Chipili has a range of artists covering the realm of creative arts, theatre, puppet shows, and stand-up comedy

Love private concerts Meet the Indo-French duo bringing live music into your homeBand performing at a private birthday party arranged by Chipili
Atom Startups Friday, March 24, 2017 - 16:21

Back in 2014, Irfan Khan and his friends had the same dilemma most of us have when it’s a friend’s birthday – What gift can we buy that person? After much deliberation, his French friend, Vincent Vandenbroucke, decided to invite another musician friend of his. The entire group pitched in and gave their friend one of the most memorable birthday gifts he’d ever received – a private birthday concert.

While the birthday gift was definitely a hit, the best part for them was the business idea that came out of it. A service that lets you have a live performance by artists from around the city and in turn support the local talent community. If you look around, there is no dearth in talent. Chipili’s aim is discover this talent – in any form – and bring it to your homes.

With the idea in mind, Khan and Vandenbroucke began visiting local bands and jam rooms in Bengaluru to find and sign-up local talent. With about 15-20 artists on board, Chipili started operations in May 2016 in Bengaluru.

The name Chipili comes from the Aztek god Xochipilli, the god of arts, beauty, games and dance.

Chipili currently has two offices - one in Bengaluru and the other in Rennes in Western France. While Khan and Vandenbroucke take care of operations in both countries, Khan is based out of Bengaluru and Vandenbroucke out of Rennes.

Here’s what you have to do if you want any show ranging from a musical to a theatre performance at home. Go through Chipili’s list of artists based on what form of entertainment you’re in the mood for, pick an artist. Check their availability, pick a date, finalise the venue – your home or anywhere outside – and pay. The company let’s its customer customize their show entirely.

Additionally, Chipili also offers the option of requesting for lights, a stage and sound equipment. Chipili works with several suppliers for the equipment and sets it up for customers who need it.

“The idea is to get people to invite musicians and performers into their home and enjoy original content. Unfortunately, artists spend a lot of time and energy into creating content but they lack the right platform to perform, with enough returns for their investment. That’s where we come in,” says Khan.

Local talent that Chipili is trying to promote includes anything in the realm of the music, creative arts, theatre, puppet shows, and stand-up comedy. The pricing starts from Rs 5,000, depending on the requirement. There is also an option of crowd-funding services so that people can share the cost of the show.

Chipili currently has over 90 artists and has hosted nearly 100 shows, which have been a combination of live music, dance and theatre.

Chipili has not raised any funding so far and has managed to start and run its business only by bootstrapping. Khan says a bare minimum of one lakh rupees was put in initially for registration and associated legal costs.

But what’s in it for the artists they bring onboard? Every time an artist is signed, Chipili helps them create a portfolio, make music videos to promote themselves. Khan says, “When an artist is picked for a show, we sign an agreement with them to pay them what they want. Unlike other agencies, we do not take a cut out of it. Once they’re off stage, we pay them upfront.”

Currently, nearly 60% of Chipili’s revenues come from private concerts curated by them. “At the moment, we are working with a niche corporate and private clientele to create original and contemporary concerts and shows,” Khan adds.

But while corporate shows are bringing in the bucks, the company is parallel investing in boosting private and home concert. The idea is to bring the concept of live entertainment into every house.

“We receive a lot of bookings, especially over the weekends, for home concerts. However, we do get the occasional weekday birthday party. Theatre is starting to pick up now as well,” says Khan.

In less than a year, Chipili has turned profitable. The company ended 2016 with a small profit.

The company’s focus now is revolutionizing entertainment in the country. Chipili is working on expanding its services Pune, Kochi, Hyderabad and Kolkata in the near future. Also, Chipili is looking at raising funds either at the end of this year or early next year.

International expansion will come next. In 2018, Chipili wants to expand operations to Asian countries like Hong Kong and Sri Lanka, Germany in Europe and to New York in the US. The ultimate goal for Irfan and Vandenbroucke is to be able to pick talent from anywhere in the world and bring it to our homes.

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