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Now, Uber to mentor Indian startups

Travis Kalanick, CEO, Uber

Travis Kalanick, CEO, Uber

Ride-hailing company Uber Technologies Inc has tied up with Invest India, a government agency to promote investment in the country, to mentor Indian entrepreneurs through a programme called uberEXCHANGE.

The company will host a series of six leadership talks by senior Uber executives, including from its headquarters in San Francisco, where it will address challenges entrepreneurs face when founding their own companies. At the end of the programme, the company will fly 10 startups to San Francisco where it will introduce them to global investors, it said in a statement.

Travis Kalanick, co-founder and CEO of Uber, will give the first talk at the inauguration of the Startup India initiative on January 16. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will unveil the action plan for the ‘Start-up India, Stand-up India’ initiative on January 16. The initiative seeks to boost entrepreneurship at the grassroots level.

“Today more and more people aspire to be entrepreneurs and build something themselves. It’s why Prime Minister Modi’s start-up India initiative is so important,” said Kalanick.

Uber is one of the most valued startups. It recently raised $2.1 billion in a new round of funding that takes its valuation to $64.6 billion, The Wall Street Journal reported. The round was led by Tiger Global Management and T. Rowe Price, the report said. Prior to this round, Uber had raised more than $10 billion in equity and debt, it added.

However, the competitive environment is becoming strenuous for the company. Four of its rivals – India’s Ola, China’s Didi Kuaidi, Lyft of the US, and Southeast Asia-based GrabTaxi – tied up in November to enable customers to avail cab-hailing services of all four firms through the same app.

Invest India is a joint venture among the central government, state governments and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

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