Digital Startup News roundup 29 Jan 2017

A weekly roundup of Startup news

  • Companies like Microsoft and Cisco are pumping millions of dollars into their startup accelerator programmes –  One of the biggest concerns of large technology companies these days has to do with innovation. The industry catchphrase for this is: “Fear of being Uberised”—a term derived from the success of the ride-hailing company Uber that has disrupted traditional taxi industries globally.
  • What’s the secret to getting your startup funded? Timing – Everyone who has ever come up with a business idea knows the pain of trying to accumulate funding. There are a few straightforward ways to get this startup capital; if you happen to have a wealthy relative or have free cash of your own lying around, you’ll have a straight shot to getting the capital you need. Otherwise, you’ll need to pitch your idea to potential investors — and that means convincing them your idea is worth their time, money, and effort.
  • Weekly roundup on startup funding – Indian startups saw a lot of funding activity in the week gone by with as many as 20 companies receiving angel, seed or venture capital. Bengaluru-based WeHive Technologies Pvt Ltd, which runs parenting social network TinyStep, raised $2 million in a fresh round of funding from existing investor Flipkart. In other deals, Mumbai-based online marketplace received $1 million in venture capital from Singularity Ventures and others while Delhi-based online tea retailer Vahdam Teas raised funding from Fireside Ventures’ Kanwaljit Singh, Mumbai Angels and Singapore Angel Network.
  • Mark Zuckerberg’s philanthropy organization is acquiring a search and AI startup called Meta – The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the standalone company founded by Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan that’s tasked with giving away the couple’s billions, is making its first acquisition.CZI is acquiring Meta, a startup that “developed an AI that helps scientists read, understand and prioritize millions of scientific papers,” according to a Facebook post.The hope is that the technology will help those in the scientific community more easily discover and share research. “Meta will help scientists learn from others’ discoveries in real time, find key papers that may have gone unnoticed, or even predict where their field is headed,” the Facebook post reads.CZI says Meta will eventually be free. The company raised $6 million in venture funding back in November 2015, and has raised more than $7 million in total, according to Crunchbase. The acquisition price was not disclosed.
  • Five Trends That Will Rule India’s Startup Ecosystem in 2017 – Although 2016 ended as a bonanza year for fintech startups due to demonetization, 2017 so far is looking rather mixed. While Proptiger and Housing have just recently declared a merger to create the biggest online real estate player in India, Mumbai-based home services startup Taskbob has announced its decision to close down. In 2017, readers can expect consolidation to be the underlying theme in India’s startup ecosystem, with the country’s capital operators continuing to realign their portfolios and search for exits.
    – Continuity in growth of SaaS
    – Moonshot ideas will gain prominence
    – Consolidation in e-commerce and real estate sector
    – Emergence of robust drug Industry
    – An apt time for investors to exit
  • Facial recognition will replace passports in Australia – Eventually! – Australia has started implementing biometric facial, iris and fingerprint recognition in airports, allowing passengers to go through without showing a passport or even talking to anyone. The “Seamless Traveler” project is aimed at creating a “fast, seamless self-processing experience for up to 90 percent of travelers,” so that border control can focus on high-risk passengers. The handy, but invasive-sounding plan would allow international travelers to “literally just walk out like at a domestic airport,” security analyst John Coyne told Australia’s Sydney Morning Herald. The system would replace passport-scanning SmartGates, which were implemented in the nation just ten years ago. The government’s plan to implement biometrics might be a touch ambitious, however. It still doesn’t have an actual solution in place yet, so has started seeking bids from companies “to provide innovative solutions to allow arriving travelers to self-process,” a spokesperson for the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) said.
  • Cisco to Spend Billions On This ‘Unicorn’ Software Startup – Cisco just put a cork on business software startup AppDynamics’ planned initial public offering by buying the company before its market debut. The networking giant said Tuesday that it would acquire AppDynamics for roughly $3.7 billion. The deal is expected to close by April. AppDynamics, a so-called unicorn startup with a valuation of over $1 billion dollars, filed to go public in December and planned to trade on Nasdaq. Companies like Nike and Kraft use AppDynamics’s technology to monitor how their software and apps are operating.
  • Infosys Invests aggressively in startups – Infosys has invested over $60 M in startups out of its $500 M from company’s innovation funds. The company invests in innovative startup in the categories of Machine Learning, Big data, Internet of Things (IoT), AI (artificial Intelligence), infrastructure, cloud spaces etc.Back in 2013, the company invested $100 M in startups, which reportedly increased the investment to $500 M in 2015. Mr.Vishal Sikka, CEO of Infosys said “The start-up world is incredibly exciting. We have been investing in companies there. We have been bringing these companies to our clients and the result is unexceptional.” As per now the company has invested about $62.18 M in the startups.

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