From the startup world – June 1

Sports startups are crying for attention.

A compilation of important news from the startup World:

Play Your Sport raises funding from ex-Evalueserve COO Ashish Gupta
Sports tech startup Play Your Sport has raised pre-Series A funding from a bunch of investors led by Ashish Gupta, former chief operating officer of Evalueserve.  The funding will be used to ramp up its team, strengthen technology, and expand its footprint across the nation. Hyderabad Angels had made the funding commitment at the ‘Startup Heroes’ event organised by TiE’s Hyderabad chapter. Play Your Sport was among five startups which were selected for funding. The startups had to dilute around 8% stake in exchange. Several startups that bring stadia, coaches and equipment closer to the ordinary citizen have come up in India. Play Your Sport competes with goSporto, Playo, BookMySports, OyePlay, Athletto among others. Meanwhile, former Flipkart executive Ankit Nagori is also gearing up to launch his sports tech startup

IoT Startups In India – Developing The Internet Of Things !
Under Internet of Things technology various devices will be connected with internet that will automatically share data among concerned person. Wearable devices like Smartwatches, fitness band, solar backpack, connected glucometers etc., have begun to create a big buzz. Globally, the growth of wearable devices and IoT applications are being largely driven by innovations in wireless technologies such Wi-Fi, Bluetooth Smart, NFC, and GPS. And, Broadcom, through its solutions, plays around these technologies. Fin is a Bluetooth-enabled ring that could be worn on fingers, converting the whole palm into a numeric keypad or gesture interface to interact with appliances such as TV. The gadget would have three in-built sensors beaming signals into a TV loaded with the software developed by RHL Vision. Gecko developed by Connovate is a multi-function Bluetooth device that can work as a camera trigger and alerts on motion. It can also work as a track-and-find leash for Android device, etc. It currently supports iOS and Android 4.3 devices.

Indian startups can test their technology ideas in true gangnam style
For early startups looking to test out their technology ideas in the South East Asian markets , the first K-Startup Grand Challenge promises an invitation to accelerator programme Gangnam-style and more. “Over the last three to four years we have shifted focus to globalisation and establishing an open ecosystem for the Korean startups. The K-Startup Grand Challenge will see selected startups interacting with accelerators and conglomerates in Seoul, $33,000 for starting a legal entity in Korea and office space at Pangyo, close to the startup hub in Gangnam. The programme will select 80 startups across the US, Latin American, European Union and South East Asia for the first phase based on applications received before June 14. The final shortlist will select 40 companies.

Paris-based NUMA accelerator enters India, invests in 9 startups
After 15 years of existence, the NUMA accelerator opened its operations in Bengaluru last year. In the past five years, the accelerator claims to have successfully accelerated 104 startups globally, witnessing six successful IPOs. Apart from Bengaluru, in the last one year, Paris-based NUMA has opened accelerators in Moscow, Casablanca, Barcelona, and Mexico City. The startups will be offered one-on-one mentor sessions by NUMA’s global network of 1,000 experts and 350 mentors and entrepreneur-in-residence. The six-month programme also lets businesses set their own performance targets, with active checks periodically. This happens right at the start of the incubation. Fullonwedding is an end-to-end wedding planning platform for Indian marriages. Divided into three parts – inspiration, planning tools, and vendor discovery – the platform has 3,200 handpicked vendors. 1Plify is a global admission portal that allows students to directly connect with institutions of their choice around the world. Partnered with institutions in the UK, France, Cyprus, India, Dubai, Vietnam and Philippines, students can now avail courses from these countries.

Why Academic Startups in India Have it Trickier Than Most
On May 9, InnoNano Research (INR), a nanotechnology-based water-purification firm founded by T. Pradeep, a professor in the Department of Chemistry at IIT Madras, announced that they had succeeded in raising $18 million (Rs.120 crore) in venture capital funding and that with the help of the American VC firm, NanoHoldings LLC, they hope to expand the company’s operations to Africa, Southeast Asia and Latin America. This is one of the highest investments that tech startups in India have seen of late, especially in a non-IT field. INR is a materials technology company that produces water filters made of nanomaterials that can capture ions like arsenic, iron and fluorides, and effectively kill microorganisms. The nanomaterials, supported on a matrix of biopolymer called chitosan, are engineered to show selective physical and chemical affinity toward the contaminants. The work on this technology was started around 2004, when the lab had just licensed a nanoparticle-based pesticide removal system to Eureka Forbes. A company was created in 2008; the commercial breakthrough came about by 2013, nearly a decade after the lab’s researchers had set out. The #startuplife was hard for everyone. The startup trend is definitely picking up in academic institutions, where researchers are looking beyond just publishing or licensing technologies to the industry. But technology start-ups need an ecosystem that eases financing, partnering and scaling up.

