US based Y Combinator to back 18 Indian startups
While many investors are slowing down their funding agenda for India, the most influential startup incubator in Silicon Valley is doubling down on India. Y Combinator is backing 18 Indian
Sam Altman, the president of Y Combinator is quite positive about the developments and innovation happening in India. The accelerator program by Y Combinator invests $120,000 for 7% equity stake in the selected startups. The incubator has funded 1,464 startups since its foundation in 2005. Y Combinator has some of the Marky names like Dropbox, Airbnb, Stripe in its portfolio.
The boast of portfolio companies is valued at $85 billion put together. Sam Altman is quite confident about supporting a number of important tech startups in India in coming years. The Y Combinator president acknowledges of the industry's slowdown in India. He further states that there will always be ups and downs, there will be bubbles and bursts. But, we try to take a very long-term view here and not get too distracted by the ups and downs.
Y Combinator's W'17 batch includes five Indian startups. A subscription app Supr Daily founded by IIT-alumni follows the direct-to-consumer model for daily consumable goods like milk, bread, and eggs. Servx is a marketplace for authorized automotive service providers. WiFi Dabba is another startup that provides low-cost WiFi in India. Another startup selected in a W'17 batch is Playment, an on-demand workforce for human tasks for companies. The fifth Indian startup in the W'17 batch is Bulk MRO, a one-stop shop for industrial products for enterprise customers.
The Valley-based incubator has had decent success in the Indian market. The Y Combinator-backed Indian company, ClearTax recently raised $1.3 million in seed funding from PayPal co-founder Max Levchin and Scott Banister. Razorpay from the batch of 2015 is doing phenomenal in the fintech sector in India. Last year, YC had supported coworking space Innov8, e-commerce platform Meesho and self-drive rental platform JustRide.
Y Combinator wants to support the startups that solve a niche problem and benefit the end users. Sam Altman believes that although innovation in AI and ML is taking away jobs, it is even creating an opportunity for new jobs. In an interview, he said, "About every 70 years as much as 50% of job get eliminated and new jobs get created. So tech eliminating job has been going on for a long time."
The incubator's plan of supporting 18 Indian startups is the highest ever since it actively got involved with India a few years ago. YC is betting big on the developments in fintech sector in India.
- Rajat Kabade