By Nishant Arora
It is raining IPOs in the thriving Indian unicorn/startup ecosystem and Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian is not only happy to see the growing startup community, but also aims to further bolster them with the cutting-edge Cloud technology.
In the first half of 2021, investors pumped in at least $10.8 billion in the Indian startups across 614 deals.
According to the ‘Indian Tech Startup Funding Report, H1 2021’ by Inc42, the capital inflow in Indian startups is likely to reach somewhere between $19 billion and $23 billion at the end of the year.
Zomato and Paytm have fuelled the IPO race in India. Other startups such as Mobikwik, PolicyBazaar, CarTrade and Nykaa are in the process of going public.
According to Kurian, their work is not just limited to offering Cloud solutions to startups.
“When we are working with them, we are bringing all of Google — Grow with Google, help them put their product on Google Maps, integrate with Ads and so on,” Kurian told IANS.
From Lockscreen platform Glance, owned by the InMobi Group that has reached 140 million active users in India (in the first quarter), to vernacular social media platform ShareChat that has over 160 million monthly active users in 15 Indian languages, Google Cloud is empowering several startups/unicorns in the country.
Bike taxi service provider Rapido is riding on Google Cloud while vernacular content platform Dailyhunt is also onboard which has forayed into the short video entertainment space with Josh app.
When it comes to Indian startups/unicorn industry, Kurian sees three important tasks.
“The first is to provide technology enablement for developers and the startup community and programmes to teach them how to use the technology. Second is to design programmes to make it easy for startups to be able to access the technology in a cost-efficient way,” he elaborated.
Kurian said that in many places, Google Cloud works with the startup community to take them to the potential customers.
“In India, many startups talk to us about getting them overseas,” Kurian said.
Google is already nurturing startups via its accelerator programme in India.
Google for Startups Accelerator (GFSA) India is a three-month free mentorship and support programme for startups to utilise the cutting-edge technology to build for India and the world.
Over the past few years, GFSA India has successfully worked with over 80 startups.
Startups in the field of edtech, healthtech, fintech, retail and logistics, media, productivity and agritech are being benefitted by the programme.
According to Bikram Singh Bedi, Managing Director, Google Cloud India, what they are doing is looking at the startup journey and approach them with their needs.
“Early-stage needs of the startups is different from the needs of a unicorn or a startup going for an IPO, and we’ve designed programmes that are meant for different parts of their journey, like training, zero credits, mentoring sessions and working with specialists,” Bedi told IANS.
“As they get on to being a unicorn with larger problems, the engagement model shifts to solutions. The big problem in e-commerce is customer acquisition and these are the problems that we are working with the startups to solve in the country,” Bedi informed.
(Nishant Arora can be reached at [email protected])