Author Archive for Gaurav

Winners of TiE-Canaan Entrepreneurship Challenge announced

Alok just informed me that winners of the TiE-Canaan Entrepreneurship challenge have been announced. The winners are 6 Dee, Vegayan, and Infozech. Heartiest congratulations to all the winners and the other finalists as well! I hope they will take some time out to tell the Venturewoods community more about their ventures!

Update: Redherring has a more detailed article on the winners. Congratulations!

TiECon Delhi underway

It was an interesting day at TiECon Delhi today. Some quick observations:

1. VCs are everywhere! I think there were more VC firms in presence than aspiring entrepreneurs! This is of course great news for the local startup scene. VCs were lamenting on lack of quality entrpreneurship. A few moderators and speakers took light hearted digs at the “vulture” capitalists. All in good fun!

2. Mobile and consumer internet remain dominant ares of interest in both VC and startup circles.

3. Web 2.0 and KPO are the latest buzzwords. Everybody is using those terms (I know I am myself guilty of hyping the former!)

4. I was impressed by the concerted effort that Orissa is making as a state to attract investments. I was also surprised to hear that more than 11% of all FDI flows in via Orissa!

5. Movie stars Anupam Kher and Satish Kaushik announced the launch of their new movie production house. I got a chance to talk 1-1 with Mr. Kher! They are looking to raise money for their new company. Mr. Kher and Mr. Kaushik drove across the point that the Indian film industry is making a very conscious effort to become more professional in its approach. Mr. Kher categorically stated that today not a single movie star accepts or demands cash renumeration. Impressive!

6. TiECon is one of the best conferences for networking. Though I am noticing that ultimately its the same usual suspects you run into in all conferences! I think after attending a dozen or so conferences, I will run out of new people whom I can meet up at such events :)

Canaan Teams with Yahoo! Inc. in an $8.6 Million Investment in Bharat Matrimony, an Online Marriage Service

Canaan Partners Makes Investment in New India Office

Canaan Teams with Yahoo! Inc. in an $8.6 Million Investment in Bharat Matrimony, an Online Marriage Service

Canaan Partners, a leading international venture capital firm, today announced the funding of Bharat Matrimony Group, the leading online matrimonial service in India. This is an exciting new investment by the venture firm’s India office, which opened in June. Canaan is the lead investor in an $8.6 million A round financing that also includes Yahoo! Inc.

The investment underscores Canaan’s ongoing commitment to early-stage Internet-related deals in India said Deepak Kamra, a Canaan general partner. Canaan was the first investor in Match.com in the United States in 1995, the first and biggest dating service in the United States, Kamra noted. Match.com had revenues of $250 million in 2005. Canaan was also an early investor in Doubleclick, a pioneer in Internet banner advertising.

“Canaan Partners was there in the early days of social networking on the Internet with Match.com, and we’re capitalizing on the same kind of opportunity today in India. We saw pretty much the same thing at Match.com and we’re seeing it again at Bharat Matrimony” Kamra said. “India has a huge population of 1.1 billion, and the market is ripe for investment opportunities in technology and technology enabled services. .”

Bharat Matrimony was founded in 1997 and until now was self-funded. More than 500,000 marriages have been arranged online in that time, said Murugavel Janakiraman, the company’s founder and CEO, which makes it the biggest and most successful matrimony service in the world. The company manages more than a dozen different matrimony portals catering to Indians of different languages and religions throughout the world.

Allok Mittal, Executive Director of Canaan’s Indian office, noted that Bharat Matrimony portals will be supported by offices in nearly 40 Indian cities with personal computers linked to the Internet.

“India is one of the key markets for Canaan Partners and we are looking at creating lasting partnerships in the technology space” said Mittal. “We are very excited to be the lead investor in Bharat Matrimony. The company is very well positioned to continue to grow rapidly and maintain its leadership in the Indian Internet landscape while continuing to be a highly valuable company from a social standpoint. The company services truly changes the lives of millions of Indians around the world.”

