Today’s newsletter is special, for it celebrates those startups that survived and thrived amid the ongoing pandemic.
Zerodha has emerged as the Startup of the Year for 2020, while Ludo King’s parent
Gametion Technologies has emerged as the Bootstrap Champ. MyLab has won the newly constituted Covid-led Healthcare award for creating PathoDetect, India’s first locally developed covid test kit.
In other news, Tesla is taking the Dutch route for its India investments, James Murdoch and Will Cathcart (WhatsApp) emphasise the importance of India in their companies’ scheme of things, and fintech firms are stepping up their fight against Google.
Here are the top tech news to start your day.
1. ET Startup Awards 2020: Disruptors Undisrupted
survived and then thrived amid a raging pandemic, winning wide-spread admiration and applause at the sixth edition of ET Startup Awards that was held Thursday.
Driving the news: Zerodha emerged as ‘Startup of the Year’, while Ludo King parent Gametion was adjudged ‘Bootstrap Champ’. MyLab won the newly constituted ‘Covid-led Healthcare’ for bringing out India’s first locally developed covid test kit.
2. ET Startup Awards 2020: Ministers’ Speak
■ The startup movement should be of the people and by the people, Union Minister for Electronics & IT
Ravi Shankar Prasad said at ET Startup Awards 2020. Towards this endeavour, and Digital India, his ministry’s MeitY Startup Hub has already started showing results. “We are promoting innovation, exchange with countries around the globe. We’ve 2,215 registered startups, 365 incubators, 312 mentors, 22 centres of excellence and 30 grand challenges have been organised,” he says.
■ An entrepreneur is someone who starts with a big dream but not necessarily large resources. This mismatch is not an issue, but rather an inspiration, a fuel for innovation,
Piyush Goyal, Union Minister for Commerce & Industry, said at the ET Startup Awards 2020. That India created a covid test kit in two weeks showcases the ability that local entrepreneurs possess, he said. “I believe in the power of ideas. Solutions may be simple, but their impact can be enormous.”
3. ET Startup Awards: And The Winners Are…
The pandemic brought out the true mettle of startups in India as entrepreneurs faced emotional, mental and physical challenges, and came up with durable solutions. ET Startup Awards has recognised the winners across nine categories.
- Startup Of The Year: Zerodha
- Women Ahead: Wingreens Farms
- Midas Touch: Sequoia Capital India
- Comeback Kid: Vedantu
- Top Innovator: Agnikul Cosmos
- Best On Campus: Bellatrix Aerospace
- Social Enterprise: Samunnati
- Covid-led Healthcare: MyLab Discovery Solutions
- Bootstrap Champ: Gametion Technologies
4. A Coming Of Age Moment For Startups
In the midst of fear and isolation, startups learned positive change is possible, say leading lights of the sector who shared their insights on the post-pandemic world, challenges awaiting new entrepreneurs and how to weather them.
5. Role In Covid-19 Fight Got MyLab The Prize
Pune-based Mylab Discovery Solutions was the first Indian company to receive commercial approval to manufacture Covid-19 test kits in the country. This helped it win the Covid-led Healthcare Innovation prize at ET Startup Awards 2020.
6. How The Jury Chose The Winners
The ten-member jury, chaired by TCS CEO Rajesh Gopinathan, during a two-and-a-half-hour virtual meeting in August,
emphasised the need to reward companies that are capital-efficient.
The shortlist of five candidates in each category was trimmed to two or three after the early rounds, following which the jurors debated the merits of each to arrive at a final consensus by way of a secret ballot. Most categories had two rounds of voting and lengthy debates to arrive at the winner.
Other Top Stories We Are Covering
James Murdoch, who ran 21st Century Fox as CEO for several years and was instrumental in orchestrating its $71 billion merger with Disney, made headlines last year after he cut ties with his family citing differences over the running of Fox Network and Newscorp.
He is now setting up a new company with former Star TV Asia boss Uday Shankar, with India firmly in his investment radar. In his first and only interview yet to an Indian news media outlet,
he tells ET’s Mohit Bhalla that India is where he plans to build digital businesses from the ground-up.
■ It is good for people to understand the business strategy behind the apps they are using, WhatsApp’s global head
Will Cathcart tells ET’s Megha Mandavia and Raghu Krishnan
in an interview, as the Facebook-owned messaging app delays implementation of its new and controversial privacy rules that allow increased data sharing with its parent.
As the Mark Zuckerberg-run social media firm moves to monetise WhatsApp through commerce and payments, Cathcart says India remains at the centre of the focus.
■ Miffed by
Google’s diktat to furnish their credentials, fintech lenders
have now written to the tech giant citing its policies of not allowing lenders disbursing short-tenure loans of less than 60 days. Fintech lenders say that Google is acting like a super regulator, seeking details that even the
Reserve Bank of India is yet to do. They have written to Google with the names of Chinese apps that have 7-14 day products while its policies don’t allow lenders with products of less than 60 days.
Elon Musk-owned Tesla
has chosen the tax-friendly jurisdiction of the Netherlands to route its India investment. Tesla Motors Amsterdam is the parent company for Tesla Motors and Energy, India, the company’s incorporation documents showed.
Tesla’s choice is an exception to the general trend in the auto industry. This corporate structure in India would offer Tesla tax benefits related to capital gains and dividend payments.
■ Beenext and Sequoia Capital-backed fintech startup
has raised Rs 90 crore from
Alteria Capital, a venture debt fund. This debt funding is part of Rs 250 crore the company is looking to raise in this round, Alteria Capital said in a news release.
Global Picks We Are Reading
Apple car will have to be sold at Ferrari prices: If Apple Inc. is going to make a success of its car project, it has to target the $230 billion luxury automobile market. Doing so may be the only way to keep investors happy. But displacing 125-year-old incumbents like Mercedes-Benz won’t be straightforward.
Kids’ screen time up 50% during pandemic: When the coronavirus lockdowns started in March, kidstech firm SuperAwesome found that screen time was up 50%. Nearly a year later, that percentage hasn’t budged, according to new figures from the firm.
For most parents, pre-pandemic expectations around screen time are no longer realistic. The concern now has shifted from the number of hours in front of screens to the quality of screen time.
Will Apple kill the free podcast: The podcasting industry as we know it is about to change. Plans by Apple to launch a subscription service for podcasts, as The Information reported today, portends a shift to a much more balkanized podcasting world. Instead of shows being broadly available for free on a variety of outlets, in the future podcasts will be attached exclusively for a price to specific outlets.