Checklist that Investors request from a Startup

checklist investor startup

Startup entrepreneur must know what the investors will request and the reasons they are
requesting it.

Investor Pitch Documents
Investors will be qualifying the entrepreneur and their startup from the initial point of interaction. As a result, the entrepreneur who will be seeking investment should have a prepared cocktail party “one-liner”, an elevator pitch and executive summary available as soon as they realize outside funding will be sought. Presentation materials the entrepreneur should develop include their pitch deck and their business canvas or business plan.

Organizational Documents
Investors will check the validity of the company by confirming all government filings, such as Articles of Organization / Incorporation, Applications for Employer Identification Numbers, Authorizations to Operate, Assumed Names Requests and Annual Reports have been filed. Startup documents such as Founders and Operating Agreements, Subscription, Shareholders Rights and Convertible Note Purchase Agreements, if applicable, may also be requested. Finally, it is typical for the investor to request various stakeholder tables such as Tables of Shareholders, Option Holders, Warrant Holders and Debt Holders as well as relevant contact information.

Management & Organization Information
Understanding the company’s structure, its team and their ability to execute is important to investors so they will typically request structural documents such as employee listings, organizational charts, and lists of advisory and board members. Bios and resumes for key players are typically requested as well. Finally, Employment Agreements including NDAs, Non-competes, Non-solicitation and Invention Assignment Agreements should be available on request.

Board of Directors
In addition to a listing of the members of the Board of Directors, their bios and their contact information, investors will desire to review the minutes of previous Board meetings.

Contact Information
As previously mentioned, contact information will be requested for all key players in management, the Board of Advisors and the Board of Directors.

Intellectual Property
Intellectual property includes all documents related to Patents and know-how, Trademarks, Copyrights and Logos. The appropriated filings and confirmations from the governing agency responsible for the activity are also likely to be requested.

Development Plans
In order to understand the company’s strategic approach, investors will want to review various planning documents including Financial Plans, Marketing Plans, Sales Plans and Technology Plans.

Products / Services
If the product or service has not been developed, investor questions will include issues related to the technologies, skills required for development and related risks. If it has been developed, investors will require you to provide details related to your product or service such as the cost of development and estimated manufacturing cost at scale.

Customers & Clients
Key customer lists with contact information, press releases and lists of the competition with summaries of their strengths and weaknesses are examples of customer and client information that may potentially be requested by investors.

Material Contracts
Examples of material contracts which may be requested including Sales Agreements, Supplier Agreements, Joint Development Agreements and Debt Agreements.

Financial Information
Current and previous year financial statements, federal, state and local income taxes, insurance policies, cap tables, lists of liabilities and accounting methodologies are a few of the key pieces of financial data that may be requested.

Information Technologies
Requests related to information technologies will likely include descriptions of internally developed software, product development road-maps, production stacks and details related to any contracted partners.

Environmental
Environmental documentation may not be applicable. However, if it is, entrepreneurs should expect requests for hazardous substance listings, descriptions of hazmat disposal methods and copies of environmental permits and licenses.

Legal Information
Investors will have a keen interest in legal opinions received, pending or potential litigation, discussions with regulatory and other government agencies and licenses, permits and consents.

As we can see, this due diligence checklist is extensive. The only way to address the due diligence needs of investors is to accomplish them over time as you negotiate through your startup journey. This requires that they be completed during the development and growth of the company. Those entrepreneurs not recognizing the need for this due diligence decrease their chances of obtaining funding from Angel and VC investors.


Tags: VC, due diligence, checklist, startup, entrepreneur,

OLA acquires FoodPanda for $200M

OLA FoodPanda

Ola (Uber rival in India) is entering the food delivery space after it announced a deal to acquire Foodpanda’s India business from its parent company DeliveryHero. Under the deal, Foodpanda's India business will be transferred to Ola while Delivery Hero will get shares in Ola, the companies said in a statement.

What's the strategy behind OLA-FoodPanda deal?
1.Ola's acquisition of Foodpanda India is in direct competition with rival Uber Technologies, which runs UberEATS, a similar service.
2.Ola is buying a business with scale and not interested in starting one from scratch.

