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How VC Funding Fuels the Indian Startup Ecosystem

How VC Funding Fuels the Indian Startup Ecosystem
For startups to grow they must garner funds from investors; and to gather funds, startups need to have a robust product-market fit along with a promising team and a solid business plan with the potential to scale. Then comes the role of angel investors and Venture Capital (VC) funding that usually surfaces when larger amounts are required to grow a business.

Lately, major Indian startups have seen a tremendous boost from venture capitalists. To start with, we saw how Tiger Global Management, Softbank Corp., Morgan Stanley, Sequoia Capital, Accel Partners, IDG Ventures India and SAIF Partners managed to support promising Indian startups like that of Flipkart, Snapdeal, Ola, Zomato, ShopClues, Urban Ladder and many others. Moreover, it is not only the bigger firms who are eyeing VC funds, relatively younger and smaller firms like OYO Rooms, Swiggy and Grofers have also joined the race.

Apart from ruling the e-commerce and fashion industry, VC funding is now gradually moving into other sectors too, such as agriculture, healthcare and education. As per the data from the upcoming Wharton India Economic Forum (WIEF), which is all set to launch the Wharton India Startup Competition (WISC) with over 500 entries, though majority of applicants (around 25%) belong to the e-commerce industry, the healthcare segment is not far away with around 22% applicants. Moreover, most of the participating startups already have pre-seeded and seeded funding arrangements and around 31% of them have listed themselves as social enterprises.

The ecosystem for VC funding for Indian startups would be discussed at length at the Wharton India Economic Forum (WIEF). WIEF is a two-day event starting from January 6, 2017, which will bring together the best entrepreneurs, investors, distinguished Wharton faculty, students and inspirational speakers. Attendees will not only have numerous opportunities for interaction and networking across the board but will also witness in-depth discussions in terms of understanding the evolving business landscape in India and the need for business model innovation from the government, various industry leaders, and distinguished Wharton faculty.

The relevance of this summit doesn’t end there. It is also known for hosting the Wharton India Startup Competition (WISC) which is giving Indian startups the opportunity to present themselves in front of an esteemed panel of judges and also win cash prizes of over $25,000 and unparalleled mentorship of up to 4 months from some of the most renowned names in the industry on strategy and funding. The jury for WISC comprises top-notch personalities with the likes of Bharati Jacob (Co-founder of Seedfund), Nipun Mehra (Investor at Sequoia Capital India), Rehan Yar Khan (Managing Partner of Orios Venture Partners), Tarun Davda (Managing Director of Matrix Partners), Aditya Nair (Investor at Nyca Partners), Ajay Hattangdi (CEO India & Group COO of InnoVen Capital Group), Ankit Shah (Vice President at Unilazer Ventures), Sameer Verma (Director & Junior Partner of Nexus Venture Partners), Saurabh Joshi (Strategy Manager at PayPal) and Shantanu Gangal (Head – Analytics at Fundbox). Also, past finalists of this prestigious event includes names such as Ketto, Haptik, Zoomcar, Zostel, Targeting Mantra, Qlicket, Samaan and Ambitioni.

Needless to say, such competitions and summits go a long way in not only promoting upcoming startups but also in educating the audience and the participants regarding the funding scenario. Not many seem to be aware about the types and rounds of funding, the know-how of VC funding and even the right way to go about securing such funds, hence this is surely going to be one the most-sought after events at the start of the next year.

(Image Credits: Thinkstock)

(About the Author: This article has been authored by Aman Jain, Chairperson WIEF 2017)


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