The savvy startup founder who helps Kashmiris overcome crackdown

  • New Delhi, India –  Javid Parsa, a 31-year-old restauranteur and social media star who was born Bandipora, a picturesque district in  Indian-administered Kashmir , is the epitome of a startup founder.
  • While some landlines have been restored, the internet is still not working at full capacity and  several Kashmiris have not been able to speak to family members in other countries, or in India, since August 5.
  • Parsa said he has connected hundreds of Kashmiri families with their relatives abroad, either by phone or sending letters with people who are able to travel, often international journalists.
  • A social media post by Parsa calling for donations to help a family whose house burned down and another informing people about functional landlines in Kashmir

Read full article: aljazeera.com

Deals Buzz: RBL Bank-backed microlender Utkarsh SFB plans ₹500 crore IPO

  • RBL Bank-backed Utkarsh Small Finance Bank (USFB), which mainly gives microfinance loans in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, has begun work on its initial public offering (IPO), Mint reported citing three people aware of the matter.
  • Established in 2009, USFB is wholly owned by Utkarsh Coreinvest Ltd (erstwhile Utkarsh Micro Finance Ltd) and counts CDC Group Plc, the development finance institution of the UK government, as its largest shareholder holding a 14% stake.
  • Utkarsh Coreinvest received a final small finance bank (SFB) licence from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in November 2016 and started operations as an SFB in January 2017.
  • Sequoia-backed Groww raises ₹ 154 crore led by Ribbit Capital
  • Its existing investors- Sequoia Capital India and marquee startup accelerator Y-Combinator, also participated in the round.

Read full article: livemint.com

How coworking startup Bhive faced a near shutdown and scripted a turnaround

  • We had sensed an opportunity in the market, which was nascent at that time for a fully serviced, plug-and-play space that startups and even mature companies could use to house their employees and focus on their business rather than manage administrative and operational tasks,” Shesh says.
  • Blume Ventures, an investor in Bhive, had last July said that the founders had been travelling to mobilise funds, and had tweaked the business model to make it an asset-light model.
  • For one year, we haven’t looked at raising equity capital as the focus has been on growing business through money generated from business and landlord partnerships,” Shesh says.
  • Shesh says the Bhive brand was already strong, there were leads but expansions weren’t what they focused on so they completely cut down on marketing efforts.
  • The average transaction size increasing from 52,000 per square feet in 2018 to 77,000 per square feet in Q1 of 2019.Currently, Bhive is working on three different expansion models: Landlord franchise: Landlord makes the investment on interiors.

Read full article: yourstory.com

How this 32-year-old’s leisure travel startup turned to medical tourism to help cancer patients

  • It was a grave situation, and medical value travel (MVT) startup Magnus Medi stepped in to support Josephine with a quick action plan and much-needed support.
  • With India’s medical tourism industry expected to grow by 200 percent by 2020 and touted to hit $9 billion , according to Ministry of Tourism figures, Mihir Vora’s Magnus Medi addresses this burgeoning market.
  • Today, international patients receive state-of-the-art medical treatment not easily available in their own country with Vora’s entrepreneurial venture.
  • That was the fortuitous start for the Mumbai-based MVT startup Magnus Medi back in 2010.
  • A patient who uses Magnus Medi’s services first decides on the kind of medical treatment needed by logging onto the website of Magnus Medi, selecting from a list of hospitals and doctors, and getting estimates on the required treatment.

Read full article: yourstory.com

Anthill Ventures’ Devang Mehta on why less is more; Amazon Alexa now speaks Hindi

  • Devang Mehta, Partner at Anthill Ventures, an investment firm with offices in Hyderabad and Mumbai, calls himself a typical combination of an engineer and an MBA graduate.
  • Today, Devang is responsible for fund marketing, devising fund strategy, investments, and advising portfolio companies on various growth strategies.
  • In a conversation with YourStory, Mehta discusses the firm’s investment philosophy, and how his entrepreneurship experience and being a product marketer shaped his thesis.
  • Amazon users can now interact with Alexa in HindiUsers in India can now speak to Amazon’s voice assistant, Alexa in Hindi to carry out tasks like checking cricket scores, requesting for songs and even asking how she’s doing.

