Bangalore-based Garage Labs Technologies, which owns and operates online marketplace for art pieces and designs Cupick.com, has raised $120,000 (Rs 76 lakh) in funding from a group of US and Indian angel investors, the company said in a statement.
KN Partners (an angel investors' syndicate), JK Patel, Sushil Agarwal, Kalpesh Shethia, Rajeev Mudumba, Dinesh Tadepalli and Sudheshna Vuppala participated in this round.
The funds will be invested in product development, the company said.
Styled on the lines of US-based Etsy, Cupick intends to accelerate growth in asset and user acquisition with the investment, the statement added.
"There are hundreds of thousands of artists creating beautiful artwork but with no way to monetise or reach out to a larger audience. Then there are large copyright holders sitting on huge repositories of idle creative assets. Cupick helps them monetise this asset class through merchandising. We want to make art consumable and in process, add value to the underlying asset," said Shaishav Todi, founder and CEO of Cupick.
Founded in September 2014 by Todi, Justin Alva and Rituraj Dowerah, Cupick helps visual artists including illustrators, graphic designers, digital artists, painters and photographers to convert their work on to various merchandising mediums such as tshirts, hoodies, posters, art prints, canvases and cards and sell on its platform.
Artists can upload their artwork on the platform, choose products to sell on and set their own prices. Cupick handles the printing, shipping, payments and customer service.
Todi is also the founder of Whoopey, a deal-a-day webapp. He holds a degree in computer science engineering from RV College of Engineering, Bangalore. Dowerah, a computer science engineering graduate from Bangalore Institute of Technology, handles technology at Cupick. Alva earned a degree in electrical and electronics engineering from National Institute of Engineering, Mysore and worked with Whoopey's founding team earlier.
The startup claims to have over 2,500 artists registered on its site with over 9,000 artworks uploaded currently. It recently ran the official fan poster contest for the Ranbir Kapoor starrer Bombay Velvet.
Chennai-based Termsheet.io, a web portal that connects angel investors and founders, acted as financial advisor to the startup on the transaction.
A major player in this segment, art monetisation portal PosterGully, recently raised $160,000 (Rs 1.02 crore) in angel funding from a group of investors through LetsVenture, an online capital raising platform for startups. Akin to Cupick, PosterGully enables artists, designers and anyone who holds original visual content to contribute and merchandise unique designs for products such as phone cases, art prints, home dÃ©cor and clothing to consumers globally.
Cupick also competes with startups such as Bangalore-based design-led consumer products e-tailer Chumbak and Delhi-based social network for artists TouchTalent.com. While Chumbak had raised an undisclosed amount in funding led by Matrix Partners India (with participation from existing investor Seedfund last year) in May, TouchTalent had raised $700,000 (Rs 4.2 crore) in seed funding led by SAIF Partners.