As the chief executive of Google India, Rajan Anandan is one of the topmost thought leaders in the technology field in the country. But as one of the most active angel investors in India, he also has the pulse of start-up activity. Addressing a packed gathering of around 250-plus entrepreneurs, angel investors and early-stage VCs at the recently concluded 2nd edition of VCCircle's India Angel Summit, Anandan talked about five red hot investment themes.
We bring to you these five themes and take a close look to understand what makes them tick.
Web-enabled consumer & SMB services: With the rapid spread of the Internet in India, the number of Web-enabled consumers and SMB services has increased manifold and hence, the investment opportunity. Examples of such businesses are Gurgaon-based etechies.in, a managed services start-up that caters to both individual customers and SMBs, and Akosha.com, a website that focuses on resolving Indian consumers' complaints and increasing customer awareness. Such companies are simply thriving nowadays. Akosha.com is filled with testimonials from satisfied customers while etechies.com bagged 2,500 clients within just six months.
SaaS: Software as a Service has always been a popular genre among investors and still remains a red hot area. Also, according to the research firm Gartner, SaaS sales reached the $10 billion mark in 2010 and might go up to $12.1 billion in 2011, an increase of 20.7 per cent from the previous year. Additionally, the revenues from SaaS might cross the $21.3 billion mark by 2015. Examples of SaaS providers are Webklipper, Recruiterbox and Innovize.
Local specialists: An example of local specialists can be mycity4kids, a one-stop destination for search, recommendation and purchase of kids-related services. The site enables users to locate offerings for kids (like kids' events, family outings, discounts, etc.) and provides comprehensive listings of products and services exclusively for children. However, you only get the listings for Delhi-NCR, hence the local specialist tag.
Content targeted at women: As of now, there is a dearth of websites for women in India. In fact, the East features a lot of websites (like ivillage.com and Bettyconfidential.com) and personalised blogs (like Birds on the Blog) that cater to the needs of teenage girls, homemakers and business women alike. However, in India, the potential of investment into such ventures is huge. Incidentally, Sitagita.com is an Indian site that providing women-centric content.
Enabling technologies addressing consumer needs: The demand for such specialised services has been increasing among customers. Jigsee, for instance, is a very good example. It is a free video application that works on most of the popular phones and allows users to find and stream popular music videos, movie clips, television shows, health and fitness routines, cartoons and educational videos, among others.
These are the five red hot sectors and any angel, planning to make investments, should check them out. And the fact that Rajan endorses them is testament enough of the investment opportunities they present.