Bangalore: 500 Startups, an early stage technology incubator in Mountain View, California, announced its Spring 2013 line-up of companies that includes five Indian start-up, the highest number after the US.
With its sixth batch of businesses, the programme is intentionally expanding its international reach. Twenty of the 28 start-ups come from 13 countries outside the US, with the incubator’s first African company, from Ghana.
The Indian companies are PriceBaba, a location-based search engine for retail; and Tushky, a local activities marketplace; both from Mumbai; Seat 14A, a men’s fashion site; and School Admissions, an online portal for education decisions; both out of New Delhi; and Credii, a platform for software and service recommendation formed in Bangalore.
TeleportMe, the first Indian start-up in the accelerator, entered with the fourth batch. The prior group had four Indian companies, three of which catered to global customers, while three of the new start-ups focus on the Indian market, noted Pankaj Jain, a 500 Startups partner based in New Delhi.
When picking companies, he scouts for start-ups with sizable user totals and interest. “Generally speaking, we don’t invest in ideas,” he said. “We invest in traction.”
School Admissions, which now has more than 40,000 parents as users in the National Capital Region alone, plans to widen its reach with the programme’s aide.
“We believe that it’s going to help us move forward in India, and expand in other countries, too,” said Puja Arora, who started the website with her husband, Raj, four years ago when their first son’s school admission was due. It became a registered company a year ago.
A week ago, Raj shifted to California for the three-month programme, along with the other founders. Most receive a $50,000 investment in exchange for 5% stake in the company.