From the Startup World – April 23

We need to get out of the herd mentality for innovation to prosper in India

 

A compilation of important news from the startup world:

 

TOP NEWS

 

INDIA ROUND-UP

 

SIDBI sanctions Rs 1,000 crore to start up funds
The Small Industries Development Bank of India has sanctioned Rs 1,000 crore to 30 venture funds through the government-financed India Aspiration Fund, which seeks to support startups in their early stages. The amount was sanctioned by the SIDBI executive committee from the Rs 1,416 crore approved by its independent advisory venture capital investment committee…..

Number of mobile gaming startups grow exponentially
India ranks low in mobile gaming today, but a lot of startups are beginning to sprout in the space. From around 40 startups in 2012, there are around 200 startups now. With increased smartphone penetration, the game apps that generated around $200 million in 2015, is expected to gross $3 billion by 2020. The gaming startups raised $31 million in funding last year, up from the $3 million in 2013, according to startup analyses platform Tracxn. Most of these startups have around 10-20 member teams. The country is expected to be the world’s second largest gaming market in three years in downloads…..

Over 4,300 technology start-ups in India: Pranab Mukherjee
The President said India has one of fastest growing services sectors in the world with annual growth rate of above 9% since 2001.The contribution of Services Sector of India to overall GDP has increased sharply, from 41% in 1990–91 to 66% in 2014–15. The President said there exists a positive correlation between the extent of liberalization and growth in different service subsectors in India…..

Enter Punit Soni, an angel for Indian startups
Former Google executive Punit Soni, who is moving back to Silicon Valley after a one-year stint with Flipkart in Bangalore as chief product officer, plans to stay connected to the Indian startup ecosystem by being an active seed investor. He said he will advise and mentor at least four early-stage tech companies while he may invest in a much larger number of startups…..

RCEP talks could affect startups by allowing patenting of computer software
The ongoing Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), a mega trade agreement being negotiated between 16 countries including India, could have an adverse impact on the startup and technology services industries, if a clause on software patents is allowed to pass.Several startups and civil society members fought hard over the last year to prevent the allowing of software patents in India after the Indian Patent Office in August interpreted the law to mean that if a software had industrial applications, it could be granted a patent.

India needs more technology startups, says IIT-Delhi director
More technology-based startups are needed in India to create inventions to help enhance the quality of life of the people, V. Ramgopal Rao, director of the premier IIT-Delhi says. ”One thing which needs to happen in the country is more technology start ups. There are a lot of start up companies in India but many of them are e-commerce based,” Rao told IANS as the institute prepares to host on April 23 its 12th Open House that gives an insight into the massive research work happening on the campus….

“Overpaid and underperforming”: An anonymous investors’ letter lashes out at Nikesh Arora, hero of Indian startups
A group of investors in Japan’s SoftBank Group are seeking an investigation of the group’s India-born president, Nikesh Arora. In an 11-page letter, investors voiced concerns over conflict of interest, poor performance of investments, and Arora’s high compensation. According to Bloomberg, Arora was the world’s third-highest-paid executive last year….

 

GLOBAL ROUND-UP

 

Southeast Asia’s most popular music streaming services
However, in Southeast Asia, there is still a lot of space for music streaming services to grow. Recently, the concept finally got off to a proper start as some of the services already popular in the west made their way to Southeast Asia. Deezer, founded in France and currently available in more than 180 countries, expanded to the region in August 2012…..

Why start up in Singapore? French CEO of travel website explains
Travel website eOasia is run by an international team hailing from countries like France, Poland and Indonesia. But when its CEO, Frenchman Guillaume Picard, wanted to find a base for the start-up, which targets the South-east Asian market, he decided Singapore was the best bet. Singapore’s strategic location, good infrastructure and the ease of getting administrative tasks done tipS the balance in its favour….

Go-Jek’s Nadiem Makarim tries wooing drivers from Uber and Grab
The battle of transportation startups in Indonesia is coming to a head, and it could get nasty. There are now three major competitors wanting to be king of the streets in every category. There’s local startup Go-Jek, Grab from Malaysia, and Uber from the US, all with similar services….

Uber rolls out facial recognition in China
There’s an uncomfortable amount of fraud in the ride-hailing app industry. Drivers have been caught doing everything from spoofing their locations to faking rides to cash in on subsidies. Apps like Uber, China’s Didi Kuaidi, and India’s Ola have rolled out a suite of security features to crack down on fraud and get a handle on who the hell is driving those cars. The latest comes from Uber, which has unveiled a sophisticated new facial recognition feature to make sure drivers are who they say they are. And it will be first launched in China….

Meucci gets funding for Skype challenger that even works on 2G
Meucci, an app that provides free group calling even over 2G networks, has raised US$6 million in seed funding. The startup, based in Israel’s tech hub, Tel Aviv, wants to bring the same simple experience that users enjoy on apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger to the process of group calling. Factors such as call reliability and the speed of the networks have kept group calls from becoming popular….

Southampton catalyst on hunt for “inspirational” tech start-ups
UK business incubator Catalyst is calling for scientific or technology-led early-stage start-ups to apply for its 2016 programme. Created by the University of Southampton Science Park, this is the fifth year for Catalyst which offers six months of free business coaching, seminars, residency at its Catalyst Centre and an equity-free £1,000 cash injection….

Make Apps Great Again: Tech Firms Use Donald Trump to Market Their Products
Purpose, a progressive startup focused on helping social movements, has created a website that promises to work out how much Trump will like you based on eight questions. FreeTrumpScore.com promises to help users “understand your risks and opportunities under a President Trump,” “compare your Free Trump Score with friends and celebrities” and “avoid unexpected deportation.” Questions cover ethnic background, sexual orientation, and the size of the user’s hands….

 

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