The startup ecosystem in India has been gaining momentum at a considerable pace. The same can be inferred from the number of job opportunities that the startups have created over the past few years. Although the employment scenario has been a little weak lately, it is likely to change with India making a mark in the global startup ecosystem.
The most important development that took place in the previous week is the revision of Flipkart’s offer to Snapdeal. Flipkart, once rejected by Snapdeal after the former’s offer of US$ 700 million, has revised its offer to around US$ 850 million. Flipkart has said it will pay US$ 650-700 million instantaneously, in stock and another $150 million later. Flipkart’s offer is inclusive of Snapdeal’s marketplace business and Unicommerce. However, it will not include Freecharge and Vulcan Express. Nonetheless, Snapdeal is in talks to sell Freecharge and its logistics unit Vulcan. In the case of Snapdeal’s acceptance of Flipkart’s latest offer, the two companies will negotiate an SPA or sale and purchase agreement. Snapdeal will then call for a shareholders’ meeting in order to get the agreement approved by them. Snapdeal has about 25 institutional shareholders and dozens of individuals who have investment in the company.
The preceding week has been a week of investments and acquisitions in the field of startups in India. Fintech start-up Paytm, on Tuesday, announced that it has invested in Mobiquest Mobile Technologies. Mobiquest is a Noida-based startup that allows brands to create loyalty programs. Paytm did not reveal the amount of the investment. Mobiquest’s flagship m’loyal is a mobile-based platform intended for retailers as well as business-to-consumer firms. Through this app, the retailers can create loyalty programs and a plethora of other things. The investment will lead to a partnership between Paytm and Mobiquest. It also signifies that Paytm, the country’s largest digital payments platform is branching out into e-commerce.
In another acquisition, CureFit, a healthcare start-up acquired a1000yoga, a Bengaluru-based yoga centre in order to expand its mental wellness offering. With this, CureFit will be having more than 10,000 customers. Curefit co-founder Ankit Nagori said, “The reason we are doing acquisitions is that if we were a marketplace we would anyway have wanted all these vendors on our platform. But because we believe in a vertically integrated approach (or an inventory model) we are buying companies that fit into our philosophy.”
In other instances of acquisition, an enterprise software firm Freshworks Inc. announced on Thursday that it has bought chat-bot start-up Joe Hukum so that it can launch its own solutions powered by chat-bot.
Zinka Logistics Solutions Pvt. Ltd, appointed Arvind Singhal, former BlueStone chief operating officer as a top executive. Zinka Logistics Solutions Pvt. Ltd owns online freight aggregator BlackBuck.
In the taxi hailing services setor, Ola cabs is set to implement stricter driver signing process in order to ensure passenger safety. The recent kidnapping of an Ola rider is seen as another jolt in the path of expansion of the cab-hailing services in India after the rape of a woman Uber rider in 2014. These incidents have led to the introduction of an SOS button on the apps of these companies.
In another development, The ET Startup Awards procedure have started. It is considered as one of the most prestigious awards for startups in India. A jury consisting of the stalwarts of the startup world met in Bengaluru on Saturday, July 22 to select winners from a group of high achievers. This is the third edition of The Economic Times Startup Awards. The jury will pick from a shortlist of five contestants across eight categories. The jury consists of Ola co-founder Bhavish Aggarwal, Flipkart group CEO Binny Bansal, and Matrix Partners India managing director, among others. On 19th July, Bootstrap and Innovators champs were awarded. All these startups are run by Indians.
The startup ecosystem in India has been in an acquisition spree in the last week. This sends a signal of consolidation and inclusive growth when it comes to the future of the Indian startups.