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Revolution through Evolution

Ratan Tata Helping New Ventures Grow

Ratan Tata, a pioneer in the business industry, retired from the Tata Group in December, 2012. But he could not stay away from the business world even then, as reflected in his investments over the years.A true patriot and devoted philanthropist, he has not only bought shares in many new ventures but has done excessive charity as well.

In the last two years only, Ratan Tata has invested in over 20 start-ups, most of which are related to e-Commerce. He has been on this investment spree in his ‘personal capacity’. He came out in full support of our Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ initiative and is doing his bit for the nation. Tata said in an interview, that before investing in any start-up or venture, he sees if the idea is innovative enough, something that is out of the box. He praised the youth of the country for catching up on this start-up culture and generating wealth as well as employment for our nation.

Let us take a brief look at some of ventures which succeeded in getting his attention (as well as investment) –

Holachef: A food tech start-up, launched in September 2014 by Saurabh Saxena and AnilGelra. Holachef offers daily new menus for lunch, dinner, baked goodies and condiments prepared by some of the best chefs in the city. It is available in Mumbai and Pune.

Ola Cabs: An online based taxi service. Ola, which competes in India with San Francisco-based Uber, has to date raised about $675 million from investors that include SoftBank, DST Global, Tiger Global etc.

Grameen Capital India: Started in 2007 as a social business providing investment advisoryservices to the impact sector, GCI has facilitated more than $160 million of both equity and debt capital for social enterprises.

Ampere: A manufacturer of electric cycles, scooters and vehicles for the differently-abled. Itreceived funding from private equity firms Forum Synergies India and Spain's IMI Investments have jointly invested around Rs 20 crore.

Kaaryah: A fashion portal, launched in September 2013, which focuses on offering Indianwomen the perfect fit for western formal wear, headed by Nidhi Agarwal.

Xiaomi: A Chinese handset maker. The No. 3 global smartphone maker was valued at $45billion after a December funding round.

Paytm: The e-commerce firm founded and incubated by One97 Communications in 2010.Buoyed by $575 million investment by Alibaba early this year, Paytm is right on course to take on Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal in coming days.

CarDekho.com: An online auto classified services provider. GirnarSoft, the parent CarDekho.com, is now valued at $300 million. It recently concluded series B funding by raising $50 million from Hillhouse Capital with participation from Tybourne Capital and Sequoia Capital.

Bluestone: A Bangalore-based online jewellery retailer founded by IIT graduate GauravSingh Kushwaha and Vidya Nataraj. They received a third round of VC funding, worth Rs 100 crore led by Accel Partners, IVY Capital and Dragoneer, with participation from Kalaari Capital and Saama Capital.

Swasth India: A healthcare start-up based in Mumbai, founded by 2001 IIT Bombay graduates Ankur Pegu and Sundeep Kapila. It has raised two rounds of funding since 2008. In 2013, Ratan Tata invested Rs 2 crore in the firm.

Infinite Analytics: A marketing and analytics company co-founded by  two MIT graduates,also backed by Tim Berners-Lee (the inventor of the World Wide Web)

Urban Ladder: An online furniture seller based in Bangalore. It was started by Ashish Goeland Rajiv Srivatsa in 2012. Latest fund raising saw Steadview Capital along with Kalaari and SAIF contribute around $20 million to Urban Ladder.

Lybrate: A US-based healthcare start-up founded in 2013 by former professionals from Facebook (Saurabh Arora) and Snapdeal (Rahul Narang). Ratan Tata, along with Tiger Global Management and Nexus Venture Partners (NVP), has invested $10.2 million in this health care start-up.

Snapdeal: An online marketplace, founded by Kunal Bahl, a Wharton graduate and RohitBansal, an alumnus of IIT Delhi in February 2010.

Altaeros Energies: A US-based wind energy company, founded in 2010 at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Raised $7 million from Japanese telecom and internet giant SoftBank in a new funding round in December 2014.

Abra: A Silicon Valley-based startup, involving digital or virtual currency. Abra is a digital cash, peer to peer money transfer network that lets consumers deposit and withdraw cash from the Abra app anywhere in the world.

LetsVenture: An online deal-making platform. LetsVenture claims to have funded over 50 startups, with over Rs. 114 crores in investments seen on its platform.

Sabse Technologies Inc: A Wi-Fi first telecom carrier founded by Hotmail founder Sabeer Bhatia. The company offers Wi-Fi only calling plans on its network at $5 a month, and Wi-Fi + Cellular plans for $10 in US and Canada.

Crayon Data: Its flagship product, Maya, helps enterprises deliver personalised choices to their consumers using big data. The startup is developing a global consumer taste fabric, which currently maps choices across 15 categories.

UrbanClap: Currently operating in five cities, the startup plans to extend its offering to 25 cities and 100 categories over the next year. In November 2015, UrbanClap had raised $25 million in a Series-B round of funding led by Bessemer Venture Partners

YourStory: A Bengaluru-based company that features the Indian Startups, started in 2008 by Shradha Sharma has raised an amount between $3 million and $5 million from Kalaari Capital with participation of Ratan Tata. 

Tracxn: A startup intelligence and market research platform that helps venture capital firms and  private equity firms to identify interesting investable companies and upcoming markets.

Zivame: Online Lingerie retailer raised an undisclosed amount from Ratan Tata. Along with this they also raised a whopping amount of Rs.250 crores in Series-C funding round.

Saksham Garg

I love to read and explore new ideas. I take pleasure in expressing my views on such topics and sharing it, thus learning from my mistakes and improving. I have a very positive attitude towards life which also explains my love for humour. I hope to grow and learn as much as I can in life.