Microsoft Ventures Launches 2 New Programmes – Accelerator Plus & Scale Up
This is great news for upcoming startups in India – Microsoft Ventures, who already have been running their traditional accelerator program for past 2 years, have announced launch of Accelerator Plus and Scale UP programmes for startups in India.
Both these programmes target startups at various stages. The Accelerator Plus will accept start-ups who have already raised seed-level funding and have a roaster of atleast 50 clients (for B2B segment) or if it is a end-consumer focused startup, they need to have atleast 20,000 customers (B2C space).
On the other hand, to qualify for the Scale Up programme, the startup must have either received a “large seed-level funding” or have raised funds from a venture capital firm. So, Scale Up program is for startups that are in early growth phase post funding. To get into Scale Up, startups need to have at least one million customers (in the B2C space), whereas those in the B2B segment need to have atleast 100 clients.
Ravi Narayan, managing director of Microsoft Ventures in India said, “These two programmes are Indian evolutions for Microsoft Ventures based on our understanding and observations of the ecosystem here. We are working with other incubators like Reliance’s GenNext and Deshpande Foundation’s Hubli Sandbox for early-stage companies, and our programme will focus only on the more mature start-ups.”
Why These new Programmes?
According to Narayan, later-stage startups do not have as much help as early stage startups. He said, “This concurred with similar observations made through the pilot of Accelerator Plus, where we noticed that the 10 later-stage start-ups that went through the programme benefited more from the mentoring and showed better results, faster.”
Over last 2 years, many startup incubation centers and accelerators have come up in India, which have immensely benefitted hundreds of early stage startups in India. However, little help is available for later stage and growth stage startups, which is where Microsoft Ventures wants to come in!.
In addition, startups who have graduated from earlier Microsoft Accelerator batches stand to benefit as well, because successful ones can be part of Accelerator Plus and Scale Up programs.
11 Startups Included in First Accelerator Plus & Scale Up Batch
Microsoft has shortlisted 11 start-ups from 1,400 applicants for both the programmes.
5 startups that were shortlisted for Accelerator Plus
- AdPushup: The platform allows web publishers and bloggers to create and test different ad placements, sizes, and types to see which ones make the most revenue from its A/B testing platform.
- Frilp: Online platform that helps user discover a shop or service through their friends and people.
- iReff: Online app that claims to be fastest and easiest way to find best prepaid mobile recharge.
- DailyRounds: A mobile app for Doctors, Medical Schools, Physician & Surgeon societies to publish clinical cases, articles and images after peer review.
- Uninstall (No details available)
6 startups that were shortlisted for Scale Up Program
- iBot: Design, development & manufacture of high-tech electronics & software to connect the offline / online worlds.
- FortunePay: Comprehensive end-to-end electronic payment and services platform.
- CustomerXPs: Real-time, intelligent products to empower Banking, Retail and Telecom Enterprises enabling influenced outcomes of deeper customer engagement and fraud-free transactions.
- FlamencoTech: Infrastructure solutions & services company enabling synergy of technologies for Enterprise, Campus and Data Center through a unique solution framework, visionary thinking, deep expertise and experience.
- WAGmob: WAGmob offers software and services app for learning and training.
- UberLabs: image recognition and machine learning technology.
Among these 11 startups, iBot is from the US, Uninstall and UberLabs is from Singapore and have been started by Indian entrepreneurs abroad.