Forming a bridge between customers looking for unique custom-made designs and professional creators around the world, iCustommadeit plans to solve the customization sector in India. In technical terms, the startup’s vertical marketplace model provides solutions for a clear communication between artists who create designs and buyers.
This is done through an internal messaging system called IMB which tracks the status of the project by sending messages, photos, videos etc to the consumer while it is getting built. The artist on the other hand receives payments in different stages of the project based on a mutually agreed terms. This creates a trust between the artist, the consumer and the portal itself.
Though founded in 2013 by Raj Iyer and Kundan Dhake, the company recently went live in February this year. Currently, consumers can use the platform in three stages – by buying a readymade stock product from the present product gallery, by asking for a product that has been created by a particular artist or submitting a design, photo or description and setting up bids from artists who will be interested in custom-making the product.
On the artists’ front, the company has taken quality and popularity into consideration. It has selected artists via word of mouth or by looking for talented people in classifieds.
The company plans to extend to the international market by getting in more artists, designers and manufacturers in the next six months. “We are also tying up with various NGOs in the country as they do formidable work with indigenous artists and craftsmen. We aim to make one lakh millionaires within the next five years from the local artisan pool by connecting them with enthusiastic buyers through icustommadeit,” said Raj, Founder & CMD, iCustommadeit.
After raising a funding worth $150,000 from Salma Chugh,MD of Vertex Group, the company is aiming at certain investors to start a second funding series of $0.5-$1 million.
Such unorthodox artistically inclined start-ups prove that entrepreneurship is not just limited to the tried-and-tested model of food and tech business models. Over time, similar start-ups can greatly help the artist industry of India.