Bangalore, India, February 11, 2014: Microsoft Ventures in India has announced the final list of technology startups that will constitute the 2014 summer batch at the Microsoft Ventures Accelerator Program in India. The 16 startups are Appointy, App Virality, Bookpad, Boutline, Imly, InstaSafe, IntouchApp, Metaome, Sliderule, Voonik, MyBusTickets.in, Praxify, Thinxtream, Touchfone, ZingHR and Zoom. Six of these companies, namely MyBusTickets.in, Praxify, Thinxstream, Touchfone, ZingHR and Zoom, will constitute the newly launched Accelerator Plus Program, which is tailor made for startups that have customer traction and know their market fairly well, whose needs are vastly different from early stage companies.
Director Microsoft Ventures Ravi Narayan said, “The good thing about this batch is that most of these companies already have a certain amount of customer traction and the Accelerator Program is well positioned to step in and help them move ahead faster than they would have otherwise. We saw a lot of great applications this time around, which means the startup ecosystem is evolving rapidly.”
Explaining the rationale behind the Accelerator Plus Program, Narayan said: “This program is for more mature companies which are closer to VC funding. Most of them have made significant progress, so much so that the startup ecosystem is taking their eyes off them. But we at Microsoft Ventures feel this is the time they need the most help, when from an investor standpoint they are getting ready to graduate into the mainstream. Microsoft Ventures is uniquely positioned with resources to help these companies to roll out products and raise serious capital to fund their growth.”
Microsoft Ventures in India partners with industry bodies to support the startup community and widen its reach. Four startups from the latest batch– Bookpad, Praxify, Imly and Boutline – were selected at events organized by one of our industry partners, NASSCOM.
The other participants in the batch came through applications received over two months. All applicants went through a rigorous selection process, culminating in face-to-face presentations to a panel of judges.
Bharati Jacob, Founder-Partner at Seedfund, who was on the panel, said, “It was a great mix of startups – some solving local problems which had global sized opportunities while others were global in nature. Most of the startups came up with original ideas, i.e. they weren’t “copy+paste” of an overseas idea. All teams came with tremendous energy and passion for their idea, which bodes well for the Indian ecosystem.”
Microsoft Ventures in India has graduated 35 startups since August 2012. About 80 per cent of these are funded and two graduates, Adepto and Plustxt, have been acquired.
Vijay Anand, founder, The Startup Centre, said, “Microsoft Ventures is steadily emerging as a key player in the Indian startup ecosystem – working closely by pooling its resources with other accelerators, incubators and other industry bodies with the goal to help startups. The Microsoft Ventures Accelerator Program gives us great insight into young and high potential teams that are building products; raring to go compete in the global marketplace.”