What started as a tiny idea at a TED conference has grown to become a revolutionary engine in two phenomenal years. Varun Sheth launched Ketto on August 15, 2012 and the crowdfunding engine has since become a vehicle of change for many Indians.
Simply speaking, crowdfunding is the practice of raising small sums of money from people online to fund a cause or an activity. While crowdfunding is an incredibly popular method of fundraising in the west, the concept is still new in India. We hope to educate and empower Indians to change the lives of millions in this fun and easy manner.
At the same time that Varun had his eureka moment with Ketto, actor and humanitarian Kunal Kapoor was looking for a way to make charity cool and accessible. They joined hands and positioned Ketto as the platform where those in need of funds could directly benefit from those inspired to donate.
Over these past two years, Ketto has brought together individuals, companies and non-governmental organizations to create a bridge through crowdfunding, connecting over 100 million young internet-savvy Indian professionals with more than 300 million people in India who don’t have access to basic social services such as education, health care and sanitation.
Although global crowdfunding reached $2.7 billion dollars in 2012, funds raised in Asia were only $33 million, a figure that founders Kunal, Varun and Zaheer believe is a mere drop in the ocean. There is so much more that India needs and that Indians can do.
With the belief that these numbers can multiply exponentially given the population and the number of people who want to effect social change, Ketto is working tirelessly with NGOs, corporations and individuals to ensure that more children go to school, more people have access to better sanitation and medical services and that more Indians get to represent our country internationally, among various other compelling causes.
Any person who wishes to donate can simply browse through over 100 causes listed on Ketto’s website and with the click of a button and as little as Rs 100, can help change a person’s life. If you are a NGO or a person looking to raise funds, all you need to do is upload information for your cause, set a goal and watch as your cause transforms into an online revolution.
With Varun’s expertise in finance and passion to work in the social landscape, Kunal’s popularity and goodwill, Ketto aims to set the wheels of social change in motion with one click of a button.
At Ketto we empower others to give back to society, in part by educating the burgeoning online population of India about the potential, reach and impact of crowdfunding, which we will do both on this blog and off. It was this same digitally-savvy and charitably-minded population that helped us send Shweta Katti, a young women who grew up in a red light area of Mumbai, to study at Bard college in New York, as well as to send Indian luge athlete Shiva Keshevan to Sochi to represent the nation at the 2014 Winter Olympics.
While there is a lot more that we are planning to achieve through the powerful tool that our crowdfunding website is, publications like Entrepreneur and YourStory have already begun spotlighting our work as innovative, inspiring and indicative of the Indian desire to give back. We look forward to sharing more of this coverage with you as we continue on our journey.
The stories on our blog will help bring our campaigns to life, highlight the emerging role of crowdfunding in India in the evolving social landscape, illuminate the great work of non-governmental organizations in India and abroad, discuss microphilanthropy and talk about social entrepreneurship, among many other things.
We would love to hear your ideas, comments and feedback on microphilathropy and crowdfunding. If you wish to start a fundraiser or believe that Ketto’s services can be leveraged to help an NGO or individual, please write to us on email@example.com or reach out to us on Facebook and Twitter.
It’s been an incredible two years for Ketto and the journey has just begun, we hope that you’ll join hands with us for a better and brighter future for India.