A compilation of important news from the startup world:
What’s not so cool about India’s start-ups
In a country where one of the highest rated non-fiction TV programmes in 2015 was a comedy show that faithfully generated laughter on misogynistic themes and objectification of women, it is no surprise that even in the urban-cool landscape of India’s start-ups, women themselves remain confused about what they should deem offensive. A quick look at some statistics proves the point. In 2015, Your Story, a platform for stories related to start-ups and entrepreneurs, in partnership with Mattermark, a start-up that mines and crunches public Internet data, released a list of India’s top 100 start-ups based on growth, revenue and funding. Not a single woman figured as a founder in the top 10 start-ups. In the next 10, one woman’s name makes an appearance at the 18th position. There are a total of 208 male co-founders in the top 100 start-ups—and 16 female co-founders. According to another finding released by Yourstory, only 68 of 307 start-ups that raised funding in the first quarter of 2016 had a female co-founder. Of these, only nine had a sole female founder. At software industry body Nasscom’s India Leadership Forum 2016, an all-women panel was assembled to discuss “Closing Technology’s Gender Gap”. Of the six women on the panel, not one represented female leaders in the Indian tech industry. Four of them were not even Indian.
Hopes for startups waning as unicorn race slows down in pace
Named the Year of the Unicorn by several market players, 2015 was largely considered to be one of the most fruitful years in the history of the global start-up industry. So successful was the year that nearly half of 163 unicorns currently operational in the international start-up arena achieved the distinction of reaching $1 billion valuation during this period. But, as the year drew to a close, whispers started emerging from several quarters that 2016 would turn out to be rough for the Unicorn Club. The market trends, too, supported this point of view – funding into unicorns saw a sharp decline, going down from $17 billion in Q3 2015 to $5.4 billion in Q4 2015, whereas the number of new Unicorn entrants also decreased from 25 in Q2 to 13 in Q4. Simply put, future investments, valuations and growth for Unicorn start-ups in 2016 were not expected to be as favourable as they were in the preceding year. Things, however, have not gone as per the script so far, as can most aptly be demonstrated by the investor confidence in Unicorn ventures. The first quarter of 2016 has seen 35 Unicorns raise a combined total of $12.6 billion in 36 funding events. This solidity for Unicorn ventures is great news for Indian start-ups aspiring to join the big-league by attaining the coveted $1 billion valuation.
Government trying to bring in startups for open bidding of small oil and gas fields
Union minister of petroleum and natural gas, Dharmendra Pradhan said that in the open bidding of small and marginal oil and gas fields which will start next month, government is trying to bring in start-ups to join the process. Pradhan, who was in GUWAHATI on Saturday, told et that government is working on if the net worth clause for start-ups may be reworked and instead bank guarantee can be taken for the start-ups. ‘Already we have done away with experience clause for the Discovered small fields bid round.” The minister said that bidding will take place for 67 oilfields, out of which 12 are in Northeast India. In these fields there is resources worth Rs 70,000 Crore. “We have simplified the bidding process so that start-ups with new technology can come in. It was start-ups will propelled the growth of Shale gas sector in US.” Pradhan added, “Local entrepreneurs can participate in a big way and make use of IIT Guwahati. According to the ministry Assam contributes 10 per cent of total crude oil and natural gas. Only 44 per cent of the resources has been tapped leaving an opportunity to establish and develop the remaining 56 per cent resource base.
Holland mulls over engaging with Indian startup ecosystem
The growing ecommerce business in India has certainly attracted the eyeballs of countries abroad seeking investments from these firms in their respective countries. The latest to join the bandwagon is Holland, which is in talks with Indian startups to invest in the country. We are watching the ecommerce sector in India very closely and building relationships with the companies. If at all these companies think about investing abroad, Holland should be among the top priority destinations for them,” Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA) executive director Stans Kleijnen told Deccan Herald.We are eyeing a 10-20% increase in investments from India this year and are hoping that most of these investments would be in the small and medium enterprises, Kleijnen added.Indian companies have invested 250 million euros in Holland and created 3,000 jobs in 2015. About 50% of the GDP of Holland comes from international companies. As many as 180 Indian companies are present in Holland and some of them which have invested or have presence in Holland include Tata Consultancy Services, Tata Steel, UPL, Apollo Tyres, Infosys and Wipro.