A compilation of important news from the startup world:
1. Almost 1,000 startups died in India in the last two years
Here’s the bitter truth about entrepreneurship in India: Over 40% of startups set up in the last two years have already shut shop, claims digital news outlet Quartz India in a report. Since June 2014, some 2,281 Indian startups had begun operations across a range of sectors, including e-commerce, health technology, robotics, logistics, business intelligence and analytics, food technology, and online recruitment. But, according to data analysed by Delhi-based research firm Xeler8, 997 of these have already failed. The main reason, it appears, is a lack of funding. “Ones which got an investment lasted a little longer,” said Rishabh Lawania, Xeler8’s founder. For the rest, the end came swiftly, usually within the first 12 months of launching. The highest number of casualties were in red-hot sectors such as logistics, e-commerce, and food technology, where some of India’s most successful startups operate. Lack of innovation and over-crowding probably led to the closures.
2. Startups to vie for SCL title
Startup Cricket League (SCL) 2016, tailormade for startups to celebrate entrepreneurship and sportsmanship, was announced here on Wednesday. The mega event will be rolled out in four startup hubs of Bangalore, Delhi, Jaipur and Hyderabad, according to The Times of India. The winning teams from the four cities will then battle it out at the grand finale in Hyderabad on September 18 to win the title of national champions. Brand ambassador and actor Akkhil Akkineni launched the event and unveiled the dazzling trophy for this unique event. He also announced prize money of Rs 1 lakh as seed fund for the winning team. The event will brings startups from varying sectors together along with investors, founders, mentors, incubators, accelerators and students. Giants like Flipkart, Freecharge would be participating with other renowned startups like Citrus, OYO Rooms, Perk, GrabOn etc.
3. Kris Gopalakrishnan is right, most startups fail; but India is different: Experts
Infosys co-founder Kris Gopalakrishnan on Monday said only 5-10 percent of start-ups will become large and scale-up and that as much as 70 percent will fail, according to a report in firstpost.com. He said this should not be seen as a challenge and said that this was part of a natural process of evolution. In the present Indian context, where startups ecosystem is witnessing a churn and shakeup due to global and domestic reasons, the statement may be easily interpreted as a bleak comment. But it is not so. The start-up industry has seen traction in India owing to many factors, one of them being technology. Technology has simplified the way business is done. There is no need for conventional retail, or distributors to go-to market. Entrepreneurs can access the market through the internet because everything is now tech-enabled. It has also helped in fostering a ‘can-do’ attitude across classes in the country towards entrepreneurship. Though nascent, there is a vibrant ecosystem which is supportive of entrepreneurship. There are a considerable numbers of failed start-ups in the country. However, there are institutions and others who are willing to give people a second chance.
4. Startups iServe, Applop, Truckola raise funds
Fintech startup iServe, SaaS provider Applop and logistics-tech startup Truckola have raised funding. Fintech startup iServe Financial has raised an undisclosed amount in seed funding from a group of investors including Nilesh Shah, CEO of Kotak Mutual Fund. The Pune-based firm plans to use the funds to improve its online platform’s reach and penetration to take on its rivals. Established in 2014, iServe runs an online and offline customised financial services solutions. iServe claims to have serviced over 5,000 customers and helped them raise over $200 million in mortgage, personal loans and business loans from over 30 leading banks and NBFCs across India. It has offline presence with over 25 offices across India and over 250 associates.
5. StartUp India:16 entities incorporated,tax sops rejected for 2
Only 16 applicants have been incorporated under the Start Up India programme after April 1 this year making them eligible for tax sops out of which two have already been disallowed, Parliament was informed on Thursday. A total of 728 applications have been received till July 18, 2016 for Start Up recognition, Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha. The minister further said: “Only 16 applicants are incorporated after April 1, 2016 and are thus eligible for consideration for tax benefits as per the Finance Act 2016.” The applications for tax benefits are examined by the inter-ministerial board. Out of the 16, three applications were considered in the second meeting of the inter-ministerial board during which one has been recommended for tax benefits and other two have been disallowed, according to a report in The Economic Times.
6. IDGVI is gearing up to collaborate with Software Innovators of India
If there is one key element that’s enabling the home-grown entrepreneurial ecosystem to grow into a powerful socio-economic driver, it is the power of collaboration. From networking to funding, and connecting with the right mentor, collaboration is making magic happen. This is because collaboration transforms an idea into a shared dream. IDG Ventures India’s Software Innovators’ 2016 programme is witnessing some incredibly exciting collaborations aimed at helping startups grow bigger, according to www.yourstory.com. A glance at the applications pouring into the programme reveals that the startup ideas of today are becoming bigger, bolder and more confident, and partnerships with industry-leading organisations can help them propel further. IDGVI has brought on board iSPIRT and NASSCOM 10,000 Startups as partners for the programme.
7. NY’s EquityZen lists India, Singapore as key markets for pre-IPO trading platform
EquityZen Inc, a New York-based firm operating a trading platform for pre-initial public offering (IPO) startups is gearing up for an Asia expansion, pinpointing India and Singapore as priority markets. In 2015, EquityZen focussed on growing a solid footprint in its domestic market, the US. This year, on top of continuing its growth in the US, founder and chief executive officer Atish Davda said, the company is also ready to establish a presence in select international markets, mainly in Asia. “Asia is a big focus for EquityZen in 2016, and will remain so in 2017. India and China already comprise two of the 15 countries from which investors have been able to access previously inaccessible investment opportunities via EquityZen’s platform,” he told DEALSTREETASIA.
8. A former Facebook chef is creating thousands of meals a day for Silicon Valley startups
Everyday in the suburbs south of San Francisco, scores of pizza boxes, burritos, and grilled cheese sandwiches find their way to startups, hacker hostels, and companies like Google and Facebook. The general idea is this: if companies bring lunch to their employees, they can keep them working at their desks even longer. Free lunch is considered a major perk of working at a startup, but often these meals come from restaurants that are fast, convenient, and not-so-good-for-you. Farm Hill believes it can do free lunch better. The on-demand food delivery startup based out of Redwood City, California, serves thousands of mostly Paleo meals that contain no added sugar, refined grains, cheese, or processed ingredients daily across the greater Bay Area. A former chef at Facebook, Thea Vengrin, helms the culinary team that dreams up and prepares dishes daily in Farm Hill’s Redwood City kitchen. As part of the company’s “eat the rainbow” philosophy, each dish must contain three different colors.