From the Startup World – April 20

Running a startup is as tough as fighting a boxing match.


 A compilation of important news from the startup world:






Startups enter boxing ring to capitalise their talent
Startups enter a new genre of competition by going against each other in a one-on-one pitch battle inside a boxing ring as a part of the Indian chapter of a global startup competition, ‘Get in the Ring’ hosted by National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM). After sweating it out in an enthralling performance in the ring, Nukkadshops has qualified to represent India at the Finals of the Get In the Ring; a unique startup pitching model mimicking a boxing match which assesses the potential of a startup in quick five 30-second back to back duels between two competitors standing in a ring….

Indian startups mull massive layoffs after pressure from investors
Indian startups bracing for another year of drastic belt-tightening are expected to give the axe to hundreds more employees this year, bowing to pressure from investors to trim flab and restructure operations.Several of the job cuts are expected to be a result of the rapid automation being introduced at leading startups to handle routine tasks, as well as because of a spate of mergers and acquisitions among emerging businesses anticipated this year, according to industry analysts tracking the developments….

Why shared workspaces aren’t just for startups
For many years, shared workplaces have been the go-to option for individuals seeking an affordable place to work but looking for an alternative to working from home or sitting in a coffee shop. Now, as lease prices continue to rise and economies across the globe become less predictable, more and more large corporations are considering the non-traditional office setup for their own businesses…..

Reliance Entertainment aims to invest in 20 gaming start-ups this fiscal
A spike in demand for mobile gaming in India is pushing Reliance Entertainment to re-focus on the Indian market, after exiting it three years ago. It now aims to become India’s largest gaming company through investment in at least 20 start-ups this year, coupled with aggressive in-house development. To give itself a headstart, Reliance is now eyeing innovative Indian gaming start-ups, which could help the company build India-focused games….

Sanjeev Bajaj eyes fintech startups, Zurich Airport stake sale
Bajaj Finserv’s vice-chairman Sanjeev Bajaj may invest in fintech startups in India and Silicon Valley, according to an Economic Times report. “I spent sometime in Silicon Valley recently and met some of the startups, half of which were run by Indians, as well as companies like Amazon and Microsoft,” said Bajaj. They can buy a strategic stake also in the startups…..

Interior design startup Houssup raises seed funding
Jaipur-based interior design and home furnishing portal Houssup has raised an undisclosed amount in seed funding from Mitin Patel, managing director of Prima Automation, and Gaurav Agarwal. The startup will utilise the capital raised to scale its operations and enhance its technology infrastructure, Raghav Mundra, co-founder and chief marketing officer of Houssup said…..

E-commerce firms fail to meet their grand goals
Indian unicorns, or start-ups valued at $1 billion or more, are almost all struggling to justify their lofty valuations. But it’s not just valuations that were in la la land. Last year, spurred on by investors eager to justify their risky bets, e-commerce companies set ambitions that were out of touch with reality, like hopeless New Year’s resolutions…..

Oracle to expand training programme, plans additional 1400 institutions
With the objective of catalyzing India’s nascent startup ecosystem and provide a fillip to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Startup India and Skill India initiatives, Oracle says it plans to open 1400 institutions under the ‘Oracle Academy’ programme to train 500,000 students annually….

India is the hottest startup spot in the world: Anand Mahindra
India’s current domestic startup ecosystem is “extremely robust” and though it trails the US and Israel at present, India will soon become the “hottest startup spot in the world”. According to Mahindra Group chairman, Anand Mahindra, large corporations, and not necessarily prestigious tech schools like the IITs or MIT, are the new startup garages as big businesses race to stay relevant.“You are only going to see more action. Whether it is about unicorns or cockroaches, you are going to see plenty of action.”….




Visa, AIBIM lures regional fintech startups for Islamic finance innovations
Visa and the Association of Islamic Banking Institutions Malaysia (AIBIM) have partnered to launch the Asean Fintech Challenge in conjunction with the Global Islamic Finance Forum 2016 (GIFF) next month in Kuala Lumpur. The challenge will be organised by Nxt Bnk KL, to bring the best and most innovative fintech startups from the region to compete in the capital city, with teams having the opportunity to present their ideas to over 500 GIFF delegates from all over the world…..

Tech Startups Are So Sexist They’re Losing Women Who Don’t Even Work There Yet
With 200,000 new tech jobs formed in 2016, there are now 6.7 million technology professionals in the United States, but not many of them are women. Since it has already been established that women are better at computer programming than men, the fact that we are notoriously underrepresented in the tech world doesn’t make much sense….

Avant recruits tech teams from startups StudyCloud and TempoIQ
Online lending platform Avant announced today it has recruited the key technical teams of two local technology startups, StudyCloud and TempoIQ, to support the company’s next phase of growth. Avant recently surpassed $3 billion in loan originations and as growth continues for 2016, acqui-hires have become a strategic recruitment tool for locating specialized talent with skills such as data science and data engineering to scale Avant’s technology team…..

I worked at a tech startup for a year. I didn’t get rich, but I loved it anyway
Earlier in April, journalist and comedy writer Dan Lyons released “Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble” — his long-awaited memoir of a year spent working for marketing startup HubSpot. The short version is that Lyons found his year-ish working at a Silicon Valley startup to be a weird, cult-like experience where he never got as rich as he hoped. In an excerpt of the book that ran on Fortune, Lyons called it “startup hell.”….

This CEO went on a wild ride from almost bankrupt to billion-dollar IPO to going private again
It’s not exactly a unicorn-gets-killed story, but it’s pretty close, and another chapter in the long-and-wild ride that is its founding CEO, Reggie Aggarwal’s career. On Monday, Cvent’s management announced that Vista Equity Partners bought the company for $32/share or $1.65 billion. That’s an almost 70% premium over the share price on April 15, and over the past 30 trading days…..

How One Berkeley Alum Wants to Boost His Alma Mater’s Startups
In line with the fund’s theme and Jeremy Fiance’s belief that the university needs pull its successful alumni back into actively contributing, most of its limited partners are alumni of UC Berkeley. They include early Uber investor and Sherpa Ventures managing partner Shervin Pishevar, Redpoint Ventures managing partner Jeff Brody, True Ventures founder John Burke, Cota Capital founder Bobby Yazdani, and former Venrock general partner Terry Garnett…..

Canadian clean-tech sector stalls as competitors take off
Revenue growth in Canada’s clean-tech industries stalled in 2014 despite a strong performance among international competitors, as the deep oil-industry slump also hurt many small companies that offer technologies to clean up the traditional resource sector. Combined revenue for 774 technology companies fell to $11.6-billion in 2014, down from $11.7-billion the previous year, even as the global market for clean-tech goods grew at a rapid clip….

China’s tech fever attracts US online education giant
Silicon Valley-based online education provider Udacity announced its entry into China on Monday, hoping to tap into the rising demands for talent among the country’s tech companies.Udacity, which features training courses designed by tech giants like Google and Facebook, launched its Chinese-language website to make all of its 132 courses available to Chinese learners….

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