[Weekend wrap] What's keeping the startups from scaling beyond the base camp?


In its latest report on the US funding trends, CB Insights recently likened it to a funnel showing how the number of startups moving to the next stage of funding diminished subsequently. For example, if 100 startups received the first round, only 10 startups managed to move to the sixth round of funding, broadly speaking.

In her article, titled: Why Indian startups are facing a lack of vitamin C, Chief Editor Shradha Sharma takes a deep dive into this funding funnel to find out why there is a serious lack of growth capital in the Indian startup ecosystem.

She writes, “In the first half of 2017, of the total investments made across 405 startups, only five companies managed to cross the chasm and raise a Series C investment...And just to get a better understanding how this pyramid is skewed against Series C, let’s look at last year’s numbers. Out of a total of 1,040 investments made in startups, 705 were pre-series A deals, 102 were Series A, 53 were Series B, while Series C accounted for just 15 deals.”

This begs the question, what is stopping startups from climbing the summit once they have reached the base camp? Perhaps, as the ecosystem matures, we will see more and more startups unfurl their flags at the summit of growth. Stay tuned here as we bring you more insights on the funding conundrum.

Ashutosh Pandey, CEO, TataCLiQ

Yet another vexing question in the startup world is that of profitability and e-commerce. The news this week of Amazon buying Whole Foods Market in a deal worth a whopping $14 billion, has had e-commerce watchers stumped. In an insightful article in HBR on the future of the new economy, Bill Taylor points out, “Does the deal underscore just how expansive a vision Jeff Bezos has for Amazon, his dream of it becoming the “everything store”? (No doubt.)”

In India, while Flipkart and Amazon battle it out, it is TataCLiQ that is slowly but surely showing how the e-commerce game is played in India.

In her article this week, titled: ‘A year since it began, TataCLiQ scripts a new story in Indian e-retail, Athira Nair says that “such a pure-play omnichannel marketplace is a rarity globally – even Walmart is a single retail chain. Yet, in one year, TataCLiQ has seen an enviable growth.” She spoke to TataCLiQ CEO Ashutosh Pandey on what lies ahead for this unique marketplace. Read the full interview here.

What really distinguishes the new tech-enabled businesses of today from traditional businesses is the need for constant change. Today’s entrepreneur has to keep reinventing and upping their game. One such entrepreneur, who incidentally refuses to let anyone tag him with a 'serial entrepreneur' tag, is Ronnie Screwvala.

Sindhu Kashyap travelled to Mumbai to meet this inspiring entrepreneur to uncover what makes him tick. In her article this week titled:Here’s what Ronnie Screwvala’s version 2.0 looks like’, she spoke to Ronnie on life after UTV, his online education company, and working with Indian entrepreneurs. Read the full story here.

Ronnie and Team USports after the PKL Win
This week, as every other, we had a bouquet of startup stories. In case you missed any, read them all here

Leaving you with this funny yet poignant article marking the blood donation day. Shruti Kedia explores how blood is often thicker than water when it comes to our cinema. In her article titled:Blood conversations, Bollywood style’, she says that behind the absurdity of the iconic Amar Akbar Anthony blood transfusion scene lies Hindi cinema’s ability to tell complex messages of hope and unity through ‘blood’.

Until next time then. Do write to me at dipti@yourstory.com with your feedback and suggestions.


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