Indian startups make a beeline for funding at RISE

Organisers say there is a 40% increase in number of participants this year and more than 500 investors are attending

Updated - July 12, 2018 10:02 pm IST

Published - July 12, 2018 09:59 pm IST - HONG KONG

From tattooing to dress rentals to security solutions, there is an astounding variety of Indian startup dreams searching for funding at ‘RISE 2018’, Asia’s largest tech event currently on in this bustling Asian business capital.

By a rough count, as many as 200 Indian start-ups in alpha, beta and growth stages are at the ongoing event to secure funds either for kick-starting their entrepreneurial dreams or expanding their businesses.

“We have had discussions with three strategic partners from the U.S., Philippines and India for funding our user generated content marketing platform, which we have named UtterNow. We are looking at $1 million for launching our app on October 2,” Abhinit Gogia, chief executive officer, UtterNow, told The Hindu .

Mr. Gogia has joined hands with three other customer service colleagues of his at a Dubai-based bank — Rahman Ghani, Rizwan M. Basha and Bikram Pal Singh — to launch UtterNow.

‘40 per cent increase’

Paddy Cosgrave, CEO and co-founder of Web Summit, which runs RISE, says that, overall, 750 startups were at RISE to showcase their business ideas and technologies. “We have a 40% increase in the number of participants this year and more than 500 investors are here,” he said.

Ajit Anand, co-founder of which had a beta launch last December, said his startup needs about $1.5 million to accelerate business. “We already have 170 artists in Bengaluru city clocking close to 20 appointments a day. The company plans to get onboard 2050 tattoo artists overall in India by the end of this year,” he said.

U.S.-based AlphaRadian that enables voice interaction was launched six months ago. “Voice is going to dominate for multiple reasons in India in the next few years. In western countries, people are quickly moving from texts to speech. We have set up a development centre in Hyderabad,” Ramesh Korra, founder of AlphaRadian, said.

Sustainable alternative

Chaitali Parmar, who flew down from Pune, is at the exhibition to raise capital for her business, an online platform to rent out women’s dresses, gowns and accessories. “The clothing industry has become the second largest pollutant in the world with 95% of unused clothes ending up in landfills. Our goal is to give a sustainable alternative to fashion lovers,“ Ms. Parmar said.

(The writer is currently

in Hong Kong attending RISE 2018)

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