FoodPanda Business Stats
Foodpanda has over 15,000 restaurants across 100 Indian cities on its platform.
Revenue stood at Rs. 62.16 crore in 2016-17

Other Food Delivery Players in India
Zomato
Swiggy
UberEats


Tags: Ola, FoodPanda, DeliveryHero, Softbank, food ordering, food delivery, Uber eats, Aero, Swiggy, Zomato, startups, India, acquisitions,

Google uses Light beams to bring rural Andhra Pradesh online

Andhra Pradesh Fiber Grid Light beams

Andhra Pradesh government initiative to connect 12 million households to the internet by 2019 is turning to reality with Alphabet X labs light beam laser internet technology. The GoAP (government of Andhra Pradesh) has entered into an agreement with Alphabet (formerly Google) X Labs  to bring the breakthrough Free Space Optical Communication (FSOC) technology in order to provide internet to rural areas of the state.

What is FSOC?
Free Space Optical Communications (FSOC) is a technology that uses beams of light to deliver high-speed, high-capacity connectivity over long distances.

This association with X labs to implement FSOC in AP is first of its kind in the world to provide wireless internet connection at a higher speed of up to 20Gbps and to a distance of up to 20kms. This significant partnership will offer a major boost to the state's digital infrastructure and help overcome hindrances in terms of connecting isolated and difficult terrain, forest areas, river crossings, railway crossings etc."

AP State FiberNet will introduce 2,000 FSOC links starting from January to add additional support to its network backbone in the state. Goodle X labs is working with a telecom operator in Indian state Andhra Pradesh, home to over 50 million people.

Related Q&A
What percentage of population in Andhra Pradesh have access to broadband connectivity?
20% of 53 million population




Tags: Google X, FSOC, light beams, internet, lasers, Andhra Pradesh, Fiber Grid, rural india, 

9 TIPS TO GET LEADS WITH TWITTER


Twitter is an incredible tool to get more leads.
You might be thinking, “how can I get leads with Twitter? Is Twitter even suitable for businesses?”
Heck yes it is!
Can I prove it?
Sure can. Here are some data to back it up:
– 66% of customers have discovered a new small or medium-sized business (SMB) on Twitter
– 94% plan to purchase from the SMBs they follow
– 69% bought from an SMB because of something they saw on Twitter
Still not convinced? Let me tell you, as someone who’ve been on Twitter for a long time, I’ve bought my share of things based on tweets I’ve read and have subscribed to many businesses through my interaction with them and the tweets I’ve read.
So, without further ado, let’s talk about how to get leads with Twitter!

1. Build a targeted Twitter audience
There’s no avoiding this step. If you want to get leads with Twitter, you absolutely have to make sure you’re building a targeted Twitter following.
As I shared earlier, 94% of customers plan to purchase from the SMBs they follow. That is IF you’re connecting with the right people.
If you don’t, you’ll only be promoting your tweets to people who aren’t interested in what you have to offer – not a great strategy.
So how do you grow a targeted Twitter following? By following the people you want as customers.
One effective method is to follow people who are tweeting and retweeting about a topic relevant to your business. This is because these users are your target market – these are the leads you want! I talk about this in my blog post on how I grew a following on a zero budget.
To take things to the next level, I recommend automating this process. Following manually will take you a lot of time so I would only recommend that if you are on zero budget. Automating this process will allow you more time to focus on other important tasks, like engaging with all your new follower!
This tactic works because people are likely to follow you back if your tweets are aligned with their interest.
I recommend Social Quant as a tool you must have in your toolkit. What differentiates Social Quant from other tools is their proprietary algorithm that targets the best prospects for your business.

2. Know the 3P of marketing
If you follow my work, you know I’m all about the 3Ps of marketing. They are essential for every social media platform.
The 3Ps of marketing are:
– Purpose: Tweets that adds value to your followers
– Personal: Personal tweets about you and your business.
– Promotional: Tweets that sells, sells, sells.
You see, people don’t follow businesses because they want to be sold to. Give your followers something that they can learn from, earn their trust, and  eventually they will buy. Add personality to your tweets to connect with your audience.
sample-tweet
In fact, just a few days ago I purchased from a company after seeing their tweets and reading one of their blog posts.
Understand the 3Ps then find a ratio of your tweets that that fits the 3Ps and works for you.

