Adversaries make mistakes – now is a great time to start
Looking back, 2015 seems to have been the year India’s startup ecosystem truly came of age. To be among the top 25 most funded startups, you must have raised more than $50 million [roughly Rs. 331 crores]. Another indicator of research growth from startup data tracker Tracxn is that there have been more than 114 Series As this year, up from 46 in 2014. But beyond the numbers, startups and funding have dominated our popular conversation. Hyper-funded startup entrepreneurs became famous, and TVF Pitchers, a YouTube series about startup life, produced some memorable quotes that have entered pop culture.
It’s been an interesting year, as it’s turned into an equally absurd narrative of an initially irrational winter of overfunding after the Chinese stock market crash in June. Layoffs at Housing, TinyOwl, Grabhouse and Zomato dominated the news cycle, while Grofers acquired Townrush and Spoonjoy, two startups that failed to receive follow-on funding. As always, the truth of things lies beyond these limits. There is a lot of variation and a lot of room for growth in a given space.
With the venture capital funding business in mind, on-demand services that bring everything to the user’s doorstep are common these days. It has been applied to almost every aspect of commerce, from care, healthcare, home services, food and grocery delivery, and even scrap metal. At the other end of the value chain, you have logistics startups that have turned drivers and bikers into independent contractors.
According to Afsal Salu, founder of Bigbasket-owned hyperlocal delivery service Delyver, an average driver now earns Rs. 19,500 per month, compared to a lesser Rs. 10,000 per month, which was the average in April this year. An Ola Prime driver I spoke to recently said he gets Rs. 2500 per day, and he seemed happy with his work. This is very different from the narrative you usually hear in the Western media about apps like Uber – how they are undermining the revenue of the service industry. This is not to say that these platforms don’t have their flaws, it’s just that the situation in India is not like the rest of the world and it’s very complex.
Many in-demand startups around the world have seen unicorn valuation levels (more than $1 billion or around Rs 6,631 crore) after their largest funding rounds, and some have gone bankrupt. So far, all the so-called foams in the market seem to be doing well for everyone, and that may change, but it’s too early to predict doom.
It’s still early days for these companies, and as they tighten their wallets or implement peak pricing economics, we’ll likely see more incidents of friction between users, workers and consumers. technology. For most people in the industry, the startup sector has opened up opportunities.
Nandan Nilenkani’s speech about India’s WhatsApp moment in finance seemed fair enough, with Paytm growing its user base by 100 million. With payments bank licenses now granted, digital wallets can have multiple cascading effects on the economy and the day-to-day transactions of Indians. E-commerce companies, hyperlocal logistics players and food tech startups have seen a lot of fundraising activity this year, as have ed-tech and healthcare startups.
Apart from the usual suspects, there is a wide variety of startups in India today, many of which are taking other startups to the next level. Need help merging? There is Vakilsearch.com. Need an IVR system to handle customer support requests? Knowlarity has a super receptionist here. Mumbai-based Wingify, Inoho, Ather Energy and competing coding platforms HackerEarth and HackerRank. These companies aren’t talked about as much as unicorns, but I think they do innovative work.
With all the tools available to serve the startup ecosystem, agile startups can now focus on how to scale and enable a specific part of the value chain and leave the bad bits behind. to other startups. If you have the idea and execution skills to build a product that scales and is 10x better than anything else out there, now seems like the best time to jump in.
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