India-based social crowdfunding platform Impact Guru has raised a INR 3.3 crore (US$500,000) seed funding from Singapore-based venture capital firm RB Investments, and Singapore-based collaborative investment platform Fundnel Limited.
Impact Guru will use the newly-raised capital to expand its core team, accelerate product development and sales and marketing efforts, particularly for rewards crowdfunding for startups and social enterprises, and build a larger community of donors, customers, and investors.
The partnership with Fundnel will also allow startups and enterprises on Impact Guru to gain access to its private investment network — VC funds, accredited investors, family offices — which encompasses the Southeast Asia region and also India.
Likewise, startups and companies seeking equity and debt funding on Fundnel will be able to leverage on Impact Guru’s crowdfunding platform for additional funding – specifically more philanthropic and/or investment capital from NRIs (Non-Resident Indians)/PIOs (Person of Indian Origin) abroad including Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Indonesia.
This marks Fundnel’s second partnership with an India-based tech enterprise. Three months ago, it inked a deal with venture builder Anthill Ventures, opening up the region’s startups to it.
According to a press release, both Impact Guru and Fundnel will engage in the exchange and collaboration of relevant know-how in crowdfunding, technology and deal syndication.
“The traditional charity and social enterprise fundraising model in India is broken. The alternatives to online fundraising are outdated, expensive, and ineffective, ” said said Piyush Jain, Co-Founder and CEO of Impact Guru, in a press release
“We firmly believe that a full stack crowdfunding solution that combines social, rewards, and investment crowdfunding will make Impact Guru a platform of choice for individuals, non-profits, social enterprises, or startups for all their fundraising needs – be it small or large.”
In addition to the fresh investment, Impact Guru also announced two new additions to its advisory board: Harvard Business School Professor Ramana Nanda, an expert in entrepreneurial finance and management, and Gaurav Gupta, Regional Director for Asia, Dalberg, a thought leader in the social sector.
They will provide mentorship, and strategic guidance to the Impact Guru management team along with other existing members of the Advisory Board.
Incubated at Harvard Innovation Lab’s Venture Initiation Programme in the US in 2014 and PACT at Impact Hub in Singapore in 2015, Impact Guru’s crowdfunding solution has attracted a range of NGOs including World Vision India, Oxfam, SOS Children’s Village, Habitat for Humanity; CSR departments of Tata, Godrej, and Wockhardt.