Technology

ET Startup Awards 2021: All the details


Hi, it’s Samidha. The seventh edition of The Economic Times Startup Awards (ETSA) — the most prestigious recognition for Indian entrepreneurs — kicked off earlier this week to capture the best of the never-seen-before exuberance in the Indian startup ecosystem.

ETSA has nine categories this year, including the coveted Startup of the Year, as well as an additional prize to recognise companies that have innovated during the Covid-19 pandemic despite its severe impact on businesses.

ET assembled a high-powered jury, consisting of top Indian and global business leaders, investors and entrepreneurs, who met virtually yesterday to pick the winners.

ETSA Jury.

(From top left) Infosys chairman Nandan Nilekani, Amazon India head Amit Agarwal, Zilingo cofounder Ankiti Bose, Sequoia India’s GV Ravishankar, Times Internet’s vice chairman Satyan Gajwani, DoorDash’s Gokul Rajaram, Dream Sports cofounder Harsh Jain, Navi Group founder Sachin Bansal, Zomato CEO Deepinder Goyal, Zerodha cofounder Nithin Kamath, and Y Combinator’s Anu Hariharan.

The biggest and the most important component for the jury is a 200-page dossier we prepared along with our knowledge partner Tracxn. This handbook, packed with information which stays confidential with the jury, goes through hundreds of checks and rechecks before it is finalised.

How we pick the ETSA nominees: ET reached out to more than 100 of the country’s top entrepreneurs, investors, industry groups and other stakeholders to compile a list of the brightest entrepreneurial talent. This was then distilled by the publication’s editorial team, which worked with knowledge partner Tracxn to arrive at the final list. The jury finally picked the winners after long deliberations followed by voting.

Here’s a look the nine award categories and the nominees:

  • Bootstrap Champ: Flexiple, Cardinality.ai, Kovai.co, Highway Delite, SocialPilot
  • Top Innovator: Qure.ai, EPNS (Ethereum Push Notification Service), Skyroot Aerospace, Log 9 Materials, Steradian Semiconductors
  • Best on Campus: Pixxel, HaystackAnalytics, The ePlane Company, FamPay, PepperContent
  • Comeback Kid: Niraj Singh (Spinny), Manish Taneja (Purplle), Aprameya Radhakrishna (Koo), Aloke Bajpai and Rajnish Kumar (Ixigo), Nischal Shetty (WazirX)
  • Woman Ahead: Lizzie Chapman (ZestMoney), Vineeta Singh (Sugar Cosmetics), Prukalpa Sankar (Atlan), Jo Aggarwal (Wysa), Bhavna Suresh (10club)
  • Social Enterprise: YourDost, Genrobotic Innovations, Jai Kisan, Goodera, iKure Techsoft
  • Covid-led Business Transformation: Cuemath, Hubilo, Rapido, Urban Company
  • Midas Touch (Best Investor): Anand Lunia (India Quotient), Karthik Reddy (Blume Ventures), Sanjeev Bikhchandani (Info Edge), Mukul Arora (Elevation Capital), Vikram Vaidyanathan (Matrix Partners India)
  • Startup of the Year: PharmEasy, Nykaa, Byju’s, Zomato, BrowserStack
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The winners will be declared on Monday. Watch this space!

Let’s move on to other big developments of the week.


OTHER BIG STORIES BY OUR REPORTERS

Freshworks lives the American dream

Freshworks-1

“On a mission to extend India’s SaaS industry to the world,” reads Girish Mathrubootham’s bio on Twitter. On Wednesday, he did exactly that.

Freshworks Inc., a company that the former Zoho employee cofounded in 2010, has become the first Indian SaaS startup to list on the Nasdaq, opening the doors—in a way—for others of its ilk to take Indian software to the world. This after the San Mateo-based company raised over a billion dollars in an IPO at a market capitalisation of 10 times as much.

