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  • Indian agritech’s breakout yearPradip K. Saha
    Indian agritech’s breakout yearThirukumaran Nagarajan, like most middle-class millennials, only knew one way to rise in life. Study hard, secure a well-paying job, live a comfortable life. Simple enough. He did a bachelor’s in electrical engineering, worked for a bit, and then enrolled at the Indian Institute of Management, Kozhikode—and even then, all he wanted really was a secure job. India’s startup story was just beginning, and Flipkart was emerging as the poster child, expanding, hiring sharp minds, making the right bets. It was also one of the most sought-after employers among B-school graduates at the time. Nagarajan applied for a position at Flipkart in 2010 but didn’t land the job. But almost a decade and five failed ventures later—including a CFO coaching centre, a cloud kitchen of sorts and a location-based social network app—he found Flipkart knocking at his door. Last month, the e-commerce company and its US-based parent, Walmart, invested an undisclosed amount in supply chain startup Ninjacart, which Nagarajan co-founded in 2015.
  • An intelligent person’s guide to the alarmist Indian VCAshish K. Mishra
    An intelligent person’s guide to the alarmist Indian VCDSG Consumer Partners sent out an ominous letter last week to all its stakeholders. Deepak Shahdadpuri, the founder and managing director of the venture capital firm, enjoys enormous respect in the Indian entrepreneurship ecosystem. With a portfolio comprising companies like Epigamia, Raw Pressery, OYO, MSwipe, and Chai Point, DSGCP dabbles a lot in the consumer space and is supposed to be in the know of consumer sentiment. Last week Shahdadpuri said, things aren’t looking good. Below from his letter: DSGCP has been investing in Indian consumer start-ups for seven years, I have been in the venture capital business for nearly 20 years and have seen the booms and busts that are part of market cycles. Fans of Game of Thrones will know that Winter Is Coming was the motto of the House of Stark. The implication is of warning and constant vigilance. To be prepared. Unlike in GOT where winter finally arrived after six seasons, we believe that winter is already here in the venture capital market.
  • A watershed year for women-led startups in IndiaHarveen Ahluwalia
    A watershed year for women-led startups in IndiaSo far, 2019 has been a standout year for women-led startups in India. Of the top 150 startups by funding in the first six months of the year, an unprecedented 17.3% had women as founders or co-founders. To put that in perspective, the same figure was about 10% for the full year of 2018, and had largely remained stagnant earlier, at 12% in 2016 and 2017, according to data from […]
  • Less SoftBank, more venture buildersKabeer Chawla
    Less SoftBank, more venture builders In the last few months, enough words have been spent on SoftBank and the several ills of its kind. WeWork, Uber, Lyft, Peloton. It’s not a great time for venture capital. Investors around the world are (hopefully) rethinking how they value tech and what you would call tech-enabled startups. Venture capital models, especially late-stage VC, definitely need review, but today I’d like to talk about a different form of startup investing, one that doesn’t get as much screen time—venture builders. Almost an antithesis of the classic VC approach.
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