Published: 1/26/2021

Good morning, happy Republic Day and apologies for late newsletter today- I slept in quite a bit. On to the news today and there haven't been too many announcements as of late so we'll be talking about Indian companies planning to go public globally and I thought I'd talk a bit about Clubhouse and their new funding round since it seems its all the rage this week (I also have a couple invites left, so if you have an iPhone and would like to try the app, just message me)

  • http://bit.ly/3oj3RaC: Several Indian unicorns look at going public in global markets
  • ➡️ Several Indian startups are considering going public in global markets and are awaiting guidelines on the corporate affairs ministry, some of the companies are Paytm and PolicyBazaar's parent company.

    ➡️ 2020 certainly didn't impact startups and funding as we would have imagined early on in the year as the last two quarters were some of the buzziest in the industry with everyone competing to get allocation at the earliest of stages, and I assume 2021 will be more of the same but hopefully with a couple of IPOs as well.

    ➡️ Though PolicyBazaar does claims that it is still inclined to a domestic IPO, it still hasn't made a final call on the issue (though I assume they might be prepping for both simultaneously because the process of going public is a fairly lengthy one).

    ➡️ Paytm, on the other hand, declined to say when it plans to go public and how it plans to do so. I wonder if one of these companies is also considering going the SPAC route though don't know how India's regulations could impact that.

    ➡️ There's a couple other companies that are nearing or prepping for a public offering as well and I really hope we see at least one or two this year or next, because it'll probably help the ecosystem massively. Until now, India has seen companies raise and grow to massive scales but we're still missing big public exits- and the next couple of years will change that.

    2. http://bit.ly/2MjXDdf: a16z invests in Clubhouse

    ➡️ I know this story isn't related to the Indian ecosystem at all, but given the lack of news today along with the recent hype around Clubhouse and their latest round I thought I'd talk a bit about the app and people building "The Indian Clubhouse"

    ➡️ I've been on the app for several months at this point and have certainly gone through my ups and downs with it- on one hand, it's really fun and you get to meet and learn from a bunch of people you might not be able to in person or in the same kind of manner as through Twitter but on the other hand there are very real questions about a lack of moderation and spread of misinformation.

    ➡️ When the app started picking up popularity in the US over the summer last year, I quite frankly did not imagine more than a handful of people to use the app given the exclusive vibe (iOS only) it gave off- but now there's several thousand people from the Indian ecosystem on the app as well, who are using the platform on a weekly if not daily cadence.

    ➡️ The very real limiting factor for India in particular is the lack of an Android app but that is now on its way as well (though will probably take a couple of months at least). When a16z lead the company's Series A at a $100M valuation, there were a lot of skeptics about the high valuation since the app only had a couple of thousand of users- and now over 2M Weekly Active Users which is very impressive and shows the company has been able to scale quite effectively in a very short period of time.

    ➡️ And given the company's success, I'm sure a lot of people are now jumping at the opportunity to build the Clubhouse for India, and while it might be easy to replicate the product it will be impossible to replicate the community. Firstly, you'd have to create a product or experience that pulls people to it and being a copycat might not solve for that and secondly by building only for India you ignore the global community and their access to the platform.

    ➡️ Someone tweeted yesterday that the Clubhouse of India will be India and I definitely agree with that. But I'm also very excited to see the new wave of consumer social apps in India as it seems a new global wave of these apps have started to come up and grow.

    Feedback & ❤️ always appreciated BONUS (Tweet of the day): https://twitter.com/ankitkr0/status/1353952490610450432

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