Consumer Discretionary

Trends In Indian Startup Ecosystem - Things To Watch Out For !!

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<p>In around a decade, the Indian start-up ecosystem has scaled to become 3rd largest start-up hub in the World followed by the US and China. No doubt the success of consumer internet companies have played and continue to play a big role in that. The ecosystem has seen a cycle of boom, bust and exits with a promise that India has the ability to return capital to investors, proved to an extent by&nbsp;FlipKart's sell out.</p><p>As e-commerce continues to be the biggest bet for entrepreneurs and investors in 2019 and beyond, the new crop of opportunities is beginning to break out even as existing ones like food-tech continues to explode. To highlights some of those, though investor lens, that would trend in 2019.</p><ol><li><strong>Foodtech to fight it out&nbsp;</strong>&ndash; Early-stage funding including angel deals will continue to remain relatively muted for start-ups in comparison to the 2014-15 party even as Softbank, Alibaba, Tencent, and Naspers will continue to dominate the investment scene by taking bigger punts in their bets. As a result, food delivery certainly will see a battle as much as e-commerce as Swiggy and Zomato have a slugfest while Ola with FoodPanda and UberEats try to find new revenue streams.</li><li><strong>Connecting last mile &ndash;&nbsp;</strong>It continues to be broken but the good news is increasingly we are seeing both corporates and start-ups working towards solving this problem. India is a large country thus impact and spread of development works at its own pace. However, as more start-ups build their business ideas on a digital backbone to see a sustainable solution to solve the last mile connectivity problem that will excite the investors to back the company. There have been such examples, for instance, Rivigo which has revolutionized the logistics industry by leveraging next-gen tech.</li><li><strong>Electrified Transportation &ndash;&nbsp;</strong>Electric mobility sector has been developing away from the limelight. Particularly the&nbsp;batter-driven two-wheeler market is an interesting space growing at a fast pace.&nbsp;For instance, start-ups like Ather Energy that launched their smart e-scooter in Bengaluru last year. The market growth will be led by e-commerce to bring efficiency deliveries using e-vehicles. Also, the opportunity aligns with&nbsp;the government vision of switching to electric mobility.</li><li><strong>Insure Tech to breakout &ndash;&nbsp;</strong>Even today, a bulk of insurance business happens through agents but that is beginning to change with the use of data and artificial intelligence by many companies like Policy Bazaar. The information about policies and choice of insurance products are now easily available to consumers across. While the industry has been growing at a healthy pace, we can expect it to be exponential as more insure tech companies enter the fray and investors loosen their purse strings to back them.</li><li><strong>Deepening deep tech</strong>&nbsp;&ndash; 2019 will see the further entrenchment of technologies like artificial intelligence across sectors in the digital world, particularly in healthcare to automate routine problems without error. Blockchain should also be seen compelling use cases, especially in fintech.</li><li><strong>&lsquo;Voice&rsquo; gets louder&nbsp;</strong>&ndash; As voice interfaces and assistants like Alexa and&nbsp;Google have given consumers a peep into the possibilities in every sector including banking, healthcare, education etc, it will hit a meaningful scale only once the regional languages are cracked. While there has always been a lot of chatter around regional language content online, it hasn&rsquo;t really had a big moment yet. Voice will be that platform through which this will happen. There will be a lot of start-ups attempting to take a crack at this.</li><li><strong>E-wallet boom &ndash;&nbsp;</strong>Fintech sector continues to grow in the fast lane. Paytm can easily be called a pioneer in finch as it gave the power of choice and how to spend to people who never had wallets or bank accounts. Following the success of Paytm, many other wallet companies have shown promise. I believe this sector will continue to attract investors&rsquo; interest in 2019 as the business ideas in fintech.</li><li><strong>Direct-to-consumer market scale-up</strong>&ndash; Over the last 2 years, India has seen a few dozens of direct-to-consumer brands getting built largely using Facebook and Instagram to get discovered by prospective customers. This year, it will be surprising if this space doesn&rsquo;t grow 3-4x and it is a huge opportunity for non-tech entrepreneurs to build reasonably large businesses and brands.</li><li><strong>Healthy Eating</strong> - Over the past few years there has been a lot of buzz about healthy eating in India, considering the revamp of health habits and eating habits have been talked most about, I expect this to increase more and may give scope for a lot of opportunities in Organic Food Sector</li></ol><p>&nbsp;</p>
KR Expert - Ganesh Kuppala