Singapore: Impact Guru secures $500k seed, forms strategic pact with Fundnel

Visual of Impact Guru homepage. April 2016.

Impact Guru, a Harvard Innovation Labincubated fintech company that provides social crowdfunding services, has secured a seed investment of $500,000 from Singapore-based venture capital (VC) firm RB Investments and private investment platform Fundnel.

Impact Guru, described by co-founder and CEO Piyush Jain as a “full stack crowdfunding solution that combines social or donation crowdfunding, rewards crowdfunding, and investment crowdfunding / fundraising for individuals, nonprofits, social enterprises, or startups,” with the venture launched to address problems associated with the traditional charity and social enterprise fundraising model in India.

It has offices in Mumbai, New Delhi, Singapore, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, and San Francisco.

The capital raised from RB Investments and Fundnel, as well as the strategic partnership with Fundnel, will see Impact Guru scale social/donation online crowdfunding for nonprofits, social enterprises and personal causes, as well as leverage Fundnel’s private investment network for facilitating equity or debt funding offline for startups and social enterprises in India and Southeast Asia.

The strategic partnership will see both Impact Guru and Fundnel collaborate in crowdfunding, technology and deal syndication.

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Harshavardhan Bothra, director, RB Investments, commented: “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.”

He elaborated: “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.”

Fundnel will curate and invite startups and/or social enterprises that have successfully leveraged Impact Guru’s crowdfunding platform in India to demonstrate traction to Fundnel’s network of family offices, venture capital funds, and accredited investors for international investment and for further scaling within Southeast Asia.

Kelvin Lee, co-founder and CEO 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.”

“We aim to further scale our footprint through this partnership in order to gain access to the Indian startup and investment community. Furthermore, with this door into the niche market of social enterprises, we believe that we can provide our new and existing investors with more innovative deals and socially responsible investing opportunities,” Lee added.

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