Also Read: Freshworks IPO has made 500 employees crorepatis, says CEO Girish Mathrubootham

ETtech Deals Digest

Meesho

■ Social commerce startup Meesho is finalising a $550-600 million financing round likely led by US-based asset manager Fidelity. This would more than double the Bengaluru-based company’s valuation from its previous round to $5 billion. Facebook cofounder Eduardo Saverin’s B Capital and other investors may join Fidelity in the funding round.

Cars24, an online marketplace for used cars, has raised $450 million in a new funding round led by SoftBank Vision Fund II, Falcon Edge and existing investor Yuri Milner’s DST Global. The round includes a debt component of $110 million.

Lee Fixel, who left Tiger Global in 2019 to start his own investment firm Addition, has pumped $125 million into new-age logistics startup Delhivery, one of his early bets. The famed investor, one of the first to recognise the potential of India’s internet companies, remains a “long-term backer of Delhivery and has been investing and reinvesting in the company since 2015,” according to a company statement.

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Also Read: Sony’s new VC to roll the dice on Indian startups

DD

Exclusive: Vijay Shekhar Sharm gets ESOPs ahead of Paytm IPO

Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma is getting a significant amount of new stock options in One97 Communications, a move that will increase his stake in the parent company by 2-3%, people close to the matter said. This comes ahead of the $2.2-billion Paytm IPO, billed as the biggest in India in at least a decade.

Founder Ritesh Agarwal unlikely to offload stock in Oyo IPO

Oyo Hotels & Homes aims to list in India at a valuation of $12-15 billion without its founder Ritesh Agarwal offloading any stake in an upcoming IPO, people aware of the company’s plans said. Oyo is looking to raise between $1 billion and $1.2 billion largely by issuing fresh stock in the IPO.

Google files petition against CCI over leaked report, CCI responds

Google filed a writ petition in the Delhi High Court against the Competition Commission of India (CCI) over the leaking of a confidential report by the agency’s director general (DG) on an ongoing investigation by CCI into its Android agreements.

In response, CCI told the Delhi High Court on Friday that Google’s plea against the alleged leak of confidential probe information was wholly misplaced and an attempt to frustrate the proceedings related to its Android smartphone agreements.

Gig workers move Supreme Court seeking social security

Gig Workers

A petition has been filed before the Supreme Court seeking social security benefits for gig workers engaged by food delivery apps Zomato and Swiggy and taxi aggregator apps, Ola and Uber. Separately, Swiggy and Zomato have reached out to the government and sought clarification around the recent decision to treat them on a par with restaurants under the GST framework.

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Two ministries, NITI Aayog object to parts of proposed ecommerce rules

The ministries of finance and corporate affairs, and NITI Aayog, have opposed portions of the draft ecommerce rules that the ministry of consumer affairs announced in June. Their objections may compel the consumer affairs ministry to reconsider the rules, potentially delaying their implementation.

Also Read: Reliance Retail will soon start selling cosmetics online

Also Read: Big on ecommerce, Tatas pour money into digital businesses

Ola’s entry triggers price war in electric two-wheeler market

Ola

Ride-hailing startup Ola’s entry into the electric two-wheeler space has triggered a price war in the segment.

EV players like Ather Energy, Okinawa, Simple Energy and traditional two-wheeler makers such as TVS Motor, Hero Electric and Bajaj Auto are retailing e-scooters in the Rs 70,000 to Rs 1.13 lakh range, aided by state subsidies. But they are holding on to their price points despite competitive pressures, experts said.

Almost written off, Apple’s online store proves a hit in India

When Apple launched its company-owned ecommerce store in India a year back, the industry had almost written it off saying it is unlikely to match the discounts top ecommerce platforms such as Amazon and Flipkart offer on iPhones and iPads.

However, the iPhone maker seems to have cracked the hyper-competitive discount-laden Indian ecommerce market with its India online store accounting for around 4% of its total sales volume as of June quarter, according to IDC India estimates.

That’s about it from us this week. Stay safe and get that jab. 💉



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