Celebrity-fan engagement platform GoNuts has raised Rs 3.5 crore in its seed round led by Sweta Rau (White Ventures), Archana Priyadarshini (Unicorn India Ventures). 9Unicorns, AngelList, Lets Venture, Pankaj Chaddah, co-founder of Mindhouse and Zomato, Ramakant Sharma, co-founder of LivSpace and others.
With the fresh capital, GoNuts targets to onboard 5,000 influencers. At present, it has 700 celebrities on the platform across genres films, television, sports and music. Founded by Vinamra Pandiya and Mayank Gupta and Joji George, GoNuts lets users get personalised greetings from celebrities.
Some notable celebrities on the platform include Shankar Mahadevan, Kailash Kher, Sukhbir, Hariharan, and Jonty Rhodes. During an earlier interaction with Entrackr, Pandiya had outlined that GoNut could be used by celebrities to launch their own personalised fan connect services.
Besides monetisation, the platform enables inspirational personalities to establish one to one and deeper connections with their fan base. According to Pandiya, the company was bootstrapped and profitable in its first six months of operations. The company makes money via commissions or platform fee.
GoNuts has partnered with CRED, BulBul TV, BookMyShow and several others.
While US-based Cameo has championed the two-sided marketplace that connects celebrities and fans globally, the concept is new to India. Currently, there are more than a dozen startups operating in the space including Unlu, Truefan, Wysh and Tring.
Truefan is the most well funded in the space, followed by Wysh, Tring and others. Truefan had raised $4.3 million from Mayfield, Saama Capital and others whereas Tring has been backed by several top-notch individuals including Gaurav Munjal, Kalyan Krishnamurthy and others.
Accel and Shunwei-backed social commerce startup Simsim also entered space with Rubaru.