Bengaluru: Qualcomm Ventures, the venture capital arm of the semiconductor maker Qualcomm Inc., and Accel Partners jointly invested in two joint early stage start-ups, MyPoolin and Flip Technologies.
Qualcomm Venture and Accel will together invest $250,000 in MyPoolin and about $100,000 in Flip as part of QPrize, an annual, early stage start-up funding initiative by Qualcomm.
MyPoolin, which is run by Infinypool Online Payment Solutions Pvt. Ltd and which helps people jointly plan and pay for things using a mobile app, and Flip, which makes wearable activity trackers for action sports, were the winner and runner-up, respectively, of the Qprize this year. Accel, Qualcomm and an angel investor Manish Singhal comprised the jury.
The two start-ups were selected on the basis of the product innovation, industry potential, initial customer response and management ability, among other things.
“India is at the cusp of a digital revolution that will drive the government’s vision for a Digital India," said Karthee Madasamy, managing director, Qualcomm Ventures India. “Qualcomm Ventures is committed to identifying and fostering the industry’s most promising early-stage technology companies. As the winner of QPrize India, 2015, MyPoolin embodies the spirit of entrepreneurship, cutting edge technology, game-changing innovation and excellent team dynamics."
Instead of buying equity, Qualcomm puts up funds via convertible debt.
Over the past year, Qprize has seen a surge in consumer Internet start-up applicants, reflecting the increasing interest for shopping and consumer services-related apps among investors and entrepreneurs alike. Madasamy said the quality of entrepreneurs was better this year than in previous years.
“Entrepreneurs have gotten much better. They also articulate the problems they’re trying to solve very crisply. That’s a testament to the evolving start-up ecosystem. Many participants were people who previously worked in TaxiForSure, Google and other companies. We saw participants across IoT, wearables, education, marketplaces, gaming. We’re seeing a clear increase in focus toward the Indian consumer," he said.