When Oracle, one of the world’s biggest technology companies, wanted to set up its first start-up accelerator, it chose India’s Silicon Valley, Bengaluru. With $37 billion in annual revenue, the company introduced the initiative as a pilot programme last April and it has been a success for the organisation.
The Redwood City, California-based firm has now expanded its ‘start-up cloud accelerator’ by opening new centres across the globe in Bristol, Delhi–NCR, Mumbai, Paris, Sao Paulo, Singapore and Tel Aviv.
“Working with start-ups is a very energising endeavour and a learning experience for us,” said Sanket Atal, group vice- president of development, Oracle India, in an interview. “It is a synergistic kind of relationship that we have with them,” said Mr. Atal who led the pilot programme.
The programme is being run by members of the Oracle research and development team. It provides six months of mentoring by technical and business experts, and venture capitalists and entrepreneurs from outside the firm. The company said that it also provided technology, co-working space, access to Oracle customers, partners and investors, and free Oracle cloud credits.
Baby monitor devices
In India, the accelerator has incubated young firms with innovations ranging from sleep monitoring devices for infants to fintech companies focused on alternative payment mechanism. Among them is Ray IoT Solutions which has developed a mobile-based sleep monitoring device to detect infant healthcare dysfunctions using artificial intelligence.
The non-contact baby monitor tracks sleeping and breathing activity and analyses and relays a host of information about the baby’s health. Another firm initCodes specialises in fintech innovation, data protection and futuristic commerce. It is building a unified intelligence platform for digital transactions using the cloud, blockchain technology and predictive analytics.
NiYO Solutions, one of the companies selected early for the Oracle accelerator programme, said that the success of a start-up depended more on the execution than on the product.
“The moment you go to a customer and talk about your product coming out of the Oracle accelerator, a certain respect comes out (from them) automatically,” said Vinay Bagri, co-founder of NiYO Solutions, a fintech firm focused on payroll and benefits management for employees working at different companies.
The company said that it bagged about 70 customers including Hero Group and Cafe Coffee Day within six months of joining the programme. It also got funded by a VC firm within a month of entering the accelerator.
Oracle’s rivals such as Microsoft, SAP and Amazon have been engaging with young firms for a couple of years. But Oracle said this was the right time to reach out to the “start-up ecosystem”.India. “I don’t see this as competition. What attracts start-ups to us is that Oracle technologies are foundations of the most successful companies. It is a very aspirational thing,” said Mr. Atal.