Let me quickly tell you what crowdfunding is all about. As the name suggests, crowdfunding is all about going after a lot of people, and raising small amounts of money. So say, you have an idea and you want 5 lakhs. Now you could go to one person and say "give me five lacs", Or, you could go to 500 people and get thousand rupees each. So, that's what is crowdfunding.
00:32Now in crowd funding, since people are giving smaller amounts. Like 500, 1000, 5000, they're not really worried about getting a monetary return because it's just too small an amount, right? I mean, it's probably sacrificing one Friday's beer or coffee at Cafe Coffee Day, right?
00:53So, what do they get in return? Since this is also not charity, and these are the guys who are coming forward and help you make your dream possible. What you give them back is, reward in the form of limited edition or special access to your project that they are funding.
01:11So say you are a film-maker, and you're making a film, and you go on Wishberry and say "This is my idea, and come help me guys, make this happen." In return, say, if you give me 500 bucks you'll get a link to watch the film first. Say, if you give me 2,000 bucks, I will invite you to the screening of my film. Say, if you give me 5,000 bucks, you can meet the cast and crew and hang out with them. So these are the kind of intangible rewards which really money can't buy. It has to be offered for you to fund it.
01:42So this is a way people incentivize other people to back them in their ideas. Now this must be sounding absolutely unbelievable. Right? That something like this can actually happen. Before I stepped out and started doing this, I used to get a lot of these glances about you know, why are people funding? and why should they fund? And that, this is not going to work in India. India does not have any kind of philanthropy, people just fund religion. This is not going to happen in India, right?
02:12Let me tell you an interesting fact. Crowd funding actually started in 1976 with the first film Manthan, it was Amul's first Ad film and, 5 lac farmers gave 2 rupees each, to make this film happen, because you know the ad film-makers did not have money at that time. So, this is what crowd funding is all about. If you notice, the film's posters says, not just some producer presents this film, but, "Five lakh Farmers of Gujarat present Manthan." That's the power of crowdfunding.
02:56Now what has crowdfunding done in 2012? On Wishberry, around 300 projects have raised over 10 crores, from 15,000 people across the world. And what's beautiful, is that seventy percent of this money has come from within India. People like you have funded these films and interesting projects.
03:19Now let's look at, which are some of these remarkable projects that people made happen. "Goonga Pehalwan" It's a documentary film made by three MBA graduates. They wanted to talk about this deaf wrestler in Haryana who has got India three gold medals, but nobody knows about him. So, they were like "Okay. This is bad. We should tell his story to people." And they ended up making this film. They raised about 3 lakhs from Hundred and Forty-two people to launch in the cinemas. And not only that, they ended up receiving a national award for this documentary in 2014.
03:57"Menstrupedia". It's India's first comic book to bust myths about menstruation. Some of you must have heard about this. What is great about this entire story is that these two NID graduates were obviously hunting for investment before they went on Wishberry to raise their initial funding.
04:15And obviously the people, the Investors thought that you know, this is not going to be a sellable idea this is a taboo topic, nobody's going to read this comic book. So, they said "Ok, let's just go crowdfund this." They raised 5 lac from 175 Funders, and after that, after making a lot of noise about this, P&G took notice and came on board as a partner, and said "Why just India? let's take you all across the world". And so, now they're available in regional languages, in Spanish and Afrikaans and everywhere.
04:50"Punykoti". This is going to be India's first animated film in Sanskrit. This was funded by over 200 people and they raised a remarkable amount of 41 lacs, because animation films cost a lot of money. So, these are the kind of interesting things.
Sorry, I just forgot about this. This is my favorite.It is 'lovability." World's first match making mobile app for the differently abled people. This was funded by 61 people. So, "who are these people? Who are these people who are vested in another person's idea? And why are the funding this because they're not getting anything in return?"- the typical belief that we have. Right?
05:43So, we thought let's go out and ask them because even we were very perplexed. So, one person said that "I have funded Vasudha's album because I thought she deserved a shot."
"I funded Goonga Pehalwan because I want everyone to know about that wrestler."
"I have two sisters and hence found a personal connection, to the larger problem addressed by Menstrupedia."
"I funded lovability because it was truly a unique idea and it was needed."
"I backed Punyakoti because it will be a great way for our children to learn about an ancient language."
