New Delhi: Private equity firm Warburg Pincus has invested $75 million (about Rs 500 crore) in surface transport logistics provider Rivigo Services for a minority stake, in one of the largest equity financing rounds raised by an Indian startup this year. The investment, is the third transaction by the global PE firm in the country’s logistics sector, having already backed ecommerce-focused logistics solutions provider Ecom Express and third-party logistics company Stellar Value Chain Solutions over the past two years. “This (funding) is going to be primarily utilized towards technology and hiring. We have to scale up our tech talent, investments in IoT, automation and data sciences a lot more. We also have to build our next level of leadership cadre, given the growth we’re seeing,” Deepak Garg, chief executive, Rivigo, told ET. According to Garg, who co-founded the Gurgaon-based truck fleet operator with fellow McKinsey alumnus Gazal Kalra in 2014, the company is also poised to reap benefits of the recently-passed Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill, which is expected to lead to faster turnaround times, create pull-based supply chains and help in the re-configuration of warehousing and distribution networks. “The company is delivering a fundamentally superior proposition for customers and truck drivers by deploying a unique operating model, enabled by technology and analytics. The prospects are likely to be further enhanced upon implementation of GST,” said Viraj Sawhney, managing director, Warburg Pincus. The investment is believed to have valued Rivigo, which competes with the likes of legacy operators such as GATI and Blue Dart, declined to share the specifics of the transaction. The company, which serves sectors including ecommerce, frozen food, dairy, automotive and pharmaceuticals among others, has also developed algorithms and filed patents in the USA that deal with managing fuel efficiency and pilferage, availability of drivers in the relay system, and loading plans to help reduce damages to products carried by its trucks. "We believe we can drive a lot of global innovation in trucking and logistics sector through what we are building at Rivigo," Garg said, adding that the problems that Rivigo is solving are globally unsolved and a $2.5 to 3 trillion revenue market. Sawhney will also join the Rivigo board, which also counts Myntra founder Mukesh Bansal as an independent director. The company will continue to further build out its network of processing centres and pit stops across the country, as well as enhance its track fleet size to about 5,000 over the next 12 months. It currently operates currently about 1,500 vehicles, and employs about 3,000 drivers.
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Bengaluru: Bizongo, an online B2B marketplace, has raised $3 million from existing investor Accel Partners as well as IDG Ventures in a Series-A round. The Mumbai-based startup offers a marketplace for packaging materials and products for several industries such as ecommerce, restaurants and FMCG. The company, founded last year by IIT Bombay and IIT Delhi alumni, had received a seed round of funding from Accel in October last year. "We are going to expand our seller base, and will also use the funds to build tech capabilities and pro ducts," said Bizongo CEO Aniket Deb. Bizongo's marketplace currently has over 1,000 sellers with more than 25,000 SKUs (stock keeping units). Prayank Swaroop, principal investor at Accel who is on the board of Bizongo, said the differentiator for the startup compared to other B2B players was its vertical focus on packaging solutions. "Packaging plays an important role right from the start of the supply chain to the end customer experience," Swaroop said.
