Is it possible to legally run a crowdfunding campaign for an India-based startup?

This is very specific to an Indian startup scenario, is it legal or possible to do a self starter campaign or a kickstarter campaign as a startup registered in India. The customer base will be largely in US, India and perhaps rest of the world.


Hi there! I do work with some Indian clients, advising them on growth strategies and communication plans.

While finance is not my expertise, I keep an eye on the uneasy tension between FDI, Indian companies and Government authorities. As of now the word is that crowd funding in India is a grey market, with SEBI not clarifying the regulations as of yet.

This has not stopped moviemakers and startups from raising funds, especially from sources based outside of India.

As of now, the cautious approach is that the India-based "crowd" of your crowd funding must be institutional or at least registered with SEBI.

Happy to discuss more if you'd like!

Answered 6 years ago

At the moment is not possible to run a campaign on Kickstarter from India. But for sure there are lots of other platforms where you can raise money from India as startup. From what you write it seems that you need and international platform so probably Indiegogo can be one of the best options. In case you think you strongly need Kickstarter the only possible way to run a campaign there is to find a person/company from one of eligible countries on Kickstarter (such as US, UK, Canada, etc...). Some other platforms may fit good for you but I would need to know more about the project to launch. If you're interested and want to dig in more, we can set a quick call. All the best!

Answered 6 years ago

I am currently bootstrapping my startup and had spent some time a few months ago, trying to uncover whatever details I can about the very same question. Currently there are many grey areas in this field where laws have not yet been properly formulated in a comprehensive manner to take into account this new phenomenon in the world of funding. I am assuming you are asking this question for an unlisted, private limited company (meant for profit) and are specifically talking about equity-driven crowdfunding, and that you have registered your company following due procedures with the RoC.

There are certain issues with respect to FEMA and SEBI regulations, some clauses of the Indian Companies Act, etc. which affect your question's exact answer. I would be glad to discuss more details about the same over a call, and also in case my assumptions made above do not hold true.

Also, since you mention that you will be having overseas customers as well, don't forget to get an import-export code for the organisation, from the directorate general of foreign trade (if not done so already).

Answered 5 years ago

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