The Move to the Silicon Valley is for Multiple Reasons It’s the largest Spender On Technology; It’s Much Easier to Sell to Enterprise Customers If the Startup is Based in the Valley & It Becomes Simpler to Build Relationships with Influential Technology Writers & Technology Consultants.
Hi Everyone Today We Will Talk About The Silicon Valley Advantage for the Startups
Many Indian Software Product Startups are Moving to the US because it’s their Biggest Market, and It is Easier to Sell to Enterprise Customers When You are Geographically Closer to them. Their Funders, too, are Offering a Variety of Incentives, Including Subsidized Workspaces & Marketing & PR Services
Silicon Valley Offers Plug & Play Tech Center, A 3 Storey Building in Sunnyvale, South of Palo Alto, is where Silicon Valley Venture Firm Accel Partners has Housed 5 of its Indian Cross Border Startups. These are All Early Stage Technology Product Companies Rubbing Shoulders with Hundreds of Fledgling Startups from Across the World that Operate Out of this Shared Workplace, Which also Doubles as A Tech Accelerator.
Being in the US Helps Startups Make their Presence Felt & Exposes them to the Potential of An M&A
Founder & CEO, FRESHDESK
“We Wanted to Go Global from Day One, & In 20 Days of Being Operational, We had Clients from 6 Different Countries. Being in the US Also Helps Startups Make their Presence Felt & Exposes them to the Potential of An M&A,” says Girish Mathrubootham, Founder & CEO of Freshdesk, A Customer Support Software Provider that Was Incorporated in the US in 2010-11 though the Founders Were then Based in India.
Accel, An Early Investor in Indian E-commerce Major Flipkart, Says 10 Such Indian Cross Border Companies Are Part of its Portfolio. It has 9 CEOs from these Startups Based in the US.
We have A Plug & Play Shared Workspace for Startups (In Silicon Valley). We Have Set Up A Shared Marketing & PR Resource for them. We Will Continue to Look for Other Ways in Which We Can Help these Companies
Partner, ACCEL US, In Charge of VC Firm’s Indian Cross-Border Companies
We Help Increase Our Cross Border Investments & Make them Succeed. Accel’s Cross Border Tech Product Portfolio Includes Freshdesk, Mobstac, Yakit, Mindtickle, ThinkApps, CrowdAnalytix, Chargebee & WizRocket, Among Others.
Venture Capitalists are Seriously Tracking the Next Big Breakout Product Idea Out of India. And they are Pushing Startups in their Portfolio to Move to the Strip of Land Between San Francisco & San Jose to Fuel their Global Ambition, Just like Israeli Startups, Many of Which Have Successfully taken their Innovation to the Valley. VCs are Now Starting to Propose & Facilitate this Move While Striking Investments With Early Stage Product Startups.
Nexus Venture Partners Boasts of A Long List of Indian Companies, Including Pubmatic, Druva, Scalearc, Aryaka & Eka, Which Have Harnessed Global Markets to Drive Up their Business. Sequoia Capital has been Aiding their Portfolio Companies with their Clout in the Valley. No Wonder Ashish Gupta, A Partner at Helion Venture Partners, Another Indian VC Firm, Shifted Back to the Valley
IT Services to Products
The First Wave of Cross Border Tech Companies from India Were the Software Service Providers Led by Infosys, TCS & Wipro. “But IT Services are Very Different from Products,” says Naren Gupta, Co-founder of India Focused Nexus Venture Partners, Headquartered at the Swanky VC Haven of Sandhill Road, Menlo Park. The Services Delivery Platform was More or Less in India but the Customers Were in the US & the UK. “For New Age Tech Product Startups, the Market is Global. No One Invested in these Startups 5 Years Ago; Most Of Our Competitors Were Busy Pushing Cross Border Services Companies then,” says Gupta. Nexus has Made 3 Exits from Its Product Portfolio Gluster, Cloud.com & Dimdim.
VCs Who Laid Bets On the First Generation of Indian Product Startups Targeting the US Market Did Not Get the Expected Results. Says Sumir Chadha, Co-founder, Westbridge Capital (formerly Sequoia India), Who Has Been Investing in India since 2000 & Had Taken Early Bets On Tech Product Companies, “The First Wave was Much Tougher Because Software Was Mostly Sold then through Direct Sales Forces. So, As an Indian Startup, You Needed to Hire An Expensive Sales Team in the US & Manage them Remotely. Today, All that has Changed. Software is Increasingly Sold as A Service Over the Web, So Anyone Can Subscribe from Anywhere Over the Internet. I’m Very Bullish on SaaS (Software as A Service) Space in India; Companies like Zoho & Freshdesk are Leading the Way But there Are Many (More) to Come.”
A Recent Report By Software Product Think Tank iSpirt Says that of the Top 30 Indian Business-to-Business (B2B) Software Product Companies, Around 14% are Headquartered in the Valley. “The First Few Customers Often Come From the Networks of Entrepreneurs & Investors. Being in the US Helps Navigate those Networks & Get those Early Wins,” says Sunil Thomas, CEO of WizRocket, A SaaS Startup which Started off in Mumbai Now has A Presence in the Valley as Well.
But the Model has Potential Downsides Too. Says Ashwin Rao, Co-founder & CEO of Nexus Funded Recruitment Software Venture Zlemma: “Split Teams are Fine as Long as they Can Operate Fairly Independently. But if A Startup has Too Much Cross Border E-mail/Phone Activity or Too Much Back & Forth Travel, the Split Model Will Not Work.”
No Startup Visas But Small Payrole’s For Immigrant Entrepreneurs
Nigel Sharp isn’t Making Any Plans Past May 2017. Being A UK Citizen Trying to Build A Startup in the US, Which Means He Can’t Get A Conventional Work Visa.
He & His Co-founders Were told Its Been too Risky. You Have to Resolve Your Immigration Status & Stay in the US for Good, Before You & Your Co-founders are Willing to Start A Startup.
Foreign Entrepreneurs in the US Are Tracking News of An Announcement that Would Allow Visa Less Startup Types to Stay for 2 to 5 Years
Entrepreneurs are Keeping Close Tabs On A Proposal from the US Citizenship & Immigration Services. The Inelegantly Named Entrepreneurial “Parole” Would Allow Visa Less Startup Types to Stay in the Country for 2 Years, With A Possible 3 Year Extension, If they Own At Least 15% of A US Based Startup Formed in the Past 3 Years that’s Raised $345,000 in Investment Capital.
Immigrants have A Strong Track Record of Launching Silicon Valley Successes (Google, EBay, PayPal), & Have Founded or Co-founded Half the US Startups Worth $1 Billion or More. Prominent Valley Investors Have Been Pushing for A Special Visa for Startup Founders Since 2009, Arguing that these Immigrants are Creating their Own Jobs and Possibly Many More. With Legislative Action Likely to be Stalled for Years, the Parole Programme is the Startup Community’s Best Bet.
The US Department of Homeland Security Estimates that About 3,000 Entrepreneurs Will Use the Parole Programme Each Year. The Proposal, Still Awaiting Revisions Following A Public Comment Period, Is Unlikely to Go Into Effect Until the First Half of 2017.