Startup raises clean money for election campaigns through crowdfunding

OurDemocracy has reached out to major parties, candidates & keeps 5% as commission.

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OurDemocracy describes itself as “India’s first crowdfunding platform compliant with India’s strict political fundraising norms.”
BENGALURU: Over the last one and a half months, Atishi, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate from East Delhi, raised Rs 41 lakh from her supporters, most of them making small contributions. All of this happened on a crowd-funding platform called OurDemocracy, which, through its campaigns, is seeking to change electoral funding.

Founded by Anand Mangnale, who was with I-PAC, the political campaign outfit run by Prashant Kishor, and ex-journalist Bilal Zaidi, OurDemocracy describes itself as “India’s first crowdfunding platform compliant with India’s strict political fundraising norms.” The New Delhi-based startup has started a “White Money Challenge” for election candidates.

The business model is simple. It takes a 5% commission, which it says it lists transparently on the website. Most of its spend goes towards freelancers who make videos and graphics and, consultants who help with campaigns.


“Crowdfunded contributions do not go directly into the OurDemocracy account,” according to Mangnale. “It stays in the payment gateway’s account and is later transferred to the campaigner’s account,” he adds. “This way no one can say we took the money or ran away with the money.”

Besides Atishi, OurDemocracy is working with Nana Patole of Congress, Kanhaiya Kumar of the Communist Party of India, and other AAP candidates, including Raghav Chadha (South Delhi) and Dilip Pandey (North-East Delhi). The company says has reached out to Trinamool Congress, Bharatiya Janata Party, Telugu Desam Party, and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader Kanimozhi.

While Chadha has raised Rs 38,000 for his campaign on the platform, launched on Friday, Pandey has raised Rs 58,000 so far.
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It has also helped former AAP rebel and Patiala MP Dharamvira Gandhi raise Rs 21,000 for his election campaign.
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