Makehappy is an experiment in charitable and social e-commerce that was created to make people feel good about shopping online. Launched on February 1st by a multi-national startup team, the site gives money to selected charities and NGOs every time someone uses it to search and buy products on its retail partner online stores. It’s focused on users in India, and current partners include Disney India, MakeMyTrip, TimesDeal, Expedia India, Singapore Airlines, and many more clothing and travel sites.
And so when someone goes to Makehappy.in, they can search for items and be directed to a choice of B2C e-commerce sites. These are Makehappy’s affiliates. And this is when the charitable part begins. Talking to PO by email, Rukmani Mohindra (pictured below), one of the startup’s Indian crew, explains:
(Top): Makehappy.in's Christian Atz is pictured on the left. (Bottom): Rukmani and Christian in action at Demo Day at IAccelerator 2011.
When users buy a [plane] ticket or product we get a fixed commission from our partner shops […] We split the commission and forward approximately 70 percent of that to a good cause (NGOs) that can make a difference in someone’s life. It costs no extra money for users. All it takes is a click.
And so the remaining 30 percent goes direct to Makehappy for running costs and some possible future profit. Makehappy has just finished participating in the IAccelerator 2011 program at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.
The site’s founder is Christian Atz (pictured right), a 27-year old German entrepreneur and law school graduate, who tells us that the team is made up of folks from Austria, Japan, and Spain, in addition to himself and Rukmani. Although only in its second week of operation, Chris explains that he sees the retail partnerships already making some money for its chosen charities. Fans on Makehappy’s Facebook page voted for Music Basti to be its first recipient of largesse, and an aim of raising Rs. 50,000 (US$1,000) for that charity has been set.
Currently the startup is without an office or a stable base in India, and so it’s operating under the German moniker Bioddicted UG for a while. But an Indian office is in the planning. Chris adds:
We are currently looking for an investor and to set up the company in India, having just participated in the IAccelerator program, which ended last week. We have not decided yet about a city in India, but we might go to Pune, Bangalore or some place in Kerala – it also depends on where angel investors are located.
It’s great to see a charitably-minded startup for a change, so we at PO wish them the best.
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