Founder Series: Anshulika Dubey of Wishberry

In the second edition of Crowdfund Vibe’s founder series we speak with Anshulika Dubey, the co-founder and COO of Indian based platform Wishberry, a reward crowdfunding platform for creative artists.  

What motivated you to start a crowdfunding platform?

In a country like India, that is so rich in arts and culture, to see hardly any projects making it big on the international level was something that hurt Priyanka and I deeply. I was always fascinated by the idea of crowdfunding for creativity since the time I had come across Kickstarter while working on a research paper during my stint at Mckinsey. When I came to know that Priyanka, who was my former colleague at McKinsey, had developed Wishberry – a fundraising platform for social causes, I told her about Kickstarter and the need to create a crowdfunding platform for creative artists in India. Creative people in India were forced into conventional jobs because creative pursuits like music, film, dance etc. were only seen as a hobby, not as a full time career that paid the bills.

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Crowdfunding for startups in India: where is it going?

By Raghev Hegde

While it is becoming better known, crowdfunding is yet to take India by storm, in part due to its youth and in part because of various legal and regulatory hurdles. Despite this, some beneficiaries of crowdfunding have already captured the public imagination – none more so than the brilliant, self-taught innovator Sonam Wangchuk.

Wangchuk is a household name in India as he was played by one of India’s biggest stars Aamir Khan in the super hit Bollywood movie “3 Idiots”. As a college dropout in a society obsessed with degrees, Wangchuk was laughed out by almost all the banks he approached for a loan to finance his innovations, despite being one of the smartest men in the country.
Rather than give up on his dreams, Wangchuk did something no other Indian tech entrepreneur had done before – used the power of crowdfunding to seek investment from ordinary men and women all over the world. This helped him raise $120,000 for his new company, which has since gone from strength to strength.

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Will SEBI’s new proposals throttle crowdfunding at birth in India?

By Raghav Hegde

Crowdfunding is a nascent industry in India, which yet to take off due to several reasons. Without a regulatory sanction from the government,  the crowdfunding industry does not enjoy legal approval, and hence, more widespread credibility with the investors – both retail and institutional. Equally critical is that India is not a technologically advanced, entrepreneur-driven country, as a result most of the crowdfunding activity is restricted to the financing of films and cultural events. The non-existence of equity based crowdfunding in the country, as most of the crowdfunding in India is rewards based or lending based, is another important reason that crowdfunding as a platform for investment is yet to take off.

Nonetheless, a lot has changed in India over the past one month.  The new BJP government has taken over at the center, with Narendra Modi as the Prime Minister. Mr. Modi is well known to be very friendly to businesses and entrepreneurs and was the Chief Minister of the state of Gujarat, which is the most entrepreneur-friendly province in the country for over twelve years previously. This is a big change from the prior administration which ruled over the country, which was distrusted by the entire business, investment and entrepreneurship community, both in India and abroad. So a lot is expected from Mr. Modi’s new government, which seems very serious on improving the investment and business climate in the country.

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