Kalaari Capital adds 3 venture partners, plans to raise $200 million for new fund

  • Vani Kola-led venture capital firm Kalaari Capital has beefed up its leadership team as it gears up to raise a $200-million fourth India-dedicated fund this year.
  • The early-stage investment firm, which has backed companies like Urban Ladder , Curefit and Myntra , among others, will continue to focus on technology-focused startups going ahead, Kola told ET.
  • The hiring comes more than a year after Kalaari saw a top-level churn in which partners Sumit Jain, Bala Srinivasa and Prashanth Aluru quit.
  • Kola, managing director at Kalaari, said the newly-appointed executives come in with operating experience and are a part of the firm’s venture partner programme.

Read full article: economictimes.indiatimes.com

Indonesia’s startup ecosystem will be richer if unicorns begin to go public, says Takahiro Suzuki of Genesia Ventures

  • Suzuki, who is an early investor in Tokopedia, says he didn’t expect the Indonesia e-commerce company to grow rapidly to become a unicorn so soon
  • Yes, there are quite a few VC funds for seed/early-stage startups in Southeast Asia, but we, at Genesia, have three unique selling propositions.
  • Third, we are experienced in VC investment in Japan and Southeast Asia, and we have built a large network of business contacts across Asia.
  • While conventional industries have not been developed fully in Southeast Asia, there are many business fields where digital businesses have been growing rapidly before conventional industries do.
  • Our limited partners are composed of Japanese major enterprises and banks, and our investment experience in CAV has allowed us to build a network of contacts with enterprises and venture capitals both in Japan and Southeast Asia.
  • As the marketplace was dominated by unicorn companies everywhere in the world, I invested in Tokopedia expecting that it would become a unicorn company in the future as well.

Read full article: sg.news.yahoo.com

Launching a vertical AI SaaS Product – Rushabh Sheth – Medium

  • Launching a vertical AI SaaS Product
    Jan 21
    Five months ago, I had written a story about how Bikram and I bootstrapped a profitable AI solutions company .
  • From not getting paid by a client to closing our tech consulting business, to getting rejected by YC after being shortlisted, to building our first SaaS product, we have struggled and created our own path.
  • If creating a sustainable service company was milestone 1, then we are currently on milestone 2 — launching a vertical AI SaaS product.
  • Hence, every time you end up talking to multiple stakeholders, understanding requirements, drafting multiple proposals & negotiating deals.

Read full article: medium.com

Startup India: In first 30 months, 88 of 2,197 ventures got tax exemption

  • As per data updated till July 24, 2018, only 88 startups were certified for grant of income tax exemption by the DIPP out of the 2,197 applicants that came in till that date – a dismal 4 per cent strike rate.
  • If the number of startups that had been recognised under the scheme – 11,422 till July 24, 2018 – is taken into account, the gap between the Startups recognized under the scheme – the starting point for these ventures to get tax breaks – and those that actually ended up receiving exemptions is far wider.
  • Income tax break is available to these companies and partnerships under Section 80IAC, where startups can avail income tax exemptions for three years in a block of seven years if they have been incorporated between April 1, 2016 and March 31, 2019.

Read full article: indianexpress.com

Bike-sharing startup Bounce raises Rs 50 Cr in round led by Sequoia India, Chiratae Ventures, others

  • Bounce also filed its financial report, which reflected a rise in revenues as well as an increase in losses for FY17–18.Bengaluru-based dockless bike-sharing startup Bounce has raised a funding of almost 50 crore in a round led by Sequoia India, Chiratae Ventures, Accel India, and ON Mauritius, media reports confirmed on Monday.
  • It was also around the same time that the bike- and scooter-rental platform had rebranded itself as ‘Bounce’ from the erstwhile Metro Bikes.
  • We’ve also gone beyond scooters, offering other forms of transport, including bicycles, electric pedelecs, and kick scooters across the city.
  • Apart from the $10 million fundraise, it was also reported that Wickedride Adventure Services, which operates the scooter-sharing platform, was in talks to close a $50 million fundraise round by the end of January.

