Kerala has emerged as one of country’s top startup destinations marking an impressive compound annual growth of 17 per cent since 2012, taking the total number of ventures based out of the state to 2,200 and displaying high competence in netting funds, says a report compiled by digital media platform Inc 42 in association with TiE Kerala.
In a single year since 2018 alone, the number of startups set up in Kerala marked a steep increase of 35 per cent, says the report, unveiled at the valedictory function of the TiECon Kerala 2019, at Kochi on Saturday.
Dr Subramanian Swamy, MP, released the report titled ‘Kerala Startup Ecosystem 2019’ in the presence of Dr Saji Gopinath, CEO, Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM).
Kerala-based startups kept up their competence in getting funds by raising $89mn till date, and compared to 2018, till September this year startups clocked an 18 per cent uptick in securing funds. In 2019, startups netted $44mn funding spread across 13 deals. As many as 47 startups have raised funds from outside and 13 startups received funds in 2019.
“KSUM has designed and executed a set of programmes and schemes as per the revised Kerala Startup Policy (Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship Policy) to identify and support technology startups in the State. In the last six months alone, KSUM incubated and funded over 200 startups,” said Shri M Sivasankar IAS, Secretary, Electronics and IT, Government of Kerala.
“Many of the key policy interventions formulated by the Kerala Government to support startups and measures to ensure inclusivity in innovation are now being adopted by other State Governments as well,” Shri Sivasankar added.
“To ensure investment opportunities, KSUM has come out with an innovative Fund of Fund scheme to invest in Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs). A combined corpus in excess of Rs 1,000 crore of investment capital has been made available for startups through this scheme by committing less than 10 percent of this amount into various AIFs,” said Dr Saji Gopinath, CEO, KSUM.
“Investments worth more than double the deployed amount has already happened into Kerala based startups in the last one year. It is heartening to note that this early stage fund has enabled some startups to grow substantially during last one year,” he added.
According to the report, of the 2,200 startups based in Kerala, as much as 13 per cent were registered in the first three quarters of 2019. Ernakulam and Thiruvananthapuram are top choices for startups in setting up their headquarters as about 59 per cent of startups are located in these two cities. Kochi accounts for 36 per cent of them, followed by Thiruvananthapuram with 23 per cent.
“In 2019, the Indian startup ecosystem recorded 553 funding deals, which together crossed the $9 bn funding mark. Interestingly, it is Kerala which has emerged as one of the top startup destinations of the country,” says the report.
“Around 75 per cent of the Kerala-based startups are product-driven companies and 25 per cent of startups are service-driven. Sector-wise, 28 per cent of startups offer IT and consulting services followed by health tech and edtech with 8 per cent and 7 per cent respectively,” it says.
About 41 per cent of the startups have two founders each while 39 per cent startups have single founder. However, only five per cent of the startups have female founders. Moreover, 14 per cent of startups have parity in number of male and female employees.
“Kerala Government has earmarked investments of over Rs 1,000 Cr in the state startups over the next four years,” it adds.
Messe Berlin (Singapore), one of the world’s leading trade fair companies, announced that it will be organising the inaugural Travel Tech Asia 2020 in Singapore. The 3-day conference will take place from 21 to 23 October 2020 at the Sands Expo & Convention Centre at Marina Bay Sands. Travel Tech Asia is under ITB Asia’s umbrella of events and will be co-located with ITB Asia and MICE Show Asia in 2020, bringing together the largest travel showcase yet in Asia.
“In recent years, we have seen a remarkable development in travel technology and the integral role it is playing for the travel industry. Travel Tech Asia 2020 aims to provide the community with a platform for in-depth discussions on how technology can disrupt and transform the travel landscape,” said Katrina Leung, Managing Director of Messe Berlin (Singapore), the organiser of Travel Tech Asia 2020.
Travel Tech Asia will bring together a fresh set of buyer participants, the Tech Buyers. These Tech Buyers are heads of Distribution, Sales and Marketing, E-Commerce and IT from Hotels, Travel Agencies, Airlines, Tours and Activities - the key decision makers in evaluating and selecting the best travel tech in the market that best fit the industry needs.
Conference speakers will share emerging technologies, trends, ideas and applicable case studies that will set the stage for new possibilities in travel. Innovations surrounding e-commerce, internet of things in hospitality, transportation, AI, VR and AR, big data and cloud, payment solutions and revenue management and optimisation, will also be featured at the show to showcase the possibilities in travel tech and how it is set to revolutionise the industry.
Exhibitors at the show will include industries such as artificial intelligence, booking, reservations and metasearch, hotel tech, virtual reality and augmented reality, voice and biometrics, data, personalisation and mobile marketing, revenue management and optimisation and more. As technologies continue to fuel record growth in the travel industry, Travel Tech Asia 2020 will see new exhibitors specifically catered for the travel tech industry.
Super Early Bird rates for exhibiting at Travel Tech Asia 2020 will run from now till 31 October 2019. For more information on Travel Tech Asia 2020, visit www.traveltechasia.com/.
Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) and Bahrain Economic development Board (EDB), the Gulf state’s investment promotion agency, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for jointly promoting innovation in FinTech, Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and related emerging fields.
Mr Ashok Kurian Panjikaran, Manager, Business Development, KSUM, and Ms Dharmi Magdani, Regional Director, India, Bahrain EDB, exchanged the MoU on the sidelines of the 39th annual GITEX Technology Week held in Dubai.
The agreement aims at building business opportunities for each country’s startups in other’s market.
The initiative will facilitate development and growth of FinTech and ICT startups and centres through support from technology hubs such as Bahrain Fintech Bay, Brinc Batelco IoT Accelerator, Flat6 Labs Bahrain, Brilliant Lab and KSUM Hub.
