Category — Market Entry

E-commerce Startup ShopClues, India, Valued at $1 Billion

A Series E funding by Nexus Partners, Tiger Global and GIC, the Singapore government’s sovereign wealth fund, has raised the valuation of the e-commerce company ShopClues to $1.1 billion. Headquartered in Gurgaon, India, the company was founded in California’s Silicon Valley in 2011.

ShopClues logo

This new “unicorn valuation” puts ShopClues in the same league as competing Indian e-commerce companies Flipkart and Snapdeal, reports TechCrunch. All three of these companies, as well as Amazon India, offer a wide range of products, but ShopClues is focusing on price-conscious consumers in smaller cities that are often overlooked by online sellers.

“We are targeting the kind of shoppers who are now coming online and who you will see more of this year and next,” co-founder and chief executive officer Sanjay Sethi told TechCrunch.

While keeping margins sustainable, ShopClues is able to offer low prices by serving as a platform for merchants instead of carrying its own inventory. Part of its Series E round will be used to improve its cloud-based e-commerce tools and attract more small businesses. The company currently provides capital loans and logistic and online payment tools.

It expects to hit profitability by the first half of 2017, which is also when Sethi says the company plans to list on the U.S. or Indian stock market.

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January 17, 2016   No Comments

Budget Hotel Entrepreneur Raises $125 million

21-year old Ritesh Agarwal has created India’s largest network of budget hotels in less than two years.

“I am not being arrogant when I say I re-imagined how new-age hospitality will look like. In just one and a half years we are bigger than the country’s largest hotel group by a factor of four,” Agarwal, the current  poster boy of India’s start-up world, told CNBC.

At 17, the  engineering dropout  tried replicating Airbnb but wasn’t successful. He traveled the country working pro bono for start-ups when he hit upon the idea of building a tenable chain of budget hotels from the existing supply of low-end, unprofessionally run guesthouses that are ubiquitous in India.

Oyo Rooms

Currently, OYO Rooms partners with 3,000 guesthouses across 125 Indian cities. It markets these small hotels online under the OYO brand and works with them to offer basic quality at one-third the market price. Agarwal’s disruptive strategies worked and venture investors, including Sequoia Capital and Softbank, have already poured $125 million into OYO Rooms. He employs more than 1,500 people, with a Harvard alumnus as his COO, and has a company valued at an estimated $400 million, reports CNBC.

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December 11, 2015   No Comments

Can English Brothers Sell Chapatis in India?

Brothers Charles and William Eid from the United Kingdom set up Signature International in 2011 – a production facility making flatbreads in the city of Nashik, 200 miles north of Mumbai. Built to European standards, the vision at that time was to set up twenty  factories in India by 2020. While they are a tad behind this target – their second facility will be built over the next 20 months – they have been able to bring the business to the U.K. too, as Signature Flatbreads.

The bakery has four production lines and supplies flatbreads including chapattis, parathas, naans and kulchas to hotels, business canteens, and quick service restaurants. Business is now profitable with revenue of $7.5 million  with a 40% rate of growth expected every year said William Eid.

Signature Chapattis

Signature Chapattis

 

“Disposable income is not high, and when they [Indians] do spend their money they want absolute value for it. And unless you have real authenticity in the breads that you make, you don’t attract the custom,” added Eid.

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December 11, 2015   No Comments

India’s Pipavav to Manufacture Japanese Amphibious Aircraft

India and Japan are to finalize an agreement to jointly produce the US-2 amphibious aircraft during Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s upcoming visit to India.  This will be the first defense deal between the two countries. The aircraft will be produced in India as part of Prime Minister Modi‘s Make in India initiative, and would be available to both domestic and export markets.
The US-2 amphibious aircraft has applications for search and rescue, surveillance, as well as intelligence gathering, reports Economic Times.

 

ShinMaywa US-2

ShinMaywa US-2

Japanese manufacturer ShinMaywa will partner with the Indian company Pipavav, (a part of the Anil Ambani Group of Industries) for the the $1.2 billion project.

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December 8, 2015   No Comments

AliveCor Partners with Apollo Hospitals, India; Offers Smartphone Heart Monitoring

AliveCor, Inc., headquartered in San Francisco, and maker of the first FDA-approved smartphone device, has teamed up with Apollo Hospitals in India to provide heart monitoring capabilities for people affected by arrhythmia. The collaboration is part of an effort to improve the ability to detect atrial fibrillation and prevent strokes, the two companies said in a press release.

AliveCor’s heart monitor–AliveECG–is compatible with iOS and Android mobile devices and can record, display, store and transfer heart rate and single-channel electrocardiograms reports FierceMedicalDevices.

3rd gen AliveCor

3rd gen AliveCor

The device fits snugly on to the back of a smartphone. It records heart rhythm when a person places two fingers on electrodes to take a 30-second reading.  Results are then delivered to an app, which alerts the patient if they have a normal or abnormal heart rhythm, and these results can be emailed or printed out to a physician.

“It’s extremely important for us to provide access to medical devices that are both clinically proven and cost-effective to help our patients manage their cardiac health,” Prathap C. Reddy, chairman of Apollo Hospitals, said in a statement.

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December 5, 2015   No Comments