The year 2018 saw a huge increase in the number of unicorns, a resurgence in investments, and a dramatic growth of advanced technologies in the Indian startup ecosystem. With over 7,500 startups, India ranks as the 3rd largest startup ecosystem in the world. Last year, eight startups were added to the list of Indian unicorns, the highest number till date. The Indian startup ecosystem continued to attract investor interest with almost $4.2 billion of funding in 2018 (January to September), and a growth of 108 percent compared to 2017.
The role of NASSCOM in the ecosystem
NASSCOM continues to play the role of a key enabler in the Indian startup and VC ecosystem. A large number of Indian startups are entering the growth phase and are looking to raise capital. On the other hand we have companies and institutions from Japan who have been longtime partners in India's growth story and are looking to associate with young and budding Indian startups. To bridge this gap NASSCOM, in partnership with the Embassy of India, Tokyo, is creating the Japanese Venture Capital Network for those who are interested in building an Indian portfolio of innovative businesses.
Gagan Sabharwal, Senior Director, Global Trade Development at NASSCOM said, “Partnerships such as these pave the way towards helping the ecosystem flourish by strengthening capabilities and fostering co-creation. Indian startups will get the opportunity to showcase themselves at a global platform and further build the Indo-Japan association. Through this, Indian startups will be able to expand their horizons and explore possibilities with Japan’s VC network and the programme will also facilitate Japanese institutions in crafting a portfolio of Indian businesses.”
Who can apply?
If you’re a startup that’s solving a widespread problem, has the potential to scale, and is looking to raise capital through the Japanese VC community, this is the perfect platform for you. Investments will be made at the pre-series / Series A / B / C levels where startups are looking to raise a sum from anywhere less than $1 million to $10 million.
What happens once you apply?
The selected applications will be put up for voting by the VC network in Japan. Final shortlisted startups will be invited to join the NASSCOM Startups delegation to Japan and get a chance to participate in the Tokyo pitching session with the investor community of more than 30 interested VCs.
“The next leap in India-Japan economic engagement would come through collaboration in innovation and startup ecosystems. If nurtured properly, this could be a monumental success story.” -Ambassador, HE Sanjay Kumar Verma
Why should you apply?
Japanese VCs have shown particular interest in investing in Indian tech startups, especially those that focus on solving issues or challenges in the domestic market. Led by investment giant SoftBank which has invested over $10 Bn in Indian startups, other Japanese investors like Rebright Partners, Dentsu Ventures, BEENEXT, Recruit Holding, Mistletoe Inc, REAPRA Ventures, Asuka Corporation and others have so far invested over $12 Bn in Indian startups in the last five years. Also, out of the 27 unicorns, over a dozen companies including Flipkart, Snapdeal, InMobi, Ola, OYO, Delhivery, Policybazaar an Paytm, have been a part of Japanese investments.
"BEENOS proactively invests in marketplace companies in India. We have seen much growth over the years and firmly believe that it will continue. We look forward to meeting new companies with equal or greater potential to partner with and potentially even synergise with our existing subsidiaries and investees." - Shota Naoi, President and Group CEO, BEENOS Inc.
"As one of the most active Japanese investors in India, we cannot be more enthusiastic to work with the brilliant Indian tech startup ecosystem. Indian startup prosperity is promised, although I strongly believe it would be beyond people's imagination in the future." - Takeshi Ebihara, Founding General Partner, Rebright Partners
NASSCOM intends to arrange live pitching sessions in Tokyo for selected startups with this network of VCs in a couple of months, and you could be one of them.
If you want to know more or have any questions, you can reach out to email@example.com.