1947 Tech 🇮🇳 : 50
Once a week newsletter: Insights on Tech, markets, startups, venture capital, and foreign investments in India
1. Trendspotting: The shape of all things digital in 2019
A deep dive into what trends we are going to see in India in 2019 by Haresh Chawla, Partner at True North.
In 2019, India will cross these milestones: Half a billion internet users, 100 million internet consumers, over 300 million habitual video-on-phone watchers. India is arguably the largest mobile data consumer in the world, having grown the user base 100X over the year 2000. While the country builds its physical infrastructure at a snail’s pace, digital infrastructure is going through an unprecedented shift.
The triad of near-free bandwidth, super-cheap smartphones, and ubiquitous micropayments — together with a shift away from savings to consumption driven by the aspirations of consumers — is creating perfect weather conditions for rapid seeding, iteration and validation of business ideas in categories that one couldn’t have imagined two years ago. These socio-economic dynamics haven’t come together at the same time anywhere in the world. The new digital landscape offers easy access to millions of value-driven consumers, hungry for a better life and willing to try anything. Businesses just need to find a way to serve them.
Welcome to the third wave of the internet in India.
2. As tensions grow with China, U.S. tech giants eye growth in India.
As tensions with China grow deeper, media giants could look to further ties in India, where the mobile economy is booming.
Why it matters: India is one of the fastest-growing internet markets in the world.
Background: Like many developing countries, India is mostly a mobile-only internet economy.
“India’s story is not an evolution story, it’s a revolution story,” says Ravi Agrawal Managing Editor of Foreign Policy and author of “India Connected: How the Smartphone Is Transforming the World’s Largest Democracy.”
“Hundreds of millions are getting online through smartphones with cheap data plans….That growth is the reason corporate America is bee-lining there.”
Internet adoption is driving unprecedented advertising growth in India, as many consumers are more comfortable with paying for content via data-based ads.
India will be the third-biggest contributor to ad spend growth globally between 2018 and 2021, according to a new report from global media agency Zenith.
3. Big Funding Round: Byju’s targets global expansion for its digital education service after raising $540M
India-based educational startup Byju’s was widely reported to have raised a massive $400 million round, and now the company is making things official. The 10-year-old company revealed today it has pulled in a total of $540 million from investors to go after international opportunities.
The round is led by Naspers, the investment firm famous for backing Tencent that also includes educational firms Udemy, Codecademy and Brainly among its portfolio. The Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) provided “a significant portion” of the round.
Founded in 2008 by Byju Raveendran as on offline teaching center, it moved into digital courses as recently as 2015. The company specializes in grades 4–12 educational courses that use a combination of videos and other materials. Besides courses, the service covers exams, free courses and paid-for courses.