500 Startups has released the list of companies for the next batch of companies for its startup accelerator program. 28 companies feature in this batch, of which 20 companies are international. It is the first time that 500 startups has invested in middle-eastern and African startups; 2 companies from Jordan and one from Ghana. Apart from this, five Indian startups have been selected as a part of the program.
We caught up with Pankaj Jain, 500 Startup’s venture partner in India to know more about the announcement and 500 Startup’s India focus –
YS: How did you go about shortlisting companies from India?
PJ: All the applications were made through Angel List, so all the short lists were mainly based on merit, as opposed to last year, which was mainly done through referrals.
YS: What are some things that are different about this batche’s Indian Startups as opposed to the ones in the previous batch?
PJ: Firstly, two out of the four Indian companies (Seat14A and School Admissions) have women founders. This is particularly important for me. Also of the five startups that have come on board, three (Pricebaba, Tushky and School Admissions) are focused on the Indian market and the other two are global facing companies.
I think the longer term opportunities for startups lie in India and I’m really happy to see more focus on India. While there are many who urge global startups from India, I believe that we should have global quality companies, which should solve local problems.
YS: How will a exposure to the US market help startups targeting the Indian market?
PJ: I think the most challenges that startups face are the same, irrespective of geography. Helping startups overcome problems in distribution, design and the process of making data driven decisions is what we do and I think these challenges are relevant to Indian startups especially.
YS: Startups from Ghana and Jordan are two new additions to your portfolio. What was the thought behind it?
PJ: We at 500 Startups see the world slightly differently. We see it in terms of language and population centers and places like the middle east, China, India etc have a great language-population imbalance. For example, Arabic is spoken by at least a few 100 million people around the world and there is a huge opportunity to tap into by working with startups from these geographies.
Here are the list of startups from Batch 6 –
Credii (India) – Software and services requirements business intelligence
School Admissions (India) – Making school admissions and education tension free.
AppSocially (Japan) – Social API to increase application virality
Binpress (Isreal) – Helping increase open source adoption in corporates
Boxc (China/US) – Ecommerce/Logistics solutions between china and US
Dakwak (Jordan) – Website translation technology
Dropifi (Ghana) – Web marketing tool
Feast (US) – Cooking School for the common man
Floqq (Spain) – Skill e-learning platform
Flyer (US) – Helps create beautiful flyers for real estate companies
Geekatoo (US) – Onsite tech support
GreenGar (US) – Real time mobile collaboration tool
InstaGIS (Chile) – Geographical information system for retail shops
KiteReaders (US) – Publishing platform for childrens books
KoiMei (US) – Algorithmic video transcription tool
Mayvenn (US) – Mobile commerce solutions for Salons
PinMyPet (Brazil) – Social based software for monitoring and improving experience between pets and owners
POPAPP (Taiwan) – App to fast sketch app prototypes
Reesio (US) – Turns the real estate transaction process into one beautiful flow for agents, clients, and third parties.
SeMeAntoja (Mexico) – We empower restaurants to accept orders online
Sverve (US) – Sverve is a selfservice influencer marketing platform for small businesses
Tamatem (Jordan) – A culturally relevant mobile gaming development studio
TRDATA (Ukrain) – The Bloomberg for Emerging Markets
WHILL (Tokyo) – Personal mobility for wheelchair users and the elderly