For those in the United States and other locations that are lucky enough to be able to purchase huge data packages for their smartphones, thinking about deciding to “tweet or not to tweet” based on the cost that it could incur is a foreign concept, pun intended. For cell customers in India, it’s a very real situation, and Reliance Communications has partnered with Twitter to… → Read More
ZipDial, the company based in India that has turned missed calls into a business, has raised new funds from Jungle Ventures and launched its service in Sri Lanka. The company has clients like P&G and Disney, who have realized that the common social interaction of missed calls in India, are turning to ZipDial instead of focusing on driving likes to Facebook pages or chasing followers on… → Read More
Online e-commerce giant eBay last week said that it expects to have 12% of its sales coming from BRIC countries by 2015 in a global e-commerce market that will be worth $300 billion, and here is one more step in that strategy: it is leading a $50 million, Series C investment in Snapdeal, an online marketplace in India with 20 million users. Existing backers Nexus Venture Partners, Bessemer Venture… → Read More
Wrapping your brain around technology trends here in the United States, or even just in Silicon Valley, is a chore. Figuring out the trends and who the major players are in an emerging market like India is 10 times as difficult. Bowei Gai, former LinkedIn employee by way of his company CardMuncher being acquired, has done just that under his World Startup Report umbrella. Brad Feld and Dave… → Read More
Apple has indeed managed a significant turnaround in India’s smartphone market, according to new figures out from IDC today (via CNN). The Apple smartphone grabbed 15.6 percent of India’s smartphone market in Q4 2012, according to new data from the research firm, just behind market leading Samsung with its 38.8 percent, a significant change from the third quarter of last year, when IDC showed that… → Read More
Playcez, a startup out of Delhi, has closed a seed round of several hundred thousand USD $500,000 for an events discovery app for Indian users. It wouldn’t say how much funding it got exactly, but noted that the figure is under and closer to $1 million. Its founder, Ashwani Gaur, acknowledged that other location-based, social type apps for consumers have tapered off in the hype cycle in the… → Read More
During my trip to India, one of the most interesting companies that I met with was ZipDial. In a really cool home-turned-office in Bangalore, a team of brilliant people have turned a phenomenon that is unique to the country into a booming business. That phenomenon is missed calls. While that might not sound like big business, once you realize why this is a prevalent behavior in India, it will make… → Read More
Disruption comes in all shapes and sizes, and benefits people of all shapes and sizes. When you think about global entrepreneurs solving hard problems, you might not think about creating hardware products that aim to save the lives of premature babies. → Read More
As I start my trip in India along with Dave McClure’s “Geeks On A Plane,” I am reading about all of the startups in India that are used to proving that the country is making inroads and is relevant. It’s a story that I’m very familiar with in emerging markets: a group of VCs and entrepreneurs that want to prove that India is worthy of time, effort and, more… → Read More
I’m heading out to India (Bangalore and Delhi) to meet with tech companies. We haven’t had time to put together a formal event, but I do want to meet startups, VCs and entrepreneurs, so to that end I’ll be throwing together a Meetup – probably in a bar – in Bangalore on Tuesday. The details are: → Read More
Apple’s next big growth market could be India – a country where it has failed to find significant purchase with consumers up until this point. The Economic Times is reporting that sales of Apple devices, with iPhones leading the way, rose by between 300 and 400 percent in the past quarter. That growth, identified by research firm IDC, is likely being propelled by Apple’s distribution… → Read More
Just before launching its latest general update to Google Hangouts, Google also recently announced that it is bringing its new group video chat tool to India. Just like in other countries, Google is replacing its current Gmail video chat system with Hangouts in India, allowing its users there to chat with up to 9 people at a time (or just have a 1:1 chat like before). → Read More
We still don’t know how many Windows Phone 8 smartphones Nokia has sold since it started selling WP8-powered Lumias in the U.S. and Europe, back in November, but it’s continuing to expand availability of the range — announcing that its flagship Lumia 920 and the slightly more mid-range Lumia 820 will go on sale in India, tomorrow in “select retail stores across major cities”. → Read More
Poverty is a huge problem in India. But just because there’s social good to be done doesn’t mean there isn’t money to be made. So a year after its launch, Unitus Seed Fund has raised $8 million to invest in for-profit startups that help people in India at the bottom of the economic pyramid. 500 Startups, Vinod Khosla, and other angels contributed to the fund that is already having an impact. → Read More
