The race to bag early-stage startups

The last two years have strengthened the early-stage funding ecosystem. From Sequoia’s Surge and Accel’s Atom to a slew of angel investors and now even growth-stage investors want a pie of this pie. The question arises for venture capitalists, who used to invest between seed to Series B.
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Good Morning,

High-profile investors have typically played it safe by betting on startups at late or growth stages of funding rounds. However, if the past few months are any indication, then venture capital firms (VCs) have become less hesitant to write cheques for startups that are in the market for early-stage capital.

From the start of 2021 until November, over $13.6 billion has been invested across 3,479 early-stage deals, according to YourStory Research.

Investors range from second-time entrepreneurs and celebrities to early-stage focused venture capital investors, which started investing in the last two or three years.   

In fact, the ecosystem is scaling so fast that even founders creating firms beyond metro cities are confident about raising capital.

“About two years ago, if I was building a startup in Bhopal then financial backers would doubt as to how much I will be able to scale my business from a Tier II city as there are hiring challenges, among many other things. But now, if I write an email with a pitch and presentation they take note of it,” Amitesh Mishra, co-founder of Bhopal-based Zyoga, an AI-based fitness app, told YourStory in an earlier interaction. Read more


The Interview

As founder of one of the most popular product discovery and community engagement platforms—Product Hunt—Ryan Hoover has reinvented ‘launch day’ for startups. Now, he has donned the investor’s hat with his early-stage venture fund—Weekend Fund. 

In a conversation with YourStory Founder and CEO Shradha Sharma, Ryan talks about what led him to build Product Hunt, why he's excited about the Indian startup ecosystem, and reveals his investment thesis.


Editor’s Pick: App Friday 

Sequoia Capital India-backed Jupiter, founded by Jitendra Gupta, is part of the growing list of neobanks in India. The platform majorly targets millennials, and currently has over 500,000 downloads with a 4.6 rating on Google Play Store. In this week’s App Friday, we take a closer look at the functionality of the app. Read more

The neobanking app also almost instantly provides you with a virtual card for making online payments. A physical card can also be ordered, which gets delivered in about a week to 10 days. 


Startup Spotlight

Providing automotive solutions using AI

When Dr Krishna Iyengar and Vinodh Venkatesan were working in the automotive manufacturing sector, they were looking for a product that could enhance the efficiency of quality control in manufacturing.

Unable to find the product, they teamed up with Sekar Udayamurthy to start Chennai-based Jidoka Technologies, a YourStory Tech50 2021 startup where automated cognitive quality control solutions combine AI and automation. Read more.


Startup Spotlight

Enabling smooth video streaming

Given the exponential rise of video-based content across platforms, brands are now looking to avoid the problem of low-quality videos or buffering.

YourStory Tech50 2021 startup Mogi I/O provides end-to-end video and image tech solutions to OTTs, content platforms, live commerce brands, edtech platforms, gaming startups, and content creators. Read more.


Before you go, stay inspired with… 

Twitter India MD Manish Maheshwari who has now been transferred to US

COVID-19 has fundamentally changed not only the skills needed to be successful in the new economy, but also how those skills are imparted. 

- Manish Maheshwari, Founder & CEO, Invact Metaversity


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