SRI Capital invests US$1 million in FakeSpot
 
 
Early stage capital for global innovation
Focused on tech startups in the US and in India
 
 
NEWSLETTER - OCTOBER, 2018
 
 
SRI CAPITAL UPDATES
 
Jay Krishnan, Partner, SRI Capital
 
Jay Krishnan joins as Partner to head our India based deep tech/B2B investments
 
We are delighted to welcome on-board our newest team member, Mr. Jay Krishnan, who joins as a Partner in our Hyderabad office. Till recently, Jay was the founding CEO of T-Hub, where he spearheaded the emergence of T-Hub as the largest start-up incubator in India. He brings in more than 20 years of experience across entrepreneurial and corporate settings, including - founder of Radifinity, an Industrial IoT start-up that was acquired by the Aditya Birla Group in 2010; new product introduction, product management, and global partnerships at Juniper Networks and Cisco Systems—in Boston, San Jose, and Bangalore.
 
 
 
PORTFOLIO UPDATES
 
 
SRI Capital Backed AI Chip Startup ThinCI, raises $65 M Series C round from DENSO, Temasek and GGV Capital
 

Founded in 2010, ThinCI is headquartered in El Dorado Hills, California with a significant development presence in Hyderabad, India. ThinCI’s initial focus was on improving the processing speeds for images and then video. Given the versatility of its architecture, the firm quickly realized that the improved processing speeds could be effectively applied to running deep learning and AI algorithms and positioned itself in the important field of autonomous driving where real time object recognition and other capabilities are critical.

 

SRI Capital had led the seed round investment in 2011, when it was just a design idea on paper. The current global recognition and the recent backing of the company by some of the most sophisticated investors is validation of SRI Capital’s thesis of backing great founders who leverage India for high end technology but target a global market.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Industrial IoT firm Fischer Block raises a $3.4 million Series A
 
Fischer Block is an internet-of-things platform for system management at power utilities and industrial plants. Through patented wireless devices called “SMART Blocks,” Fischer Block helps management teams at utilities and large industrial complexes get insights into the “health” of equipment like wind turbines and motors, allowing crews to avoid unplanned shutdowns. Fischer Block is one of very few companies implementing predictive analytics on the grid. The company’s solution reduces risk and enables the industry to enact condition-based maintenance programs versus scheduled maintenance, leading to significant costs reductions for companies. SRI Capital was one of the earlier backers of the company.
 
 
 
 
 
PUBLICATIONS
 
 
Why we might need to burst the Bitcoin bubble by ourselves
 
In this article, Jay Krishnan talks about the emergence of Bitcoin and why the cryptocurrency caught on in the post Lehman era - to set up a new financial ecosystem that eliminates intermediaries and gives transaction powers directly into the hands of the masses. And yet, despite the adoration it received, it has still remained unimplementable at scale.
 
 
 
 
 
INDUSTRY UPDATE
 

Mary Meeker, ‘Queen of the Internet,’ Is Leaving Kleiner Perkins to Start a New Fund. Ms. Meeker, who joined Kleiner Perkins in 2010 is leaving the firm with three other colleagues - Mood Rowghani, Noah Knauf and Juliet de Baubigny to start a new fund that will invest in mature technology start-ups. Her exit is the latest shake-up at Kleiner, a 46-year-old firm that helped put venture capital on the map and in its heyday nurtured companies including Netscape, Sun Microsystems, Google and Amazon.

 
 
 
 

Chinese payment giants are light years ahead. China’s two mobile payments giants, Alipay and WeChat Pay are streets ahead of their western rivals in terms of technology, user friendliness, number of users and ubiquity. To put their scale into perspective, each organisation handled more payments in a single month this year than PayPal’s $451 B for the whole of 2017, according to research firm Analysys. The inadequacy of traditional Chinese banks where customers have to contend with long queues in city branches, long journeys to branches in the countryside and horrendous bureaucracy to get a credit card as well as low penetration of card payment point of sale terminals in China, partly down to the fact Visa and Mastercard are banned in the country, have been major factors contributing to the high adoption of the adoption of new payment technologies.

 

In 2015 Chinese citizens transacted $1 Tn through mobile payments using QR codes. In 2017 it was $15.5 Tn. In 2020 it is forecasted that Chinese consumers will transact $45 Tn through mobile payments, by which time the county will be pretty much cashless.

 
 
 
 

Hospitality firm OYO announced a capital raise of $1 B from SoftBank. OYO, the India-based startup that operates a network of budget hotels, has raised $1 B in new funding to grow its business in China and expand into other international markets. The company aggregates budget hotels and hostels in India, ensuring that they include minimum standards such as clean sheets, hot showers and free WiFi. SRI Capital has invested in FabHotels, which is the #2 player in the space. The company counts Accel Partners, Qualcomm Ventures and Goldman Sachs amongst its investor group.

 
 
 
 

Dream11 closes $100 M funding led by Tencent; inches towards Unicorn status. Sports fantasy gaming company Dream11 has raised $100 M in a Series D funding round led by Chinese investor Tencent. According to Flurry Analytics, India is second in the world in terms of time spent on gaming. It is behind the US and ahead of China and Europe in terms of time spent. Globally growth in fantasy gaming is expected to be driven from Southeast Asia, the Middle East and India as these regions have an advantage of favourable demographics and rising growth in smartphone penetration.

 
 
 
 
 
 
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