It comes as no surprise, how crowdfunding has found a firm footing in the Indian entertainment scene. Although this phenomenon still has long strides to take in India, we have been crowdfunding even before it went online. In fact, crowdfunding in Indian cinema dates back to the pre-internet era. Shyam Benegal’s path-breaking Manthan (1976), is probably the earliest documented precursor.
In recent years, Onir’s I am (2010), holds the distinction of being the biggest crowdfunded film campaign. It went on to win the National awards for Best Film and Best Lyrics. Regional offerings like Lucia (Kannada), Kurai Ondrum Illai (Tamil) and Naya Pata (Bhojpuri) are all crowdfunded ventures.
Crowdfunding has enabled theatre professionals, documentary, indie and short filmmakers, musicians and others realize their cash-strapped projects. International platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo have been hailed as industry benchmarks world over. However, our domestic platforms might tap the psyche, needs and legal issues better than their international counterparts in India. We are listing some of the major Indian players that have successfully helped generate crowdfunds for creative and entertainment projects. If you plan on crowdsourcing funds for your project, read along, to determine a platform that would best suit your needs.
Year launched 2012
Major entertainment categories Film and video, Music, Dance, Theatre
Backers from the entertainment industry Shankar Mahadevan (composer and music director),
Vikramaditya Motwane (filmmaker, director)
Fee Structure Upfront non-refundable fee : INR 2500/- + service taxes (upon approval of project)
Platform fee rate : 10 % including payment processing
Key features India’s leading crowdfunding platform in the field of entertainment
Campaign success rate of 70% which is way higher than the industry
Assigns a campaign coach to every campaign for higher probability of success
Notable projects Punyakoti (Sanskrit Animated film), Goonga Pehelwan (documentary),
Attuned Spirits (pop-folk fusion album)
Year launched 2012
Major entertainment categories Film, Music, Performing Arts
Team members /advisors from the entertainment industry Satish Kataria (film funding)
Shiladitya Bora (CEO Drishyam Films)
Fee Structure Upfront submission fee : INR 1499/-
Has a unique three-tier Platform fee plan
Standard plan : 10 % of funds raised
Premium plan : 15%
Advanced plan : 15% + mandate
Key Features Focusses a lot on film projects and offers personalized guidance for select
Projects (for an additional fee)
Notable projects Lucia, Lajwanti, Cut-throat
Year launched 2014
Major entertainment categories Films, Music, and Theatre
Team members with a creative background Janani Krishnan, Udita Bhalla
Fee Structure Free registration : no upfront fee
Total platform fee : 11.25%
Key Features Has been a very successful venture in a short amount of time
Is a very comprehensive platform for funding creativity and new talent
Notable projects Kalyaanam (short film), A Straight Proposal
Year launched 2012
Major entertainment categories Films, music, theatre
Team members from the entertainment industry Kunal Kapoor (Bollywood and theatre actor)
Fee Structure Free registration : no upfront fees
Platform fee rate : 5% of each donation made
Processing fee : 8% of each donation made
Key Features Highest traffic as per alexa.com and largest funding base as per the website itself
Assigns every campaign a personal account manager before the launch
Notable projects Ketto is more geared towards social and personal causes but it has successfully
completed campaigns for a number of theatrical productions.
Year launched 2013
Major entertainment categories Dance, films and videos, music
Fee Structure Free registration : No upfront registration fee
Platform fee rate : 5% of the contribution to successfully funded project
Project process fee : 1.25% – 2.5%
Key Features Platform strictly supports crowdfunding for creative ideas
Notable projects Spin Be Fit Be Happy Just Dance (dance event)
Another crowdfunding platform IgniteIntent has been around for a while and supports creative campaigns but is yet to see success in the entertainment sector.
Clearly there are many platforms you can choose from to fund your projects. However, these platforms have now become clustered with competing campaigns. Please see the video on this site to improve your chances of a successful campaign.
Thanks to Rocio Lara for sharing the crowd funding graphic on which we based our illustration.