Microsoft Accelerator Launches New Program For Late Stage Startups In India

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Tech Industry, Activists Talk Past Each Other At The Crunchies

As we have been writing, startup accelerators in India’s nascent ecosystem are beginning to seek more mature, late stage companies to work with. The latest to join this trend is Microsoft Ventures, which announced its Summer 2014 batch for the Indian accelerator today. Of the 16 startups selected, six will be part of Microsoft’s new Accelerator Plus program, aimed at helping companies who already have customer traction and are more mature.

The Six startups joining Microsoft’s new, late stage accelerator program are: MyBusTickets.inPraxifyThinxtreamTouchfoneZingHR and Zoom.

The startups joining regular, early stage incubation program are: AppointyApp ViralityBookpadBoutlineImlyInstaSafeIntouchAppMetaomeSliderule and Voonik.

“This program is for more mature companies which are closer to VC funding.  Most of them have made significant progress, so much so that the startup ecosystem is taking their eyes off them,” Ravi Narayan, director of Microsoft Ventures said in a statement.

Microsoft Ventures in India has graduated 35 startups since August 2012, and about 80% of them have been funded so far. Two graduates, Adepto and Plustxt, have been acquired.

As we reported last week, accelerators are trying to figure out ways to get involved with more fundable, mature startups. This is because despite more money chasing early ideas, the Series A crunch seems to be even more real for those graduating from the accelerators. Accel India scanned around 1,000 companies across 62 different accelerators and incubators in India over last few years, and the results speak for themselves — only 30 of them went on to receive Series A funding.

Mukund Mohan, director of Microsoft Ventures had told me last time that the Y Combinator model won’t work in India because it takes longer than just $20,000 and 4 months. Even globally, Y Combinator and Tech Stars are the only two successful accelerators that provide any meaningful exits for company founders.