From the Startup World – May 11

Focus is shifting towards tech startups.

A compilation of important news from the startup world:




Tight government regulation, paucity of innovation limiting crowdfunding of startups in India
Crowdfunding is globally a $16-billion industry and as per estimates, in 2016 with a total investment volume of $34 billion, it is likely to overtake the amount of equity funding from venture capitalists to startups which is $30 billion. Even as equity crowdfunding is one of the fastest growing models of crowdfunding globally with a total volume of $2.5 billion, it is yet to take off in India where regulations are still waiting to open up.

Intense Beijing Shows A Nervous Edge, India Startups Feel Strain Too
People’s nerves are on edge, traffic is more congested than ever, the pollution is still there. Yet the perennial excitement remains – if you don’t hurry up, you will miss out on the biggest tech boom around. Even so, the undercurrents show some troubling signs. India, too, has felt the growing pains, after being touted as the next China. Now an influx of billions of investment has led to hyper-funding of startups: too much money, too soon, and the shutdown of as many as 13 startups in 2015. Investor pressure, heavy discounts, and difficulty recruiting talent for non-traditional roles also are to blame.

TinyOwl may merge with Roadrunnr
Online food ordering platform TinyOwl is likely to merge with hyperlocal on-demand logistics startup Roadrunnr in an all-stock deal, in a sign that consolidation is picking up in the consumer internet space at a time when access to fresh funding has become increasingly difficult for startups that fail to show profitability. The Economic Times, which first reported the development, said the merger will result in the creation of a new consumer-facing product called ‘Runnr’, which will enable the combined entity to take on food delivery platforms such as Swiggy and Zomato Order. The new platform is likely to be first launched in Mumbai within three weeks.

Indian startups get support from growing facilities
Facilities for startups are growing in India, not only providing them with offices for low rents but also serving as incubators that introduce them to corporate managers and investors. Large companies such as Microsoft, as well as the Indian government, are also stepping up support for promising ventures.

Jaarvis Accelerator Nurturing Indian Start-up Ecosystem
With booming market scenario for start-ups in India, many accelerators have started exploring the industry and Jaarvis Accelerator is one of the pioneers to identify the market. Hong Kong-based technology company, Jaarvis, with businesses in Singapore, Australia and India, decided to launch an India-specific accelerator in mid of 2015. Jaarvis Accelerator has designed an extensive four-month residential accelerator program during which start-ups will be parented by an experienced team and a panel of advisors/mentors.

Oxigen founder, IIT-Roorkee set up a startup accelerator
Founder of mobile wallets platform Oxigen wallet Pramod Saxena on Monday launched Aarambh Ventures, a startup accelerator in partnership with IIT Roorkee. Signing an MoU for an equal partnership with the institute, Saxena has brought on to the platform early stage funds such as Unitus Seed Fund, IvyCamp funds etc, and high net worth individuals who would be funding the startups accelerated in Aarambh.

UrbanClap hires executive Amit Das
Technologies India Pvt Ltd, which runs a mobile-only marketplace to find local service professionals under the UrbanClap brand, has appointed former vice president Amit Das as its vice president of design. Das was also one of the co-founders of the e-governance startup Intelligent Interfaces launched by former Housing CEO Rahul Yadav. In his new role, Das will be responsible for leading the product development and design function at UrbanClap.

Toko Innovations Studios raises angel funding
Bangalore-based Toko Innovations Studios Pvt. Ltd, which runs a children’s entertainment portal called Imaginry, has raised Rs 3 crore (around $450,000) in angel funding led by Roopak Saluja, founder and CEO of The 120 Media Collective, and Vishal Khare on behalf of Indian Angel Network (IAN). Rajasthan Angel Investor Network (RAIN) also participated in the angel funding round. The funding will be used for product development, user growth and content partnerships.

India continues to dominate global outsourcing industry
Cashing in on growth in an innovative and vibrant startup ecosystem and an economic revival, India continued its dominance in the global outsourcing market in 2015. According to National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom), the voice of the Indian IT industry, the sector also continues to be one of the largest employers in the country directly employing nearly 3.5 million professionals, adding over 230,000 employees during the year. The global outsourcing industry recorded a growth of about 8.5 percent during last year, Nasscom said.

Technology evolution or revolution
The business world is after disruptive business innovations. While there is debate as to the definition of disruptive innovations (see HBR article), the definition is not so relevant in practice. The more relevant question is whether a new innovation opens opportunities for new companies and is a fatal threat to old business. We can also phrase the question as; is an innovation an evolution or a revolution? Startups typically have a dream of a change that is a revolution, and incumbents want it to be only an evolution. How about Apple, Google and Tesla, have they started a revolution?

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