Harnessing the Power of the Indian Crowd

The power of the Indian crowd is being harnessed by startups for various causes. Crowdfunding by NRIs would be a good way to get them more involved in projects and causes in India.

Times of India reports that when Nikhil Sarup, founder of a legal startup, learned about the deplorable condition of Tara Balgopal, an 82 year old veteran danseuse, he offered to fight her case pro-bono. He also initiated a campaign on crowdfunding platform, Ketto. In less than 2 days, over 3 lakh poured in and when the campaign ended, Sarup had raised over 8 lakh from over 400 backers. That's the power of crowd.

As a concept, crowdfunding is not new to India. From Dhirubai Ambani's then small venture funded by locals to temples being built overnight with donations, India has harnessed crowd power. Startups such as Ketto, BitGiving and Wishberry have repackaged this age-old concept with a digital bow.

Crowdfunding platforms now cater to a plethora of causes from disaster relief, entrepreneurship, art, individual causes and environmental issues. When Delhi based animal care shelter Friendicoes was on the verge of shutting shop, animal lovers came to their rescue on BitGiving. Friendicoes managed to rope in upto 60 lakh (thrice the goal amount). "People are defining what they want to do and what the crowd resonates with", said Ishita Anand, co-founder, BtiGiving.

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