Grasruts turned one today (Jun 19, 2018) and the whole team is thrilled to have completed a year of crowdfunding in Nepal. So much has happened in this one year. We had our moments which we wished would last forever and setbacks which gave us a wake up call. But, nevertheless, we are getting a step closer to digitize, systematize and accessiblize the way funding is done.
So far, Grasruts raised Rs 42K+ ($300+) for a total of 5 projects from more than 40 contributors, out of which 1 campaign was funded successfully.
Esewa is very popular among our community of contributors and there is no doubt about it. At Grasruts, we want to make fundraising simple, secure and accessible. Our responsibility is to make sure that any potential contributors with or without ebanking and in or out of Nepal to be able to contribute to the campaign that they believe in. One such service is ‘Cash Pickup’ which did exceptionally well and the second most popular choice for contribution.
Surprisingly, visitors coming into Grasruts to contribute are not just from Nepal. We are receiving hits from countries like USA, Australia, India and UK. We are receiving page views from other countries as well but these are the top four country with highest page views. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide a way for them to contribute but we have acknowledged the situation and working on integrating an international payment gateway.
A Successful Grasruts Campaign
On March 10, 2018, 34 people came together and raised Rs 30,350 out of Rs 30,000 to bring Manjushree Trail to life. The campaign was an in house project to show that crowdfunding via a digital platform can be feasible if executed correctly. Manjushree Trail has now been published in ECS magazine and also blogged in Poondiaries. The GPS data collected during the trip has been shared to Honeyguide and NepaliTravellers but these data are also freely available to the public. A hiking group, hike4lyf, have also hiked a section of that trail.
This shows that the power of people coming together to fund an idea that they believe in can have a huge impact. Think about product based projects. People coming together to fund such ideas can create employment opportunities and help creative projects to grow.
A year of crowdfunding is too early to decide the potential of Crowdfunding in Nepal but looking at the enthusiasm of campaign owners and contributors, I think it is safe to say that people are looking for an alternate way of fundraising.The rise in the use of e payments and the introduction of visa card payment system by Nabil and Himalayan Bank are some good indicators for crowdfunding to thrive in future. However, the lack of awareness about Crowdfunding and a reliable international payment gateway still remains a bottleneck.
The New Team and ‘Manch’
I remember the CEO of Jyaasa, Kapil Raj Nakhwa, telling me about building an A team to grow the company. Ever since then, I kept looking for people to build that A team with. Luckily, through God’s grace, I got connected with them. The new team is experienced and very professional. Together we can work on the bottlenecks efficiently and also pave a suitable environment for other crowdfunding platform to co exist.
Manch is a Nepali crowdfunding business tackling Nepal related issues with Nepal customized solutions but with a global audience. Manch and Grasruts will soon operate with a global team with people from wall street, silicon valley, global social enterprises and people who have 10+ years of consulting business in nepal.