This article is part of Inc42’s special year-end series — 2018 In Review — in which we will refresh your memory on the major developments in the Indian startup ecosystem and their impact on various stakeholders — from entrepreneurs to investors. Find more stories from this series here.
Last year, we at Inc42 published over 4,000 stories, with a mix of news, features, startup stories and special editions about the Indian startup ecosystem. Looking back at the biggest stories of the past year, the recurring observation we made was the sudden maturity that startup founders and investors were showing. After the blind optimism of 2015, the funding winter of 2016, and the return to form in 2017; in 2018 the startup ecosystem replaced gung-ho enthusiasm with a carefully thought-out strategy.
While we continued to serve the startup news and deep-dive features, we also experimented with some new formats. We also refreshed the look of the website this year.
In January we started the ‘Watchlist’ series, which was also the most read series in 2018. The series curated the most innovative and promising startups in various sectors such as AI, fintech, agritech, blockchain IoT and more are a must watch, and these startups are definitely going places. While we are going to come up with this 2019 soon, here are some of the watchlists you can read through! :
- 11 Indian IoT Startups To Watch Out For In 2018
- 12 Indian Agritech Startups To Watch Out For In 2018
- 11 Indian Healthtech Startups To Watch Out For In 2018
You can view the complete list of Startup Watchlist here.
After a successful run in 2017, we introduced ‘Moneyball’ column which throws the limelight on investors and the important role they play in shaping the startup ecosystem. This year we featured some of the most prolific investors such as:
- Karan Mohla Of IDG who spoke on reaching the next 300 Mn smartphone users in India
- Sanjay Swamy Of Prime Venture Partners, who said that digitalisation is leading to huge potential in verticals such as healthcare and education
- Blume Ventures’ Sanjay Nath, who spoke on the spurt of Chinese and Japanese investment in India
If you have been a reader of Inc42, you know we are in love with data (DataLabs)and 2018 was no different. We crunched the numbers and broke down the data in our ‘What The Financials’ (which we introduced this year), focusing on the oft-ignored aspect of startups – their toplines and bottomlines. Here are top picks from the series:
- With Positive FY18 Financials, Pepperfry Looks To Become Profitable In Next 4-6 Quarters
- On-Demand Service Startups UrbanClap, Housejoy Finally Home In On Growth
The year 2018, was also about celebrating where the startup ecosystem has reached today! Our stories, our flagship report and our flagship event — The Ecosystem Summit reflected the same.
In November we held our flagship event — ‘The Ecosystem Summit’ which brought together unparalleled group of CEOs, founders, investors, luminaries, and all those who matter in the Indian startup ecosystem. The idea was to bring together all the stakeholders under one roof to foster collaboration, the exchange of ideas, and synergies to facilitate conversations to further globalise the work done by Indian startups and recognise their contribution to the community.
The Summit accompanied the launch of our flagship report — The State of Indian Startup Ecosystem 2018 by Suresh Prabhu, Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation; Hiro Mashita, Director, M&S Partners; TV Mohandas Pai, Chairman of PE fund Aarin Capital; and Inc42 founders Vaibhav Vardhan and Pooja Sareen. In the report, we have filtered and encapsulated the essence of our years of expertise and insights on India’s startup and technology ecosystem with the goal of facilitating a deeper, perspective-driven understanding of the industry.
Related Article: 2018 In Review: Top New Startups That Made The Most Buzz This Year
Here is a selection of some of the most insightful conversations and debates from the event:
- How To Scale Up Your Startup Fast But Not Break Things
- Japanese Investors Look Towards India As The Land Of Rising Startups
- India’s Tech Entrepreneurs To Create A $10 Tn Economy By 2030, Says TV Mohandas Pai
Here’s a list of 10 most popular stories of 2018:
While the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) said no coercive measures would be taken, startups maintained that more needs to done to settle the issue of angel tax.
A Distinguished Fellow and professor at Carnegie Mellon University Engineering and Harvard University, Wadhwa is instrumental in shaping the minds of young entrepreneurs and policy makers.
As they say, the first impression is your last impression. O2O fashion platform Fynd’s cofounder Farooq Adam reflects on what it takes to make the perfect pitch deck.
Snapdeal moved into a new office in 2018. Did it help bring a revival in the company’s fortunes?
In our 20th episode of Ask Me Anything (AMA), we hosted the cofounder and CEO of Freshworks, Girish Mathrubootham. Freshworks is the 15th unicorn of the Indian startup ecosystem.
2018 was a critical year for electric vehicles. With governments, the world over, doubling down to lower the cost of electric vehicles and batteries, here’s is some of our first coverage on the matter.
#MeToo started in October 2017 as a hashtag on social media with women sharing incidents of sexual assault and harassment, especially at the workplace.
India is currently the second largest processed meat and poultry market, and Bengaluru-based Licious is making sure it leaves no stone unturned to capture the market.
Coming from a non-tech background, Rishabh, inspired by the greats like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, launched his first startup at the tender age of 17. Here’s his story.
Just a few months after the company launched its paid subscription plan, Inc42 caught up with Bhavin Turakhia, who is also the Flock CEO, and his team, to find out how they plan to take on Slack.
To wrap things up, just like every year, we introduced “2018 in Review” series where we compiled the major developments in the Indian startup ecosystem and their impact on various stakeholders in 2018 — from entrepreneurs to investors. Find stories from this series here.
It has been an absolute pleasure telling the stories of some of India’s brightest entrepreneurs, big ideas and investments and the challenges they have faced and conquered, From all of us at Inc42, many thanks and a happy new year.