A Glance at the Indian start-ups in 2015
Unicorns – This is a term used for start-ups that have a valuatoin of over $1 billion. Among the homegrown are Ola, InMobi, Quicker and MuSigma, who have brought about gigantic valuations, however, it’s only time that will be indicative of the fact whether these high valuatoins will convert into real profits.
Food-technology – A combination of technology and food is a sure shot recipe for success. This industry took off in a big way with players like Swiggy, Food panda, Zomato, Tiny Owl, Inner Chef, iTiffin. They came into the limelight for all the wrong and right reasons. Although the segment became a hot topic with the increasing number of players, there were a few who got jolted with gastric problems combined with logistical challenges, discount wars and service issues.
Layoffs – Tiny Owl made headlines with its employees coming out on social media and expressing their discontent at the way the company took care of layoffs and got shut down overnight. Zomato also hogged its share in the limelight for laying off employees due to company reshuffle. Off late, Grab house too got rid of estimated 170 employees citing the reason that it was due to company restructuring.
Budget Hotels- Budget hotels were the largest news mongers with their large investment figures, fast paced expansion plans and innovative campaigns. OYO Rooms, ZO Rooms and Vista Rooms have proved to veteran players like Make My Trip and Yatra as to how they can tap into the huge budget hotel market of India.
Clashes- start-ups were caught amidst clashes as the founder of Housing.com being shown the door for his ‘objectionable behaviour’ with investors, customers and media. Housing.com’s board asserted, ‘his behaviour is not befitting of a CEO and is detrimental to the company’. Housing.com is a good example for all upcoming entrepreneurs regarding the relevance of maintaining good relations with all stakeholders, as well as investors.
Hyper local Delivery & Services- Medicines and groceries became hyper local. start-ups like Grofers, Pepper tap have taken daily grocery shopping online allowing everything to be present with a single mouse click. In the highly competitive and low margin market scenario, the space also witnessed the death of players like Local Banya.
Funding Frenzy to Cautiousness: This year also saw PE, VC ’s and angel investors investing frantically in start-ups, however, by the year end their was a hint of cautiousness and brakes were applied to the pace at which funding was being given. Lex Fixel and his Tiger Global team single-handedly geared themselves towards sustainability in the start-up ecosystem.
Consolidation- Finally, start-ups paced their way towards consolidations with some leading names. They consolidated for sustenance, business growth or simply due to their investor’s interests. Common floor and Quicker, Cartrade and Carwale were the top contenders in this space.
All in all, even though there has been a drastic shift in the startup ecosystem this year, the coming year looks quite promising for entrepreneurs as well as investors. Start-ups will be treading more cautiously, keeping their focus on sustainability, however, there are plenty of opportunities with a multitude of problems that remain to be resolved. Global investors are trying to get a share of the Indian start-up space. In 2016, the Indian start-ups are going to thrive with new entrepreneurs and investors coming about.