StarClinch Raises Seed Round from Artha Venture Fund, Nitish Mittersain

The Delhi-based startup aims to scale up substantially, with a two-fold growth in talent onboarding in the next 12 months

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StarClinch, a discovery and booking platform for performance artists and live entertainers, has raised INR 1.75 crores in a seed round, led by Artha Venture Fund (AVF). The round also saw Nitish Mittersain, founder and MD of Nazara Technologies, participate in the round. StarClinch is AVF's 14th investment and 23rd funding round from its recently closed INR 225 crores micro-VC fund.

 

The Delhi-based startup will scale up substantially, aiming at a 2-fold growth in talent onboarding in the next 12 months. StarClinch creates an important financial trust layer between the buyers and sellers of performing artists and live entertainment. The startup claims to revolutionize this untapped space in the gig economy, much like the gaps fulfilled by Fiverr and Airbnb in online gigs and homestays, respectively.

 

StarClinch boasts a bevy of A-listers as talent, such as Kangana Ranaut, Baadshah, Guru Randhawa, Monali Thakur, Kumar Sanu, Astha Gill, Tony Kakkar,  Radhika Apte, Zakir Khan, Kenneth Sebastian and more. Besides the prominent names, the platform can book from over 7000 musicians, 500 dancers, and 800 standup comedians.

Company Handout

The company creates an escrow system to secure the payments for artists to perform at corporate events, weddings, conventions, among other events. The money is released to the artist after the talent buyer confirms that the artist served as agreed, thereby filling a vital trust lacuna in this $15 Bn ecosystem.  Their clientele includes names like Cadbury, Goldman Sachs, IBM, Nyyka, Unilever, ITC, Byjus, Livspace, BrowserStack, Gojek, The Indian Navy, Indian Army, State Governments amongst others.

 

Founded by Varun Agrawal, StarClinch will deploy the freshly infused capital to expand its talent roster of more than 15,000 artists. The team will grow to concentrate on corporate associations, upgrading its tech platform, and innovating new product offerings to cater to the online, offline, and hybrid events segment. Moreover, the startup will expand to Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities and towns, to provide an equal opportunity and a level playing field to artists from these regions as well.

“At StarClinch, we have always emphasized leveraging technology creatively while adapting to an emerging entertainment services marketplace. We have been introducing solutions to bridge the demand-supply gap, yield value-centric results for our talent and clients. Owing to the significant talent pool in tier X towns and cities, we have our eyes peeled for budding talent from all 4 corners of the country! The demand for live gigs and performances from tier 1 and tier 2 cities is growing at an unprecedented rate. We are privileged to onboard Artha Venture Fund as an active investor and aim to use their expertise and extensive network to fuel our growth in the years to come,” said Varun Agrawal, founder, StarClinch.

Anirudh A Damani, managing partner, Artha Venture Fund, said, “The pandemic has provided the perfect environment for a paradigm shift to a $12 billion industry. It is time for this gig industry to reorganize itself and accept formal market practices. Therefore, we chose StarClinch because of Varun’s singular focus on becoming a trust layer for a fragmented industry. I believe that Starclinch can upend the industry by bringing transparency, trust, and respectability to a fantastic profession! We are excited to have them join the AVF family!”

With the era of virtual events, reports indicate that the live events industry is likely to grow at 52 per cent CAGR and is estimated to be valued at INR 9500 crores by 2023. With the increase in the number of on-ground and destination weddings, the demand for artists is also expected to increase. StarClinch is eyeing to capitalize on the opportunity while addressing unstructured talent discovery, reference checks, and performance assurance.

S Shanthi

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Entrepreneur Staff

Shanthi specializes in writing sector-specific trends, interviews and startup profiles. She has worked as a feature writer for over a decade in several print and digital media companies. She is also a mom who looks forward to playing a game of cards with her tween daughter every evening after work.