Exclusive: Chandigarh Angels Network backs social enterprise LetsEndorse
Bangalore-based LetsEndorse Development Pvt. Ltd, which runs online network for social causes LetsEndorse, has raised an undisclosed amount from Chandigarh Angels Network, Tata Trusts-backed Social Alpha and other unnamed angel investors.
LetsEndorse will use the funds to enhance its technology footprint, expand to more geographies and build a cohesive community of doers and enablers, Varun Kashyap, its co-founder, told VCCircle.
"We launched the platform in July 2016 and, since then, have fuelled over 30 development-oriented projects, got many paying NGOs on-board, created a team of social enthusiasts and technologists and developed a suite of technology products," he said.
LetsEndorse is a network-cum-marketplace for social development, comprising non-profits, social entrepreneurs, companies, communities and local administration. Through the use of technology, it builds collaborations for co-creating and scaling up solutions, and mobilises funds through a mix of crowd-funding and corporate donations.
The company has also built a four-product technology suite for NGOs.
"We have built a technology suite wherein the profile of an NGO converts to a website on the click of a button. It has payment gateway integration and engagement APIs that are powered by LetsEndorse. We have three other products for NGOs," Kashyap explained.
LetsEndorse was founded by Kashyap and Monika Shukla in March 2014. Monika is an alumnus of IIT Kharagpur and has worked with Goldman Sachs and HealthKart in the past. She is also a post-graduate in Liberal Arts from the Young India Fellowship Programme.
Kashyap is an alumnus of Punjab Engineering College (PEC), Chandigarh, and also a Young India Fellow. He had founded Suvidha Bazaar in 2010 to ensure fair pricing for small landholders.
Kashyap claims the company has a community of more than 500 social entrepreneurs across the globe, accredited NGOs across causes, several thousand individual contributors and a set of different-sized companies. The company currently earns money through fundraising fee and also generates proceeds from its technology offerings.
Chandigarh Angels Network has invested in seven startups so far. Last month, it had invested Rs 1.6 crore ($235,000 then) in Mumbai-based healthcare startup Yolo Health.
Social Alpha is an ecosystem architecture created by the Foundation for Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship to nurture start-up teams. The initiative is supported by Tata Trusts.