Enabling Artists Monetize Their Artwork, This Just Got Funded

Garage Labs Technologies Private Limited, the company behind Cupick.com, a social network for artists that allows them to merchandize their artwork, has closed a seed round of fund of $120k from a group of US and Indian angel investors via TermSheet.io.

Several angel investors from the US and India participated in this round including JKN Partners (an angel syndicate) and Sushil Agarwal from India and Kalpesh Shethia, Rajeev Mudumba, Dinesh Tadepalli and Sudheshna Vuppala from the US. Previously, Shaishav and Justin has also founded a webapp called Whoopey.

Commenting on the investment, Jignesh Patel of JKN Partners said, “We are happy to be a part of the exciting business that Cupick is building. At JKN Partners, we’re always on the lookout for ideas that solve actual problems and disrupt the status quo. Cupick has a great product, the right ideas and a well-balanced team that can execute the plan.”

An American fashion designer and writer, Mary McFadden once said

India a gold-mine of art. The richest in the world.

India has always been the playfield for many great artists and craftsmen. These artists are creating wondrous designs but don’t have the optimum resources to monetise their art.

Founder and Ceo of Cupick, Shaishav Todi says, “Even if an artist manages to start his own brand, attracting a regular traction is a major challenge, which finally leads to the extinction of such brands.”

Identifying this significant gap between artists and merchandising of artwork, three old friends, Shaishav Todi, Justin Alva and Rituraj Dowerah founded Cupick launched a social network for artists that allows them to merchandize  their artwork. The company was launched in September 2014 and had raised about $15k (INR 10 Lakh) in funding initially.

The Idea

With Cupick, the founders wanted that the artists should not be worried about the logistics of merchandising their artwork. The platform allows artists to simply upload their work on the portal as they do on social media. Rest of the tedious tasks like production, delivery, selling and payment are all handled by Cupick.

“There are hundreds of thousands of artists creating beautiful artwork but with no way to monetize or reach out to a larger audience. Then there are large copyright holders sitting on huge repositories of idle creative assets. Cupick helps them monetize this asset class through merchandising.” says Shaishav Todi. “We want to make art consumable and in process, add value to the underlying asset.”

How it Works

  • On signup, artists are given a personal profile page to showcase portfolio of work.
  • Art is made accessible to a large audience.
  • Cupick sets a base price for each product, then artists add their markup above this which then determines the selling price. For example, an A3 poster has the base prize of INR 150 and if artists chooses to sell it on 100% markup, then the product will be priced at INR 300 plus taxes.
  • Company then handles all the logistics like  production, packaging, shipping, payments and customer service of the product.

Due to the presence of so many artists, Cupick is a platform of people who appreciate good design and art. Thus, providing a large community reach to the artists.


Revenue Model

Cupick’s cost and margins are included in the set base price  for each product. Whereas, the artists are given the markup price, which they decide themselves. So going by the same A3 poster example, Cupick earns INR 150 and the artist also gets INR 150 as the markup price was 100%. However, for T-shirts and Hoodies, the maximum markup price is 20%, so the artist can’t earn above 20%of the base price. Other than that, posting of artwork and product delivery is free of charge.

Art is the most intense mode of individualism that the world has known. Going by these words of Oscar Wilde, Cupick targets at creating an individualistic experience for its users. Justin Alva, Co-Founder and CMO says, “With an average ticket size of INR 1,000, we  plan on targeting the urban working or collegiate class of the country, people who can relate with these designs.”

Important Figures

Cupick has seen over 2500 artists register on its site with over 9000 artworks uploaded.