City based health startup Ambee bag the first place along with two other startups in ‘UberPITCH 2016’

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It seems like Hyderabad based startups had taken the New Year resolution to be ‘bigger and better than 2016’. In the first 10 days of the onset of the New Year, there has been loads of success and funding stories of Hyderabad based startups flooding the news.

In October 2016, Uber had tied up with the ministry of Commerce and announced its startup contest – “UberPITCH”. This was a limited opportunity that was announced across 37 cities and 21 countries for two days in November 2016. The main motto behind this huge initiative by Uber and the Government was to strengthen entrepreneurial activity in tier-2 cities.

On January 9th 2017, Uber went ahead to announce the winners – and guess what? Hyderabad based health startup, Ambee won the contest along with e-commerce startup SeekSherpa, agriculture firm LeanAgri.

As promised, the winners will get an investment of $50, 000 from Uber. Apart from the investment, the winning startups are soon going to be invited to San Francisco where they will bag the opportunity of meeting top executives and other venture capitalists.

SeekSherpa is a Delhi based startup which gets amazing micro tours in your city. LeanAgri is an agricultural based startup that lives by the motto of lean production – creating more value with less work.

The Hyderabad based startup, Ambee is into building better ambulance responses. Ambee is a network of hospital and private ambulances on a single technology platform, enabling users to find the nearest ambulance to go to a destination of their choice.

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Amit Jain says “Our leaders at headquarters in San Francisco cannot wait to meet them and help them on the next stage of their journey.” Amit Jain is the President of Uber India.


Congratulations teams! We are sure your hard work paid off, but it’s not all over yet. A new journey unveils itself, and get ready to take on the new turns!

Here is our previous coverage on Ambee 

Hyderabad based FIXU receives $40, 000 investment from Facebook

captureRecently the famous social media sit Facebook had announced the “FbStart program” where it would invest in the winner startup and would also provide mentoring to the winner.

It is no surprise that a city based startup, FIXU has been selected as one of those startups where Facebook will invest $40, 000 and also provide mentoring for growth and expansion of the startup. It has been reported that this investment will be in the form of credits that will be translated into various opportunities, which include interactions with Facebook and global exposure.

FIXU is a startup based out of Hyderabad, with Vamsi Krishna and Nikhil as the pioneers. This startup has a hands – on technology that provides home service vendors including carpenters and plumbers. Vamshi Krishna is a mass communication student whereas Nikhil is a JNTU graduate. Both of them met each other at a startup event and eventually their thought processes matched and they came up with this amazing startup. As on date, FIXU is half year old and has about 25 orders per day, with an average revenue of Rs. 500 per order. Besides the two founders, the startup has 2 other employees as it has outsourced software development and marketing to third-party services.

“We have roped in 170 vendors so far and currently serve Hyderabad city. We can track the entire process using automated tools,” Vamshi Krishna told BusinessLine, a leading business newspaper in the country.

Launched last year, “FbStart” helps developers grow their startups by leveraging valuable tools and services, worldwide events and opportunities to engage with the Facebook team.

Being selected for this programme, FIXU will receive mentoring from Menlo Park-headquartered tech giant’s engineering teams, reported Facebook.

“‘FbStart’ programme will be an immense boost to us at this phase of our evolution. Receiving mentorship from the pioneer of social networking will bring a huge opportunity for us to lead the Home Service revolution in India within the next couple of years,” said Vamshi Krishna, co-founder, FIXU.

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The start-up will also get a chance to get access to the exclusive community of Facebook’s developers and worldwide events. Through FbStart, the startups will be eligible for free access to more than 25 services including open source tools like React Native, FB Login and Account Kit and App Analytics.

Keeping in mind the investment received and mentorship opportunities, FIXU is aiming at expansion of their startup to Bengaluru and Mumbai by the end of 2017.

“We have raised no funds so far. We are looking at raising $2, 50,000 in the angel round in the middle of 2017 to fund our expansion,” adds Vamshi Krishna

It has been reported that through this program, FIXU will receive free access to Dropbox services worth $5,000 and tool kits and other services worth about the same amount for a period of 6-12 months. Besides, the team will have interactions with experts at Facebook headquarters in the US.

There is already a crowd of start-ups out there offering similar services. “We are very fast and economical,” says Vamshi when asked how their service was different from others.

Congratulations FIXU team – we hope the New Year brings in more laurels and success to your team and startup. Make the most out of this huge investment and mentorship program by Facebook.

Download FIXU iOS and Android apps from respective stores

City based startup Timla Foods raises seed funding through Kae Cap

captureThough the year of 2016 may be coming to end, yet the success ladder of startups seems to see no end nor do the entrepreneurs want to sit in peace until they have made it really big – be it in any sector. Just recently, Timla foods came out in the open to officially announce their success of receiving seed funding from Kae Cap – an early stage investment firm based out of Mumbai.

Timla Food has raised this funding under their brand “PopiCorn” – which makes ready to eat popcorn. At Popicorn, they make great tasting wholesome snacks for every age and lifestyle. PopiCorn’s popcorn is ready to eat, 100% natural, GMO free and made of whole grain.

At present, this brand is available in all leading super market stores including Ratnadeep, Heritage Fresh, Ghanshyam and Karachi bakery as well. This brand was introduced in the beginning of this year, and in such a short span itself, the brand has recorded over 4 lakh units of popcorn sale.

