Royals, Puppets, and Startups: Jaipur

Sanskriti Bhatnagar

11 Jan'21

State: Rajasthan
Language: Hindi, English, Marwari, Dhundari
Population: 30,70,000 (2011)
Weather: clear, dry and hot year-round
Food: Laal Maas, Pyaaz Kachori
Places to Visit: Amber Palace, Hawa Mahal, Nahargarh Fort, Jantar Mantar, Jal Mahal
Industry Specialization: EdTech, Travel, Handicrafts & Textiles
Jaipur’s Own: CarDekho

When you think of Jaipur, the first thing that comes to mind is not startups but the rich culture of the city. It offers a wide variety of tourist attractions, instantly making you fall in love with the beautiful city. Jaipur is no less than a royal residence with all its gardens, courtyards and museums.

Jaipur, The Ecosystem

The Jaipur ecosystem has become one of the major startup hotspots of India, fostering innovation, creating jobs, and facilitating investment. The city has played into their trope and is on a path of development that incorporates their heritage with the modernity that startups offer.

Although there aren’t too many startups in the city, most of them cater to EdTech, Travel, Handicrafts & Textiles. CarDekho, Voylla, Tax2Win, eShiksa, and Instacash are some of the startups to come out of Jaipur.

Read more about the various startups in Jaipur- https://inc42.com/buzz/jaipur-startup-ecosystem-2/

Funding

Due to the limited number of startups in the city, funding is slightly hard to come by. But investments in CarDekho (USD $262.5 Mn), Voylla (USD $15 Mn), Wooden Street (USD $3 Mn), and Frontier Market (USD $2.5 Mn) give the emerging startup hub hope for better investments. The lack of funds has also led to an increase in the amount of bootstrapped ventures in the city.

That having been said, there is a small number of VC firms in the city, most notably, the Rajasthan Angel Investors Network, Rajasthan Venture Capital Fund, Startup Oasis, 500 Startups, WarburgPincus, and Hillhouse Capital. There are also quite a few angel investors in the city who have together formed various angel networks in the city- helping those that are actively looking for funding.

Incubators, Accelerators, and Stakeholders

The Jaipur ecosystem is close-knit, the founders have a well-established community. Communities like this in the city can be attributed to ecosystem enablers that are disguised as community builders. One of the best examples of this would be Headstart Jaipur. In just 2 years, they have changed the lives of over 500 ecosystem stakeholders!

Like such community builders, Jaipur has also seen a vibrant array of incubators and accelerators throughout the city. Incubators of the likes of the Atal Incubation Centre, Bhamashah Techno Hub, iStart incubator, MNIT-J TBI, and Startup Oasis have found themselves deeply nestled into the Jaipur ecosystem’s fabric.

Read more about the initial fundings of Jaipur startups- https://inc42.com/datalab/jaipur-startup-ecosystem/

Government

However, the sprawling incubators and accelerators along with a low cost of living aren’t what appeals to most entrepreneurs about Jaipur. What interests them is the amount of work the Rajasthan government has put into building the ecosystem from scratch. The government is a big fan of startups and has put in place many policies that favor them- which is essential for the growth of an ecosystem.

While lack of funding has been a constant challenge for the enablers in the ecosystem, the condition has now drastically improved. Apart from the Rajasthan Government, Private bodies have played an instrumental role in assisting startups to overcome this problem.

Read more about the initiatives of the Rajasthan Government- https://inc42.com/flash-feed/rajasthan-govt-digital-initiatives/

Conclusion

The ecosystem on its own has made significant gains and is now gearing up to increase its support towards startups. The “Pink City” as we call it is thriving and reaching heights with the help of various initiatives and programs undertaken for the welfare of the startups.

In a nutshell, Jaipur is well on its way to creating a mature ecosystem with the State Government doing its part along with the investors and accelerators making sure that they create a strong foundation.

Meet Exambazaar, a startup that embodies the vibrancy of the Jaipur ecosystem here!

Contributed by:

Anoushka Chopra & Sanskriti Bhatnagar
Headstart Network Foundation

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