Mobycy launches dockless bike-sharing service app

Dec 7, 2017 0

Gurugram– Taking on ride-hailing platform Ola, Gurugram-based Green Tech startup Mobycy on Thursday launched dockless bicycle sharing app on Google Play Store.

Ola introduced its own dockless bike-sharing service earlier this month.

“We are excited to announce that Mobycy is now live on Google Play Store. It presents users with a greener, healthier means of commute with complete last-mile connectivity, in the form of smart, dockless bikes,” Akash Gupta, Co-Founder, Mobycy, said in a statement.

The app will be live on Apple App Store in next few days, the company said.

Launching its operations with a fleet of 5,000 “Smart Bikes”, the company plans to increase the number to 50,000 in the next six months.

“Smart Bikes” are currently available across Delhi-NCR region, including Noida, Gurugram, Faridabad and Chandigarh.

Users can sign up on the Mobycy app with Aadhaar identification and pay a security deposit of Rs 999, which is refundable.

The security deposit for students is Rs 499.

The app allows users to discover a smart bike in their vicinity, unlock it via QR Code and commute shorter distances faster.

The user can pay Rs 10 for a single ride or buy the monthly subscription to avail two rides daily for an hour each.

Using the app, these bikes can be found around public places like metro stations, markets and popular places like North Campus, Cyber City etc.

The “Smart Bikes” will be available across several colleges and universities, such as Amity Noida and MDI Gurgaon.

The company has also partnered with Paytm to ensure easy digital payments via the app and will partner with more digital payment providers soon.

Mobycy’s “Smart Bikes” come with Internet of Things (IoT) locks and GPS tracking, enabling remote management and traceability.

“These dockless bikes can be rented and parked anywhere, with the only exception of gated communities and private compounds,” the company said. (IANS)

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India’s secondary cities spawn more start-ups: Nasscom

Dec 5, 2017 0

Bengaluru– Incubators and accelerators in tier-2 and tier-3 (secondary) cities across India are spawning more technology start-ups than ever before, said the IT industry apex body Nasscom on Tuesday.

“Secondary cities are emerging as new hubs for start-ups across the country as they are driven by growing number of incubators and accelerators,” said a joint survey report Nasscom prepared with the city-based management and strategic consulting firm Zinnov.

Out of about 5,200 total technology start-ups present in India as of 2017, nearly 20 per cent (1,040) start-ups are present in the secondary cities, the report found.

About 40 per cent (76) of the total 190 active business incubators and accelerators are located in secondary cities such as Ahmedabad, Pune, Jaipur, Lucknow and Chandigarh, it said.

“Traditionally, many tier-2 and tier-3 cities of India have been educational hubs, which makes them ideal and plausible destinations for start-up incubators and accelerators,” the report said.

Out of the 190 business incubators and accelerators in India, 90 are academic, while the rest are government-supported or private-run.

India has witnessed a “phenomenal” progress of technology start-ups in the last decade, the study noted.

“Indian start-up ecosystem continued to remain attractive for investors with almost $6.4 billion funding in the first half of 2017, nearly 167 per cent growth over the first half of last year.”

Start-ups in the country have also been working on India-centric grass root level problems, the study added.

Over 325 start-ups in the country are currently working on solving the challenges in the fields of healthcare, education inclusion, financial inclusion, clean energy and agriculture. (IANS)

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Amazon India launches startup challenge

Nov 27, 2017 0

Bengaluru– Amazon India on Monday collaborated with hardware accelerator “HAX” and crowd-funding community “Kickstarter” to announce “Startup C-Cube” — a multi-level challenge for the startups that will commence in Bengaluru on December 5.

“We are happy to bring ‘Kickstarter’ and ‘HAX’ to give Indian startups an opportunity to get their ideas noticed at the global stage and arm them with resources to convert these into real business opportunities”, said Manish Tiwary, Vice President, Category Management, Amazon India, in a statement.

The move is expected to bring companies together to work towards building the product startup ecosystem.

The announcement marks the first anniversary of Amazon’s flagship programme “Launchpad”.

“In the past one year, we have been overwhelmed by the response that Amazon ‘Launchpad’ has received from the start-up ecosystem in India. Business growth of some of the startups on Amazon ‘Launchpad’ has elicited interest from VCs as well as other funding agencies in the last one year,” Tiwary added. (IANS)

 

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Facebook to launch accelerator programmes for start-ups

Nov 27, 2017 0

Hyderabad– Facebook on Monday announced accelerator programmes that will help tech start-ups, developers and students in India build products using emerging technologies.