3. Launch a contest
Okay, who doesn’t love contests?
NO ONE! Everyone loves a contest! The best part about contests is they require (or should) entrants to share their email.
With third party platforms like Wishpond, you can easily create entry forms that require users to give you their email address to participate.
Contests just work!
I know for sure because I used to work for a company that does contest platforms. Many businesses saw significant results from using them.
Plus you can introduce a viral component. People are likely to tweet and retweet if they know it will double their chances of winning your contest. Photo contests will make people want to share on social media even more (especially Twitter).

4. Utilize Twitter ads
Twitter ads are a great way to generate more leads. They allow you to focus on your target market and get in front of them instantly.
But before you go out and start creating ads, start doing some diligence in preparation.
I found this blog post by adespresso incredible useful. In their blog post, they analyzed over 7,700 Twitter ads.
Here’s the summary of their findings:
– Almost all Twitter ads use an image
– Mentions aren’t popular In Twitter ads
– Using just one hashtag in Twitter ads is most effective
– The most popular number used in Twitter ads is 5

5. Respond to tweets quickly
As a social media manager for many years, I found this trick to WORK.
If someone mentions your brand on Twitter, make sure that you respond to the tweet ASAP.
It doesn’t matter if it’s positive or negative. Answer it as soon as you see it.
People love it when businesses respond to them quickly. It shows that they are heard, that you care, and it shows appreciation for your followers (potential or current customers).
The best type of tweets are when people are comparing your product with your competitors. That’s a golden opportunity just soft-balled in to you –  definitely be the one to respond to these tweets first.

6. Tweet relevant people about your product
For some, this approach may be spammy. However, if you’re short on time and want to increase leads, this method can work for you.
What you can do is tweet relevant people about your business, product or service. The key is making sure you’re varying those tweets and not sending the exact same one over and over.
Check out these tweets for an instance. It’s a great example of what I mean.
twitter-leads
Noticed how he’s tweeting so many people? He changes it up, so it looks different. If I were him, I would spin it 20-30 different ways. What I’ll do next is tweet each personally, use their name and say something like:
@askaaronlee Hey Aaron, we’ve created a new _____ that ________.
That way it looks more personalized and, most importantly, human.
You might be thinking, does this method work?
Yes!
Here are some of the responses he got.
twitter-tips
Not bad! The best part is it cost him nothing.

7. Include a Call To Action in your bio
People are visiting your profile, folks! And if you’re following relevant people, they’re going to read your bio. It’s just how it works, they see the have a new follower in their notifications and it’s just natural for them to cruise on over to your profile and check you out.
lead-generation
Think about what will interest your target market, then GIVE it to them for free.
Give away eBooks, samples, etc. Find out what your customers want. If you don’t know what they want, ask your current subscribers and find out what they want. Create a short survey to find out. Compile what you learned and give that away.
Offer something exclusive or compelling. Add a call to action in your bio, and boom!
This method will work better than the usual ‘subscribe to my blog here’ method that I see many do.

8. Pin your tweets to the top
If you follow my blog posts here, you’ve probably heard me say this a gazillion times. Pin your tweets to the top.
Remember, people are visiting your Twitter profile. When they do, the first thing they are going to see is your first tweet. Just like in step 7, you can offer them something of value for free – well, in exchange for their email address of course.

9. Start a blog to compliment Twitter
Recently I wrote on Mark’s blog on how to become an influencer. In the post, I spoke about the need for a blog to add substance to what you’re doing.
Mark calls this “rich content.”
Just having a Twitter account isn’t going to cut it. You need to continue to add value. That’s what I learned after creating my Short of Height brand from scratch. Twitter is only limited to 140 characters and that’s not enough. With a blog you can provide long-form posts that provide true value and establish you as an industry expert that people will want to do business with.
Creating a blog allows you to share in-depth. Like this article that you’re reading. When people like what you’re reading, they are more likely to subscribe to what you have to offer because they’ll want more.
It’s pretty simple. Give them what the value they want, and they will give you what you want.

Source: Aron Lee

6 quick tips to remember when starting out in e-commerce




Decided to venture into e-commerce? With online shopping becoming more popular than ever in recent times, it’s no surprise so many are trying their hand at it themselves. It’s now easier than ever to establish your very own online store – and these six tips will help you along the way.

Web design is extremely important
Perhaps surprisingly, the most effective way of getting customers to stick around and eventually purchase something upon your online store is by greeting them with a pleasing, effective design. Be sure to let your products take centre stage, instead of a distracting, garish appearance that could immediately make them turn away.

