Archive for November, 2011

Call from JFDI Asia

Heard about Y-combinator or TechStars? Well now there’s JFDI.Asia. We are the first TechStars Network member in South East Asia.

We will select 15 startups to join us in Singapore in January 2012 for the JFDI–Innov8 2012 Bootcamp. Each startup will receive S$15,000 in seed funding in exchange for equity.

These startups will undergo 100 days of intense mentorship with us and our mentors as they build their businesses and prepare to pitch to international investors at a Demo Day at the end of the bootcamp. Mentors include:
Steven Goh, Founder of Mig33
Darius Cheung, Founder of tenCube
Margaret Manning, CEO of Reading Room
Satya Witoelar, Founder of Koprol
Scott Rafer, Founder Omniar, Mashery and Percent Mobile

We welcome all applicants, but we are looking for startups that: can be launched and ready for investment within 100 days, are buyable and scalable, and which offer products and services relevant to the Asian market.

To find out more, watch our video and check out our website at

Applications are rolling – the earlier you apply, the better chance you have at being selected. Apply today through 16 December 2011!

Did India get too arrogant about growth?

Rupee touched a long time low yesterday. For all the talk about “no intervention”, the worry marks are visible amongst regulators. More importantly, for all the talk about “global factors” that are leading to this fall, one can’t miss the fact that Rupee is the worst performing major currency against dollar in recent times. And what doesn’t even need to be argued is the fact that the economy will hurt bad because of this – not just the growing oil pool deficit, but many other issues that are going to burden the “aam aadmi” – that R. K. Lakshman character who has been made the protagonist of all the populist measures the government has been propagating at cost of reason.

So in a bid to gain from populism around the aam aadmi, we have landed up hurting the same chap because of our short sightedness. Be it discouraging investments in diverse areas, right from the business of investing itself, to retail, to aviation; be it throttling of innovation, right from insurance, to microfinance; be it populist spends whose effectiveness never matters. We seem to have developed an arrogance about our growth rate. Policy seems to have adopted the belief that growth is a given; that India is so attractive for capital that no matter what the policymakers do, capital will continue to flood the country.

This is the time for our wake up call. As much as past few years represented a positive spiral, we are staring at a short term negative spiral of economy, and if policymakers are not doing anything about it (as they claim they aren’t), they better had! India still has to deliver 30 years of super normal growth for the aam aadmi to win.

Name our favorite ecosystem initiative

Wanted to get a sense of the audience – which ecosystem initiative do you find most useful. Is it the TiE mentoring, or nasscom emerge blog? or pluggdin events? or yourstory showcase? or medianama analysis?

And what are the gaps – specific ones? What specific service would prompt you to take 2 hours out and go attend?

WestBridge launches India “evergreen” fund


Investment firm WestBridge Capital has raised India’s first so-called evergreen fund from global investors, or limited partners (LPs).

Unlike traditional funds, the $500 million (around Rs 2,500 crore) corpus that WestBridge has raised will not have an investment cycle. Instead, returns generated on investments will automatically be ploughed back into the investment pool, creating a perpetual flow of capital for investments. In other words, this evergreen fund will do away with the need of raising subsequent funds for investments.

This comes with a variable lock-in period:

WestBridge’s debut $500 million fund will have a life cycle of 20 years and could be extended by at least another 10 years or even more. There is a lock-in period for investors and the LPs will not be allowed to withdraw investments for a stipulated period. The WestBridge executives, however, declined to say how long the lock-in period is.


Startup Weekend Gurgaon – 11-13 November 2011

Get ready to pitch! On 11-13 November, Startup Weekend is coming to Gurgaon for the first time.
Two teams will win great prizes: one a $15,000 seed funding and a spot at the JFDI.Asia–Innov8 2012 Bootcamp, another tickets to DEMO Asia. Register at, #swggn.

Delhi is the New Hub For Techs

I read this interesting article recently- about how Delhi is the new hub for tech startups– in Wall Street journal.

I am curious- what are the experiences/opinions of other members- who may have worked in multiple Indian metros on the subject.

Below article is a mirror of article in Wall Street Journal:
Delhi is the New Hub For Techs

MUMBAI — The National Capital Region, as Delhi metro area is known, has upstaged Bangalore as India’s biggest hub for technology start-ups, according to a survey released this week.

At least 220 technology start-ups were launched in the Delhi area over the past three years, compared with 159 in Bangalore, according to the survey conducted by, which tracks start-ups in India.

Of these, 49 start-ups in NCR attracted investors, while only 18 were able to raise funds from investors in Bangalore.

The survey is based on data from 1,057 start-ups across 16 cities. Most of these ventures are less than three years old, and 15% of them are older.

Launching companies is easy in Bangalore because mentors and facilitators provide a mature entrepreneurial ecosystem, but sustaining these ventures is difficult in the absence of financial support, said Shradha Sharma, founder of, which claims to have the biggest database of fledgling firms in India.

“Startups come up crazily in Bangalore and die just as fast,” Ms. Sharma said. “New Delhi and Mumbai companies have more access to capital than Bangalore. Seed- and angel-funding is minimal in Bangalore. Most companies still have to come to Mumbai for funding.

Also, companies in New Delhi’s suburbs of Noida and Gurgaon usually are started by professionals with experience working for multinationals. “The ideas are more mature, therefore the quality is high,” she said.

Startups in Delhi stand out in terms of business focus, said Ashish Sinha, head of, which also tracks startups.