Startup Roundup April 4, 2016


Highway tech start-up gets pre-seed funding – The Hindu

Highway Delite, a tech start-up focused on highways, has received an undisclosed amount of pre-seed funding from the N.S. Raghavan Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning— the incubation unit of the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore.

The firm helps travellers find hotels and restaurants while travelling on highway via an app. It also assists them during emergency situations such as accidents, vehicle breakdown and if they require healthcare services. The app which is available on Google’s Android platform also provides insights about specific accident zones. 


Some very special startups are still raising millions of dollars. Here’s why.

With just two sentences, Jon Stein can make you question everything you thought you knew about the startup world in 2016.

“It was a good market to be raising,” Stein told Mashable on Tuesday morning, shortly after hisfinancial services company Betterment announced raising a blockbuster $100 million round of venture capital funding. “I’ve never before seen so much interest.”

Hear that noise? It’s the sound of hundreds of startup founders weeping as they ride their hoverboards into the sunset. 


Investors are looking for cockroach tech startups – Business Insider

Last year was the year of the “unicorn” — private technology-driven startups that reached a valuation of $1 billion or more.

But tech and startup investment is going to be defined by a very different beast in 2016 — the cockroach.

“Everything is about resiliency now to weather the storm,” says Tim McSweeney, a director at technology-focused merchant bank Restoration Partners. “Unicorn, it’s a mythical beast, whereas a cockroach, it can survive a nuclear war.” 


Sports startups are trying to change the game – The Economic Times

Virat Kohli is not the only one shaping up for a scorching drive through the covers. A clutch of innovative startups, riding on the growing enthusiasm for sports in the country, are looking for ways to clear the boundary Kohli-style.

Entrepreneurs -many of them former amateur sportspeople -are setting up new businesses ranging from etailing sports apparel to providing analytics to improve performance.


Social media start-up Vamp plots Australian IPO

The social media tech start-up backed by Qantas and Fairfax Media director Todd Sampson has revealed plans to list on the Australian Stock Exchange by mid-May.

Visual Amplifiers, also known as Vamp, with investment bank Moelis as its adviser, is seeking to capitalise on growing demand from advertising agencies and high-profile consumer brands to connect with Instagram “influencers”.

Moelis managing director Ben Wong and Vamp’s executive team led by co-founder Ben McGrath will embark on an investor roadshow throughout Australia and Asia over the next few weeks as part of a plan to raise $15 million in the initial public offering.

Tech incubator Digital4ge expects to hold a 43 per cent stake in Vamp post-IPO with the start-up hoping to gain a market value of around $45 million. 


25 quotes from Indian startup journeys

From reinvention to resurgence, witness the memorable journey of Indian entrepreneurship in these excerpts and stories! StoryBites is a weekly feature from YourStory, featuring notable quotable quotes in our articles of this past week (see the previous post here). Share these 25 gems and insights from the week of March 27 – April 2 with your colleagues and networks, and check back to the original articles for more insights! 


NAB enlists venture capitalists to invest in start-ups

National Australia Bank is turning to the venture capital sector to run its $50 million fund that will invest in fintech start-ups, a plan aimed at boosting innovation across the lender.

The bank has appointed Todd Forest, an entrepreneur, angel investor and digital media executive, to run NAB Ventures, which expects to make its first investment in the next month or so.

Alongside Mr Forest, NAB has hired Melissa Widner, one of the most senior women in Australian venture capital, who has also worked in the United States, as general partner.

A co-founder of leading Australian fund Blackbird Ventures, Bill Bartee, will also work with the NAB fund as an adviser..

The appointments come as NAB’s fund is preparing to make its first foray into investing in fintech start-ups, a tactic that has become increasingly popular among banks. 


Venture capital: more to come for GCC start-ups | The National

The GCC’s tech entrepreneur sector has grown ten-fold over the past four years, thanks to the development of the region’s venture capital ecosystem, according to Dany Farha, the chief executive of Dubai’s technology focused Beco ­Capital.

However, he stressed that more angel investment is required to support the region’s start-up tech firms, together with incubators and accelerator programmes to support their growth and development.

Speaking ahead of today’s STEP conference in Dubai, Mr Farha said the development of the region’s venture capital ecosystem had enabled to Beco to scale up the number of investments in tech firms at the seed capital stage.

“We saw our deal flow grow exponentially year-on-year for the past four years, so we scaled our raising and deployment in parallel with the growth in start-up activity,” said Mr Farha. 


Five key lessons from Mud Jeans in building a circular startup | Guardian Sustainable Business | The Guardian

Mud Jeans understands that circular concepts require an adoption time, that circular businesses need to explore alternative financing and that close relationships in the value chain are essential. 


INNOVATE2016: General Catalyst’s Hemant Taneja on the importance of politics for startups | TechCrunch

With his five — yes five — degrees from MIT and investments in huge wins like Stripe and Snapchat, General Catalyst Managing DirectorHemant Taneja is one of Silicon Valley’s most meretricious success stories.

And yet Taneja is under no illusions about the power of Silicon Valley start-ups to entirely control their own fate. Fifteen years ago, he says, start-ups didn’t need to worry about government or regulation.

But today, Taneja – who is heavily invested in traditionally highly regulated sectors like healthcare and education – argues, “everything has changed”. There’s been what he calls a “global application rewrite” which means that entrepreneurs need to understand that “regulation is part of their product”. 


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