US tech large made again to again investments in DailyHunt and Look by means of the Google For India Digitization Fund which has dedicated to take a position $10 Bn
Tech firms are bullish about investments in India as firms like Fb, Amazon and others have already both invested or displaying curiosity in investing India’s startup ecosystem
Google’s current investments in Wysa, Look and Dailyhunt sign a much bigger give attention to the Indian startup ecosystem, after its mega backing for Reliance Jio Platforms
From Fb to Amazon to Google — the world’s greatest tech firms are eyeing the Indian startup ecosystem with main investments backing their native companies. In current months although, Google has taken the centre-stage with its eye-catching investments in Dunzo, Wysa in addition to the back-to-back rounds in Dailyhunt, Look, which helped the 2 firms enter the unicorn membership.
This follows the $4.5 Bn funding in Reliance Jio by means of the Google For India Digitization Fund which has dedicated to take a position $10 Bn within the nation within the subsequent 5 to seven years.Whereas Google has invested in startups from 2015 onwards, it’s solely this yr that the tech large has solidified its strategy with the devoted fund.
“Within the final two years alone, 100 Mn new web customers have come on-line from rural India. Information exhibits that rural consumption now accounts for roughly 45% of general cell knowledge utilization within the nation and is primarily centered on on-line video,” mentioned Caesar Sengupta, vice-president at Google and head of the broader ‘Subsequent Billion Customers’ programme inside the tech large, mentioned in a current weblog publish.
So the sensation is Look and DailyHunt are just the start of Google’s journey, which started half a decade in the past.
Google’s Affiliation With Indian Startups
Google’s first funding got here in 2015 in enterprise tech large Freshworks which had raised INR 350 Cr by means of Google Capital, in addition to Tiger World and Accel Companions. This signalled Google’s backing for an organization that was setting a quick development tempo. Within the subsequent few years, Freshworks would enter the unicorn membership and in November 2019, Google as soon as once more invested within the firm, now when the corporate is on tempo for an IPO.
Then the main target fell on different sectors that have been catching tempo in India — healthtech and transport tech. The following funding from Google was in Practo, when physician discovery was the most important downside to unravel. With the funding, Google was strategically backing a ‘search’ startup, which was proper down its alley, whereas Practo had the funding and the strategic assist from Google and different traders to increase quickly.
Subsequent, Google targetted the transport tech phase with Drivezy and GirnarSoft (CarDekho) in 2015 and 2016. These have been classes on-the-rise at the moment, whereas in 2020, Drivezy is having a tricky time of it.
Focus On Shopper Startups
By 2016, Jio was making massive inroads by way of web penetration so the time was to give attention to client companies in addition to content material. Within the client companies phase, Google invested in Magicpin, which was a discovery and rewards platform and hyperlocal companies and supply startup Dunzo. Google backed Dunzo in three separate rounds in 2017, adopted by two different rounds in 2019.
This intense give attention to client companies startups after Freshworks modified in Could 2020, when Google invested in a expertise product within the type of Scribble Information. The deeptech startup develops an ML engineering product for enterprises to combine ML options into their merchandise.
Following this, got here the spree of investments, together with one in Wysa, which is but to be formally introduced by the corporate.However the firm’s investments in Dailyhunt and Look sign a shift in direction of content material and video. Within the general video market, YouTube holds the highest spot, however lags behind with regards to quick movies, which is the place Look and Roposo will play an element. Then again, the funding for Dailyhunt is a part of Google’s dedication to the vernacular language web ecosystem, which is a transparent focus of the Google For India Digitization Fund.
Google’s Startup Acquisitions & Accelerator Imaginative and prescient
In addition to the funding rounds, Google has additionally been lively on the M&As circuit. It had acquired Sigmoid Labs staff, the Bengaluru-based startup which developed the railway tracker app The place Is My Practice in December 2018, after buying Bengaluru-based AI (Synthetic Intelligence) startup Halli Labs for an undisclosed quantity in 2017.
By way of mentoring startups, Google had launched an accelerator programme in 2018 known as Google Launchpad, which has now been rebranded to Google for Startups Accelerator the place it selects and mentors Indian startups by means of the early phases.
The programme has seen Google work with over 30 startups in three completely different batches, whereas the fourth batch is presently going by means of the accelerator. In September, Google shortlisted 20 Indian startups after screening 600 candidates — startups throughout key sectors similar to training, retail, psychological well being and wellness, healthtech, fintech and agritech and extra. The newest batch contains Antwak, BharatAri, BlackLight Video games, Decoder, Components.ai, Cunning.in, Gram Powder, InnerHour, Leher, Lokal, Math Buddy, Mera Cashier, Mosaic Wellness, myHQ, Navia Life Care, Orowealth, Virohan, Wellthy Therapeutics, Womaniya, and Zeo Auto.
Will 2021 Carry Extra Investments From Google?
With greater than half of the Google For India Digitization Fund nonetheless to be invested, 2021 may see Google lastly grow to be a serious company VC agency in India, to compete with the likes of Microsoft’s M12 and Amazon. The investments in Look and Dailyhunt, which took the businesses into the unicorn membership, underline the marquee standing of Google as a VC fund.
Regardless of questions concerning the firm influencing the market unfairly by means of the dominance of its services and products, Google is certainly an influence to be reckoned with within the Indian startup ecosystem.
“These investments underline our sturdy perception in partnering deeply with India’s progressive startups and our dedication to working in direction of the shared aim of constructing a very inclusive digital economic system that may profit everybody,” Google’s VP Sengupta added.
With inputs from Shubham Singh