IDG Ventures India and Axilor Ventures, the accelerator run by former Infosys
co-founders Kris Gopalakrishnan
and S D Shibulal, have announced a campaign to attract startups with ideas in emerging technologies to help solve large-scale problems in India.
Through this campaign, Frontier Tech Innovators Program or FTIP2017; IDG and Axilor will partner with disruptive start-ups
in the areas of a) augmented reality and virtual reality applications and content, b) blockchain, Bitcoin
and the decentralized internet, c) artificial intelligence
and deep learning used to transform healthcare, finance, retail and business operations, d) drones, space, robotics and autonomous vehicle technologies and e) Moonshots (ground-breaking idea) focused on solving India’s core problems related to healthcare, education and employment using deep technology.
FTIP2017 will tap startups that are less than three-year-old and looking to raise seed or pre-series a round of funding.
With an India focus, these organisations are looking forward to ideas that can solve bigger problems of society in finance, business operation or healthcare delivery. “We are excited by the ambition of Indian entrepreneurs to build deep-tech solutions using frontier technologies to solve large problems in India and the world. Through this program, Axilor will continue to support and mentor path-breaking entrepreneurs,” said Kris Gopalakrishnan, chairman, Axilor Ventures.
To put it simply, frontier technologies are deep technology areas that are not yet at mass-market or commercially adopted. Research reports say 2016 was an important year for Frontier Technology globally with more than $5 billion venture capital investments.
Such technologies are expected to see significant momentum in the next few years with disruptions like AI and machine learning impacting human productivity and helping to predict future trends. While blockchain
is transforming the way banks operated, the world is seeing emergence of driverless cars, which are often considered safer than human-driven ones.
“The Frontier Technology innovators programme looks to discover disruptive software companies
from India with a potential to dramatically change the global landscape,” said Sudhir Sethi, founder and chairman, IDG Ventures India.
IDG Ventures India is raising $200 million (Rs 1330.55 crore) in its third round to take its assets under management. Though the specific fund for FTIP is unknown, Sanat Rao, venture partner at IDG India, say typically 10 per cent of any fund is allocated towards seed funding.
Axilor co-founder S D Shibulal
had said ideas to deliver affordable healthcare in rural India could be a game-changer for India. He believes the country needs a three key solutions to move up the start-up ecosystem: more diversification for solving the problems in every sector, simplification of procedures and regulatory environment and institutionalization of the young start-ups.