Category — Information Technology

4 Indian Startups in Billion Dollar Club

The Wall Street Journal’s and the Dow Jones VentureSource’s Billion Dollar Club includes startups that venture-capital investors believe are worth at least $1 billion and have raised money in the past three years, and four Indian startups make the list.

Ranked 5th of 73 companies listed is Flipkart Internet Private Ltd., India’s largest e-commerce company by sales valued at $11 billion. Snapdeal, a rival online marketplace, ranks 30th with a value of $2 billion. Online-ad company InMobi, valued at $2.5 billion, and Ola Cabs valued at $1 billion are also included in the club.

India is expected to become home to the world’s second-largest number of startups, after the U.S., in the next couple of years as investors pipe in cash to new companies.

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February 27, 2015   No Comments

Google Capital Expands to India

Google is in the process of setting up an office for Google Capital in India, joining other investors such as SoftBank and Tiger Global, in what will mark the first such expansion outside the U.S

David Lawee, Google capital partner told Wall Street Journal that “it makes a lot of sense to focus on India right now,” citing the growing adoption of smartphones in the country and its increasingly active start-up community. He noted that the country of 1.2 billion recently surpassed the U.S. in terms of its number of Internet users, and that local entrepreneurs “are responding” with “innovative” offerings for the domestic market and thinking about global growth, as well.

Google Capital has already invested in India in the real estate portal CommonFloor, and the U.S.-India company Freshdesk. The organization told the Journal that it is open to investing in Indian start-ups across the board.

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February 22, 2015   No Comments

Why is China’s Alibaba Investing in India’s e-Commerce Market?

The number of smartphone-using Indians runs into millions and they are the key growth drivers of India’s burgeoning e-commerce sector.

Quartz quotes technology consultancy firm Forrester Research which reports that by 2016, more online commerce consumers will make their purchases from mobile phones, instead of desktops, and by 2019, the total mobile commerce sales could reach $19 billion even as the overall online commerce industry grows to over $100 billion.

Mobile Commerce in India

Mobile Commerce in India

Backed by over 80 million smartphones, the total value of transactions through mobile phones in India grew from $1.25 billion in 2012-13 to $5.79 billion in 2013-14, according to data from Google and Forrester Researcha staggering increase of 383% in one year! By 2016, India is slated to become the world’s second largest smartphone market due to falling mobile phone prices and cheaper data services.

These projections are part of the reason why Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba made its first big investment in India earlier this month. Ant Financial Services Group, an affiliate of the Alibaba Groupbought a 25% stake in One97 Communications, a company based in Noida in the state of Uttar Pradesh in India. One97 runs Paytm, India’s largest digital goods marketplace. Paytm is also a payment solutions provider to e-commerce merchants using its Reserve Bank of India-approved semi-closed wallet. The company has more than 23 million customers.

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February 17, 2015   No Comments

Go East, Young Entrepreneur!

Here are three stories of entrepreneurs that went east to India, survived, and succeeded:

Valerie Wagoner started her company ZipDial, which was acquired last month by Twitter, based on her insight of the potential of missed calls in the bandwidth deprived Indian mobile market.

In 2013, Greg Moran and David Back left the U.S. to work in India, but ended up starting their own company ZoomCar, a self-driving (ie no chaffeur provided)  car rental start-up. What started with just seven vehicles is now a business of 250 cars in the cities of Bangalore and Pune. They have plans to expand to 10 more cities this year with the recent funding they received from Sequoia. “I like the energy levels of the people here. Besides, starting business in India is becoming an easy process,” says Moran.

Eleven years ago, in 2004, Sean Blagsvedt came to India to head Program Management and Advanced Prototyping for Microsoft Research. He had no plans of settling down in India, but within months he quit his high-paying job, married an Indian woman, and set up a company to solve the problems of unskilled and blue-collar jobs in India. Blagsvedt has no regrets. He considers the move to become an entrepreneur in India one of his best decisions. “India is largely an under-served market, but has huge potential when it comes to adoption of technology. We are trying to solve some socioeconomic problems with the help of digital technology,” he says. His venture, Babajob, connects job seekers such as security guards, drivers, maids and cooks with potential employers.

With the start-up ecosystem maturing in India, the numbers of expat entrepreneurs are so significant that it has led to the formation of an Expat Entrepreneurs Circle, an exclusive organization of foreign entrepreneurs and non-resident Indians doing business in India.

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February 12, 2015   No Comments

U.S. and India to Develop 3 Smart Cities

At a meeting between India’s urban development minister, M. Venkaiah Naidu and visiting secretary of commerce Penny Pritzker,  the leaders decided to establish a task force to  jointly develop three smart cities with a mandate of preparing the roadmap within three months. The cities selected are Allahabad in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, Ajmer in the western state of Rajasthan, and Visakhapatnam in the eastern state of Andhra Pradesh.

Map of India

Map of India

On January 25, three MoUs for the cities’ joint development were signed by United States Trade and Development Agency director Leocardia I. Zak and the respective chief secretaries of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh. Under the terms of the MoUs each of the state governments will provide resources in support, coordination and facilitation for the development of the smart cities including providing technical information and data related to smart cities planning, staff, logistical and travel support.

 

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January 27, 2015   No Comments