From the Startup World – April 25

Ideas and discussion are a staple diet at Coffee Conversations.


A compilation of important news from the startup world:


Top News




 Why agricultural startups are blossoming
Agriculture in India is a $370 billion sector, but there is little application of technology to improve productivity and lift millions out of poverty . Now, a clutch of entrepreneurs is looking out of their city offices to the countryside to change this.

Startups: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
In a massive startup environment like India, which is also the fastest growing in the world, there is just not enough money to go around. The present attitude in India towards startups is positive, but is too laissez faire.

Start to up-skill if you’re unsure of your startup job
India produces over 1.5 million engineers every year and 80 per cent of them are unemployable. In the technology-enabled industry, only 20 per cent of the current mid-level workforce will continue to be employable over the next three years. The shift happening in the job market is obvious. Over the next few years, unemployment is going to reach its peak — not at the low-skill level but at the medium-skill section of the population.

Nasscom selects 39 startups for 3rd edition of ‘Innotrek’
IT industry body Nasscom today said it has shortlisted 39 Indian startups for the third edition of its ‘Innotrek’ programme to be held in the US, where tech entrepreneurs will have an opportunity to meet investors and learn business nuances from experts.The programme is aimed at providing the select group of technology entrepreneurs and founders with an opportunity to interact with investors, experts from the Silicon Valley and corporates. The startups will also have the opportunity to learn about scaling up globally and forming alliances for them to give them a competitive advantage.

Indian entrepreneurs should target global market: Amitabh Kant
Indian entrepreneurs need to build products and services keeping the global market in mind, said Amitabh Kant, chief executive officer of NITI Aayog on Saturday. “We are in a globalised world. Whatever you do you are an integral part of the global supply chain. Whatever you produce think big in terms of the world. No company in the world whether it is Uber or Airbnb have ever succeeded thinking only of one country,” said Kant while speaking at the Startup Expo event in Gurugram organized by the German carrier Lufthansa and the Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE).

Travel startups…on the upswing
The travel startups sector is a huge market in India with a number of startups in various categories like hotel booking, Hotel Meta search, flight booking, activity booking and Trip Planning. They are now emerging in India every year through the online platform to boost tourism in India. Most of the travel startups are also focusing on more customized and descriptive travel content.

All you need to know about mobile-first publishing startup Juggernaut
t is a remarkable adventure in the Indian publishing world: giving prominence to digital books over physical books, and emphasising the always-at-hand cellphone — instead of the ereader that Amazon and others fetishise — as the primary reading device. It is an audacious attempt to challenge and change the old fundamentals.

Starting trouble
The fairy tale of the modern world includes fresh-out-of-college kids becoming millionaires with the help of one world altering business idea. However, for every success story about a small enterprise growing big, there are many others that didn’t make the cut. Things become all the more difficult in India. Not just since the mere number of our countrymen make for stiff competition, but also due to cultural issues unique to us.

Why India’s third largest online grocer which raised over $50m is shutting shop
PepperTap raised US$51.2 million in funding from a slew of investors such as Innoven Capital, SnapDeal, Sequoia India, SAIF Partners, Ru-Net, Beenext, JAFCO Asia, and others. The company had secured its series B round of funding of US$40 million in December. With Snapdeal’s investment, rumors were doing the rounds that PepperTap might eventually merge with the ecommerce marketplace. Those rumors now lay at rest, with the company shutting its grocery business.

Tech titans are busy privatising our data
For several months now, Alphaville, the excellent finance blog of the Financial Times – not your typical bastion of technophobia and capitalism-bashing – has been raising concerns about Silicon Valley’s effect on the rest of the economy. Its writers insist that, for all the highfalutin talk about radical transparency, the data-intensive business model adopted by leading tech firms actually distorts how markets operate, depriving them of essential information needed for the efficient allocation of resources.

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