India continues to cultivate a small, but fast-growing startup ecosystem.
New Delhi’s Gigstart is building a platform where people can book live artists and performers for parties and weddings. As you might know, Indian weddings are pretty elaborate and take place over many days. The country hosts 10 million weddings per year, points out Gigstart co-founder Atit Jain.
“Our wedding market is biggest across the entire globe,” said Jain, who adds that he wants to expand the platform into other Asian markets as well.
Gigstart vets listings and has 1,800 curated artists, including dancers, musicians, comedians and magicians on the marketplace. Jain and co-founder Madhulika Pandey, who also happens to be an Indian classical singer, launched the platform back in March.
The pair, who had worked for JPMorgan and one of the country’s biggest telecom providers, got the entrepreneurial itch and started collaborating on concepts.
“We researched the idea for a good four months,” Pandey said. “Basically, we saw a pain point felt on the artists’ side. It’s tough to hire artists or DJ’s in India. Talent needs representation; there are 40 million artists across the globe.”
They started out in a super scrappy way by building a basic Excel sheet of artists and musicians that they floated around to restaurants.
But eventually, that became more elaborate as they added on more and more acts. They integrated with one of India’s larger payment gateways, PayU to process payments. They handle credit cards and Paypal as well. So far, they’ve supported about 200 gigs and taken in a 10 percent fee on each.
They’re aiming to have 90,000 artists on the platform in the next two years.
They have more conventional acts like bands, and then there are more eccentric performers like a human fountain.
The startup, which has six people, has raised about $45,000 in funding from backers including GSF, an accelerator that recently saw one of India’s more notable recent exits with Little Eye Labs’ sale to Facebook.
Performing arts are built into the DNA of the company. Several of the startup’s employees are musicians and they have jam sessions every month.