4,690 Indians have contributed $824,800 to projects on the crowdfunding site Kickstarter in 2014. The United States of America was the still biggest contributor to projects, who donated $335.5 million from 2.2 million backers (2,209,258 backers) followed by United Kingdom and Canada which contributed $39.06 million and $27.65 million from 261,771 and 170,017 backers respectively.
Though the amount raised from India might be low in comparison, Indians contributed an average of $175.86 per head, as opposed to $150.95 by Americans and $149.21 by people in UK. Earlier in March 2014 when Kickstarter had hit $1 billion pledges, it showed that Indians had pledged $1.1 million to projects.
Readers will note that Kickstarter currently supports projects based out of the United States only, hence most Indian companies who want to crowd source their funding prefer to use Indiegogo. One of the recent noteworthy Kickstarter campaigns by Indians was SectorQube Technologies’ flagship product Microwave Android Integrated Device (MAID) which raised an overall funding of $123,920 as against the target goal of $50,000.
In December 2014, Indiegogo also piloted an insurance feature for failed projects where the site will refund backers in case the final product is not delivered within three months of the original delivery date.
The Indian markets regulator SEBI has also has come out with a proposal to explore the possibilities of having a security-based crowdfunding framework in India within the existing legal framework. This proposal does not touch up on reward based crowdfunding that is common on platforms like Kickstarter.
Under the SEBI guidelines only accredited investors registered with a crowdfunding platform can invest in equity-based crowdfunding campaigns. Also, only Indian start-ups or SMEs can raise funds through these platforms. The company should be seeking to raise not more than Rs 10 crore and list them on a SME Platform or main board of a recognized stock exchange. The company should not be more be more than 48 months old and must not be listed on any exchange already.
Our coverage of the SEBI crowdfunding guidelines here.