Flat design remains the most popular choice in web design to this day, a long-running style that still manages to look as fresh and appealing as ever. Be sure you’re not distracting from your products with a website which is hard-to-navigate, or even simply unpleasant to look at.

Consider your server choice with the future in mind
When it comes to determining which hosting provider to choose in setting up your online store, you need to consider your future desires. If you’re wanting to remain relatively small and modest in terms of your store’s growth, a shared server is the perfect choice – it’s cheaper and will offer more than enough hosting space for you.

However, if you have bigger aspirations, invest in a dedicated server. Albeit more expensive, you won’t be running the risk of overloading the server, which could result in downtime.

Alternatively, you could opt for one of the newer services upon which web hosting is included. Shopify is one such example – it’s an all-inclusive platform that’ll pretty much take care of everything for you.

Customer service is crucial
Should you want to establish those crucial relationships with your buyers, whether it be their first or their fiftieth time doing business with you, customer service is absolutely vital. You need to prove yourself to be a trustworthy, genuine business – customer service is the most effective way to do it.

Make sure you regularly communicate with customers, responding to any queries, comments or complaints they may have. Phone calls are often the most effective way of doing so, but with e-commerce, emails are the more common ¬– and feasible – choice.

“Niche marketing” is your friend
Don’t confuse niche marketing with a niche market. Whereas the latter will prevent you from reaching larger target markets due to less of a demand, niche marketing will have the opposite effect – you’ll be proving yourself to be an innovative and worthy competitor by offering something new in the midst of a market oversaturated with similar products.

Niche marketing works in your favour in that you’ll be attracting new customers who are interested in a product they’ve not seen before. Consider what’s been done time and time again, and figure out how to build and improve upon it.

Secure your site to be trustworthy
Be sure to have a good level of protection upon your site in order to reassure your customers you’re a trustworthy and reliable business to invest in. Attacks are unfortunately common in e-commerce, and in the interest of the buyers who are likely entering confidential information upon the store, you’ll want to ensure you’re not at any risk of a security breach.

Attacks like SQL injection are often the choice for hackers and attackers, so make sure you’re taking those vital steps to prevent it.

Always look to the future
With e-commerce, things move quickly – so much so, in fact, that it’s very easy to lag behind the competitors. Make sure you’re always looking to the future, noticing changing trends and new developments in order to stay ahead of the game and consistently prove yourself to be the most exciting and innovative business in the market.

Do you have any more tips for those starting out in e-commerce? Be sure to let us know in the comments below.

Featured Post
Tags: ecommerce, shopify, tips, new ventures, online shopping, startups,

Facebook co-founder invests in Indian payment startup Mswipe

Point of Sale Device

Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin investment firm B Capital  has stepped into India after it backed smart point-of-sale company Mswipe in its first deal in the country. The U.S.-Asia fund is investing $10 million into Mumbai-based Mswipe not missing out on the FinTech opportunity in India.

About B Capital
B Capital has a total fund size of around $180 million and offices in California and Singapore. Its deal to date have included logistics startup Ninjavan in Southeast Asia, Singapore’s CXA insurance firm, healthtech companies SilverCloud Health, Evidation Health, and Bright.md.

About MSwipe:
Founded: 2011
Founder/CEO: Manish Patel
Startup Type: Fintech
Customers: 280,000 merchants across India
Product Line: Point-of-Sale- Devices
Series D: $10M (Dec 2017)
Funds Raised: $65M as on Dec 2017

Other Players in this Space
PayTM
MobiKwik
EzeTap

Related Q&A:
How many Debit and Credit Cards used in India ?
900 Million

How many PoS terminals exist across India?
2.5 Million terminals

How many Smartphone users in India are Online ?
200 Million


Leave a Comment and Join the Discussion

Tags: Fintech, mobile, wallet, payment, digital wallet, point of sale, startups, india,

A Startup that allows you to report sexual harassments

sexual harassment app

Stories of sexual harassment and abuse of power in Silicon Valley and Hollywood have left many people questioning what can be done to make speaking up easier across all industries. Even before Harvey Weinstein kicked off this wave of actual consequences for sexual assault and harassment, Claire Schmidt was thinking about how to create a platform that would help victims.