Facebook is testing out a new way of picking up mobile users in international markets — a crucial part of its strategy to continue building out its user base as subscriber growth slows in markets like the U.S. In India, Facebook has launched Talktime, which gives users 50 Rupees (about $1) in calling credit when they sign up to Facebook via their mobile devices. It also offers users a further… → Read More
Apple is reportedly considering the opening of physical Apple Retail locations in India, but the WSJ reports that that could be a problem because of an Indian regulation that says foreign retailers have to source 30% of the value of the goods they sell from Indian firms. That would be very hard for Apple to manage, since its components come primarily from Chinese suppliers. But if it can get on… → Read More
In the rush to find the next great tech company, VCs eschewing the crowded scene in Silicon Valley are looking further afield for their gems. For some that means other cities in the U.S. and going to Europe and South America; and for Nexus Venture Partners, the answer is India, where it has focused its investment efforts since 2006, and will continue to do so, with the closure of a new… → Read More
Google announced a couple of updates to Google Maps today. The Google Maps Navigation app for Android, for example, will now offer turn-by-turn navigation for India. In addition, Google has also turned on live traffic data for six large Indian cities and their suburbs. These cities are Bengaluru, Mumbai, New Delhi, Chennai, Pune and Hyderabad. Today’s update isn’t just about India, though. Google… → Read More
Google currently faces a number of antitrust investigations in the U.S. and Europe. To make matters worse, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) just announced that it is also launching an inquiry into Google’s business practices. The announcement follows a complaint by Indian consumer advocacy group Consumer Unity and Trust Society (CUTS) International. That, sadly, is also the extend of the… → Read More
A lot of global clothing brands turn to India these days to manufacture their products. But today comes news of a $9 million funding round for an online clothing brand based in India that has big ambitions to go global. Freecultr — which CEO and co-founder Sujal Shah likens to an “online-only Uniqlo” (read: competitive price points on trendy, casual apparel) — has added Russian VC ru-Net as an… → Read More
Craftsvilla, a Mumbai-based startup that wants to become the “Etsy of Asia,” is announcing it has received a $1.5 million in new funding from Lightspeed Venture Partners and Nexus Venture Partners in India. The new round, closed in April, is an addition to a smaller, seed stage investment back in June 2011.
Quikr, India’s largest online and mobile classifieds portal, announced today that it has raised $32 million in series E financing, led by New York City-based private equity giant Warburg Pincus. The company’s existing investors, which include Matrix Partners, Norwest Venture Partners and eBay, also participated in the funding.
The investment is Quikr’s fifth and largest financing to date… → Read More
BlackBerry fans in India had best stay on the up-and-up lest they want to draw unwanted attention from the country’s security agencies. India Today reported over the weekend that the country’s government is on the verge of being able to capture messages sent though RIM’s formerly iron-clad BBM service.
India’s Information Technology Minister, Kapil Sibal, has gone on the record to say that “once and for all, without any obfuscation, no government in India will ever censor social media.” This must come as a surprise to the companies and individuals that have been blocked, sued, or antagonized by the government in months past.
Many social media websites, as well as larger indexing services like… → Read More
Following the attack on Microsoft’s online store in India, in which a team of (purportedly) Chinese hackers defaced the site and stole user credentials, the company is now alerting users via email that their passwords will be automatically reset on their behalf.
According to the email, Microsoft also says the databases storing credit card details and payment information were not compromised… → Read More
The low-cost Indian tablet known as the Aakash, which we have followed in its career over the last year, is finally shipping. In late December they opened up orders for the first batch of 30,000 units, and brought so much traffic to their retail site that an Indian cyber regulation agency called to inform them they were possibly under attack. And in the last two weeks, they’ve racked up over 1.4… → Read More
India is getting a second government-sponsored tablet. Thefirstmodel (the so-called Aakash) sold out in just a few days after it was launched online last week, but maker DataWind has already followed up with another 7-inch model, the Ubislate 7. It was actually announced a few weeks back, but is now available for pre-order, priced at US$57 (US$10 more than the original Aakash), and features much… → Read More
Another year, another attack on the Internet. Lately, though, it’s not a loose collective of individual hackers sitting in dark rooms trying to wreak havoc. This time, stronger forces and vested interests are stepping into the game.
In a matter of a few weeks, the world’s most powerful democracy and the world’s largest democracy engaged in their own specific battles over the future of how… → Read More