Read full article: yourstory.com

Meet the six startups part of the Target Accelerator Program who are advancing the global retail industry

  • The Target Accelerator Program (TAP) set up in Bangalore in December 2013 has been instrumental in helping identify startups in the technology space with the potential to advance the retail industry.
  • The Target Accelerator Program (TAP) is a four-month-long programme that focuses on creating transformative solutions for the rapidly changing retail environment.
  • Especially in the last five years, the programme’s core focus has been to act as a testing ground for startups to develop, scale and test their products in a live retail environment, and has played a key role in contributing to the growth of the startup ecosystem in India.
  • First, the teams met with Target’s business partners to understand problem statements to work on and obtain their buy-in on the solution proposed.

Read full article: yourstory.com

ATM Reconciliation Process Of India’s Syndicate Bank to Use Private Blockchain Technology

  • ATM Reconciliation Process Of India’s Syndicate Bank to Use Private Blockchain Technology
    Indian banks may not be friendly towards cryptocurrencies but it sure looks like they seem to embrace blockchain technology .
  • Already banks like ICICI, Axis and Kotak Mahindra have been using blockchain for cross-border remittances and now Syndicate Bank is going to create a private blockchain for ATM reconciliation .
  • Say you are a Syndicate Bank customer taking money out of a Syndicate Bank or ICICI Bank ATM.

Read full article: bitcoinexchangeguide.com

Building SaaS products from India for the world: Chennai conclave SaaSBOOMi shows the way

  • Recently, successful SaaS founders in the city came together for SaaSBOOMi, a two-day conclave touted to be the first “for founders by the founders” SaaS event, to quote Freshworks’ Girish Mathrubootham, the organiser of the event.
  • Calling it an ongoing effort, Girish said that the SaaS entrepreneurial community will be engaged through online initiatives and that SaaSBOOMi aims to create cohorts of SaaS companies and startups on three fronts: global, enterprise and national.
  • Why SaaS is an industry you should look at if you are starting up today  At the press meet, Shekhar Kirani, a partner at Accel Partners and a volunteer at SaaSBOOMi, said the SaaS opportunity is predominantly in the B2B space for Indian startups.
  • You have to keep adding customers even if some customers leave you, and also find ways to keep customers.”David Thompson, Chief Marketing Officer of Freshworks, gave a Valley view to marketing for SaaS companies.
  • Suresh and Krish ran a workshop on go-to-market strategies for SaaS entrepreneurs going global from India, while Shekhar and Manav presented a workshop on GTM strategies for SaaS companies seeking enterprise customers.

Read full article: yourstory.com

AgNext raises pre-Series A funding from Kalaari Capital

  • AgNext, which is a portfolio firm of impact venture capital fund Omnivore, is an agricultural sensing solutions startup that collects spatial, temporal and spectral data across the agricultural and food value chain.
  • It is currently focussed on horticultural, floricultural, and plantation crops, as well as select row crops, with an initial customer base across India and strong inbound interest from other geographies.
  • We intend to scale our team and solutions deployment at a rapid pace over the coming year.”Jinesh Shah, Managing Partner at Omnivore, added, “We are excited to have Kalaari as a partner in AgNext’s journey, and look forward to creating a more vibrant agrifood tech ecosystem in India with them.”AgNext was founded in October 2016 by Taranjeet Singh Bhamra and Mrigank Sharad.
  • It was previously incubated at STEP IIT Kharagpur and received seed funding and acceleration support from a-IDEA, which is managed by the National Academy of Agricultural Research Management (NAARM) in Hyderabad.

Read full article: yourstory.com

Beyond the Pap smear: Startup uses phone, light and AI to detect cervical cancer

  • Israeli start-up MobileODT says it can detect cervical cancer more accurately and inexpensively than the standard colposcopy method used today, by creating a mobile digital colposcope made up of a smartphone equipped with a light source, a lens for magnification and an artificial intelligence algorithm.
  • A research by the National Cancer Institute also showed that 80 percent of the cases and 90% of the 280,000 deaths occurred in low- and middle-income countries, where the number of qualified colposcopists — the specialists who deal with the screenings of this anatomical area — is lower and healthcare operators have fewer resources.
  • With its Eva System, which uses an Automated Visual Evaluation (AVE) algorithm, MobileODT says  it can detect cervical cancer simply by examining an image of the cervix.
  • After developing the initial algorithm in collaboration with the National Cancer Institute , MobileODT created a portable, wireless and internet-connected colposcope called Eva Colpo that can be used in any clinic and medical practice, allowing women living in poorer areas to benefit from precise screening tests.

Read full article: timesofisrael.com