These programmes are designed to help unlock the potential of advanced technologies, including Virtual Reality (VR).

In partnership with T-Hub, the India Innovation Hub will work with 10 VR focused startups to accelerate their businesses in new and innovative ways, Facebook said in a statement here on the eve of Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) beginning on Tuesday.

Each start-up will get access to training, mentors, workshops, research and Facebook’s VR Innovation lab as part of the six-month accelerator programme. Applications for the Innovation Hub programme will be open from January 2018, and the first programme will begin in early 2018.

Facebook is also introducing the School of Innovation programme in partnership with Startup Village Collective. 10 engineering student teams will be selected from across the country to build a next generation product idea they have using VR. The teams will participate in a 20-week program that includes online and in-person learning to progress their idea, build a low and high-fidelity prototype and finally launch to customers.

“At Facebook, we are committed to investing in the future of the India’s digital economy. We know from experience how fast great ideas can thrive when startups are given the opportunity to grow and learn from each other,” said Satyajeet Singh, Head of Platform Partnerships, Facebook India and South Asia.

“The partnership will drive radical change in the start-up ecosystem. We encourage Facebook’s efforts to support and mentor start-ups to explore the possibilities of future technologies such as VR. As the VR ecosystem in India takes shape, we are committed to working towards accelerating its success and help startups in this space solve India’s challenges,” said Jay Krishnan, Chief Executive Officer, T-Hub. (IANS)

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Micro financer KrazyBee raises $8 mn venture fund

Oct 16, 2017 0

Bengaluru– Micro-lending start-up KrazyBee on Monday said it raised $8 million (Rs 5.2 crore) in its first round of funding (Series A) from Xiaomi Technologies and Shunwei Capital.

“The latest fund will be used to strengthen our risk model and algorithm, catering to new market segment, focus on product diversification and geographical expansion,” said the city-based micro-lender in a statement here.

E-city Ventures and RK Group also participated in the funding, which is a mix of unspecified equity and debt ratio.

With a seed fund of $2 million and a pre-series A funding of $3 million, the start-up has raised $13 million capital till date.

“Our company’s mission is to make credit for young professionals and college students in India accessible and affordable. We realized very early that to grow and sustain in this industry, having a steady source and lower cost of funds is quintessential,” said its CEO Madhusudhan E. in the statement.

The firm, founded in May 2016, provides under-graduate/post-graduate students under the age of 30 with cash credit, two-wheeler credit, college semester/tuition fees credit among others.

It currently has over three lakh registered users on its application and processes nearly 1700 loan applications each day.

The micro-lending platform has been operating across Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Pune, Mysore (Karnataka) and Vellore (Tamil Nadu), and has recently expanded to Mumbai, Chennai, Coimbatore (Tamil Nadu), Nagpur (Maharashtra), Nashik (Maharashtra) and Manipal (Karnataka). (IANS)

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Rs 2,000 crore credit guarantee scheme for startups under process

Jul 26, 2017 0

New Delhi– The government is in the process of formulating a Rs 2,000 crore credit guarantee scheme to enable startups to raise loans without any collateral, parliament was told on Wednesday.

“Government is formulating a Credit Guarantee Scheme for Startups (CGSS) with a corpus contribution of Rs 2,000 crore that will enable startups to raise loans without any collateral for their business purposes,” Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told the Rajya Sabha in a written reply.

The proposed scheme will provide credit guarantee up to Rs 500 lakh per case inclusive of term loan, working capital or any other instrument of assistance extended by Member Lending Institutions (MLIs) to finance a startup recognised by Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), she said.

Nirmala Sitharaman

MLIs may provide loans to up to any amount required by an eligible borrower. However, under the scheme, the exposure for availing credit guarantee will be limited to Rs 500 lakh per eligible borrower. Such loan will be extended by MLIs without any collateral security and/or third party guarantee.

For all resident directors/partners of the startup, Aadhaar shall be mandatory and for non-resident directors/partners, the passport number shall be a mandatory part of Know Your Customer (KYC) norms.

MLIs under the scheme can be scheduled commercial banks and financial institutions, Reserve Bank of India-registered Non-Banking Financial Companies and Securities and Exchange Board of India-registered Alternative Investment Funds.