The primary aim of this company is to make healthy ready-to-eat snacks,” said Prashant Gowriraju, cofounder at Timla Foods. “Our product doesn’t contain any preservative or GMOs.” He continues by saying that the seed fund amount will be used to enhance the capacity of production and expansion of the operations of the brand across the nation. “We realised that the market gap is large and PopiCorn received positive response in the Telangana market,” said Navin Honagudi, investment director at Kae Capital. “This is what prompted us to invest in this company.”

According to the research of the investment company, the ready-to-eat segment is a large market with scope worth Rs 20,000 crore. Timla foods is looking forward to expansion in Bengaluru followed by Mumbai. They were bootstrapped when they kicked off in 2016 and this is their first seed funding that they have received from outside.

Congratulations team – hope we get to eat more of this healthy yet tasty popcorn. You are all doing great, and hope to you see doing even better and achieve all those goals that you have set for the startup.

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How investment-ready are you?

While clearly an important caveat if and when a startup needs money, assuming there is a compelling case for investment, when is a startup “ready” for an investment. What are the parameters that investors look for, and that startups should prepare for?

The most significant readiness factor is if the infusion can accelerate the startup’s journey. Accelerate the process of building and taking the product to market. Accelerate the adoption of the product in the markets. Enable a significant amplification of value to customer. Eventually, increase revenue opportunities. And this value varies as startup moves across stages of evolution of startup.

In seed stage, the primary readiness factor is if the product is built and some basic validation is in place. Technical feasibility is established with atleast a market prototype built that can be tried out by customers. At least few customers have used the product and communicated useful utility and potential commercial interest. Actual sales need not have transacted. The investment is to take this to next level and demonstrate actual market traction and revenue.

In angel stage, investment readiness is when the product has been successfully taken to the initial market. Customers have bought and used the product. In a small segment, the customer adoption has been scaled. The investment in this stage is primarily to now show that the sales can be scaled. The first stage of serious scaling. To tweak and pivot the organization, product, and market readiness to a much higher level of capability to address much larger scale of business. In this process, the startup will get ready for subsequent rounds of investment in the growth stage, when startups look for VC fund infusion.

Most fundamental tenet of readiness is that at each stage, the previous stage has been successfully crossed. Along with readiness, time is key.  Should be clear that the infusion of money at that stage, will significantly amplify the pace of growth compared to continuing without the funds infusion. Growth coming in an economically viable way. Sustainable growth is key at all stages!

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Catalyzer- Putting Your Startup Idea on the Fast Track!

Screen Shot 2014-10-15 at 14.51.09Getting excited about an idea is easy, getting started in the right direction, however, is not. Before the product even begins to take shape, rigorous research, planning, team-building and mentoring is required to assess the viability of the idea and to ascertain whether investors would even be interested.

But do not let these roadblocks deter you from dreaming about your startup- says Catalyzer, a Hyderabad-based startup accelerator and community. Committed to taking exciting ideas forward, Catalyzer provides young entrepreneurs with everything they need and then some. If you have a promising vision, you could get in touch with Catalyzer and apply to their “Startup 101” program. Just as the name suggests, it’s a mentorship-driven, customised program spanning 101 days. Every year, a maximum of twelve teams are selected which are then required to move to Hyderabad for the duration of the program. Activities kick off with an assessment of the requirements for each idea, following which, a mentor suitable to the vision and proper amenities are provided to the teams.

Keeping diversity and a holistic contribution to society in view, startup ideas are chosen from a variety of fields such as Enterprise Software, Mobile Applications, Software as Services, Web Applications, Education, Environment, Media, Finance, Healthcare and so on. Making sure that leadership talent is available across these diverse fields, Catalyzer boasts of a large network of mentors specialising in a wide range of activities. Apart from mentorship, every team is offered legal and financial advise to help them identify related loopholes in their vision. Keeping the importance of data driven analysis in mind, Catalyzer makes entrepreneurs aware of analytics and how to gather them.

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In case an idea receives investment, the company needs to quickly identify its market, get acquainted with the processes of reaching out to customers and evolve its product development cycle. As an organisation, it’s also imperative that a proper process is set up and roadmaps planned as to how the startup could evolve to the next level. Catalyzer stands by their teams in each of these areas and trains them on appropriate methods and practices. Among the amenities, teams get their own working area (provision of private offices is also available if necessary), conference rooms, internet facilities, access to cloud storage, Amazon web facilities and licenses to a host of software products per requirement.

At the end of 101 days, teams are expected to have come up with a strong pitch featuring portfolios, prototypes and roadmaps. Catalyzer then arranges for investors to visit and have the teams demo their ideas. They also organise roadshows for startups in major metros to showcase their work and attract investment. Even after the program, startups continue to be a part of Catalyzer startup committee and receive guidance and support from mentors and executives.

The program is conducted in two phases (termed as “cohorts” by Catalyzer) of 101 days every year. Depending upon how well-defined and comprehensive the idea is, teams are advised on which cohort to join. So in case your idea is still a work in progress and you think you need additional time before getting started, there’s always the option of joining a later cohort. Also, for those in need of more information and guidance in developing ideas, there’s Catalyzer’s 15 day startup program termed “Startup 15” which aims to provide a better understanding about new business proposals to the aspirants.

If you feel you are ready to take your idea to the next level and start working with experts to get going, Catalyzer might just be the option you are searching for. Submit your idea to them and prepare to step into those entrepreneurial shoes.