Google on Thursday announced the second batch of Indian startups that will join its Launchpad Accelerator programme at Google Headquarters in California, USA. The six month long mentorship programme for mid- to late-stage startups will start from June 13, 2016, and each startup will get $50,000 in equity-free funding.
The six Indian startups will join 18 other global startups from Brazil, Indonesia and Mexico. The two week boot camp in Google HQ will start with determining challenges the startups face, providing mentorship and solutions along with Google resources that enable their products/apps to scale. Google will also provide the startups access to a full suite of Launchpad initiatives, connections and product credits including Google Cloud and other products.
The shortlisted startups from India include:
Taskbob - A Mumbai-based startup that provides a range of home services like home cleaning, car spa, handymen services, drivers, appliance repair, maids on demand and the recently launched, at-home beauty services. The startup recently raised a Rs 28 crore Series A round led by IvyCap Ventures
ShareChat - This Bengaluru-based startup is a local language social networking chat platform. With ShareChat, users can share videos, jokes, GIFs, audio songs and funny images in Indian languages like Hindi, Telugu, Marathi, and Malayalam.
RedCarpet - A Delhi-based startup that provides instant credit for online purchases. Users can buy any product from any site and pay back in easy instalments
PlaySimple Games - A Bengaluru-based startup, which specialises in building simple and fun social games. GuessUp and Word Trek are two of their popular games.
MagicPin - This Delhi-based startup that provides a platform for offline merchants in a locality and provides real time promotions, loyalty programmes while helping users to discover local merchants and transact on the platform. They recently claimed that 4,00,000 selfies had been uploaded on their platform in less than six months.
Batch 1 and alumni speak
For their first batch of the Launcpad Accelerator, Google had handpicked Indonesia, Brazil and India because of the tremendous growth opportunities in each country. The alumni from last year include - Doormint, JustRide, Holachef, Murmur, Super, Nestaway and EnglishDost.
In February 2016, Ratan Tata invested in Nestaway. Amarendra Sahu, Co-founder of Nestaway, who was part of the first batch of the Launchad from India, shared,
If you believe you can build a world class product, the mentors will push you to bet on yourself. We have benefitted a great deal from this program and have just closed a $30 million Series C, in India this year.
While the other five startups have achieved varied levels of success, Murmur has apparently shut down.
Related read from December 2015: Google to mentor Indian mobile startups with an equity-free accelerator programme
Talking about the growth and maturity of the Indian startup ecosystem, Paul Ravindranath, Program Manager at Google India, believes that new age entrepreneurs are not shying away from risks and are eager to learn. But there is currently a gap as good mentoring and advice for early to mid-stage startups is not easily available. With Launchpad accelerator, Google aims to fill that gap. He further said,
In our experience many start-ups struggle with UX, building scalable architectures and go to market strategy. Launchpad Accelerator Program brings together mentors and experts from within Google and external world to help these start-ups succeed.
Other tech giants too like Microsoft and Facebook have their own accelerator programmes - Microsoft Ventures and FbStart respectively. While the main objective is to help startups, these tech giants also benefit as these startups leverage their tools, provide feedback and also have potential to be grow big and be considered future alumni they can engage and leverage.
Website - Google Launchpad