Indian start-ups get cash pile
Venture funding for Indian start-ups totalled over $5.4 billion in 2014, with e-commerce outfits taking the bulk of the cash. Flipkart – which has been Xiaomi’s smartphone retail platform of choice this year – and Snapdeal have raised a combined $3 billion, with Flipkart’s most-recent funding round worth $700 million giving it a valuation of around $10 billion.
New York investment firm Tiger Global is a big believer in Indian online start-ups and is the largest single shareholder in Flipkart. Tiger has also invested in mobile messaging app Hike and online real estate outfit CommonFloor.
The Silicon Valley unit of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) recently identified three Indian companies for its Billion Dollar Babies programme aimed at supporting start-ups before taking them to the US and striving for a one-billion-dollar valuation. The three ventures are security software company Seclore Technology, Delhi-based retail tech outfit Vinculum, and ad technology and analytics firm based Sokrati.
All start-ups in the initiative must be angel- or venture-funded, have demonstrated potential in India and show overseas traction. They must also have at a founder willing to head to Silicon Valley for up to six months.