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What the falling rupee means for startups; ONGO acquires Hockystick Media

What the falling rupee means for startups; ONGO acquires Hockystick Media

Thursday August 30, 2018 , 3 min Read

The Indian rupee’s nine-percent depreciation against the US dollar over the past year has importers worried and exporters rejoicing. Today, the rupee fell to a new record low of 70.52. The startup ecosystem, too, is experiencing a mixed bag of emotions. For some, the depreciation of the rupee has meant higher costs, while others are benefiting from higher revenue numbers when converting dollars to rupees. However, the fact remains that the forex fluctuations have exposed just how vulnerable startups are, and ill-equipped, to manage currency risks.

ONGO Framework, a B2B IT and digital solution provider, has acquired Hyderabad-based Hockystick Media in a cash-plus-equity deal of undisclosed value. ONGO also received an angel investment of $1 million and this seed round was led by serial entrepreneur Mitesh Majithia and other angel investors. Hockystick Media, established in April 2016, is founded by ex-Googlers Shrikanth Katkurwar, Abhijit Gogoi, and Ambujam. It provides end-to-end digital marketing solutions and has worked with several SMEs and high-growth startups from India, in addition to supporting digital agencies across the US and the UK.

From left: Ambujam, Head of Paid Marketing – Hockystick, Rama Krishna Kuppa, founder & CEO - ONGO Framework, Abhijit Gogoi, co-founder – Hockystick, and Shrikanth Katkurwar, co-founder & CEO, Hockystick.

What were you doing at the age of 18? Chugging your first beer, trying to fit into college, getting your first tattoo, or worrying about what’s next? While most people mull the idea of starting up through their mid-twenties and into their thirties and forties, these individuals – all under the age of 21 - swam against the tide to make their ideas a reality.

The top 21 under 21 startup founders

Rural innovator develops tech to preserve sugarcane juice for a year. Rajgopal Irappa Patil has developed a process involving peeling, crushing, filtration, pasteurisation, and bottling to store sugarcane juice in bottles, and is seeking funding after a successful pilot. Rajgopal says his technology, developed by Central Food Technological Research Institute in collaboration with Agricultural University, Coimbatore, can address the packaging problem. The technology involves an automatic peeling system, a storage tank, a pasteurisation system, a homogeneous system (to add flavours), and an automatic packing unit.

Rajgopal Irappa Patil

Zambala is an AI-powered marketplace for Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi)-registered brokerage houses and market experts, where retail investors can connect. It spares the investor of broker commissions and other fees, and is free of cost. The startup claims to be the first platform that brings FAANG and HRITIK stocks under one roof. FAANG is an acronym for Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Google; whereas HRITIK stands for HDFC Bank, Reliance Industries Limited, Infosys, Tata Consultancy Services, Hindustan Unilever Limited, IndusInd Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank.

Co-founders of Zambala, Achal and Amitabh (Left to right)

With massive smartphone penetration and a huge drop in data costs, we seem to have discovered an insatiable appetite for content, and the entertainment industry is expanding at the speed of clicks and scrolls. The global entertainment market is expected to achieve a valuation of USD 2.14 trillion by 2020. No one could have envisaged or predicted this 12-13 years ago. Technologies are expected to impact the entertainment sector in three core areas – the kind of content, the revenue framework, and the style of audience engagement.

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