Mumbai: Food delivery start-up Box8 has raised Rs. 50 crore in Series B funding from IIFL Seed Ventures Fund and Mayfield. Mumbai-based Box8 is a full stack online food delivery player that specialises in preparing and delivering delicious Indian food at an affordable price. Its menu consists of over 100 dishes in all-in-one Indian meals, biryanis, wraps, sandwiches and salads. Started by two IIT graduates Amit Raj and Anshul Gupta, Box8 now serves 12,000 meals every day to its large consumer base through a network of 60 stores across three cities Mumbai, Pune & Bengaluru. “We are glad that our investor partners share our vision of becoming India’s largest QSR chain for Indian food, catering to the taste buds of modern Indians. The funds help us strengthening the supply chain eco system, building superior technology, enhancing product development and expanding into new geographies” Amit Raj said in a statement on Monday. Raj further added that the strategy is to consolidate in key markets. "With the growing working class and their changing lifestyle preferences, there is immense potential to be tapped. This new influx of capital will allow us to capitalise on the opportunity by expanding to three to four more cities using the same micro intensive approach," he added. Prashasta Seth, CEO of IIFL AMC, said: “IIFL Seed Venture Fund has successfully invested in NBFCs, consumer internet and technology companies. This is our first investment in food business and we are excited about it." Box8 manages an operational team of 1,200 plus to operate its full stack approach model whcih helps them bring efficiencies in each fraction of the process chain. All this effort more than pays back for the company as over 85 per cent of its transactions come from repeat consumers making a strong case for long-term sustainable model. And the positive word of mouth ensures that every day a good number of new customers try Box8, the company said in a statement. Box8 with their comprehensive business model has already made a dent in the estimated Rs. 50,000-crore food tech industry and is now positioned to make its hold even stronger. The company maintains that product development is the core competence of the organisation and it is that which differentiates it from neighbourhood restaurants. While product innovation is in the centre of things, it is beautifully complemented with technology. It also plays a big role for Box8 in understanding and quickly reacting to consumer needs and maintaining quality consistency across all centres. Box8 has its eyes set on becoming a leading brand in the domain of food delivery and given the journey so far and with all this support, it doesn’t seem so far, the company said.
Hyderabad: T-Hub, a startup ecosystem builder, in partnership with Uber and TiE Silicon Valley, on Saturday, announced launch of a program that will connect Indian startups with global market opportunities and help bring global new-age companies to the country. According to a press release issued by the startup incubator, T-Bridge will enable startup communities in India and around the world to cross-pollinate ideas, innovate and create channels for knowledge transfer. It will also create a network of mentors, VCs, incubators and accelerators that is advantageous to the Indian startup ecosystem. KT Rama Rao, Telangana Minister for IT on Saturday inaugurated T-Bridge at Uber's headquarters in San Francisco, the release said. T-Bridge will provide a platform for such fast-track tech companies looking to tap into India's huge consumer market for technology and help startups access UberEXCHANGE- Uber's flagship startup mentorship program and TiE Silicon Valley's mentor network. "We have a strong vision to make Hyderabad one of the top 10 startup cities in the world. T Bridge is one such move towards opening a channel of investment from the world to the state of Telangana. I am proud to open our first outpost in the US in association with Uber and TiE Silicon Valley and believe that this association will forge new partnerships and spur investment and innovation between the two countries," Rama Rao said. Rachel Whetstone, Uber's senior vice president for policy and communications, said, Telangana is one of the most progressive states in India; and it has set up a culture of 'regulatoryincubation' allowing new ideas and business models to thrive. "Today more and more people around the world want to build something themselves. Through initiatives like UberEXCHANGE, our mentorship program for Indian startups, we hope to spur entrepreneurship. Creative partnerships like T-Bridge will continue to strengthen ties between India and the global startup scene," Whetstone said.
Bengaluru: Global payments startup Remitware Payments, which runs cross-border payments platform Remitr, has raised $1 million in seed funding from several investors including Pravin Gandhi, founder of Seedfund, UAE's Smart Start Fund founded by Prashant Gulati and Amit Singhal, Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma, and Freecharge founders Kunal Shah and Sandeep Tandon. Remitr was founded in 2015 by Kanchan Kumar, Sandeep Jhingran and Sandeep Todi, all of who have had over 25 years of work experience each in areas such as global payments, digital media and B2B and B2C products. The platform routes end-to-end payments in conjunction with clearing systems and third party payment networks in various countries. The company has built its own technology to manage integration with various banks and for payment settlement, and has applied for a patent on it, Kumar said. "The capital will be used to further build our technology and also on regulation, which is complex," Kumar, who is the CEO, said.
