Since its inception in 2014 at Silicon Valley, California, Crowdera has been on a mission to revolutionize the global crowdfunding industry. At the helm of this ambitious mission is founder, Chet Jain. Crowdfunding is not an alien territory for Jain, who has earlier enjoyed a successful career as a serial entrepreneur in the U.S.
In his previous stint, Chet spearheaded a crowdfunding startup that was solely focused on educational sector. Now with his latest stint with Crowdera, Chet has broadened his focus beyond educational sector. His efforts have already yielded desirable results with Crowdera successfully supporting over 3000 campaigns and projects that are focused on various social causes.
Crowdera’s strong performance and a string of successful campaigns helped the company in securing an external funding recently. The funding has validated that this young startup is heading in the right direction.
Techpluto recently spoke to Chet, founder & CEO of Crowdera, about his company, the crowdfunding industry and his entrepreneurial pursuits. Below are some excerpts of this special interview.
Techpluto: You seem to have inherent passion for crowdfunding as you have spent considerable time in this sector?
Chet Jain: While making money remains an important catalyst, I am also passionate about supporting social causes. I have always had a strong urge to give back something to the society. This made me think as to what is that one thing that I can do that will help in bringing desirable social changes in the society. The answer that I got was ‘crowdfunding.’
Techpluto:Can you please throw some light on some of the unresolved pain-points in the crowdfunding industry that prompted you to start Crowdera?
Chet Jain: The common practice in crowdfunding is that the facilitator / platform charges a commission on donors’ funding before the sum collected is made available to the beneficiary. This commission charged on donors’ funding was a major pain point that led to the founding of Crowdera. Today, Crowdera is the world’s first truly free online crowdfunding platform. We don’t charge any commission on any donor funds. The underlying idea for making Crowdera a free platform is to make crowdfunding a fundamental right of the people.
In addition, we also try to bring campaigns and fundraisers at the forefront of crowdfunding exercise with the help of our several free and paid tools. These tools help fundraisers to leverage the true potential of our platform and thereby raise their fundraising abilities.
Techpluto:Since Crowdera is a free online crowdsourcing platform, what is your monetization strategy then?
Chet Jain: Crowdera monetizes through several paid tools, critical for enhancing the reach and effectiveness of a campaign. The paid tool model has already proved to be a sustainable business model for us.
Techpluto: Since the quantum of monetary transaction on Crowdera platform on a daily basis is huge, what are some of the steps that your company has taken to prevent the incidence of hacking?
Chet Jain: All payment facilities available on Crowdera are fully compliant with the international standards of security. Besides, we don’t store any financial data on our platform and hence, the risk of hacking doesn’t really arise.
Techpluto: Transparency is another big issue in crowdfunding industry. How does Crowdera ensure that every penny donated by donors has indeed been spent on the cause?
Chet Jain: Our platform tries to bridge the trust issue between fundraisers and donors by providing appropriate project specific updating facility. Through our platform, fundraisers can share real-time update about their projects with their respective donors. This exercise helps fundraisers in enhancing their credibility and their fundraising ability for future projects.
Techpluto: Do you see any scope of an integration of breakthrough technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and blockchain with crowdsourcing industry in near future?
Chet Jain: We certainly plan to integrate blockchain operations into our platform. However, blockchain operations will be introduced only in those markets where cryptocurrency transactions are legally permitted.
Techpluto: Today where does India’s crowdfunding industry stand in comparison with other countries, especially with developed countries?
Chet Jain: India’s crowdfunding industry is evolving very fast. However, compared to developed countries, India’s crowdfunding industry is restricted to urban areas. Currently, rural India makes no contribution as far as online fundraising goes.
Techpluto: Do you spot any major difference between Indian and foreign donors?
Chet Jain: A donor is a donor, irrespective of which country he or she hails from. What matters most is the depth of donor’s feelings for the cause he or she is donating for. Having said that, donors from certain countries, for example US, Canada and New Zealand are found to be more generous.
Techpluto:Crowdera recently raised Pre-series A funding. Any plans for raising series A funding anytime soon?
Chet Jain: Crowdera will soon look to raise next round of funds. In continuation to the pre-series A funding, we plan to raise series A funding next year. However, the company is neither in a hurry nor are we desperate to raise funds. We will be accepting funds from only those investors who completely believe in our company’s vision and mission.
Techpluto:Two skills that any entrepreneur needs to have to achieve success?
Chet Jain: All I would like to say is that entrepreneurs constantly need to focus on their purpose. They need to have clarity about their reason/s for choosing to tread the entrepreneurial path. I would also like to advice that one should not jump on the entrepreneurship bandwagon if their bread and butter is being compromised; meaning that entrepreneurship takes time to yield results – time during which a new entrepreneur’s basic requirements need to be fulfilled from alternative resources.
Technpluto: Any role models that you look up to for inspirations?
Chet Jain: Richard Branson, Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, Warren Buffet. In India, I look up to Mr. RatanTata for inspiration. I personally admire the Tata Group for their philanthropic services.
Techpluto:Books that every budding entrepreneur ought to read?
Chet Jain: I feel entrepreneurs can learn several invaluable life lessons only from real situations and experiences. However, the one book that I would like to recommend every budding entrepreneur to read is Deepak Chopra’s Seven Spiritual Laws of Success.