The scheme, which will function under the trusteeship management of the National Credit Guarantee Trustee Company, will provide portfolio-based credit guarantee. Each portfolio shall comprise at least 10 eligible start up loans, during a particular financial year. (IANS)

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Coming of age: Start-ups should move to next level, says Nasscom

Jun 12, 2017 0

By Aparajita Gupta

New Delhi– The Indian start-up ecosystem is evolving and it is time for stakeholders to move to the next level and collaborate with the external eco-system, says K.S. Vishwanathan, Vice President at Nasscom.

“It is now time for the companies to move to the next level of mid-stage and growth,” Vishwanathan, who is also head of Nasscom’s 10,000 Start-ups programme, told IANS in a telephonic interview from Mumbai.

A start-up is said to evolve through four stages — early stage (idea or prototype), mid-stage (prototype to
product), growth stage (product business) and mature stage (business to scale).

The National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom) is a trade association of Indian information technology and business process outsourcing industry.

He also added that start-ups should begin collaborating with the external ecosystem, like academia and international alliances.

According to Nasscom, at present there are 10,000-12,000 start-ups, out of which 5,500-5,700 are technology start-ups — and between 80,000-100,000 people are directly employed in the business.

“Every year around 1,300 new start-ups get added and about 300 get dropped,” said Vishwanathan.

“In India, the success rate of start-ups is at 28 per cent (compared to 10 per cent in the US), which is very high. We should not worry about it. The key thing is to understand whether the idea is viable or not. If it is not, then it is better to fail early and then recover or get out of it and start something afresh,” he added.

About 60 per cent of technology start-ups are in the business-to-consumer space and 40 per cent are in business-to-business space.

The ambitious 10,000 Start-ups programme was started by the association in 2013 to scale up the ecosystem of such companies by 10 times in 10 years. The programme is supported by the government and industry and managed by Nasscom.

“So far, we have impacted 1,500 start-ups,” he said.

The association provides working spaces to start-ups, gives them starter kits designed by Microsoft, Google and IBM. Also, nine warehouses funded by respective state governments and sponsored by technology providers like Microsoft, IBM, Google, Facebook, Kotak Bank and Digital Ocean have been provided for start-ups.

Additionally, the programme has nurtured 6,000 start-ups through a virtual programme.

Talking about the roadmap ahead, Vishwanathan said: “We hope to touch 10,000 virtual training (programmes) in the next four years.”?

“The programme gives special importance to women entrepreneurs,” said Vishwanathan, adding that four years ago female entrepreneurs comprised only two per cent of the start-up pie. That figure has now gone up to 11 per cent.

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Four Indian startups from T-Hub bags global awards

Mar 26, 2017 0

Hyderabad– Four startups from T-Hub, one of the largest start-up ecosystem builders in India, have bagged global awards, a statement said on Saturday.

Hug Innovations, Loop Reality, AuthBase and Kheyti have received prestigious awards and recognitions in competitions held exclusively to identify emerging start-ups in the country, the T-Hub said in a statement.

T-Hub, which has over 2,000 start-ups in its database, claims to be emerging as the first choice of top Indian startups.

Hug Innovations, the maker of the gesture-control Hug Smartwatch capable of flying drones, navigating smart television, and controlling virtual reality-based applications through hand gestures, was among 1,500 start-ups from all over the world to participate in the Global Mobile Challenge. It was awarded the best in India, top 3 in the Asia Pacific and one of the top 10 finalists in the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Hug Innovations was also declared the winner of The India Region Round of the 1st China (Shenzhen) Innovation & Entrepreneurship International Competition held at Bengaluru. While they received a cash prize of RMB 100,000, another emerging startup player, Loop Reality, was declared 2nd Runner-up and received a cash prize of RMB 30,000. Both these companies qualified for the global finals of the competition, which will be held at Shenzhen, China between April 11 -18.

Loop Reality is a disruptive technology firm, whose first product LoopFit is an immersive multiplayer VR fitness solution, which allows its users to experience outdoor environments, indoors.

AuthBase, a deep tech cyber security company working out of T-Hub has been recognised with the Hot 100-Race To Grace 2017 Award, which champions innovation and enterprise. The company provides frameworks for developers to secure their applications and use Deep Learning to detect and mitigate hack and bot attacks real-time.

The fourth start-up nurtured by T-Hub and garnering international attention after being conferred with the “Acumen Global Award 2017” in Kenya is Kheyti, an AgriTech company that creates dependable incomes to small farmers using technology.

Kheyti designs, adapts and implements low-cost farming solutions that help small farmers increase yield and predictability of produce.

