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Indian Cab Industry : Survival of the fittest

Recent news on Softbank, writing off its investment in OLA; and change in revenue model by Uber; clearly validate the below hypothesis which was published in my previous article. Hypothesis# 1: – Cab aggregators are not working towards answering the most important question of this industry “Which side of the cab equation (drivers and consumers) should they subsidize and for how long?” Neither Ola nor Uber is satisfying unit economics; but just burning cash to incentive either side of the equation. In a market like India, where there is a need of on-demand, cost-effective, safe and reliable transportation, the real question becomes, which of the two business models: asset-heavy or asset-light will survive in the long run? However, careful study of both models brings us to our next hyp...

How Excessive Funding Can Ruin Your Startup: Aswin Ram @UnPluggd

Startups = Funding. At least that’s what the world has come to relate to. But then, (excessive) funding has killed more startups than the lack of money. Money forces founders to run for wants (fancy office/perks et al) and the product is lost somewhere in this. At UnPluggd, we are proud to bring speakers from startup world who share their personal experiences and insights on real challenges faced by entrepreneurs. This time we are happy to introduce Aswin Ram – founder of Jiffstore which was acquired by Peppertap (which was shutdown). In the past, Aswin founded Kode Blink – a mobile app development company and Jiffstore – a mobile & cloud based hyperlocal grocery delivery platform   Jiffstore was an m-commerce platform which allowed small retail stores & supermarkets to...

Why Is raising funds not the greatest thing for a startup?

Founders today think about raising funds much before they think about starting up their venture. Questions like; can this idea attract funds? What will be my burn rate? How can I raise a large Series A? Will I become a unicorn by Series C, etc. are some examples of mindset that young and budding entrepreneurs carry today. In fact the growth of an organization is also defined by the amount of funding round that they raise. In this kind of a scenario, where funding is the key business metric to define growth, founders are losing the real charm of building businesses from scratch and are also loosing the true essence of a startup. While the true essence may get lost somewhere, what I have realized that funding is a double-sided sword that comes with a lot of disadvantages along with the benef...

Swiggy raises Series D funding of $15 million from Bessemer Venture Partners

Food ordering and delivery platform, Swiggy has raised $15 million in a Series D funding from Bessemer Venture Partners. Existing investors also participated in this round. This is close on the heels of the Series C funding of USD 35 million raised in January 2016, from existing and new investors, including New York-based investors Harmony Partners and Singapore-based RB. This investment takes the total funds raised by India’s largest food ordering platform to USD 75.5 mn. The freshly raised funds will fuel Swiggy’s next growth phase, with an improved customer experience at its core. This will include technology upgrades, a wider spread of restaurants to choose from and better delivery efficiency.

Lenskart raises Funding from Premji Invest

Lenskart.com has raised funding from Premji Invest, the investment office of Mr. Azim Premji, Chairman and Founder of the Wipro Group. Lenskart’s aim is to expand access to high-quality and affordable eye-care products across India. The transaction comes three months after it got 400 crore, in a round led by International Finance Corp, the private sector investment arm of the World Bank. Apart from IFC, the other marquee investors like IFC, TPG Growth, IDG Ventures, Unilazer Ventures, Adveq have also previously invested in the company. Premji Invest has had a strong focus on consumer and retail brands and upholds the reputation of being a long term partner that supports founders and management teams of brands like FabIndia, Myntra, Future Lifestyle Fashions and Vasmol in expanding their po...

AI Startup Mad Street Den Raises Series A From Sequoia Capital

Chennai and US based Mad Street Den has raised Series A funding from Sequoia Capital. The startup earlier raised $1.5mn seed round in 2015. The company’s product, Vue.ai helps ecommerce companies integrate AI-based optimization into their online store. Mad Street Den works closely with several fashion brands in India. [via]

Livspace raises INR 100 crore led by Bessemer Venture Partners, Jungle Ventures and Helion

The round was led by Bessemer Ventures Partners with increased participation from Jungle Ventures and Helion. This round of funding comes within weeks of the launch of the world’s first ‘Home Design Automation Platform’.

NearFox Raises Funds From Clutch of Investors, Plans Expansion In NY

NearFox, a local lifestyle content and discovery platform headquartered in Mumbai, has recently raised an undisclosed amount from Globevestor Angel Fund, CoverFox CTO Devendra Rane, GenY Medium Co-founder and Ex-Principal of Ventureast Ravi Jain and Craftsvilla Products VP Arpan Nagdeve, among others. The company will use the proceeds mainly for expanding the team and launching in more geographies. So far, it has been able to keep operational costs low through efficient use of technology, digital media and user-generated content. Founded by Kiran Patil and Pritesh Mittal, both IIT-Bombay graduates, in 2015, NearFox brings to users the best in the city in food, shopping, beauty, fashion, fitness, entertainment and local travel. The startup is currently operational in Delhi, Bangalore and Mu...

Zoomcar Raises $24mn In Series B Led By Ford Smart Mobility

Zoomcar, a self-drive car rental company offering car sharing services has closed $24M in a Series B investment round. Ford Smart Mobility LLC, a subsidiary of Ford Motor Company, led the round alongside existing investors Sequoia Capital, Nokia Growth Partners (NGP) and Empire Angels. Zoomcar’s capital raise will be used primarily for accelerating its innovative marketplace model along with furthering its technological lead. The Zoomcar Associate Program (ZAP) launched earlier in 2016, thereby allowing individuals to purchase vehicles on behalf of Zoomcar, list the vehicle on a dynamic basis on its platform, and then finally share in the profit on a monthly basis. The company c;aims to be witnessing robust adoption with an associate base that’s growing exponentially month on month, though...

Quikcilver raises a new round of funding led by Sistema Asia Fund

Qwikcilver’s technology is deployed across more than 500 cities and towns in over 10,000 premium brand stores, ecommerce portals and mobile apps. Qwikcilver has established and reinforced the Prepaid & Gift Card network in Indian retail, with close to 90% share of the customer engagements across 150+ leading brands & retailers in 25 consumption categories.

ClearTax Raises $2 million From Sequoia Capital And Paypal Co-founder Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund

The fresh funds will help the company to launch a new product that will help ClearTax users to save tax by making investments.

Entertainment Mobile App Roast Secures Funding From IAN

The investment has been made under the ‘Small Ticket Funding programme which was announced by IAN last year.

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