation-based CrowdfundingThe best example for this would be raising funds from individuals to support personal or social causes.

Each of these types of crowdfunding has its own applications. Let us take a look at the use cases.

Applications Of Crowdfunding

  1. Crowdfunding for personal & Individual Use
  2. Crowdfunding for real estate
  3. Crowdfunding for startups (In India)
  4. Crowdfunding for businesses in India
  5. Crowdfunding loans
  6. Crowdfunding college debt
Do you find yourself applicable to any of the following applications? Let's explore different aspects of these applications.

Applications Of Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding for Personal Use:
At any given time in life, you may be in need of financial assistance. It could be for a celebration, travel, medical emergency, education, a social cause, or more. And much more, depending on your interests. So, If you lack funds to pursue your interests, you can opt for crowdfunding. Many individuals have chosen for this method and have succeeded in gaining funds.

Real Estate Crowdfunding: 
Gathering of funds from various investors to support a housing project is all that is involved in this kind of crowdfunding. It is also used to fund mortgages secured by real estate. You can invest in this via debt and equity-based investments.

Crowdfunding for Startups:
In the recent times, India has witnessed a massive growth in the startup industry. It is because people want to break out of the barrier of working 9-5 and our government supports it. The government has a significant role to play in this, as they're offering some advantages for startups such as relief from paying tax for the first three years and much more. Startups often look out for investors and try to approach VCs to get funding. Sometimes it gets tedious. Startups can try using crowdfunding as it increases the brand reach and it's easier than approaching a VC.
Crowdfunding for businesses also comes under this.

If you're starting a business and running short of funds, then you might have thought of approaching a bank to get a loan for yourself. Getting loans from banks isn't easy as it has a lot of formalities involved. Crowdfunding will help you fetch funds easier than any bank. 

Crowdfunding Loans and College Debt:

Loans can be of any type - Personal loans, home loans, and even educational loans. Crowdfunding can be of great help to you in these cases. Whether you're a college student who's unable to repay the loan taken for completing your university education or you or your family member wants to undergo treatment for an ailment, crowdfunding is the answer as many generous individuals contribute to such causes.

Before getting started with crowdfunding, you need to be aware of certain legal implications and rules related to it.

Crowdfunding Rules In India:

This is the most common question we hear today - “Is crowdfunding even legal in India?”
Yes, apart from equity-based crowdfunding, other types are completely legal. Crowdfunding in India is governed by Securities and Exchange Board of India, popularly known as SEBI. It is the market regulator which mainly regulates the securities market. SEBI was set up in the year 1988 as a non-statutory body. The parliament passed the SEBI Act in 1992, which granted statutory powers to SEBI. There are certain guidelines laid down by SEBI to govern crowdfunding.
Now that you've got complete knowledge of crowdfunding and its applications and the legalities associated with it, You might be wondering how to get started?
We've got you covered as we've curated the list of top websites in India, where you can put forth your project, be it charity based or you've got a certain cause, these sites give wings to it. 

How Do Crowdfunding Platforms Work?

Crowdfunding websites list your project/cause and help you raise money for it. You just have to create a campaign, set a goal and promote it. Some websites allow you to set up a campaign free of cost and charge you a minimal platform fee of 5% on the total funds raised. You can drive the campaign by yourself or for an additional fee, request the platform for assistance to reach your goal faster. 

Top Crowdfunding Platforms in India:

Following are Indias top crowdfunding platforms in India.
1) Milaap
Milaap is the #1 Crowdfunding website in India. With Milaap you can raise funds online for yourself, your loved ones, charities, and more. We have over 2 Million visits monthly. Setting up a campaign is extremely easy and absolutely free on Milaap. Your campaign manager will help you through the way giving you tips on using all your resources for driving your campaign. We charge a platform fee of 5% on the total funds raised on our basic plan.
2) Ketto
Ketto is a crowdfunding platform which raises funds for various categories like NGOs, non-profits and is also used to support creative as well as personal causes. It was founded in 2012, and it is based in Mumbai. The platform fee is 6% while the upfront fee for setting up a campaign is over Rs. 2000.
Wishberry is a crowdfunding platform inspired by Kickstarter. It began in 2012, and it is one of the most successful platforms for Creative Artists. It is a reward-based crowdfunding site, where the people who contribute, get rewards related to the project. Listing your crowdfunding on this platform costs Rs.3999, and upon withdrawal, Wishberry deducts 10% as platform fee.
4) FuelADreamFuelADream is a crowdfunding website for people who aim to raise funds for creative ideas, causes, charities, events, and community-led activities. They've successfully raised funds for innovative projects like the smartest ELECTRIC BICYCLE and much more.  Rs. 3000 is the fee to start a campaign, and 9% of the funds raised would be the platform fee.
BitGiving is another platform which raises funds for various causes from disaster management to financing the farmers and various personal causes. It allows you to Post stories about your experience with crowdfunding and shares other's experiences in this as well. It is completely free to start a campaign here. The platform fee varies between 6-10%.
ImpactGuru is a venture which was incubated in Harvard's Innovation Lab’s Venture Initiation Program in the USA. It started in 2014, and it is used to fund various causes ranging from donation-based to reward-based, personal or a cause, they have it all covered. All you have to pay is the platform fee of 5%.
DreamWallets is a Jaipur based crowdfunding startup which has many campaigns ranging in many categories such as Music, photography, food, fashion, environment and much more. They began their operations in July 2015. Start your campaign for free and just pay a platform fee of 5-9% after raising funds.
Catapooolt is a crowd engagement platform mainly to support Music, Arts, Movies and other technologically backed projects. It is an organization based in Mumbai. It began in 2012. This platform charges Rs. 1499 as an upfront fee and additional 10% of total funds raised.
9) Start51
Start51 is for those special people who want to transform their ideas into reality. They keep their agenda simple, to get funds to people who want to bring their ideas to reality. List your idea for free and just pay the platform 5% of the funds raised.
10) TheHotStart
The last on this list of top crowdfunding platforms is TheHotStart. Launched in 2014, this platform has raised up to 50lakh in funding for their projects. It mainly targets the people present in the creative industry. You can start your project for free here and pay 10% of funds raised.