New Delhi: Ten Indian startups will take part in Japan's largest IT forum 'Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technology (CEATEC)' this week. Facilitated by Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), these 10 Indian startups will participate in the IT and electronics exhibition and conference to be held on October 4. The startups are developing solutions in domains such as agriculture, logistics, and industrial automation, Nasscom said in a statement. Nasscom's Centre of Excellence for IoT (CoE IoT) had recommended 65 Indian startups for the program. Of the 10 selected startups, nine were nominated by Nasscom's CoE IoT. The 10 selected Indian startups will get a full funded trip to Japan, along with an exhibition booth at CEATEC where they can display their products to potential investors/ partners, enterprises and customers. Nasscom's CoE IoT has been conducting events and program, along with its enterprise partners, across India to identify the top IoT startups in India. It has curated over 300 startups to select these 65 startups and then sent them the invitation to participate in the selection process for CEATEC, Japan. Internet of Things or IoT refers to a network of inter-connected devices that can be accessed through the internet. For instance, with IoT, street lights will automatically go off when they sense no traffic on the roads and consequently, save power. Another application could be a smart band that will automatically alert a physician when body vitals go to abnormal levels. "I am extremely proud to announce that nine out of 10 who got selected were a part of Nasscom's CoE-IoT connect program. With the advent of new technologies and changing essence of 'things', IoT is bringing new value to innovation in the world," Nasscom President R Chandrashekhar said. He added that a platform like CEATEC will prove to be a great contributor in the journey of these selected startups. CEATEC aims to bring global recognition and changing the perception towards transforming technology in India and also signifies growing Japan-India cooperation in the field of emerging technologies.
New Delhi: The largest digital lending platform in the country Capital Float has joined hands with B2B e-commerce start-up Industrybuying to offer a unique credit solution called 'Pay Later' to businesses across India to provide loans to small and medium enterprises. The loan product will enable SMEs to procure industrial products using a pre-defined credit line that gets reset upon repayment. "Working capital management is a problem faced by most SMEs. Along with solving this problem for existing businesses, the availability of hassle-free loans can help numerous entrepreneurs to lead the establishment of various SMEs and SMBs in Tier II and Tier III cities of India wherein the real bulk of India's bustling industrial sector lies," said Co-founder and CEO Industrybuying, Swati Gupta. "We are seeing more and more businesses buying online for their procurement and other business purposes. This is a huge step in that direction and we are delighted to extend this option to our customers," added Swati. 'Pay Later' product provides an option for SMEs and SMBs looking to procure loans. Here it's possible for the companies to get online credit of up to Rs 25 lakh almost instantaneously without paperwork and the hassles associated with getting a loan from elsewhere. "The market opportunity is sizeable and encouraging. Our collaboration with IndustryBuying will incorporate the strengths of two growing businesses, taking finance to tier II and tier III markets, which were previously ignored due to inadequate financial infrastructure. We intend to make convenient finance accessible to SMEs at a granular level," said Co-founder Capital Float, Gaurav Hinduja. To avail the Pay Later option, companies need to register themselves on the Industrybuying website and Industrybuying will share customer details with Capital float for processing. Post verification done by Capital Float, the credit line will be setup on IndustryBuying and ready for use within 72 hours. Payment through Pay Later is available for a purchase amount of Rs 25,000 or higher. Earlier, Industrybuying had also partnered with Innoviti and integrated EMI features for its customers who were transacting through debit/credit card and looking to avail EMI features at a flexible interest rate.
