NEW DELHI: The government should take a more studied step while imposing additional levies, especially on startups, said Kent Walker, senior VP, Google. In an exclusive interview with ET, he said since margins for small businesses are thin, the imposition of “undue” fees can be a real barrier for them. His comments come at a time when the government is planning to expand the equalisation levy to cloud services after imposing it on the online advertising income of multinationals. “For small and medium entrepreneurs, policy and uncertainty are as bad as any kind of risk, and raises the cost of doing business.” India’s startup industry is still at an infant stage and the government needs to be very conscious about imposing new layers of tax, and should do it in a consultative way, he said. “If you raise everybody’s costs, you are going to discredit the creation of new businesses… entrepreneurship is a risky business anyway.” Walker … [Read more...] about Undue fees can stymie startups: Google’s Kent Walker
BENGALURU: If more people seem locked for hours into their smartphones recently, that's probably because they are playing digital cricket or poker or making seemingly impossible leaps at exotic locations -made feasible by a data pricing war triggered by Reliance Jio. For several domestic companies including Games2win (Turbo Cricket), Moonfrog Labs (Teen Patti Gold) and Nazara Games (Chhota Bheem Jungle Run), and international ones such as Imangi Studios (Temple Run), the number of gamers from India has at least doubled since December. Many of these companies credit the surge to Reliance Jio, which launched in September offering free voice and 4G data connectivity for three months, as well as improved data infrastructure across the country. “We have seen monthly active users go up from 5 million in December to about 12 million in May,“ said Manish Agarwal, chief executive of Mumbai-based Nazara Games. “We have also earned within the first five months of 2017 close … [Read more...] about How gaming startups like Games2win, Nazara Games are riding the Jio 4G wave
A page is being turned in Africa's startup history. Nigeria-based e-commerce startup Jumia is going public on the New York Stock Exchange. The tech firm is considered to be Africa's first unicorn — a privately held startup valued at more than $1 billion (€890 million). The impact of Jumia's debut on the NYSE will reverberate far beyond Wall Street, where the African e-commerce giant's listing is expected to raise more than $200 million. African startups break new ground Funding for African startups hit record levels last year, reaching $725.6 million for 458 deals, according to a report by global tech media firm WeeTracker. "They were hitting their growth phase [in 2018] which is why they got a lot of money invested in them," says WeeTracker's Jha Nayantara. "I think that 2019 will also kind of keep that momentum because there are a lot of startups which were founded in 2012-2013," she adds. This is welcome news — both on the African continent and … [Read more...] about Is Jumia’s IPO setting the stage for more African startups?
Bengaluru: Dell has introduced dedicated online portal for small and medium businesses (SMB) sector in India. The company is looking to tap more startups and small businesses with customised server solutions and computers from Dell EMC and Dell. Dell said it has been strengthening its presence in the SMB segment in the country and has now come up with a one-stop-shop for their technology needs. While Dell has invested significantly to create a seamless online direct sales mechanism, their purchase on the online channel will be guided by timely technology adoption advisory offered by Dell’s ‘Small Business Advisors. The company has more than 180 trusted advisors currently based in Bangalore and Gurgaon. Dell said citing IDC data that it owns 20.5% of the market for SMB for the half-year (H1) period of this calendar year. The company is also opening two offline Solution Centres in Bengaluru and Chennai to assist and advise small businesses on the technology adoption and … [Read more...] about Dell introduces dedicated online channel for SMBs, startups
Bollate prison is located just a few hundred meters away from the Milan Expo 2015 site. Upon arrival, prison guards hand over a key and journalists place their phones in a locker. The 1,296 inmates have no phones, but are allowed to carry watches. "Everyone here will argue that time never passes," says Giorgio Pitella of the startup BiPart, which wants to change that. His company came up with a scheme called "Idee in Fuga" ("Ideas on the run"), the first ever participatory budgeting project used inside a prison. Participatory budgeting involves an institutional body asking the public to actively engage and propose ways of public budget spending that best fit the needs of the community. "We aim to rebuild the networks within society," says BiPart CEO Stefano Stortone. The startup has been involved in these types of projects within municipalities, NGOs and schools since 2008. Research focusing on attitudes of people involved in participatory budgeting projects showed that … [Read more...] about Prison blues? Italian startup gives inmates a break
BENGALURU: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) panel on small and medium enterprises (SMEs) has recommended there should be no profitability requirement for startups to list in India as they tend to be loss-making to achieve high growth. At present, for companies to list on Indian bourses, they need to show consistent track record of profits for last three years. The panel led by UK Sinha, former chairman of market regulator Sebi, has also said it should facilitate dual class or differential voting rights (DVR) share structure which is very popular with tech startups across the world. Startups in the US stock exchanges, for instance, are allowed issue DVR shares that allow founders to retain control even when they have less stake in the company after raising external funds from investors. This is emerging as a key theme in India on how to balance founder control considering growing influence of deep-pocketed external investors. Among other changes, Sinha-led panel's report said PSB loan … [Read more...] about Remove startup profit norm for IPO, bring dual-class shares: RBI panel