Gurugram-based startup Skillbox, which helps companies find and book artists and performers for events, has raised an undisclosed amount in seed funding from US-based angel investor Sandip Ranjhan, said Ravi Pardhi, Co-founder and CTO to FE Online. Ranjhan is Senior Vice President and General Manager at automotive technology company Harman International.
“There is no such platform in India to connect artists and business directly. Listed businesses can check listed artists’ profiles and connect to them,” Pardhi said. “It is like a mini Facebook for the artist and the business,” he added.
Started in 2016, Skillbox serves the fragmented live event market in India. The company earns Rs 12-18 lakh in monthly revenue. Present in Delhi NCR, Skillbox is looking to expand to Goa and Mumbai in six months. It will allocate 70% of the amount towards building technology infrastructure and rest towards marketing.
Skillbox works with companies to book artists such as musician, DJ, session artists, photographers, designers, and sketch artists for their annual function etc, added Pardhi. It also offers venue-booking service including premium bars, restaurants and concerts for businesses to book.
“We are using recommendation engine, blockchain, and smart contracts for artists to connect with businesses,” Pardhi stated. The platform currently has around 1,000 artists listed apart from approximately 500 businesses. It conducts 3-4 events per week in Delhi.
Artists are looking for publicity, landing the right gigs, technical requirements, monetisation, legal issues etc. Meanwhile, businesses have discovery challenge and want to connect with the right artist. Skillbox does the matchmaking, said Pardhi.
Skillbox has generated more than Rs 1 crore of business for artists and businesses in various categories, the company said in a statement.
India’s events and activations industry, said a report titled ‘Re-imagining India’s M&E Sector’, by Ernst & Young, is expected to cross Rs 10,000 crore mark by 2020-21. The industry, it added, was Rs 5,631 crore in 2016-17 and has been growing at a 16% CAGR. 75% of the customer base comprises of companies, 11% comes from government and public sector enterprises and remaining is made up by high net worth individuals.