Focus on Bangalore, the Indian Silicon Valley with 500 startups

by bold-lichterman

After Kenya and Singapore, heading for South-East India to continue our world tour of “other Silicon Valleys”.

It is with good reason that Bangalore has been nicknamed for several years the “Indian Silicon Valley”. With 6.5 million inhabitants, the capital of Karnataka (State located in the South-East of India), the city has focused its development on the high technology sector.

A significant number of large American and European high-tech companies have moved there over the past decade, attracted by inexpensive and highly skilled labor. In Bangalore are thus the Indian subsidiaries of Google, Microsoft, Yahoo !, Amazon, Dell, HP and IBM.

The city also hosts the head offices of the jewels of Indian IT, Infosys and Wipro. These two companies employ 155,000 and 135,000 people, respectively, for a turnover of 5.2 billion euros (Infosys) and 4.2 billion euros (Wipro). The Infosys campus in Bangalore (see photo below) is a real small town: its 20,000 employees find shops, restaurants and other fitness clubs there, and even a golf course.

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These IT giants are concentrated in the city’s two technology hubs, theElectronic City and theInternational Tech Park Bangalore (see photo below). These parks are the result of public initiatives: The Electronic City was built in the late 1970s by Keonics, a government agency whose mission was to support the development of ICT. Today, it brings together nearly 200 companies spread over 1.3 km2. The International Tech Park Bangalore, developed by Ascendas (a company specializing in commercial real estate), was opened in 1998 and accommodates more than 230 companies. At the end of the 2000s, the government of Karnataka set up an “IT corridor”, a technological corridor connecting the Electronic City to the International Tech Park.

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  • India counts 100 million Internet users
  • Bangalore is the 4th technology center of the world
  • The city exports 36% Indian software
  • Bangalore brings together nearly 500 startups
  • 35% of Indian IT employees work in Bangalore
  • 10% Indian computer engineers are employed in Bangalore
  • The city hosts more than 700 multinational R&D centers
  • Bangalore-based startups are 24% more likely to be monetized than those in Silicon Valley

A dynamic start-up ecosystem

Bangalore, which currently has around 500 startups, is a hot spot for entrepreneurs and investors. According to a study published in 2012, the city is considered by 35% of Indian companies as the ideal place to start a business in the country.

Sign of this turmoil, many events are organized in Bangalore to promote entrepreneurship: we can mention the Startup Festival IndiaStartup City, which took place from March 7 to 10; or even Startup City, a meeting that promises to highlight the cutting edge inventions of engineers and other “geeks”, with the aim of promoting the culture of innovation in India. The next edition of Startup City will take place this Saturday June 22.

Overview of the main incubators and accelerators based in Bangalore

Bangalore has a number of investors and accelerators who support startups in the region. Among the best known, we can first mention theAzure Accelerator of Microsoft. Launched in 2012, the accelerator offers start-ups a 4-month program. The participating startups have premises, and are offered free software and development tools.

Khosla Labs is another incubator, founded by Srikanth Nadhamuni, an investor through Silicon Valley. Its mission is to create prototypes for testing in the Indian market: entrepreneurs can see an opportunity to shape their ideas, while contributing greatly to technological innovation in India.

The fund and incubator AngelPrime was launched in 2011 by a group of entrepreneurs with several startups to their credit in India and Silicon Valley. Areas of expertise: e-commerce, mobile internet and applications for tablets and smartphones. AngelPrime promises its startups seed capital worth between 150,000 and 375,000 euros.

Finally, we can mention Kyron, fund and accelerator endowed with 37 million euros, from which startups receive initial funding of around 75,000 euros. The founders of Kyron come from very diverse backgrounds: alongside the Indian investor Lalit Ahuja, we find the Swiss Kohn Cook, and the Franco-American Larry Glaeser. Launched at the end of 2012, Kyron funded a first group of 10 Indian startups last February.

Filpkart: Founded in 2007, Flipkart is an e-commerce platform. When it started, Internet users could only find books there, then it turned to a wider variety of products, including electronic devices. Its founders, Sachin and Binny Bansal, worked at Amazon before setting up their start-up. In 2011-2012, its turnover reached 65 million euros. Flipkart sells an average of twenty products per minute.

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RedBus: Founded in 2006, RedBus is India’s largest online bus ticket sales site. The start-up also has physical points of sale. RedBus crossed the threshold of 10 million tickets sold in July 2012. The site has more than 2 million subscribers. Last May, the start-up launched its first television commercials.

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TopTomato: This online supermarket was launched in September 2012. Its catalog includes more than 60,000 consumer products and 330 different brands. TopTomato delivers its customers in less than 24 hours, and offers a periodic delivery service from a list of products established by the user. The two founders of TopTomato, Sananda Misra and Sneha Roy, come from engineering training.

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CloudMagic: Founded in 2010, the start-up CloudMagic specializes in data management solutions, in BtoB and BtoC. CloudMagic has more than 2.5 million users, spread over more than 100 different countries. Its solutions include quickly finding information on Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, Evernote, and more.

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Crederity.com: Launched in 2007, Crederity is an online verification and certification program to prevent fraud. Its solutions are aimed at both individuals and companies, who can check the CVs of candidates for employment. The start-up currently has 60 employees. Its two founders, Rakesh Antala and Alex Mittal, come from a business school.

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