Ketto, a Mumbai-based crowdfunding platform for social, personal and creative projects founded by Varun Sheth, actor Kunal Kapoor and Zaheer Adenwala in October 2012, has closed a $700,000 seed funding, led by Pradyumna Dalmia of the Calcutta Angels and Sudhir Rao of the Chennai Angels.
Others investors participating in this round included the Singapore Angel Network (SGAN), Anupam Mittal, Indian Internet Fund (IIF), LetsVenture, The Chennai Angels, Calcutta Angels (CAN), Intellecap Impact Investment Network (I3N), Ah Ventures and Project Guerrilla.
The capital raised from this round is intended to expand its technology and business development teams. Ketto aims to reach $100 million in volume by crowdfunding, as well as expand operations to Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia, and possibly other Southeast Asian states.
Commenting on the investment, Sheth, who served in a CEO role, said, “The fresh round of funds will be used to build a world-class platform which will facilitate users to raise funds across multiple categories for any project of their choice,” .
Ketto claims to have seen a growth rate of 3000 per cent year-on-year, in terms of their transactions. Projects on the platform endorsed and backed by a combination of celebrities and corporate entities have successfully raised funds.
Bollywood actors like Hrithik Roshan, Amitabh Bachchan, Anushka Sharma and corporations like Myntra and StarSports have seen the benefits of co-branding and supporting projects on the platform, in order to grow mind share – the development of consumer awareness or popularity.
With social media and various other platforms creating channels for an array of marketing and advertising, celebrities, entrepreneurs and corporations are increasingly aware of the impact on their their brand and business. They are keen to be associated with and leverage on a platform like Ketto, which allows them to reach out to a large audience.
A crowdfunding platform like Ketto allows for outreach to a large audience and can facilitate the combined role of fundraising and market validation of creative products. It also allows for assessing the degree of market-product fitness.