Amazon brings Launchpad to India


For its latest trick in India, Amazon aims to help startups in the country sell, market, and deliver their products and gain more visibility.

Amazon announced Monday it is bringing its global startup program Launchpad to India. The India Launchpad portal is live with products from over 400 startups, of whom 25 are India-based. 

The company has also partnered with Nasscom, Government of Maharashtra, Indian Angels network and several bodies and venture capitalists to help startups on policy and financial sides. 

Through Launchpad, first unveiled in 2015 and now available in seven regions, Amazon partners with startups and sells their products on its giant ecommerce platform. Additionally, Amazon also helps startups market and promote their products.  Read more…

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Two of Silicon Valley’s favorite startup websites are joining forces


Product Hunt, the “Reddit for startups” website favored by Silicon Valley investors and entrepreneurs, has been acquired.

The three-year-old startup was acquired by AngelList, a company that matches startups with prospective investors and employees. Terms of the deal were not disclosed but Recode reported the deal was worth about $20 million.

Product Hunt will continue to operate independently, though the companies plan to create some integrations that will allow both sites’ audiences to reach each other, AngelList said. 

Based in San Francisco, Hoover and most of the Product Hunt team will begin working out of AngelLists’s office. Read more…

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Australian startups need more diversity to thrive, not closed borders


Sixty-one percent of Australia’s top 50 startups were founded by immigrants or children of immigrants, according to the 2016 StartupAUS Crossroads report.

Despite this, the local tech industry is up against strong headwinds from the government when it comes to hiring skilled technology workers from overseas.

In recent weeks, both major political parties have proposed tougher restrictions on Australia’s 457 visa system, which allows businesses to sponsor skilled foreign workers for up to four years. 

The timing, so soon after the election of the outspokenly anti-immigrant President-elect Donald Trump in the U.S., has shades of political opportunism. It also comes amid the increasing power of the right wing One Nation party locally, sending ministers stumbling to “put Australia first.” Read more…

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Boom time is over: Startups are failing as funding dries up


Declines in the venture capital market are hitting startups of all sizes, but the ones left particularly vulnerable are the thousands of young companies that raised seed funding during headier times just a year or two ago.

The seed frenzy peaked in the first quarter of 2015 when more than 1,500 startups raised their first rounds of capital, according to research firm PitchBook Data. Many of those companies are now running out of cash, and most won’t be able to get more.

Dying is a fact of life for most startups, but corporate graveyards are filling more quickly this year. The pain is likely to drag on for another 12 to 18 months as early-stage companies fizzle out earlier than usual or limp along without access to more capital, said Gus Tai, a general partner at Trinity Ventures. “The pressure is even more acute,” he said. Read more…

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