The portal makes money through monthly subscription charges of $10 to $15 a month. Most users subscribe for three to six months.

About Canaan Partners

Canaan Partners is an early stage venture investor. The firm catalyzes the development of innovative technology and healthcare companies to build next-generation market leaders. Founded in 1987, Canaan Partners has $2.4 billion capital under management and has invested in 232 companies, completed 60 mergers and acquisitions, and brought over 50 companies public. Canaan invests in Internet and consumer technology, communications, semiconductor and energy, enterprise software and services, biotechnology, and medtech. Canaan was an early investor in DoubleClick (DCLK), CommerceOne (CMRC), Copper Mountain Networks (CMTN), Immunicon (IMMC), ONI Systems (ONIS), Dexcom (DXCM) and Combinatorx (CRXX), along with dozens of other market-leading companies. Canaan has offices in Menlo Park, California; Rowayton, Connecticut; Herzliya Pituach, Israel; and Gurgaon, India. For more information visit: www.canaan.com.

###

For more information please contact:
Chitrangada Maitra
Genesis Burson–Marsteller
9811015756

Barcamp in Delhi


We are organizing the first ever Barcamp in this part of the world. BarCamp is an ad-hoc un-conference born from the desire for people to share and learn in an open environment. It is an intense event with discussions, demos, and interaction from attendees. Barcamps have become pretty popular lately and many have taken place in North America and Europe. But this one is going to be the first barcamp in whole of Asia! The theme for this BarCamp is “Next Generation Internet: Web 2.0, mobile computing, and other cool stuff”.

This is a great avenue for showcasing or demoing interesting work, presenting your views and of course hearing about what others are doing. If you would like to attend please add your name to the BarCamp wiki or contact me (gaurav at tekritisoftware dot com). More details here and here.

Indian IT boom: B-O-R-I-N-G

It is educational to compare and contrast the two tech. booms that this world is witnessing right now. Silicon Valley is going thru a mini deja-vu of sorts, what with the spurt of so called web 2.0 companies mushrooming all over the place. The buzz word this time around is “build to flip” – build something cool and innovative and hope it catches the eyes of one of the big three – Google, Microsoft or Yahoo (affectionately termed as GYM). The VC community can’t hide its excitement as well and funds have come up to focus exclusively on emerging technologies like RSS. Earlier this year, during my visit to the Valley, I happened to go to the Canvas cafe with Marc. We were able to spot half a dozen leading thinkers there deep in conversation and bainstorming ideas. In short, a boom in Silicon Valley means lots of new startups, exciting ideas, coolio conferences and most importantly small companies giving big companies a run for their money. Exciting times indeed!

Now, let us turn our attention to our own..ahem… IT boom. What we term as a boom is actually creation of behemoth billion dollar companies with tens of thousands of employees. This has led to rising salaries and growing concerns about attrition and employee retention. Don’t get me wrong – it is great that the software sector has been able to generate such wealth and employment. But, unfortunately, our boom has so far not been about technology or innovation. Our tech. industry has its head buried so deep down in servicing offshore clients, that we are taking no notice of the other boom on that side of atlantic. Everyday I still run into tech. savvy engineers who don’t know the silicon valley has already moved onto web 2.0. We are running way behind the curve and not making much of an effort to catch up. The outsourcing business is so huge and lucrative, that it has almost become an albatross around our neck. The big 3 – Infy, Wipro and TCS should be investing in creating more awareness and spurring innovation – but they are not. Why do we see no or few technology conferences? Why is this IT boom just about outsourcing? Where are the startups, I ask!

I think our VC community can play a big role in changing things. They need to make some big bets. Fund a risky idea. Bet a few million on something that is untested and never done before (of course easy to say for me coz it ain’t my money!) Encourage technology development for local market. Convince Indian engineers and entrepreneurs abroad to return back and do statups. Even during the dotcom boom we saw much more buzz and excitement in India (India World, Naukri, Jobsahead etc all started before or around that time). But since Y2K, its been all downhill.

This outsourcing thing killed the startup culture!