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Showing posts from June, 2011

Freshdesk, Reach 360 emerge winners at BizSpark Startup Challenge 2011

Edited excerpts from the Press Release: Microsoft has announced the winners of the BizSpark Startup Challenge 2011. At an event that witnessed top 15 startups battling it out for the coveted prize, Freshdesk and Reach 360 emerged winners of the challenge. The two winners were rewarded with a grant of USD 40,000 and the runner-up teams; Zevenseas and Live Inbox got a grant of USD 10,000 each. Microsoft BizSpark India Start up Challenge is a unique contest for start-ups in the field of product software to showcase their innovative business plans, receive feedback, and mentorship from top investors and Microsoft. The challenge was open to startups that currently have product/IP and are leveraging Microsoft technologies. The participants were assessed on three key parameters; innovation, market potential of the business and a compelling story behind the idea. The challenge was launched in April 2011 and within six weeks of the launch, over 400 product start-ups enrolled for the challenge

Super Angels Pitch: CazBak

Deal Alert: Fidelity to invest $15-M in K-12 education firm Mind Shaper

Edited excerpts from the press release: Fidelity Growth Partners India (FGPI) is to invest up to $15M to acquire a significant minority stake in Mind Shaper Technologies Private Limited. Branded as Classteacher Learning Systems, the company is a pioneer in K-12 educational content in the country. The investment will be used to further the company’s product portfolio and strengthen Classteacher’s role as an organization that combines technology and innovation as part of its commitment to education. At present the company has one of the largest repositories of digital education content in the industry with about 85,000 teaching modules mapped to multiple education boards. The company offers an integrated solution to assist teaching in classrooms using software, hardware and school support services. This provides an ideal platform to make learning an enjoyable and enriching experience. As part of this investment Mr. Kabir Narang and Mr. Raul Rai with FIL Capital Advisors (India), the pri

Profile of social venture investor Omidyar Network

From the Business Today profile of the philanthropic investment firm founded by Pierre Omidyar, founder of Internet company eBay. Unlike other philanthropic organisations, ON does not come with a project-centred approach. Rather, it enters with the intention of building institutions. The two main requirements are: the organisation should fit into the ON portfolio and be scalable. Swati Ramanathan, Chairperson of the Indian Urban Space Foundation and co-founder of Janaagraha, an NGO working on urban quality of living, says the benefit of ON comes from its disciplined funding. In Janaagraha's case, while $3 million (Rs 13.8 crore) was given for three years, a third of the funds is for unrestricted use, while another third is tied to achievement of pre-determined metrics and the final third portion depends on the ability of the organisation to raise at least twice as much from other sources. This, according to Jayant Sinha, Mumbai-based Partner, ON, ensures that the organisation mak

Profile of cricket gear firm Sanspaereils Greelands

From the Business Today profile of the 80+-year-old sports gear maker: The company's revenues - split almost 50-50 between exports and domestic sales - are growing at an annual rate of 25 per cent and expected to close this financial year at Rs 80 crore, up from Rs 60 crore last year. The share of exports has steadily gone down. "The proportion of exports to domestic sales was 55:45 last year, and we are planning to reverse it this year," says Anand. Buoyed by this growth, the company is planning to foray into uncharted territories now. "We will launch Maxxport, our sports-inspired apparel and footwear label by mid-March. The sports apparel and footwear market is growing at 20 to 30 per cent. A bigger market means bigger growth," says Anand, adding he expects Maxxport sales to touch Rs 15 crore by 2013. The year will also mark the debut of SG's own brand in the overseas markets - a move considered a little risky because its whitelabel overseas buyers may no

Why OTC Pharma is hot property

From the Business Today article : "The consumer healthcare segment is growing at around 18 per cent, almost 1.5 times the rate at which the FMCG sector is growing," points out Nikhil Vora, Managing Director at brokerage house IDFCSSKI. Rising fees of medical professionals, an increasing penchant for self-medication, aggressive advertising and increasing faith in traditional medicinal systems like ayurveda are driving this growth. ..."Companies like Amrutanjan, Zandu and Paras are in demand because they have established brands and a wide product portfolio," says Vora. At eight times its sales, Paras may have been valued richly, but analysts say it has commanded such a price because there are not too many opportunities for inorganic growth in this lucrative segment. ...A major attraction of OTC pharma is the margins, which are almost double those in FMCG. "On an average, the operating margins in OTC pharma could vary between 20 and 25 per cent compared to 12 to 1

Deal Alert: Rajasthan Venture acquires 30% stake in vocational education co Shree EduServe

From the Press Release: Rajasthan Venture (RVCF) has taken about 30% stake in an early stage vocational training education company, Shree Eduserve Pvt Ltd. , having over 65 centers across the country. Shree Eduserve Pvt. Ltd. , a fast growing company founded in 2006 , has been developing new generation products for better understanding and imparting quality education and vocational training. The company is headquartered in Jaipur with franchisee all over Rajasthan and parts of India. According to Mr Girish Gupta, CEO of Rajasthan Venture “RVCF funding will enable Shree Eduserve to widen its scope by enhancing existing e-learning product features and expanding its reach to other states as well. India’s Education Sector is estimated to be worth US Dollar 60 billion. Out of this, vocational training accounts for US Dollar 1.50 billion. The vocational training market in India is estimated to witness a growth rate of about 20% per annum in next few years. English and related trainin