The scope of cooperation includes facilitation of delegation visits to Bahrain and India. There will be collaboration on knowledge exchange and enhancing cooperation between financial and technological institutions, universities and research institutions, technology experts, and government agencies.
The MoU is also meant for exploration of innovation projects in areas such as digital and mobile payments, blockchain and distributed ledgers, big data, flexible platforms (API), AML, eKYC, and other emerging areas in FinTech and ICT.
“Building a robust ecosystem where FinTech startups and IT firms can access and engage with critical soft infrastructure such as universities, financial institutions and government agencies will be a key enabler for growth and innovation in the FinTech and ICT sectors,” noted Dr Saji Gopinath, CEO, KSUM, commenting on the pact.
“These are priority areas for both Kerala and Bahrain, and we are immensely excited to build even further upon where we are already seeing incredible growth with this timely new partnership,” he added.
“This is an excellent opportunity for Kerala startups to take advantage of Bahrain’s thriving ecosystem,” Ms Magdani, said.
“With the lowest setup and operating costs, some of the most advanced supportive infrastructure and one of the most skilled labour forces in the region, there is no better destination for startups seeking to access and scale across the growing $1.5 trillion GCC markets”, she added.
Ms Pakiza Abdulrahman, Manager of Business Development - Startup at the EDB, said the partnership with KSUM would encourage greater collaboration between entrepreneurs and innovators in both countries.
KSUM is the nodal agency for entrepreneurship development and incubation activities in the state.
The ninth edition of Kerala’s premier HORECA exhibition, HotelTech Kerala, will be held from October 10-12, 2019 at the KTDC’s Bolgatty Palace Event Centre, Kochi. The event will provide a unique opportunity for the hospitality sector in the state to identify suppliers related to their sector. The show will also facilitate and provide national and local manufacturers an opportunity to meet with hoteliers, restaurant, resort, Caterers and Bakery owners from all over Kerala.
HotelTech Kerala will showcase the following sectors - hotel supplies, hotelware & tableware, equipments for hotels and restaurants, cleaning equipment & services, linen and furnishing products, food & beverages and other services.
The con-current events being held include the Kerala Culinary Challenge (KCC) 2019 which is being presented by SICA-Kerala Chapter and being held at the same venue in Kochi. Chefs from hotels and resorts across Kerala will take part in the prestigious event and vie for top honours. Competitions will be held in Display and Live cooking categories in the event. Individual artistic display will be held in Dress the Cake, Creative Dessert and Mocktails. There will be live competitions in Hot Cooking Dish for Chicken, Fish, Rice Dish and authentic Kerala cuisine.
Our sponsors for the KCC include Coconut Development Board (Cooking Oil), Indian Oil (Cooking Gas), Venkys India (Chicken), Healthy Fish (Seafood) Palmo Coconut Milk Powder (Ingredients sponsor) and Bizzaro Uniforms (Uniforms) while SSN Hotelwares and Gusto Hotelwares are the gift sponsors of KCC.
The prime objective of this Culinary Challenge is to provide a professional platform where culinary professionals from across Kerala can display their individual and combined skills, creative talent, learn, share experiences, partner and network in a purely businesslike and competitive environment,” said organizers of the event.
The event will also give youngsters an opportunity to come up with new and innovative ideas. The event’s aim is to create awareness about the profession of chefs and felicitate those who have excelled in the profession. While well known chefs from the hospitality fraternity will showcase their flair at the competition, students and apprentices will brainstorm for their eclectic passion for food along with the competing chefs. The general public will have the facility to watch live demonstrations by culinary enthusiasts and the renowned chefs, informed the show organizers.0
The EBRD and the UNWTO are joining forces to strengthen sustainable and inclusive tourism as a tool for achieving growth and development.
Under an MoU, signed by EBRD President Suma Chakrabarti and UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili at the UNWTO Headquarters in Madrid, the two institutions pledge to work together in promoting and fostering tourism for the achievement of the 2030 Agenda and the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals. The MoU is also aligned with the new property and tourism strategy the EBRD published yesterday.
In particular, the EBRD and UNWTO are looking for ways to strengthen the role of the tourism sector for social, economic and environmental development for regional integration and economic diversification. Fostering education and training in tourism for job creation and socioeconomic inclusion, by adopting the best practices to increase and improve skillsets in the sector, is a key priority for both the EBRD and UNWTO.
The two institutions will also look to strengthen tourism governance and institutions, promote policy dialogue at national and regional level on matters of common concern, facilitate investments and advocate for the increase of Official Development Aid flows to the tourism sector, including through UNWTO.
UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili commented: “Tourism has become a central part of the global sustainable development agenda. Strengthening our partnership with the EBRD will help us drive the sector forward, deliver change in the tourism climate and digital economy and help guide the growth of tourism in a responsible and inclusive manner for the benefit of all. We are happy to be your tourism intelligence and action partner.”
EBRD President Suma Chakrabarti said: “I am very delighted to be working with UNWTO to promote sustainable and inclusive tourism across the EBRD regions. Travel and tourism represent a vitally important and fast-growing sector of the global economy, and can benefit poorer, more remote regions, opening up job opportunities, promoting economic inclusion for all and facilitating the transfer of valuable skills. These are all objectives central to the EBRD’s mission.”
The EBRD and UNWTO are longstanding partners. In 2015, the two institutions signed an agreement in the framework of the EBRD’s commitment for supporting inclusive and sustainable tourism in the economies where then Bank invests, particularly in the southern and eastern Mediterranean (SEMED) region and the Western Balkans.