From the startup world – July 7


A compilation of important news from the startup world:

We are committed to Make in India, nurturing start-ups: Cisco honcho
US-based global technology company Cisco, that arrived in India in 1995 and has created thousands of jobs since then, says it is committed to the Make-in-India programme and will continue to be generous in nurturing start-ups.
Reiterating Cisco’s commitment to align with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious Digital India and Smart Cities initiatives in a free-wheeling interview to IANS, Amit Phadnis, President, Engineering and India Site Leader, said the time is ripe to begin a manufacturing unit in the country. “We are very committed to make the manufacturing happen here. The commitment is very firm. Our teams are working towards realising this goal. We have also identified the place but there is still some time to go public on this,” a cheerful Phadnis told IANS at Cisco’s sprawling campus located at Cessna Business Park here. With 11,000 people working in India, the $143 billion company is reported to set up a manufacturing base in Pune — a city where it recently opened its second Global Delivery Center, the other being operational in Bengaluru. However, the specific details are yet to emerge. Phadnis, who last week initiated ‘LaunchPad’, an open innovation initiative to help startups, authorised channel partners and developers scale their solutions, address new markets and build digital businesses in India, is confident that the initiative will first digitally empower the few millions in our country before digitising the next three billion globally.

InnoVen Capital India loaned $12 million to eight start-ups in Q1
InnoVen Capital India, a venture debt firm backed by Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund Temasek Holdings Pvt. Ltd, has loaned around $12 million to eight start-ups in the June quarter, said a senior company executive, signalling that venture debt is becoming popular with start-ups looking to meet their working capital requirements. Between March and June this year, InnoVen loaned money to logistics firm Xpressbees (Busybees Logistics Solutions Pvt. Ltd), home services company Housejoy (Sarvaloka Services On Call Pvt. Ltd), mobile payment app Chillr (Backwater Technologies Pvt. Ltd), education technology start-up Simplilearn Solutions Pvt. Ltd, hotel aggregator Stayzilla (Inasra Technologies Pvt. Ltd), public transport information provider Ridlr (Birds Eye Systems Pvt. Ltd), data analytics firm Manthan Software Services Pvt. Ltd, and Koye Pharmaceuticals Pvt. Ltd, which manufactures and sells healthcare products. In April 2015, Temasek Holdings acquired the Mumbai-headquartered SVB India Finance for an estimated Rs.300 crore, and renamed it InnoVen Capital.

Indian hardware startups must look at local investment than foreign funding: China’s HAX
HAX, China’s largest accelerator for hardware startups says that Indian hardware firms must replicate the Chinese model of attracting funds from local investors than depend on foreign funding to build their business. HAX, backed by venture firm SOSV ,has invested in over 130 hardware startups in China and the US. SOSV has $250 million corpus that it invests in startups. In China, hardware startups got funding from Chinese investors as foreign investors were sceptical due to lack of understanding of the market and the ecosystem. The trust and funding from local investors helped Chinese hardware startups build products that are global in scale. He expects India to undergo similar learnings as building hardware products is a challenging task considering the infrastructure deficit in the country. HAX has two accelerators one in Silicon Valley and one in Shenzhen. The company feels that India does not offer it a market like US nor the ecosystem like Shenzhen to produce hardware products and hence would not want to start an accelerator here. It instead is looking at using the country as a testing ground for connected services either in a particular industry or in a particular area, he said.

China’s Hax Accelerator to invest in Indian startups
China-based Hax Accelerator, a startup accelerator dedicated to hardware ventures, is looking to invest in India. Launching a global report on the hardware space , Benjamin Joffe, general partner at Hax Accelerator, said the platform is planning to invest around $100,000 each in Indian startups in the hardware space that it identifies.

10 Indian startups with women founders
Women have been equally involved in the Indian startup industry, having founded/co-founded some of the prominent ventures. Here’s a list of 10 startups with women entrepreneurs behind them.
Check out 10 different women founders that have made India proud.

What Pakistani startups can learn from India
Let’s begin with hard facts. There are reasons, simple reasons why the Indian tech industry, as of now, is far ahead of the Pakistani tech industry. The number and quality of education in engineering institutes in both the countries differ immensely. In India, the state of Andhra Pradesh alone has more than 700 engineering colleges. Pakistan, on the other hand, has 178 higher education institutions that have the ability to award degrees. The number of tech and engineering institutes in Pakistan is certainly a handful — some being relatively new.  According to experts, government policies are imperative for an environment to allow for economic and entrepreneurial growth. In 2014, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit, Pakistan was ranked 74 out of the 84 countries in being the most business friendly. In comparison, India has been ranked among the three most attractive destinations for inbound investments. Internet connectivity is the basis for a healthy tech industry. Pakistan, with an estimated population of over 180 million individuals, has almost 20 million broadband users. The ministry is now developing a comprehensive strategy for governing the Internet here. The problem with Pakistani startups is that a lot of the companies that exist, outsource and don’t develop product locally. The question that Pakistani startups need to ask themselves: “Is the product perfect for the market or is it needed by the market?”

Govt To Incentivize Software Startups In India
In a bid to encourage new startups in the country, the government has taken an initiative to offer fiscal incentives to software start-ups. The aim behind the move is to bring in and sustain 10,000 new start-ups, which are expected to create 3.5 million jobs, directly or indirectly. According to the report published in an online portal,, the government has finalized a ‘National Policy on Software Products-2016’ to promote talent in the international market. Besides, the government aims to contribute a bigger share of software products from India to the global market. The global software products industry is estimated to be around $411 Billion; expected to reach around $1 Tn by 2025. According to estimates, Indian software product industry index grew by 26.6 percent annually in 2015 and 80 percent of this growth came from companies focused on global markets. In a meeting with senior Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) officials in June, Communications and IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had said that the aim is to create a conducive environment for creation of 10,000 technology startups, to develop software products that are globally competitive, and thereby generating direct and indirect employment for 3.5 Mn (35 lakh) by 2025. The policy, which is to be announced shortly, plans to offer incentives to startups which create revenues of over INR 25 Cr and directly employ 25 people. The ministry also aimed at encouraging research and development (R&D), disruptive innovations and cutting edge technologies.

Publicis Groupe to back 90 startups, 3% from India
Publicise Groupe recently launched Publicis90, an initiative to provide funding and mentoring for 90 innovative startups. 3, 500 applicants from 130 countries responded to their call for entries in January 2016. The application had to undergo a process of rigorous selections that was anonymous after which 90 projects were finalized. Among the 90 projects selected, 23% of all projects coming from the USA, 18% from France and 14% from the United Kingdom, followed by Germany (7%), Israel (6%) and India (3%). Approximately 16% of these projects are from emerging countries. Among the applications, 25 were selected by entrepreneurs from within Publicis Groupe, while the remaining 65 projects were submitted by existing startups. Sectors that saw representation were marketing and communications, healthcare, fintech, retailing, block chains, virtual reality, Big Data, and the Internet of Things. According to FinSMEs, the top three startups that have been selected were Israeli based Emerald Medical Applications, that specializes in dermatology that uses image recognition technology, Recast.Ai a French collaborative platform allowing developers to create a bot and implement it on any messaging service, and Wiseye, an Israeli startup specialized in retail and the Internet of Things providing retail and store chains with a customer behavior platform that draws in data from various sources like point-of-sales, wireless devices and other available inputs.

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