What Did You Miss in the Indian Start-up Ecosystem During a Week That Saw the Dynamics and Definition of Politics Change
This week's Indian start-up ecosystem report is sans any action or drama. Perhaps, #Elections2019 had everyone gripped
This week saw an exciting variety of news in the business and political world weave in the news channels and newspapers. The 17th Lok Sabha elections saw landslide victory of the BJP. Not only have they made a thumbing comeback but have also given India a start to the next five years which seem more hope-filled than ever.
BJP's comeback in India and how the way will be paved for the Indian start-up ecosystem is something that must be left on the mercy of time. However, the future remains full of possibilities. The last five years saw a mega transformation in the way the Indian start-up community is perceived. The concept of start-ups came into the light only in the last decade but the last few years have seen them bursting into India's business environment almost becoming a part of a person's everyday vocabulary.
The government does have a role to play in this. No matter how much we debate, question or argue, a start-up cannot flourish unless it is given a platform to flourish. The government can do a lot but in whatever capacity it has been able to provide the push, definitely the cards have played their part well.
Entrepreneur India notes areas wherein the government can work in order to boost the Indian start-ups.
The first and foremost aspect where the government must work is the policy. The government must ensure that policies for the Indian start-up ecosystem are structured in a way that ensures their growth and innovation. Pertaining to policies, startup entrepreneurs have pointed out how cumbersome and long the procedures are. As a result, progress has been trampled several times.
The government did reduce the financial burden of the Indian start-up ecosystem when 342 start-ups were exempted from paying the angel tax. The number soared up to 541 just yesterday but reducing tax rates is something that the ecosystem is definitely looking forward to, especially to smoothen cases of investment and angel investing.
Technology has taken over the Indian start-up ecosystem and there is no doubt about it. But the tech sector needs more work since start-ups and technology have become inseparable twins. By launching campaigns to foster tech innovation, set up more labs, science centres across the country, India can become not just a start-up nation but also the technology hub of the world. Role of technology should not be undervalued under any circumstances.
Coming to the developments this week, not much took place. Perhaps, the Lok Sabha elections were the protagonists and kept everyone's attention tightly looped, making them too busy to do something. Some of the important developments, however, include:
A Step towards AI Development
When NITI-Aayog proposed INR 7,500 crore investment for AI development, Indian start-ups definitely had a reason to rejoice. They have taken AI start-ups as fish takes to water. The state of Bengaluru, is particularly, called the Silicon Valley of India, with numerous start-ups bursting in the field of technology especially artificial intelligence. This is a promising step taken by the government.
Chennai-based Saas unicorn Freshworks acquired customer success management software Natero for an undisclosed amount to expand its customer vertical. Natero is a Silicon Valley-based start-up.
Spencer's Retail Ltd, the retail arm of RP Sanjiv Goenka Group, acquired 100 per cent stake in grocery chain Nature's Basket, owned by Godrej Industries Ltd in an all-cash deal.
There was a slip in the number of start-ups raising investment this week. Only 7 start-ups raised funding this week. Some notable names like Livspace and TVF came into the spotlight. The former raised an undisclosed amount whereas the latter raised $4.97 million. Apart from these, LocoNav raised $4 million in Series B round of funding, XploraBox raised $1 million in Series A round of funding. Other start-ups that acquired funds include My Mobiforce, PublicVibe.