Crowdfunding and community engagement platform Catapooolt, owned and operated by Mumbai-based Starting Blocks Media Ventures Pvt Ltd, has raised an undisclosed sum in seed funding from VentureNursery Angels.
The round also saw participations from ah! Angels, the angel network of CLUB ah!; Calcutta Angels; and a group of industry professionals, including Utkarsh Singh (former marketing director with Indian Premier League); Shiladitya Bora (head, PVR Directors' Rare); and Ajay Chandwani (director, Percept H).
A graduate of VentureNursery's Season 3 programme, Catapooolt was launched in July last year. The startup was founded by Satish Kataria, who has more than 14 years of strategic management experience.
It was launched with a focus to support creative projects and enable entrepreneurs to engage with communities to raise funds and resources. Catapooolt leverages the power of crowdfunding in unique project categories, including sports, politics, social enterprises and startups, in addition to creative projects.
The startup claims that it was able to achieve the record of highest fundraising for a film through a platform, within just three months of its launch. Now, it is working with Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and will be running series of exclusive campaigns to support its fundraising initiatives. Further, it is supporting a number of other projects, including Idi Modalu, a Telugu film seeking crowdfunding.
"While globally crowdfunding is a $5 billion industry, it is still in its infancy in India, and launching just a crowdfunding platform may not be the answer," said Kataria. "Since the very beginning, we have been focusing on adapting the model to India and Asia and have been endeavouring to build strong industry partnerships and a powerful potential contributor base to be able to support the ever-increasing independent projects in the domains of creativity, sports, social enterprises, politics and innovation."
Calcutta Angels Network is a platform for entrepreneurs and investors to receive angel investments, mentorship and guidance in east India.
(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)