17 01, 2016

The Startup Sops Decoded: Startup Definition Is A Barrier, Tax Benefits Illusory, But Rest Are Smart Benefits

By |January 17th, 2016|Categories: Startup Tax, Startups|10 Comments

The Government has decided to encourage startups through a number of changes they have outlined in an action plan that will help early stage companies do better.

image Why Startups?

For one, they are a big source of income and employment, and for another they foster innovation. This is a good idea […]

7 12, 2015

High Valuations My Ass: Headline Startup Valuation Numbers Hide The Much Lower Risk For Investors

By |December 7th, 2015|Categories: Startups|12 Comments

Ola Cabs has raised about $1.18 billion in total, in 7 rounds according to TechCrunch. Recently, it raised $500 million at a valuation of $5 billion. This provides the social media a large amount of content to get agitated about, saying goodness, how can a taxi company that doesn’t own any taxis be worth more than 30,000 crore rupees!

But they aren’t exactly valued at that much. […]

20 10, 2015

Counter Arguments On Uber Economics: What About The Cost of Owning a Car, And Other Deeply Insightful Questions

By |October 20th, 2015|Categories: Startups|Tags: |29 Comments

In my last post on Uber, I spoke of Economics and we’ve had some extremely good arguments countering some of the economics. I’m always malleable, so if there’s a solid argument stating a case against me, I’m always open to change.

Uber, Economics, Cab, Startup, Funding

1. What About The Cost of […]

19 10, 2015

The Economics of Using Uber in India, For Drivers, Passengers and the Company

By |October 19th, 2015|Categories: Startups|Tags: |53 Comments

I’ve been taking a lot of Ubers and Olas to work. More Uber than Ola [1], and I get phenomenal conversations because I can speak in Kannada, which is apparently a rare thing in Bangalore, looking at the number of drivers who seem to be delighted.

Uber, Startups, Funding, Uber Economics, Ola, Wallet[…]

3 07, 2015

Reads: How IndiaPlaza Went Down and Out

By |July 3rd, 2015|Categories: Startups|4 Comments

A great read by Ashish Mishra, on the failure of an Indian e-commerce firm, perhaps the first big one, Indiaplaza.

Starting 2013, the Indiaplaza story went further downhill. One miserable day. After another. People started quitting, debts piled up and Vaitheeswaran found himself cornered. He had knocked on every door he knew and returned empty-handed. Then came the fateful Monday, 12 August 2013, when Indiaplaza vacated […]

5 05, 2015

Housing.Com CEO Startup Soap Opera Continues as CEO Quits With Dramatic Letter. Is This The Indian Boo.Com?

By |May 5th, 2015|Categories: Startups|9 Comments

Housing.com seems to have yet another drama, with it’s CEO Rahul Yadav quitting abruptly. The company is the India TV of the startup world, going brash and batshit insane on anyone that dare criticize it. (See spat with Shailendra Singh of Sequoia or the CEO calling Alok Kejriwal dumb). Investors apparently find this attitude extremely appealing because holy crow, another site that helps you find properties to buy or rent! And with a brash set of founders, with IIT pedigree! That gave it $120 million in funding, with the latest at $90 million as recently as December.


24 11, 2014

What to Make of the Richly Funded Taxi Services, Uber and Ola

By |November 24th, 2014|Categories: Funding, Ola, Startups, Uber, Valuation|12 Comments

Uber’s spending $400m in India. Ola just raised $320m. (Each of those, if you’ve been reading Capital Mind, is greater than all the IPOs in 2014 in India, put together)

This money will go to something, someplace. They won’t buy taxis, but will help finance drivers who would like to buy a car. (Uber, Ola)

I’ve used both services – Ola and Uber – and am watching […]

12 09, 2014

Jama-Kharchi and the Conversion of Black to White

By |September 12th, 2014|Categories: JamaKharchi, StartupTax|2 Comments

For the uninitiated among us (and I am one) it seems there’s this concept called “Jama Kharchi”, which is about converting black money to white. Jama-kharchi , of “accomodating entry” companies which basically make two kind of entities meet:

  • One that wants to reduce its profits (and thus, taxes) by showing purchase entries
  • Two, that that wants to shore up sales because they […]
17 07, 2014

Off-Topic: RIP, ESOPs. Thank you, Redbus.

By |July 17th, 2014|Categories: Startups|4 Comments

Livemint has an inside story on the sale of Redbus.

The development is very sad for the startup ecosystem – because Redbus, at the time of exit, did not let its ESOP owning employees make money. Instead, their ESOPs were converted to ESOPs of the acquirers (Ibibo).

Read this article for more detail.

Update: I have received multiple inputs on this issue, and it seems the details are murky; […]

13 02, 2014

The largest industry is the one that’s the least disrupted: #FinTech hackathon

By |February 13th, 2014|Categories: GuestPost, Startups|4 Comments

This is a guest post by Mukund Mohan, on an event in Bangalore that involved technology and finance. Mukund is the Director of Microsoft Ventures, which runs a fund, an accelerator and startup engagement programs globally. You can follow his blog on startups at Best Engaging Communities.


17 09, 2013

SEBI Finalizes Angel Fund Regulations

By |September 17th, 2013|Categories: Startups, StartupTax|Comments Off on SEBI Finalizes Angel Fund Regulations

SEBI has notified final regulations for angel funds. I have noted many of these in the past, so for background:

13 07, 2013

The Failure Of Financial Web Startups

By |July 13th, 2013|Categories: Startups|16 Comments

This is going to be a long post.

Investopresto, a finance portal, shut shop a couple of days back. They follow other illustrious startups to create financial web sites and eventually run out of steam, like paisa.com , moneysights, moneyvidya and many others. This is tragic, and even more to me as I co-founded and shut down Moneyoga three years ago.

Hasn’t Anyone Succeeded?

Some may say the lack of […]

26 06, 2013

Angel Fund Guidelines: Helps the Superangels, Keeps Out Smaller Investors

By |June 26th, 2013|Categories: SEBI, Startups, StartupTax|Comments Off on Angel Fund Guidelines: Helps the Superangels, Keeps Out Smaller Investors

SEBI has introduced new guidelines for Angel Funds. As I’ve said recently, this is an absolutely important requirement in order for startups to avoid the “Startup Tax” (, a tax regulation that classifies investment as “income” if it is at a premium to the “par” value of a share of a company.

(Read the free Startup Tax e-Book)

The tax […]

20 06, 2013

Speculation: SEBI Angel Fund Rules Could Help Ease Startup Tax

By |June 20th, 2013|Categories: SEBI, StartupTax|Comments Off on Speculation: SEBI Angel Fund Rules Could Help Ease Startup Tax

The Finance Minister had in his budget speech mentioned that:

SEBI will prescribe requirements for angel investor pools by which they can be registered as Category 1 AIF venture capital funds.

(Read: Startups in Budget 2013, a Mixed Bag)

CNBC has the news that SEBI might announce the requirements on July 25 (speculation):

In […]