Schmidt, who up through this week was vice president of technology and innovation at Twentieth Century Fox, on Tuesday launched the startup AllVoices. The web platform will let people anonymously report their experiences of sexual harassment at work, and will in turn aggregate that data to give companies insights on the true scale of the problem.

It's a much-needed third option for victims of sexual harassment besides making their experiences public through litigation or in the press. For victims of harassment whose harassers aren't high-profile enough to warrant news coverage, a platform like this is basically the only other option besides taking legal action.

"Employees are still really scared to report harassment at work," Schmidt said. "CEOs and boards don't have the data and they don't have the transparency to fully understand the scale of the problems happening in their organizations."

"I realized I could build a platform that would help solve both of those problems at the same time," she added.

The web platform—not an app, to maximize security and anonymity—asks specific questions so that the data can be sent to employers at an aggregate level. Individuals can share the nature of their experience—whether they dealt with sexual advances, uncomfortable jokes or comments, physical or verbal offenses—and if they think the harassment was based on any part of their identity, including gender, race, age, and disability.

Individuals also share whether they're a full-time employee, whether they worked with a company's employees as a client or outside partner, or whether they were a startup pitching someone at another firm. Bystanders are also able to report harassment they saw happen to someone else.

News app to make MILLENNIALS care about news

genies emoji app


If you ask Gen Z millennials where they get their news, nine times out of 10 they'll say they get it on Snapchat or Instagram.

Genies, Inc., has launched the Genies app, where you can create an adorable clone of yourself that will bring you news throughout the day, and can be shared with friends on iMessage, Facebook Messenger, Instagram Direct Message, Snapchat, and SMS.

Here's how it works. First, you sign into the Genies app and create a Bitmoji-like animated clone of yourself. There are hundreds of skin tones, noses, eye colors, and articles of clothing to choose from, so your character will be more nuanced, and more trendy, than their Bitmoji competitors.

They're also larger than bitmojis, and while bitmojis tend to look like they belong in an old cartoon, Genies wouldn't be out of place in a Pixar movie. Their movements are smooth, their expressions incredibly lively.

Once you've created your Genie, you indicate the news outlets that you read the most often.

From then on, when you open the app every morning, you'll see a series of around 10 short videos about the news from your specified outlets, featuring your Genie.


Featured Post

TAGS: BITMOJI, EMOJI, EMOJIS, FACEBOOK, NEWS, MILLENNIALS, APPS, FACEBOOK MESSENGER, INSTAGRAM, INSTAGRAM DIRECT, TEXTING, STARTUPS, TECH

Faster, Smarter, Secure SMARTPHONES coming in 2018


Qualcomm, the world's largest mobile chipmaker, announced its latest system-on-chip (SoC), the Snapdragon 845. It will likely make its way into every major flagship smartphone coming out next year.

As the brain of many new phones, it'll impact just about everything from performance to battery life to the cameras. So pay attention — you'll be hearing a lot about the 845 chip soon enough.

Similar to the current Snapdragon 835, the 845 will be a 10-nanometer chip manufactured by Samsung.

The first phones to be powered by the chip will come in Spring 2018. That may seem like a ways off, but it's just in time for the expected launch of phones like Samsung's own Galaxy S9 and LG's G7.

1. 30 percent faster graphics
One thing you can rely on with a new chip is faster performance, and the Snapdragon 845 is no exception.

It comes with a new Adreno 630 graphics chip, which Qualcomm claims will improve graphics performance and video rendering by up to 30 percent.

In real-world use, everything from playing 3D games at higher framerates to watching 4K HDR videos to mobile AR/VR (referred to as "XR" or "extended reality) will see serious gains.

2. Battery life boost
Those 30-percent-faster graphics don't come at the expense of power consumption. In fact, the chip's actually 30 percent more power efficient than the 835.

What this translates to is less power consumption when the phone's processor is roaring for high-performance tasks like 3D games and mobile VR. And battery life will last even longer (think up to two days) when you're just surfing the web and browsing Instagram.

3. Even faster LTE and Wi-Fi
Gone are the days where raw performance is the only thing that matters. What good is having apps load ultra fast if they it takes forever to download data for them?

Included with the 845 chip is a new X20 LTE modem that allows for up to 20 percent faster gigabit speeds compared to the previous X16 LTE mode, both for peak and real-world usage. For peak speeds, devices will see a max 1.2 Gbps download on supported networks.

