Banking on India’s entrepreneurial energy, the tech giant aims to help late-stage startups enhance their enterprise readiness and go-to-market (GTM) activities.
Since its launch in 2012, Microsoft Accelerator has shifted its focus from incubation to late-stage go-to-market focus. The programme, after five years and 10 batches, has accelerated 129 startups so far. It recently launched its 11th cohort of 14 startups and aims to help them boost enterprise readiness and go-to-market (GTM) activities.
Bala Girisaballa, Managing Director, Microsoft Accelerator, says, “With continued efforts to increase collaboration between startups and corporates, the programme will help these startups scale up with partnerships.”
The 14 startups are Clonect, Ace Turtle, Udaan, Simplilearn, MintM, Hotelogix, Docswallet, MegDap, GIEOM, i-exceed, KrypC, Liv.ai, VideoKen, and Kata.AI.
The average age of these startups is 3.5 years and, between them, they have raised close to $64 million in funding till date. Their company size averages to 80 employees and they clock an Average Revenue Rate of $2.6 million.
Speaking about common features amongst the 14 startups, Bala says, “All the startups have a strong vector of disruption and all of them are on the cloud. Apart from B2B and global, they have an in depth knowledge of problem-solving.”
While the startups are solving problems for very diverse markets and sectors, like GST-readiness, video processing and Natural Language Processing, Machine Learning has emerged as a strong driver across the cohort.
Bala says, “We have brought in some unique strengths and apart from connecting with partners across the globe, we hope to achieve much more. Together, Microsoft and the startups will approach customers and help solve their problems.”
The startups will adopt Microsoft’s Azure Cloud, and make use of its advanced cloud services in areas like IoT, Big Data, Cognitive Services and Advanced Analytics to scale their products. They will also work closely with Microsoft’s sales and marketing teams, research team and its partners in India and across the world.
Since shifting the focus of the program to later-stage startups, many startups have seen significant growth in their business, global expansions and an increase in enterprise clients with Microsoft’s support. These include Altizon, CloudCherry, CustomerXPs, Flutura, Vymo and Witty Parrot. The Accelerator has also formed strategic partnerships with various corporates, including TCS, Temasek and Wipro to help startups with their GTM efforts globally.
Here is a brief of 14 startups Microsoft Accelerator chose and why:
Ace Turtle How many times have we entered a store and not found the right fit? Have there been instances when that piece is lying at some distant warehouse? Ace Turtle, an omni-channel enabling company, integrates online and offline channel brands.
Its proprietary platform combines technology, logistics and customer support, and enables brands and retailers to enhance their customers’ commerce experience. Their client list includes RayBan, Puma, US Polo and Reliance Trends among others. Ace Turtle is doing an upward of $2 million every month and their investors are Vertex Venture Holdings Ltd, the venture capital arm of Singapore State investment firm Temasek, and Singapore-based real estate developer CapitaLand.
Clonect Is the GST procedure and compliance giving you nightmares? Clonect Solutions might come to your rescue. A compliance ERP provider, this IT products and solutions company offers compliance management solutions, enterprise governance and risk management. GST STAR is their prime offering. Some high-profile investors like former Infosys CFOs and board members TV Mohandas Pai and V Balakrishnan are angel investors in Clonect.
Udaan Udaan is a network-centric B2B platform designed specifically for small and medium businesses in India. It brings traders, wholesalers, retailers and manufacturers on to a single platform, and enables logistics and payments through it.
Simplilearn Simplilearn’s mission is to help professionals around the world acquire the skills they need to succeed in today’s digital economy. The company provides online training in disciplines such as Cyber Security, Cloud Computing, Project Management, Digital Marketing and Data Science among others.
Mint M MintM is a robotic platform that can convert any digital display device to intelligent robot-enabling enhanced sales and marketing experience. It does that with the use of a camera fixed to the device.
Hotelogix Hotelogix is a cloud-based, end-to- end, hospitality technology solution provider built to seamlessly manage independent and multi-property hotel chains, through a single window for all hotel operations and bookings (online and offline). Hotelogix is currently used by properties in over 100 countries.
Docswallet In the digital era, don't we still use physical documents and papers as proof? Whether it is for visa requirements or to our employers, we need to show and submit them physical documents that are later scanned and preserved. Docswallet comes into the picture just there. Formerly known as MyEasydocs, this company provides Cloud-based Document Management services. The web application is a digital document vault where digitally certified documents can be stored and shared for visa applications, employment, higher studies, trade applications etc. Docswallet eliminates the exchange of paper and creates trust on digital documents between organisations and individuals.
MegDap Megdap enables enterprises to engage with customers in a language of their choice. Texlang, its machine learning and AI platform, enables enterprise-grade language processing across translation, text and voice extraction and cognitive analysis. Meghashyam Karana, Co-founder and CEO, says, “Digitising, transforming and analysing content is our fundamental service.”
GIEOM This startup helps banks in managing change with regard to regulations, compliance and technology. They achieve that with Artificial Intelligence and computer vision. Bala says, “Regulations keep changing in the banking sector and there is a need to analyse the impact of regulatory change on business operations of the bank and communicate to users on a need-to-know basis.” Currently, GIEOM claims to serve over 35 banks in 50 countries. Their largest customer in India is State Bank of India; worldwide it is World Bank in Washington, DC.
i-exceed This startup enables banks and financial institutions to offer digital solutions and services to customers. i-exceed offers the Appzillon Digital banking suite, enabling digital transformation for banks and financial institutions.
KrypC This Blockchain technology company focuses on accelerated Blockchain adoption in enterprises across domains. Its platform helps enterprises swiftly map their business use cases and build Blockchain applications with all required elements to deploy on standard protocols such as Hyperledger, Ethereum or Multichain.
Liv.ai With the mission statement “Giving voice to a billion people”, Liv.ai is a deep learning and Artificial Intelligence-based speech recognition and natural language tool for Indian languages. Liv has a speech recognition API in 10 Indian languages, Dialogue Systems in Hindi and English, machine translation and transliteration. Two more languages will be added to their list by this year end.
VideoKen Ever wondered if we would have a table of content for hourlong videos? If we could directly jump to the most favourite part in the video with actually playing and figuring where it is? A phrase cloud can be built into the video with VideoKen. A collaborative social learning platform helps align employee skills with business needs. By providing easy and effective access to publicly available learning content, VideoKen’s indexing, curation and self-learning capabilities make learning intuitive, engaging and fun.
Kata.AI This platform enables brands and enterprises to connect with millions of consumers through a chatbot. Kata.ai is the first Artificial Intelligence startup in Indonesia that builds Natural Language Understanding of Bahasa Indonesia. The startup is founded by ex-Silicon Valley engineers who used to work at Google Deepmind, IBM Watson, VMware, Airbus and tech companies in Hamburg, Tokyo, London and Paris.