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Optimism prevails amid funding slump, say panellists at TechCircle summit


Participants at a panel discussion at TechCircle Startup

While the perceptible change from exuberance to caution in the funding space over the last year has reshaped the dynamics of the startup ecosystem in the country, it is not impossible to raise funding, said panellists at TechCircle Startup 2016 – Delhi Edition.

While 2015 was a year of sky-high valuations, 2016 has already been witnessing a slump in the funding space. Year 2016 has especially been a difficult period for early-stage startups to climb the Series A ladder while mature companies have been finding it difficult to close fresh funding, said panellists who participated in a discussion on ‘Bitter and better – new rules for startups’.

Ruchira Shukla – regional lead, South Asia, Venture Capital, IFC, who moderated the discussion, kicked off the debate by asking the panellists to share their views on the impact of the funding slowdown.

Priyanka Gill, founder, POPxo, said the dynamics of the startup ecosystem have changed though it is not impossible to raise money.

“Valuations have come down but they are not really bad. It may be difficult to raise money; but, it is not impossible. Entrepreneurs should selectively spot investors and pick them for the long run,” said Priyanka.

Sharing Priyanka’s views, Shivjeet Kullar, CEO, NFX Digital, said there is nothing the entrepreneur should do differently in 2016. “I don’t feel somebody who is doing right will do wrong or somebody who is doing wrong will suddenly start doing right.”

Offering a VC perspective, Sid Talwar, co-founder and partner, Lightbox, said, “I think we are in a position where a lot of money is available to be invested. I don’t think we are looking at companies differently. We look at companies that will spend the money efficiently.”

Faisal Farooqui, founder, MouthShut.com, said, “Earlier there were websites based on WordPress theme that got funding. That has stopped now.”

“Everyone was responsible for the exuberance and everyone will pay the price,” said Ruchika, summing up the views of the panelists.

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