New Wi-Fi networks that make use of 802.11ad will also see a significant speed boost.

4. Smarter machine learning
Everyone's embracing machine learning and AI (especially Google) to help analyze the world and better understand the data being stored on it.

There's a Hexagon 685 digital signal processor (DSP) built into the 845 chip that's three times faster than the one in the 835. The improved DSP will connect to a phone's myriad sensors to more quickly complete complex tasks like object recognition. It sounds boring, but when your phone can tell the difference between a cat, dog, car, or person, it's kind of like whoa.

5. Improved wireless audio
Don't get us wrong, Bluetooth audio has improved a lot since a few years ago, but it could still be a lot better.

With Qualcomm's TrueWireless Bluetooth, improvement on the wireless protocol will reduce power consumption by up to 50 percent, while simultaneously improving audio quality, says the company.

Unlike 5.0's current implementation, which streams a single channel of stereo audio to one wireless earbud — which then streams the other channel to the matching bud, TrueWireless will simplify everything by streaming directly from the device to both wireless earbuds. This should mean better-sounding wireless audio.

The 845 chip comes with other audio improvements, too, such as the WCD934x "Aqstic audio" codec that'll improve hands-free voice command detection.

6. Locking everything down
It's 2017 and hacking is a thing that could happen to any of us. We put all of our most important data on our phones, so it's vital that our phones actually protect that data.

For the first time on a Qualcomm chip, there's a dedicated "Secure Processing Unit" (SPU) which works kind of like Apple's Secure Enclave. All of your biometric data (i.e. fingerprints and face scans) is stored inside of the SPU, separate from your phone's storage. Other sensitive information such as SIM data and mobile payment numbers will be stored inside of the SPU as well.

Longterm, the plan is to create special keys that'll be used to decrypt all other data, like photos.

7. Sharper photos
A phone's camera is more than just its sensor. The image signal processor (ISP) needs to be able to decode that light information and then process it appropriately to produce pleasing images that are sharp and have less image noise.

The 845 chip has a new Spectra 280 ISP that'll process photos at up to 16 megapixels for better color reproduction and clarity when you shoot on burst. 

8. HDR video recording
This year's 835 chip brought native support for High Dynamic Range (HDR) viewing on phones with HDR-ready displays, but the new 845 chip will let you record video with all the extra dynamic range, higher contrast, and increased clarity this new format affords.

Phones with the new chip will be able to capture 4K-resolution video in HDR at up to 60 fps.

9. Insane slow-motion capture
Slow-motion recording is great, and most phones support some pretty high framerates that help freeze the action at 120 and 240 fps.

But things are about to get even slower: At 720p HD resolution, quadruple the framerate currently supported. We're talking slo-mo at up to 480 fps.

We know, Sony's Xperia phones still have the competition beat with cameras that can shoot at a bonkers 960 fps at 720p resolution, but 480 fps isn't anything to scoff at

Featured Post R Wong

E-commerce versus Kirana


After the smashing entry of Reliance Jio, Ambani is making another contrarian bet. When retail companies are logging into India, Ambani is betting big on Bharat. Amazon and Flipkart may be putting billions of dollars in e-commerce wars, Ambani plans to ride high on the corner shops—the small kirana stores.

For the retail biggies, the mom-and-pop stores could be dying but for Ambani they are an ambitious business opportunity. For his retail foray, Ambani is neither spending money nor dirtying his hands with delivery issues. All he plans to do is link manufacturers and kirana stores to his Reliance Jio customers and mint money.

Reliance Jio will offer its subscribers digital coupons to buy goods at Kirana stores at discounted rates. It will not spend its own money on discounts. It will only mediate between manufacturers and kirana stores to benefit its subscribers. While manufacturing brands will get free publicity, kirana stores will have more customers. And it will be an effective way to add and retain subscribers for Jio. The company is running a pilot project of this scheme in Mumbai, Chennai and Ahmedabad before it rolls out the scheme next year.

Small kirana stores are seen as a threat by e-commerce companies, but Ambani views them as an opportunity. In an age when the digital and brick-and-mortar are mostly seen as two opposing models, Ambani seeks to combine them in an innovative way using technology, e-cash, coupons and telecom userbase.

