Bangalore-based Jade Magnet Online, an online crowdsourcing marketplace for media and creative services, will enter the West Asia market with Mixilion, a 60/40 Qatar-based joint venture.
Once finalized, Mixilion will become Jade Magnet’s vehicle for expanding into markets including Dubai, Kuwait and Oman. Kinra co-founded Jade Magnet in 2009 with Sitashwa Srivastava, his MBA friend from Chennai’s Great Lakes Institute of Management. The platform allows over 5,000 independent designers for services such as logo design, website design, animation and brochure design. To access these services, customers need to create an account with Jade Magnet, set up an auction specifying their project and budget, and select the best designer.
Having raised $300,000 in angel funding from individual Mixilion investors, the company’s total angel capital raised is $600,000. Jade Magnet co-founder Manik Kinra explains: “The joint venture will be formalized in about 2-3 days. We have decided to go the white label way in this market. Having a local partner is a big advantage in terms of accessing customers.” Kinra predicts the West Asia market will generate at least $5 million in revenues over the next three years stating: “The average ticket size of a crowdsourcing project there is higher than in India, at about $300-350 per project.”
The crowdsourcing business model, especially for creative or design services, is still nascent in India and has not attracted a lot of attention from venture capitalists. “We don’t have the scale yet to attract bigger investors,” says Kinra. Still, it has been able to access funds periodically, raising $200,000 first round of angel funding in October 2009 from Muki Regunathan, founder of Bangalore-based digital agency Pepper Square and $100,000 in 2011, from Eric Papcun, a US-based technology professional currently with Capgemini.
In addition to maintaining online project, the company is also working through resellers to access customers in the northern part of India. Mixilion has partnered with Bangalore-based, Kuliza Technologies company, to offer small and medium enterprises customized websites at Rs 15,000. Mixilion has also recently developed a six-member technology team in Allahabad with 21 employees.
The team currently processes 115 projects per month and expects to grow to around 300 projects per month by December after launching its an enhanced version of the platform. Currently profitable, Mixilion expects revenues at $1 million at the end of the current fiscal year.
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