India’s e-commerce start-ups are setting a dangerous precedent
An entire generation of new businesses in India is being built on a model that defies gravity: India’s hottest new companies are busy losing money by the fistfuls, even as they continue to grow. Flipkart is in its ninth year of existence as is Myntra the company it bought in May 2014 for $330 million. Snapdeal, another of the e-commerce scorchers, is six years old while Quikr and Zomato have both been around for eight years. Housing.com, which has made news for all the wrong reasons, is already four years old and its losses have mounted with every passing year. Profits have become a four letter term as these companies race to grow the gross merchandise value of the goods they sell, while keeping a hawk eye on their valuations. ‘In the process, every aspiring young entrepreneur is learning to focus on eyeballs and customer acquisition, to the total extinction of the bottom line as a business objective. Young men and women with fire in their bellies have two goals – funding and then valuations.

Bengaluru turns battleground for regulators and start-ups
Located in the southern state of Karnataka, Bengaluru is India’s start-up hub, the country’s attempt at recreating the success of the Silicon Valley, the capitalist and technological hub of the world. For nearly two years now, Karnataka has forced Amazon to severely cut back on its operations in the state by banning many third-party sellers from working with the online marketplace. Amazon has instead set up 20 warehouses across the country, including some in neighbouring states that are benefiting from jobs and tax revenues at the expense of Karnataka. Bengaluru is by default the test market for many of India’s start-ups because of its young, tech-savvy population, poor infrastructure and rising disposable incomes, among other reasons.

Meet hardware accelerator Revvx’s first batch of startups
Bangalore-based hardware accelerator Revvx has graduated four startups in the first batch of its accelerator programme. Revvx presented the startups in a demo day last week. The startups in the first batch are building products in sports, clean-tech, video games and consumer segment. Revvx, one of the early hardware accelerators in the country, focuses on helping hardware startups in prototyping, manufacturing and distribution. It typically helps hardware startups to take their engineering sample to prototype, take a prototype-ready company to mass manufacturing and raise investments for distribution. It offers physical touch points for brands, an intelligent software solution whose algorithm can make sense of the random data and produce useful information, to act as customer dashboards.

TRAI floats pre-consultation paper on net neutrality
Telecom regulator Trai on Monday issued pre-consultation paper on net neutrality, a topic that had kicked up dust earlier this year over platforms like Facebook’s Free Basics and Airtel Zero as well as attempts to charge certain Internet services, including calls. There has been a conflict between telecom operators, Internet companies and consumers interest on the issue of net neutrality. While all the three major stakeholders – telecom operators, Internet companies and consumers – favour net neutrality, they define it differently from their standpoint. Trai has partially addressed the issue of net neutrality like differential pricing and, through a separate consultation paper, is in process of exploring model for providing free Internet within framework of net neutrality.

Agnitio Consulting partners with Amadeus to nurture travel startups 
Agnitio Consulting LLP, a leading New Delhi based travel, tourism and hospitality advisory firm, has inked a landmark agreement with Amadeus, the leading provider of technology solutions for the global travel industry. The partnership will see Agnitio Consulting provide services and mentoring to members of the Amadeus Next Asia Pacific startup community. Amadeus established Amadeus Next to support, nurture and help scale budding travel tech start-ups into leading and viable business entities. The community focus means start-ups are connected with corporations, government bodies, partners, and other entities, who are equally as excited and knowledgeable about travel technology, and want to support the APAC travel tech start-up scene. The Amadeus Next community also leverages Amadeus’ own technology, expertise and customer reach. Agnitio Consulting, will share their invaluable expertise and industry connections with start-ups in the Amadeus Next community. This will help startups validate and incubate concepts, ideas and business models.

Tpot, Play Your Sport, Vahanalytics get funding & Hyd Angels commits $2.2m to 12 startups
Delhi-based food-tech startup Tpot and sports tech firm Play Your Sport have raised funding from Ashish Gupta while Vahanalytics has received money through Venture Catalysts. In addition, Hyderabad Angels has committed Rs 15 crore ($2.2 million) to 12 startups. Delhi-based food-tech startup Tpot has raised an undisclosed amount in seed funding from Ashish Gupta, founder & trustee of Ashoka University and co-founder of Evalueserve. The startup which specialises in India’s chai-nashta segment, has 20 outlets across Delhi/NCR region and plans to open 30 more by end of this year. Hyderabad Angels (HA) has committed to invest Rs 15 crore ($2.2 million) in 12 startups in 2015-16, the angel network said on Monday. It will invest in sectors like artificial intelligence, augmented reality & virtual reality, data and analytics, Internet of Things, financial technology, education technology, health technology, logistics technology and enterprise software-as-a-service.

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