Mukesh's father, legendary businessman Dhirubhai Ambani, used to say if you made a phone call cheaper than a postcard, you would revolutionise the lives of millions of Indians. After realising his father's dream by not only making a phone call totally free, but also making a handset, JioPhone virtually free, Ambani is all set to ride the digital revolution.

When he began offering free data to Jio customers last year, Ambani must have realised how telecom could open for him the big doors into the Indian retail market.

Jio's cheap data opened up a vast market for Ambani with which it can play in diverse ways. E-commerce is only 3-4% of India's $650-billion retail industry. Organised retailers hold just 8% of it. Small kirana shops make up the remaining 88% of the market. It is this market that Ambani is accessing through his telecom foray.

Bharat, he knows, is still bigger than India. Rather than trying to pull it online, what Ambani is doing is taking the online shoppers to Bharat, the traditional retail sector, that is. After telecom sector, now the retail players should get ready for a wave of disruption. It's not just retail players who should be afraid of Reliance Jio's new foray into retail. It will give tough competition to digital wallets such as Paytm, Mobikwik and Phone Pe too once it has developed its own retail network

Reliance Retail has plans to compete with Amazon and Flipkart by offering a wide selection of products, (with the promise of) same or next day delivery even in small towns where aspiration level is high but availability is a problem.

Two Billion Dollars spent on Indians on How to Use 'APPS'


India has been named as the world’s fourth largest app economy, and it’s expected downloads will top 9 billion by the end of 2016, with an annual growth rate of 92%. The data comes from a report by App Annie, where it’s said the growth will continue and reach 20.1 billion app downloads by 2020.

India app ecosystem is estimated to be in the range of $330 mn by 2016.The average mobile app usage in India has grown by at least 129 per cent and has outpaced the global growth rate. The next wave of growth in the Indian mobile apps is being driven by the increased usage of smartphones coupled with low mobile tariffs bridging the digital divide between metros, non-metros and rural areas.

Who Spent on APP awareness to Indians and How much?
"Collectively all Indian Unicorn Startups like Flipkart, Snapdeal, Paytm, Ola and many more have spent around two to three billion dollars to educate Indian consumer on how to use APPS. These companies brought consumer onboard and the people started buying online" said Sandeep Singhal Co-founder of Nexus Venture Partners.

How many APPS average Indian user installs?
Study says Average Indian user installs 32 apps

How many Smartphones used in India?
200 Million

How many of these Smartphone users are from Urban Population?
70% Users

What are the most popular Apps in India?
WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, Flipkart, Snapdeal, Amazon and Paytm.

Why it is important for startups raising capital to clearly communicate what you do.


I often come across business pitch decks, or even company websites that have fancy set of words that don't really communicate what the company does. For example, a tagline like "Redefining Healthcare" feels grand, but does not give the reader any clues on what your company does.

Instead, if the tagline were to be specific saying “Your neighborhood childcare clinic’, there is specificity in communicating what you are offering. If your tag line can also communicate your value proposition, it is ideal. E.g. “Affordable cardiac care”.

VCs and angel investor networks get 100s of business plans every month. And a few individuals in VC firms have the task of sifting though these pitch decks to shortlist those that they think are worthy of more time. Because it is impossible for anyone to go through 100s of pitch decks very, very diligently, it is often the first impressions and the clarity of communication of the first couple of slides that will decide whether the deck makes it to the 'shortlisted for further review' bucket.

I urge startup founders to share their tagline (nd other marketing collaterals, including website, with a few folks from outside their circle of family & friends and ask them what they understand about the company from that material. If you get multiple interpretations and inferences of what you might be doing, then go back to the drawing board and repeat the exercise till you get a sharp definition of your business that helps everyone instantly understand what you do. And often, it is the tagline about your brand that often has to carry the load of communicating what your business is all about.

Also remember, the tagline you have for consumers/users/clients may be different than the description of the business that you have when you present to investors. Consumers need to know your value proposition for them, while investors need to know the business behind that value proposition.

Starting Up & Fund Raising



About the AuthorPrajakt Raut@PrajaktR
Prajakt Raut is a Guest writer for Startuptimes.in . Prajakt Raut is an entrepreneur and entrepreneurship evangelist. Prajakt’s personal goal in life is to encourage and assist a 100,000 people to become entrepreneurs.

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3 Types of Partnerships Startups Need to Look for


A few key partnerships can make all the difference in the early stages of growing a company.

