Size matters: Bangalore sees action at both ends of startup spectrum in red-letter day

Source: Tech In Asia News
Startup founders and mentors of Axilor’s summer 2017 accelerator batch. Photo credit: Axilor. On a day when Japanese giant SoftBank announced a whopping US$2.5 billion investment into Indian ecommerce company Flipkart, Bangalore’s startup scene saw action at the other end of the spectrum, too. A batch of 20 early stage startups graduated from Axilor – an accelerator started by Infosys founders Kris Gopalakrishnan and S D Shibulal, along with Srinath Batni and Ganapathy Venugopal, who held senior positions at the Indian IT giant, and Harvard Business School professor Tarun Khanna. While SoftBank’s investment is the biggest for any private tech company in India, the cohort of 20 is the largest for any accelerator program in the country. Half the startups in the cohort of 20 raised funding during the program, and the ratio may rise to 70 percent. Axilor also announced that applications are open for its next batch of 20 startups. The focus areas will remain deep tech, fintech, enterprise tech, health tech, and the consumer internet. Axilor CEO Venugopal explained its vision. While mega rounds of late-stage funding are back in India, after a hiatus last year, “early stage startups are still underserved in institutional support and funding” – that is, in the stage after bootstrapping or angel funding. Axilor tackled this in two ways: increase the size of the cohort to expand the pipeline of investable startups, and participate in the funding of startups from its accelerator. The results from the first large cohort are encouraging. Six…
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