Cab aggregator service provider Uber has announced a startup initiative UberPitch, in collaboration with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. It aims to bring together venture capitalists and startups looking for a fund raise on a single platform.
The announcement was made at an event held by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry. With this move, the government aims to strengthen the startup ecosystem in Tier II cities.
The names of the investors who will take part in the programme is yet to be disclosed. The two-day event will be launched in November 2016 in 28 cities in India.
The shortlisted startups will get a chance to present their business idea to the VCs during a specially organised Uber ride. Each team will get seven minutes to present their idea and next seven minutes for feedback from the investor.
The three finalists will also get a chance to meet the leadership team of Uber at Silicon Valley.
“We are highly supportive of initiatives like UberExchange and UberPitch that strengthen the current startup space through mentor led knowledge-sharing and enable entrepreneurs to realize their potential. I am excited to see how public-private partnerships are helping catalyse conversations and investment opportunities for Indian startups, in pursuit of our vision around Start-Up India,” said Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of Commerce and Industry.
In January 2016, Uber announced to partner with Invest India to launch the UberEXCHANGE incubation programme. The programme is aimed at providing mentorship to Indian entrepreneurs. It also signed an MoU with Hyderabad state government-backed startup incubator T-Hub to leverage its expertise to shortlist the top 20 startups in India to be part of the UberEXCHANGE programme.
The Uber startup initiatives have been rolled out at a time when startups are finding it tough to unlock investors’ purse strings. Also, the ride-hailing app is facing multiple challenges on both the consumer and legal front to continue making its mark in India.
Uber is currently doing 5.5 Mn rides per week, with around 5 Mn monthly active riders and 2.5 Mn weekly active riders in India. Also, it claims India to be the fastest-growing market and has recently announced that it has taken a lead over Ola in terms of number of rides.
The deadline for registration is November 1, 2016. The startups can register for the UberPitch here.