Starting up a business is never easy, especially when the market is constantly getting more crowded. It is increasingly difficult to find ways for your business stand out, and to forge the necessary relationships to help your business succeed in the early stages. But not all hope is lot.

Partnerships with other growing companies can help spark innovation among your teams and provide outlets for attracting new customers from a unique base of consumers. Every relationship formed must be a two-way street to ensure both parties are benefiting from the connection.

Developing a small number of key partnerships, especially in the early stages of building a business, can be an incredibly valuable way to grow your consumer base and experiment with additional revenue streams.

Here are the three types of partnerships  formed at Unfettered Socks(a startup) that have significantly impacted their business:

1. Cross-marketing
For successful cross-marketing partnerships, you want to find companies that offer a product that complements (but does not compete with) your product offering. In addition, you want to target companies that have a unique set of customers that fall within a similar target demographic. This was a particularly useful tactic while raising our initial funding on Kickstarter.

Our sock company worked with a shoe company (complementary, but not competing, product) to promote their Kickstarter page to our existing backers, and they did the same for us. With so many projects added daily to Kickstarter, it is often difficult to stand out or be seen by potential backers but this partnership guaranteed incremental views to our fundraising page.

2. Retail outlets.
While our business was created as a direct to consumer ecommerce model, we quickly realized the value of creating local brand recognition, as well as increasing the routes to market. When considering retail partners, it was important to think about how to grow our brand in a unique way that would set us apart from competitors. We do have distribution in local boutiques that align with our style, but you can also find us in an upscale suburban pharmacy, as well as on display at a downtown hipster men’s grooming salon.

Having a variety of retail partners allows us to have a unique strategy with each of them to increase the number of new consumers introduced to our product, and to ensure each partner feels we are adding value to their business as well.

3. Product collaborations
Product collaborations offer an opportunity to share brand equity and to cross-market to each brand’s existing consumer base. Our first collaboration is a co-designed sock with a local St. Louis brewery. With their help, we produced a sock that resonated with their fans and earned their commitment to sell the sock through their gift shop.

For each pair of socks sold (either in the brewery or on our website), we donate a pair of socks to a local homeless shelter. The collaboration and donation program has been well-received among loyal brewery customers, and has allowed both companies to gain awareness among each other’s followers. Collaborations open up a lot of opportunity to diversify our revenue stream, and strengthen our brand.

Any potential partnership needs to be approached with careful consideration and clear communication, as managing these relationships creates additional complexities for your business. However, developing a small number of key partnerships, especially in the early stages of building a business, can be an incredibly valuable way to grow your consumer base and experiment with additional revenue streams.



Article By Sarah:
Sarah is an Entrepreneur ,Investor and CTO at Unfettered Socks. Sarah is a recent graduate of Washington University in St. Louis where she studied systems engineering and entrepreneurship. During her junior year she opened Green Bean, an eco-healthy salad restaurant.

Flying Taxi Startup Lilium raised $90M Series B

Lilium

Never again will you need to ask your taxi driver to take the scenic route as you’re flown from one location to another, much faster than by car and with significantly less environmental impact. That’s the promise of the five-seater Lilium jet, a new kind of all-electric vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) device being developed by a startup based in Munich, Germany, which, until just a few years ago, had yet to come into existence. with a single tap, hail the closest air taxi to take you to your chosen destination. The experience will have Uber-like convenience but the mode of transport couldn’t be any more different.

So Said the Founder
The founding mission of the company was to enable everyone to use this kind of transportation system in their everyday lives,” Lilium co-founder and CEO Daniel Wiegand

About Lilium Funding
Lilium announced it has closed $90 million in Series B funding, up from the $10 million Series A Lilium raised a year ago. Backing the round are Tencent; LGT, the international private banking and asset management group; Atomico, Lilium’s Series A backer founded by Skype co-founder Niklas Zennström; and Obvious Ventures, the early-stage VC fund co-founded by Twitter’s Ev Williams.

Headcount at Lilium
Headcount now stands at more than 75 people, around half of which are non-German

Other Startups in this Space
Kitty Hawk (backed by Google's Larry Page)
Zee.aero (backed by Google's Larry Page)
Vahana (backed by Airbus)


Tags: vertical take-off and landing VTOL, electric aircraft market, flying taxi, air transportation startups, #VTOL #FlyingTaxi, 

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