And it’s already Thursday, wow this week went by really @fast. Got a couple of cool companies in the news today, one that I’ve known about since 2016 (it was the first Indian DVNB that I knew about) and another company that I’ve only known for about 24 hours. Oh and the Indian Supreme Court struck down the ban on banks working with crypto startups, so yeah that’s yuge!
So if you follow on twitter, then you probably know I love drinking SleepyOwl coffee in India.
I came across the company in 2016 through LBB and this was my take on the co back then:
“I have always thought Indian coffee shops need to open earlier, but have also come to terms with Indians viewing coffee shops as”hangout places" and not as a “utilitarian caffeine location” as I view it. By being able to consume coffee at home, you get rid of that hurdle & as India’s coffee consumption grows SleepyOwl will too"
Since then the company has added a wide variety of products from their initial cold brew offering (which some consumers might find intimidating) to the (sweeter) cold coffee & brewed coffee packs.
The other really smart thing about SleepyOwl is that they sell through upscale grocery stores as well because being solely DTC in India doesn’t work for all categories.
I don’t think the Indian coffee culture is at a point where people will buy coffee beans, grind them, brew it and consume it and cos need to ease new consumers into coffee consumption.
Moreover while I do like the idea of specialty coffee shops (ThirdWave Coffee), DVNBs are primed to scale much better and which is why I think SleepyOwl will be the end game Indian coffee winner.
This company called Chqbook, that Inc42 calls a fintech company, just announced a $5M Series A from Aavishkaar Capital.
I wouldn’t necessarily call the company a “fintech” because it lets users find loans and credit cards that fit their criteria, but don’t provide the loans or cards themselves, so they essentially generate leads for other companies.
But I mean no disrespect by that statement, lead gen companies have done really well eg: Credit Karma that started as the US-Chqbook (and also offers a saving account now) got acquired by Intuit for $7B!
The problem I do see with Chqbook is that they are in a highly competitive space with well-funded companies like PaisaBazaar & IndiaLends.
And while their “AI lending and insurance platform” might be slightly better at giving options to users, if it doesn’t have a large enough user base (with reasonable CAC), a competitive conversion rate, and good commissions, there’s little hope of overtaking the competition.