And it's tuesday, with protests continuining around the country and cities imposing curfews. Coming to the day's news, we have Urban Ladder's co-founder leaving the company to join Singapore-based VC firm, Antler & a V-shaped recovery for UPI.
1. https://bit.ly/3eJygL0: Urban Ladder co-founder Rajiv Srivatsa has a new gig
➡️ Is it just me or a lot of co-founders at Indian unicorns leaving to pursue new roles. Rajiv Srivatsa, who is one of Urban Ladder's founders and ex-CTO has been named as a partner and the India head of an early stage venture fund called Antler.
➡️ Rajiv had earlier stepped down from his role at the company in October after being at the company for 8 years. He will be leading Antler's program into India, who have previously run their programs in Singapore, Sydney, and Amsterdam (to name a few).
➡️ Antler is an early stage fund that runs a very interesting program along with their investment model. Entreprenuers apply to Antler to find co-founders & validate their ideas in somewhat of an accelerator program. 10-weeks into the program, Antler decides if it will invest in the company/team (a subset of the founders that are accepted). Then companies go on to build their products and get early traction before pitching to external investors in a Demo Day.
➡️ The model sounds interesting, especially to people who might have a couple of ideas but don't have a network to find co-founders or early backers. And Antler has seen that their program helps to solve for the gender disparity issue in startups much better than any program I've personally seen.
➡️ 39% of their companies have at least one female co-founder, with 32% having a female CEO & over 60 nationalities being part of founding teams in their portfolio. If we compare this to Indian funds I don't think anyone comes anywhere close, and I hope Antler also makes diversity a core component of their India program.
➡️ Antler plans to have 2 cohorts every six months in Bangalore and is likely to invest $100k - $150k in 40 companies within its first year of operations. I'm very excited to see how Antler does in its first couple of cohorts in India, it definitely seems like the early-stage venture space in the country is heating up.
2. https://bit.ly/2AsAgs0: UPI makes a V-shaped recovery
➡️ While the country's positive cases continues to increase & cities and states continue to open up, it seems like business is back to usual for payment services. UPI recorded 1.23B txs in May after a signifcant lull in April (990M) and a normal-ish March (1.25B).
➡️ The value of txs is also back up to pre-covid levels (₹2.18 Lakh Cr in May vs ₹2.06 Lakh Cr in March). NPCI chief Dilip Asbe has said that the dip in volumes was due to very low non-discretionary spending in the country (which seems very plausible).
➡️ Razorpay, the payment gateway company, had some interesting statistics in their April report where txs in logistics dropped 96%, travel sector 87%, food & bev 68% and groceries 54%.
➡️ I think their May and June reports will be interesting to see how quickly online businesses recover, because from the UPI reports it does seem like normal businesses (not travel ofcourse) might see a quick recovery.
Feedback & ❤️ always appreciated
More tomorrow :) BONUS (Tweet of the day): https://twitter.com/brijbhasin/status/1267444350218153984