“The unique model of T-Hub enables investors and corporates to plan programs and capacity building initiatives in a targeted and organised manner. T-Hub is also the only model where the government is working intensely with the investor and the partner to fuel innovation and facilitate enterprise,” said its CEO Jay Krishnan. (IANS)

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Chet Kanojia’s new broadband startup raises $30 million in Series B, totaling $63 million

Dec 23, 2016 0

BOSTON–Starry, a startup led by the founder of now-defunct TV-over-the-web startup Aereo, has raised $30 million to execute on its mission of bringing wireless broadband internet to individual homes, Boston Business Journal reported. Chaitanya “Chet” Kanojia is the founder and CEO of Starry.

Chet Kanojia

The Boston- and New York-based company announced itself to the world in January 2016, saying it had the backing of investors like FirstMark Capital, Tiger Global, IAC, KKR, HLVP and Quantum Strategic Partners, but it did not disclose how much money it had raised, Boston Business Journal said.

Boston Business Journal quoted a Starry spokesperson as saying that the startup has now raised $63 million to date and that the latest money represents a Series B round from some of the same investors announced in January.

Starry founder and CEO Kanojia previously founded Aereo, a company that captured over-the-air television broadcasts and made them available to internet users without TV subscriptions. The company was shut down following a June 2014 ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court that found Aereo was violating copyright law, according to Boston Business Journal.

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Digital payment start-ups in India unaware of high security risks

Dec 18, 2016 0

By Sourabh Kulesh

New Delhi– As India embraces a cashless economy, there has been a sudden spurt in new mobile wallet companies — but most of these start-ups are setting up digital shops without knowing the cyber risks involved, a top executive from US-based cyber security firm FireEye has emphasised.

This is a dangerous trend when the country still lacks proper infrastructure and legislation to fight against cyber criminals.

“While India is rapidly embracing a cashless consumer economy, payment technologies are growing in adoption faster than awareness of the risks involved,” Vishak Raman, Senior Regional Director for India and SAARC, told IANS.

“Many of these are running as startups without sufficient attention to security. The rapid shift to digital transactions will greatly increase our collective exposure to cyber security threats — essentially fraud and theft,” Raman added.

In a first, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday registered a complaint against 15 people for allegedly claiming fraudulent refunds worth Rs 6.15 lakh from the leading payment gateway Paytm.

A Paytm spokesperson, however, said in a statement that the platform has robust risk management practices but the case has brought the risks to the fore.

According to Raman, in the absence of data breach notification laws and the mandate to publicly disclose attacks, Indian enterprises often do not know how vulnerable they are.

“This creates a false sense of security among CISOs/CIOs that their traditional defences are working fine and that they are immune from advanced attacks organisations elsewhere are facing,” Raman noted.

Paytm registered over seven million transactions worth Rs 1.2 billion in a day after the demonetisation drive began on November 8.

Another mobile wallet major, MobiKwik, which launched MobiKwik ‘Lite’ late last month, registered over two million downloads within the first two days of the ‘Lite’ offer.

Global payment solutions provider PayU has also observed a hike in average daily transactions from Rs 1.2 million to Rs 2.5 million post-demonetisation.

This is how hackers can attack your money in e-wallets: Create multiple fake accounts to collect money in small amounts; cheat people who are digital novices by psychological manipulation; and breach servers and steal data.

Even though most Indian organisations lack effective defences against ransomware, as threats become more pervasive and frequent in India, organisations are slowly becoming aware about the need for advanced protection.

“However, it takes a combination of technology, intelligence and expertise to effectively prevent, detect and respond to attacks,” Raman told IANS.

When asked where India stands when it comes to vulnerability in 2017, Raman said firms in Asia and particularly in India often struggle to discover that they have been breached.

For example, “the median time between compromise and the discovery of an attack was 520 days in Asia Pacific, compared with 146 days globally. That is a massive difference,” Raman contended.

In 2016, India faced a wave of cyber security incidents, ranging from targeted attacks on government organisations to ATM malware attacks.

“When coupled with its ill-preparedness to combat potential risks associated with cashless transactions and pushing hundreds of millions of citizens’ private information into the digital space, India stands quite vulnerable,” the FireEye executive cautioned.

The sophisticated, financially-motivated espionage actor groups focusing on critical systems and maturing businesses will be prevalent in 2017 as these enterprises are often vulnerable to compromise. (IANS)

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