Microsoft Ventures in India graduates 17 tech startups from Accelerator program

Bangalore, India, May 23, 2014: Microsoft Ventures in India today announced the graduation of 17 technology startups, 16 of which constituted the fourth batch of its Accelerator program and another from an earlier batch. At an event held here today, an audience of 800 plus mentors, industry influencers, venture capitalists, angel investors and journalists witnessed the accelerated progress made by Appointy, App Virality, Bookpad, Boutline, Imly, InstaSafe, IntouchApp, Metaome, Sliderule, Voonik, MyBusTickets.in, Praxify, Thinxtream, Touchfone, ZingHR and Zoom during the last four months at the Accelerator. Profoundis, a startup from its second batch, also graduated today.

Congratulating the graduating batch, Shripati Acharya, Managing Partner, Angel Prime, said: “I have been closely watching this batch since they started at the Accelerator. Each company was unique—not only were they at different stages of maturity and addressing very different business segments, their problems were also unique. Together with each startup, the Microsoft Ventures team worked hard to identify the right strategy and make the connections that would help each of them. I am really happy that the joint efforts have finally paid off! I congratulate Microsoft Ventures and the graduating startups on the success, and wish them all the best in their entrepreneurial journey ahead!”

Sharing his experience, Abhijit Gupta, Co-Founder, CEO and MD, Praxify said: “Microsoft Ventures has played a pivotal role in reshaping our business strategy for emerging markets. Access to partners and potential collaborators has been a boost for a fast-growth product company like ours. The weekly meetings with the leadership team have helped us maintain focus on achieving our short term goals and ensured that these are aligned with the company’s long term vision. Our mentors have helped us to accelerate from a startup of 20 people to 45 people in less than 3 months.”**

Demo Day was a part of day-long activities that included Think Next, Microsoft Venture’s new initiative to boost the startup ecosystem of India. A semi-annual conclave, Think Next aims at providing a forum for all stakeholders to network, deliberate and take measurable steps that will help spur the growth of the local entrepreneurial ecosystem. Two roundtables—Understanding Trends in Corporate Development and How to Create SAAS models from India, were organized as part of Think Next.

Explaining the rationale behind this new initiative, Ravi Narayan, Director, Microsoft Ventures in India, said: “Over the course of the last two years, Microsoft Ventures has emerged as a key player in the Indian startup ecosystem, working closely by pooling its resources with other accelerators, incubators and industry bodies, with the single objective of helping startups. While each of us are putting in a lot of efforts, many of these are fragmented and don’t have the potential of making a significant impact. We felt the need for a forum which brings together all the stakeholders and provides them with a platform to discuss current initiatives, decide on actionable follow-up steps and measure the progress over a period of time. Think Next is that forum, and we are confident it will provide a strong boost to the local entrepreneurial ecosystem.”

Going forward, Microsoft Ventures will be partnering with several industry bodies, eg Nasscom, TiE Chapters around the country and iSPIRT for Think Next. The roundtables at Think Next 2014 were organized in association with iSPIRT.

Commenting on the initiative, Sharad Sharma, co-founder and governing council member, iSPIRT Foundation, said: “As a think tank, we want to drive thoughtful discussions in the software product ecosystem. Microsoft Venture’s Think Next is focused on deep dive specialized discussion. Since both iSPIRT and Microsoft Think Next are focused on exactly the same thing, it’s a great partnership and we are happy to be part of it. This partnership brings the whole technology startup ecosystem together.”

The 17 startups which graduated today will join the 34 alumni startups from the last three batches of the Accelerator program. While their four month stay at the Accelerator ended today, it also marked the beginning of another life-long association. As alumni, they will continue to be supported by the Microsoft Ventures team, both in India and abroad, as they work on customer connect and technology advancement.

**Startup When they joined Accelerator What we achieved together
Appointy SAAS offering for global markets with 50000 customers Data driven optimized pipeline, new product version launching soon. 60000 registered businesses, growing @70 per day. Looking to raise Series A
App Virality Young tech team with interesting idea in the organic growth space Launched beta, currently in private with 180 apps signed up, looking to raise angel
Bookpad Strong tech team addressing document rendering, beta launched Strengthened business model, launched SlidePad with 5 paid customers (11 in pipeline), angel in progress
Boutline Young and passionate team addressing audience engagement in a unique way Focused on MVP, launched private beta with 500 users during IPL, bootstrapped
Imly Young and dynamic team, easy app for purchasing home food, early adoption achieved Pivoted to hyper local food discovery, launched beta, looking to raise angel
InstaSafe Securely connecting remote location without expensive appliances, customer validation achieved Tripled user base, achieved 25 businesses & 5000+ end users across several verticals, angel in progress
IntouchApp Cross platform contact management with good traction achieved Crisper GTM strategy, improved app design, achieved over 1M downloads, looking to raise seed
Metaome Strong biology and informatics expertise, analytics platform for life sciences with 3000 visitors per month Pivoted to data analytics for DNA sequencing, signed up beta customers, angel round in progress
Sliderule Intelligent discovery hub for online learning, early prototype achieved Launched learning paths, re-designed websites, 100k users, raised angel
Voonik Intelligent layer for e-commerce, beta launched Launched beta site, reached 100 orders per day, raised seed
MyBusTickets.in New approach in bus ticketing market, early traction achieved Focused on sales and opening up of channels, 18000+ transactions achieved, raising angel
Praxify Tech platform for healthcare ecosystem, customer validation achieved Formulated biz strategy, developed strong sales pipeline, connected healthcare ecosystem with 1M patients, looking to raise Series A
Thinxtream Seasoned entrepreneurs with IT services experience, using Cloud innovatively, customer validated Ready to scale in US, looking for strategic partnerships
Touchfone Strong team with interesting idea of streaming video over low bandwidth, achieved early customer base Defined business model and sales strategy, enabled large customer wins, looking to raise Series A
ZingHR Migrating time-tested product to cloud, established business with on premise product Launched online biz with product development, deployment and social media marketing reimagined, looking to raise Series A
Zoom Tech enabled self-driven car rental with early traction achieved Focused on expansion, present in 20+ locations in Bangalore, closed seed
Profoundis Strong tech team gathering social data Pivoted biz model, launched B2C with 20000 customers

About Microsoft Ventures
Microsoft Ventures is a global initiative to help entrepreneurs build great companies. We work with startups at every stage of maturity to provide the tools, resources, and expertise they need to succeed. The initiative is broad-based, and includes a community program, accelerators, and a seed fund. Our approach helps startups scale their business, bring innovative services to market and reach new customers. Visit Microsoft Ventures at www.microsoftventures.com to learn more about how Microsoft is helping the next generation of smart companies take flight.