Posted by RP on 28 August
New Delhi: India has attracted investment from 37 mobile manufacturing companies in last one year that have generated 40,000 direct jobs and 1.25 lakh indirect employment, IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said. "We decided to make India a big hub of electronics manufacturing. In the last one year, 37 new mobile manufacturing units have come," Prasad said after inaugurating government-funded 'Electropreneur Park'. He said that 11 crore mobile phones have been made in the country in last one year compared to 6 crore earlier. "We have given jobs to 40,000 people and 1.25 lakh indirect jobs," Prasad said. Chinese companies like Gionee and Xiaomi are making their handsets at Foxconn plant in Andhra Pradesh. Domestic companies such as Karbonn, Lava, Micromax, Intex, Jivi, iTel, and MTech too have set up their manufacturing plants in the country. As per industry sources, Chinese company LeEco will start mobile manufacturing unit on Tuesday. Prasad said that besides manufacturing electronics product in India, product designing is also important. He said that government has provided Rs 10,000 crore under Electronics Development Fund to support new entrepreneurs in the field of electronics. The Electropreneur Park (EP), which was inaugurated on Saturday in South Campus of Delhi University, is an incubation centre set up with government funds of around Rs 21 crore to support incubation of up to 50 start-up companies. Set-up in collaboration with academia and industry represented by Indian Electronics and Semiconductor Association, the Park will focus on creation of intellectual property rights and product development to increase domestic manufacturing of electronics items. "India imports electronic goods of over Rs 3 lakh crore. By 2020 government aims to bring down import to zero. The Electropreneur Park started is a step in that direction," Minister of State for IT and Law PP Choudhary said. Ministry of Electronics and IT has selected six start-up firms that will develop products at this incubation centre. "6 out of 176 start-ups have been selected which means they have capability of developing good quality products and selection of six more are in pipeline," MEITY Additional Secretary Ajay Kumar said.
New Delhi: According to a study by Assocham in association with Thought Arbitrage Research Institute, India is home to the third largest number of technology driven start-ups in the world, with the US and the UK occupying the top two positions. The study also revealed that Bengaluru is host to the largest share of technology start-ups in the country, followed by Delhi NCR and Mumbai, while Hyderabad and Chennai are also quite popular among budding tech entrepreneurs. "In the technology driven start-ups, India has moved up to third position with the US occupying the top position with more than 47,000 and the UK with over 4,500. "India's tech start-ups numbered around 4,200 up to 2015," the report pointed out. In terms of total number of start-ups, comprising both tech and non-tech areas, India again figured among the five largest hosts in the world, along with China (10,000 each). The US occupies the top slot with 83,000 start-ups. IT hub Bengaluru is host to 26% of domestic tech start-ups, followed by Delhi NCR (23%) and Mumbai (17%). In the 'catching up' category were Hyderabad (8%), Chennai and Pune (6% each). "The disruptive innovation in technology and process is creating newer Indian start-ups and foreign investors, including some of the well-known venture capital funds, are showing immense interest in these start-ups," Assocham President Sunil Kanoria said. The awareness that a start-up is a vehicle of rapid growth through technological disruption and innovation, has to spread across the economy, the report said. Otherwise, if any small traditional business is treated as a start-up, then the ecosystem will never develop properly, it added. The study recommended that synergising 'start-up India' with 'Make in India' and 'Digital India' initiatives has the potential to expand the domestic ecosystem for new entrepreneurs. It also suggested tax exemption for research and experimentation to encourage fresh ideas without fear of failure. Recommending a Stanford University model in various Indian universities, the Assocham-Thought Arbitrage paper said courses on creation of small businesses should be encouraged in campuses.
Mumbai: In line with the Modi government's initiative to boost entrepreneurship in the country under the 'Start-up India' banner, ONGC has launched a Rs 100 crore start-up fund on its 60th year anniversary. The fund will be called ONGC start-up, the company said in a press release on Sunday. It said, the company will provide "the entire support chain for start-ups including seed capital, hand-holding, mentoring, market linkage and follow-ups." The fund will be for start-ups with "fresh ideas in the oil and gas sector." ONGC is expected to launch a dedicated website for its start-up fund soon. On the occasion, ONGC CMD Dinesh K Sarraf, said, "this initiative will promote entrepreneurship among the young Indians by creating an ecosystem that is conducive for growth of start-ups in the oil and gas sector, which has a huge potential for technology-enabled ideas. Sarraf was speaking at an event in Dehradun. "The Oil & Gas sector is contributing enormously to the growth of economy. Currently, the sector faces various critical challenges and new ideas are required to mitigate those challenges," he added.