What is icustommadeit?
icustommadeit is an online marketplace that facilitates creation and retail of merchandise, precisely according to the customer’s wishes. It connects individuals looking for unique creations with curated professional creators globally. The startup provides a forum to bridge the gap between manufacturers/creators and shopaholics who love everything custom made.
The Pune-based startup was founded in May 2013 by Raj Iyer and Kundan Dhake, but its service went live in February 2015. When iamWire reached out to Raj Iyer so as to know about the genesis of his venture, he said, “A couple of years back, I was looking to sell off my old car for which I was in negotiation with a businessman.This gentleman was wearing an exquisite ring adorned with a 3D Lion cub. When I asked him where he got it from, he replied that it was customized for him by his brother in Belgium. And that was my Eureka moment. And thus, icustommadeit was incepted.”
What problems is it solving?
The customization sector in India is still in its nascent stage. icustommadeit’s vertical marketplace model, provides transparent communication between our creators (artisans) and buyers through an internal messaging system called IMB. IMB keeps customers updated at every stage via messages, photos, videos etc of their product under construction. This enables them to trust, since they feel they had a hand in building it. Payment to the creators is also released in milestones based on mutually agreed terms between the buyer and the creator, depending upon the progress.
What’s unique about icustommadeit?
People can use the platform in three ways: by buying a stock product from the product gallery, by requesting a product from a particular creator, or by posting a photo and description and asking for bids from creators who would like to custom-make that product.
The artisans working with the company have been cautiously selected. They have been enrolled either by word of mouth or intensive net research or by looking up for such talented people in old newspapers and magazines. The company is always on a look out to enroll more of such creative and artistic people on their platform.
Present Status and Future Goals
The startup has raised close to $150,000 from Salma Chugh, MD of Vertex Group. The funding has been used to increase manpower, and enhance technology.
Presently, the company is in talks with certain investors to raise a second series of funding ($0.5-$1 million). It is fulfilling about 15-20 orders per day at the moment. It started off with a team of 7-8 employees and now has 25 people on board.
icustommadeit charges creators a subscription fee via a freemium plan. Other than this, there’s a transaction fee that the company charges on the final cost of the product/custom project.
Within next six months, the company is planning to go global by signing in more artists, designers and manufacturers. “We are also tying up with various NGOs in the country as they do formidable work with indigenous artists and craftsmen. We aim to make one lakh millionaires within the next five years from the local artisan pool by connecting them with enthusiastic buyers through icustommadeit,” said Raj, Founder & CMD, icustommadeit.