Paytm Mall: A hammer in search of a nail

It is a typical Wednesday summer evening in Delhi. Hot. Dry. Crowded. The place is Sarita Vihar. Specifically, a Red Tape store. On the face of it, it doesn’t look like a busy day. But just then, a 30-something-year-old man walks into the store and starts looking at shoes. He is smartly dressed. In jeans … Read more

You will get a solution that is better than what Coke or Hindustan Unilever uses

He gives an example of Paper Boat wanting to know when there’s a “stockout” (a product becoming unavailable due to selling out) at a shop. So, Bhise decided to build a “workflow automation platform” on a “mobile-first cloud”. Accessed via a monthly pay-as-you-go SaaS offering. However, India’s geographical and demographic complexity means each brand will … Read more

The Hike user: A disappearing demographic

Social networks operate under network effects—you are on a platform because your friends are there. So, when a company is in the ascendant, it can grow very quickly due to the virtuous, self-reinforcing cycle of people joining the platform as many of their friends and contacts are on it as well. The obverse dynamic is … Read more

You can’t say now that one year is left, let’s exit

In the year 2011, Blume started out with a Rs 100 crore ($14.5 million) fund. It was raised entirely from investors in India, making it one of the first funds in the country to do so. As part of this fund, Blume committed a 3X return to its investors. After a period of eight years. … Read more

The other perception standing in the way of an Indian cycling revolution

Cycling is intimidating to many urban Indians whom cycle-sharing companies will need to attract: middle-class, often young commuters, who perhaps cycled as kids but now see it as something they might do on an occasional Sunday. They’re afraid they’ll be knocked from their cycle or worse as drivers jerk about on city streets, unused to … Read more

Working hard and enhancing the efficiency

To be fair, Swiggy isn’t coming into this fight unarmed. It is already in the market for its third funding round since the start of 2018, having already raised Rs 2,170 crore ($310 million) across two funding rounds. Its last round, which saw the company raise $210 million and enter the unicorn club of startups … Read more

Can the Dragon deliver deliverance?

Against all these challenges in India, does China provide a way for OYO to reach both scale and profitability? OYO’s rapid rise in China is an early indication that at least on the count of scale, there is the promise. In less than 12 months, the number of rooms that OYO has in China equals … Read more

India’s Voice Opportunity, And The Best One

To be fair, this is hardly the first attempt at creating an Indian language-driven internet experience. The first wave of Indian language internet relied heavily on the vernacularization of English language content and didn’t focus much on context, says Vipin Agarwal, senior director of Fosun Capital. “There was no interactivity for the user,” he says. … Read more

Luck, interest and deep pockets

Dream11 has had a dream run of its own in the last couple of years. Piggybacking on the growth of the Indian Premier League (IPL), Hotstar and other enabling factors like smartphones and the internet, it has, so to speak, hit it out of the park. Data provided by research firm Venture Intelligence shows that … Read more

Approaching the iceberg

Of course, none of this is new. Six months back, we’d pointed out that despite its tall claims, Tapzo was in danger of running out of money. For FY17, it reported a loss of nearly Rs 100 crore ($13.7 million) and had only Rs 30 crore ($4.1 million) left in the bank. For the last … Read more