Read full article: yourstory.com

[Startup Bharat] From 5 orders a day to having a customer base of 25,000– A Toddler Thing is giving baby care a sustainable twist

  • ATT manufactures reusable cloth diapers, organic muslin cotton swaddles, blankets, towels, jablas, nappies, and toddler toes (anti-slip shoes) for kids between zero to three-years.
  • At present, ATT products are available on 10 online marketplaces including Amazon, Flipkart, BabyChakra, etc., and are available across 50 retail stores in Coimbatore, Bengaluru, Kochi, Chennai, and Mumbai.
  • The former started an Entrepreneurship Club and eventually a student-run café called Namma Café in college, and Swathi was a part of both.
  • In 2016, the idea of sustainable baby products struck Swathi when she came across the use of cloth diapers outside India, and the amount of money her sister-in-law spent on buying her son’s disposable diapers.
  • Once successful, for close to four months, team ATT worked on setting up a factory in Tiruppur , sourcing raw materials from across Tamil Nadu and manufacturing their own baby products.

Read full article: yourstory.com

Next wave of startup success stories in India could come from life science and molecular biology, says investor Dheeraj Jain

  • Dheeraj Jain, investor and founder of Redcliffe Capital, started his career in Telenor in Norway, where he was into product development.
  • Dheeraj thought of building some capital to fund some of the startups in India, and that’s where his journey of investing in early-stage companies started.
  • Student housing startup Coho was Dheeraj’s first investment in India, and after that, he started investing in a few more startups.
  • When asked about his views on investing in a life science startup, he says, ” We have a large population, diversified culture, and are one of the largest bases for cancer, neurological disorder, cardiac diseases, NT, Nephro, and even lifestyle is diversified.
  • Sharing his experience about investing in US-based ventures that didn’t go well, Dheeraj says, they invested in three US-based ventures including one VR-based gaming startup.

Read full article: yourstory.com

[Jobs Roundup] Mine your language skills as translators are in high demand

  • The global language services market will grow by $8.66 billion during 2018-2022, according to a research firm, Technavio.
  • Translation Associate – FrenchAmazon Experience needed: 0-4 yearsAmazon is on the lookout for a proficient communicator in French with B1, and above to be a part of their Retail Business Services (RBS).
  • The responsibility of the associate will be to understand and use Amazon’s Retail Systems Platform to enhance the retail selection in Amazon’s online catalogue.
  • The language expert will have to assist the internal stakeholders with contract interpretation and administration of customer’s agreements.

Read full article: yourstory.com

[Funding alert] Fintech startup Groww raises $21.4M in Series B from Ribbit Capital, Sequoia, Y Combinator

  • Bengaluru-based wealth management platform Groww, on Thursday, raised $21.4 million as a part of its Series B funding round led by US-based VC firm Ribbit Capital along with participation from existing investors Sequoia India and Y Combinator.
  • It raised $6.2 million in Series A funding led by Sequoia Capital earlier this January.
  • The platform has more than 2.5 million users across India, with 60 percent of them coming from outside of the top six cities.
  • (Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta)Also ReadInvestment platform Groww raises Series A funding of $6.2 M led by Sequoia India

Read full article: yourstory.com

Sequoia-backed Groww raises ₹154 crore led by Ribbit Capital

  • Its existing investors- Sequoia Capital India and marquee startup accelerator Y-Combinator, also participated in the round.
  • Groww raised a Series A round of $6.2 million in January this year, led by Sequoia, prior to which it had raised a pre-series A funding round of $1.2 million from Insignia Venture Partners, Y-Combinator, and prominent angel investors such as Cure.fit founders Mukesh Bansal and Ankit Nagori, among others.
  • Sequoia India has also been one of the most active fintech investors in the country, with over 30 investments, including Cred, Razorpay, insurance firm Turtlemint and stock management firm Smallcase, among others.
  • Agarwal also oversees the Groww investment from Sequoia’s portfolio.

Read full article: livemint.com