Category — Information Technology

India’s Healthcare Info Company Lybrate Gets $10 Million Funding

 Eighteen-month-old Lybrate, based in New Delhi, which aims to increase access to doctors and quality healthcare information, received $10.2 million in funding from Tiger Global, Tata Sons’ President Emeritus Ratan Tata and existing backer Nexus Ventures.

The Opportunity: People in metro areas put off visiting doctors for lack of time, traffic congestion, and just the hassle. Whereas people in rural areas, where fewer doctors are available, preferred to get medicines prescribed by local pharmacists.

The CEO: Saurabh Arora left the U.S. and his job as a data scientist in Facebook and returned to India to start the business when, on a visit home, he realized the need for a web-based platform along with apps for Android and iOS that could connect doctors to patients and break down the barriers surrounding healthcare in India.

The Product: Users can search doctors and surgeries, make and manage appointments, and save their medical records. Patients can consult more than one doctor for opinions – they are only charged when they choose to enter into a one-on-one dialogue with a doctor. In that event, the app handles the communication, allowing them to share photos, videos and chat via text with the physician. Patients are charged a variable fee set by the doctor, and an additional ‘internet handling fee’ — typically a further 5 to 15 percent — which goes to Lybrate, reports Tech Crunch. Additionally, Lybrate’s mobile apps carry Facebook-like feeds which provide daily health tips and advice to users based on their own needs or situations, such as pregnant women or seniors.

“Lybrate’s concept is ground breaking. We believe it has the potential to revolutionize healthcare delivery in India and script the future of the healthcare industry with its model,” said Lee Fixel, the Tiger Global partner who has overseen the firm’s major investments in India.

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July 9, 2015   No Comments

Startup BankBazaar Scores a $60 million Series C Led by Amazon

Virtual financial marketplace, BankBazaar, raised a $60 million Series C led by Amazon, with participation from Fidelity Growth Partners, Mousse Partners, and returning investors Sequoia Capital and Walden International reports Tech Crunch. With this investment, Amazon enters the online personal finance market.

Located in Chennai in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, BankBazaar is the world’s first non-banking online financial lending services company that helps bankers meet prospective borrowers. It partners with 23 financial institutions and it aggregates information about online loans, credit cards, and fixed deposits, and gives instant customized rate quotes on loans and insurance products which users can research and then apply for. The company says it attracts four million visitors each month to its Website, and that online applications for personal, home, and auto loans are growing by 90 percent, compared to just 15 percent growth offline.

Amazon India vice president and country manager Amit Agarwal said, “BankBazaar is a unique and compelling service that aligns with Amazon’s mission in India—to transform the way India buys and how India sells.”

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July 9, 2015   No Comments

India’s Stock Market Regulator Announces Relaxed Listing Norms

With the aim of boosting India’s startup ecosystem, the Securities and Exchange Board of India, the  body that regulates Indian stock markets, has relaxed listing and fund raising norms for the startups.

According to India’s IT industry trade body Nasscom’s key findings of the India Start-up Report 2014, there are:

  • ~3100 startups present in India, 3rd largest base in the world. The India Expert assume that Nasscom refers to professionally funded startups, i.e. those which receive angel or venture funding.
  • 800+ startups are being set up annually
  • By 2020 there will be ~11,500 startups employing over 250,000 people
  • ~300 VC/ PE & ~225 angel investment deals worth over $ 2 billion
  • over 20 M&A’s worth ~ $1 billion inthe last 3 years

Despite the optimism of India’s technology startup scene, only 13% of stock market valuation in India is from the technology sector as compared to over 40% in the United States, according to software product thinktank, iSPIRT.

The changes envisaged by the Securities and Exchange Board of India include:

  • the creation of a separate institutional trading platform which will be linked to India’s  two existing stock exchanges
  • shorter lock-in periods for initial investors
  • simplified disclosure norms
  • reviesed IPO pricing rules
  • a minimum investment of just  $16,000 by retail investors.

“We are happy with the outcome” said Sharad Sharma, chairman of iSPIRT. These changes are expected to come into effect by the end of this year, reports Forbes.

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July 3, 2015   No Comments

India’s Software and Hardware Representative Bodies Partner to Support the ‘Digital India’ Initiative

The partnership between the National Association of Software and Services Companies and the India Electronics and Semiconductor Association is aimed at making India a leading player in the IT and the Electronic System Design and Manufacturing industry over the next decade. With electronics, computing and communication paradigms shifting to the new Internet of Things, hardware, software and services have converged.

The Times of India reports that the $120-billion IT industry is a global leader in building and delivering software and IT services and contributes 9 percent to the country’s GDP, while the electronic system design manufacturing market is projected to grow to $94 billion this year from $76 billion in 2013. Since technology innovation requires electronics, computing and communications to converge and deliver a holistic solution to meet the industry demand, this partnership will drive the Vision 2025 initiative to enable hardware and software to jointly contribute 25 percent to the GDP.

“The partnership will enable us to draw a common agenda to guide the industry and the government, frame policies and build an ecosystem for developing Electronic System Design and Manufacturing (hardware) and IT (software) products, solutions and brands,” said the chairman of  India Electronics and Semiconductor Association, Vinay Shenoy.

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June 18, 2015   No Comments

Alstom to Double its Business in India

Feeling positive about the government’s Make in India initiative, French engineering and transport company Alstom  of France will double its business in the country to almost $1billion  in the next three years.

“We love doing business in India. We are finding good business environment in India. We are looking at doubling the order book in the next three to four years,” Alstom (Transport) President Henri Poupart-Lafarge told  The Economic Times. Alstom will bid for projects in the urban transport sector which is expected to witness rapid growth and it will hire  about 250 engineers every year for the next  four years depending on the growth in business, he added.

The company is expanding its manufacturing facility in Chennai and opening a new factory for building traction systems in Coimbatore this year – both these cities are located in the south eastern state of Tamil Nadu. It says it will also  supply the German market from India.

Alstom notes that India is the only country where it has a complete supply chain from design to manufacturing sourced locally, and that it expects growth from the dedicated freight corridor, the largest railway infrastructure project currently in the country creating a freight quadrilateral across India.

In India, the company runs the Train Information Systems for the Delhi, Bangalore, Jaipur and Kochi local train systems, and it has provided the initial coaches and the technology for the LHB (lightweight all-metal) coaches used on the country’s high speed Rajdhani and Shatabdi trains.

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June 18, 2015   No Comments