06:16All of them are essentially saying one simple thing that we forget. It's a great idea! They love it. And that's as simple as that. You know, that's why they want to back you. And they didn't think about it, but they want to cheer for someone who did. So, this is exactly as simple as that. There is nothing that they are thinking about, they are not being critical. They're not thinking that "Ok, this is not going to work and why is this guy doing this." They actually believe. And now, it's time for you all to believe that people believe.
06:48Now, all these artists were definitely raising funds from their fans and followers. But was completely shocked them, was that their personal network also funded. That one school kid that they had a fight with, in school. That one college buddy, who did not share notes. That corporate bully that they found and would never get them promotions. All of them, when asked gave money.
07:16So, it's really just a myth, guys! That people don't fund, or that people don't help. And that's what is just beautiful about this entire crowdfunding thing. It's not just about the money also crowdfunding obviously helps you get the money that you need, but what is more important is two very very commercial benefits that people forget about crowdfunding.
07:39So, before crowdfunding, say I was a filmmaker, and I wanted to make a film. And I obviously don't have the Big Daddy's to support me. So, what do I do? I keep working for years and years and save up money, and then go ahead and make my dream film. And then I put it up on maybe an online channel and I hope that PVR will take it. And I hope that it sells and people will pay for tickets to it but now with crowdfunding we have reversed this entire thing.
08:08With crowdfunding, we have said, "Give a teaser of your film that you want to make, on Wishberry, and then ask people that if you like this, I'm going to go ahead and make it, if you fund me. And in return, what you are giving them? 500 bucks- watch my link, watch the link of my film". So, you have essentially sold your film. You have essentially sold your film at a premium, in fact, because that person would have paid, just 200 bucks for your ticket. So, that is what is very interesting.
08:37One wonderful musician said that it was funny that people were not buying my music on iTunes, but when I asked them to fund my album, they all gave money. Which also brought us to an interesting understanding, that artists and their fans, do not want a commercial relationship. The fan is not just a buyer of an artist's art. He's a believer of his thought process. Right? Art is an expression of your thought process. You think about an idea, you feel for it.. you go and make it. So when you go out in the public, instead of saying, "let's just buy my film when it is made." Just involve the people in making this happen.
09:19And if you remember, in the Mughal Darbars when the dancers were there, and when the singers with there, all they got was patronage for their art. The rich people would give money for their creative ideas, to write poetry, to put up a dance piece together.
09:34So what all we are doing in 2016 is very simple, we're just bringing back patronage to the arts, thanks to the internet. I want to bring up an interesting quote by an arc actor, Manav kaul, who raised money for his film, "Albert Pinto ko gussa kyu ata hai, part 2" He said that he raised about 40 lakhs, and he went ahead and said that some people give lacs, some even a 100 rupees.
10:03There were no meetings, no agreements. Everything in crowdfunding is based on trust. This brings me to the last thing about my conversation today, why did we even start this? Why did I go ahead with my co-founder and start something that had no precedent in India? It was obviously a choice, right?
10:30I landed up in McKinsey, luckily without any MBA or an engineering degree, and I found out about crowdfunding during my corporate stint. And crowdfunding in the U.S, by this time had become a hit. Everyone in the U.S was using crowdfunding to make their ideas happen. And I thought. "Wow, this is a life line to put India on the creative map of the world. This is how artists will come out and actually go ahead. And we'll be able to do something.
10:59So, I had a choice between going ahead and doing crowdfunding, or just moving on in my corporate life, move to the U.S, become an NRI. I am glad that I chose the former, because crowdfunding in the last four years, of launching Wishberry, has changed my perspective about India.
11:20I discovered, that people in India have great ideas. I discovered, that people in India care about other people. And I discovered, that people in India would love to come and support other people's ideas. And it's time that all of us should stop thinking and just start believing. Thank you!
Crowdfunding for creative projects in India
As the co-founder of a crowdfunding platform, Anshulika shares how this method is a lifeline for artists and niche creative projects that would otherwise struggle with traditional forms of funding and revenue. She also shares a few fascinating examples of crowdfunded projects. wishberry.in
How about an animated film in Sanskrit! Punyakoti is set for release later in 2017.
If you grew up in Delhi anytime over the last two generations and love animals, you probably know Frendicoes Seca. The much loved veterinary clinic and animal rehab center was on the verge of shutting down, before a crowdfunding campaign rescued them.
Co-founder - Wishberry
Anshulika is the Co-Founder of Wishberry, one of India’s most successful crowdfunding platform for independent creative artists.
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