I am not one for celebrating days like Mother's Day or Father's Day, why do we need to celebrate people who live in our hearts every day? But today is an important one for me, and all the other entrepreneurs like me. And everyone who has thought, or is thinking, of taking the scary plunge into uncertainty that is called entrepreneurship. Happy World Entrepreneurship Day. India has been a land of entrepreneurship, but somewhere along the way, we became salary earners. We didn’t have the choice and options. But now, together, you and me and so many, we are bringing back the entrepreneurial spirit. Today is a day for us to stand tall, pat ourselves on the back for making a difference - for creating jobs, and contributing to the economic success of our country. It is a day to be proud of our successes (however small they might be by worldly standards) and for overcoming challenges. And to all those who are contemplating to jump into the crazy, unsettled and not so easy world of entrepreneurship and startup, think, maybe your time to jump had come.
Wish you all a very happy World Entrepreneurship Day! Let’s be proud of our scars, and let’s be proud Indians, we are making a tiny contribution to our county.
Peer-to-peer lending platform Finzy announced it had raised $2.3 million in a Pre-Series A round. This includes the $1.3 million that the platform had raised in the first tranche in March 2018. Not revealing any names, the Bengaluru-based company said it had raised the funding from senior professionals in the Banking, Financial Services and Insurance (BFSI) industry, and successful entrepreneurs. It plans to use the funding for geographical expansion, to refine its product and strengthen the product distribution.
Foodtech in India has a love-hate relationship with investors. It’s gone from being a poster boy to an outcast and back to somewhere in between. If investment numbers are to be believed, foodtech is back in favour. Of the $592 million invested in foodtech this year, $440 million was mopped up by two players, Swiggy and Zomato. But these 'food' companies' bread and butter isn’t food per se, it’s delivering food. The one thing, then, that shines through is that the online food delivery business seems deceptively simple but is all an operations and logistics play.
The Society for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at IIT Bombay began as a pilot project in 1999, and was set up as a non-profit society in 2004. It was created to back and mentor startups from their idea stage to incubation and acceleration. Since then, it has been the launchpad for over 120 startups. It runs a business incubator that provides infrastructure, monetary support, and networking opportunities, and large companies such as L&T, TCS, SAP, and others have collaborated with SINE to provide support to startups through their CSR funds.
In Araku Valley, Visakhapatnam, a group of auxiliary nurse midwives trek long distances every day to provide health care services to pregnant women and new mothers. As a result, the maternal mortality rate in the tribal region over the past two years has been zero. The valley has also seen a 68 percent rise in institutional deliveries (babies born in a hospital or primary health centre), compared to just 18 percent in 2010.
Singapore-based VC firm Qualgro announced it has completed the first close of its $100-million second fund. The firm said 60 percent of the fund has already been committed. Qualgro primarily invests across Southeast Asia and Australia. As part of the first fund, the VC firm made 19 investments over three years, most of which were focussed on the B2B segment in sectors such as AI, data security and analytics, and SaaS. The firm confirmed its second fund will also follow the same strategy, with a multi-stage investment focus. The team added there would be a stronger focus and emphasis on Series B funding.