#Asia These startup newsmakers grabbed the spotlight in India in 2015


Rahul Yadav quitting his job as Housing CEO the same way people try quitting cigarettes was probably the biggest startup story last year


‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.’

India’s startup boom picked up pace in 2015 with the birth of deals and controversies, flowing investment and disintegrating startups. There were few that stood out, but there were some that grabbed attention for all the wrong reasons.

Snapdeal’s acquisition of FreeCharge, at a reported valuation of roughly INR 2,681 crore (US$400 million) in April this year, was one of the largest buyouts in the history of the Indian consumer Internet sector. Although Snapdeal managed to arm itself with ammunition to battle rivals like Flipkart, the latter was ahead in grabbing media spotlight.

Bad news travels faster than the speed of light. A lot of things managed to spoil the party for TinyOwl and Zomato in 2015. While TinyOwl Co-founder Gaurav Choudhary were held hostage inside the company’s Pune office for two days by angry employees who were laid off earlier, Zomato Founder Deepinder Goyal’s angry email to his sales team, asking them to pull up their socks, got leaked to the media.

Also Read: Unicorn India Ventures launches US$15M fund to back up to 12 startups a year

And although the foodtech segment got heated up with the increase in the number of players, including Swiggy, Foodpanda and InnerChef, they still lagged behind big daddy Zomato in terms of news coverage.

Budget hotel aggregators were the biggest newsmakers in 2015, with some mind-boggling investments, rapid expansion and quirky campaigns. Players such as Oyo Rooms and Zo Rooms zoomed past online travel agency veterans MakeMyTrip and Yatra.com, in terms of both tapping the burgeoning travel market and staying firmly in the news.

Housing.com’s former CEO Rahul Yadav quit his job the same way people try quitting cigarettes. ‘Is he there, is he not there’ was the question on the minds of anyone closely watching the Indian startup space and everyone who was tracking the CEO’s shenanigans. Meanwhile, Quikr finalised a deal to acquire Housing’ rival CommonFloor.com for US$200 million.

But even with a big deal in its kitty, Commonfloor couldn’t beat Housing.com in bagging news space.

In the highly competitive hyperlocal delivery and services sector, Grofers and PepperTap took daily grocery shopping online and made everything available at a click. While both disruptors received massive funding from Sequoia, Grofers pipped PepperTap to win the coverage race.

Here’s a list of all you need to know about the biggest startup newsmakers of 2015:

InfographicSource: Wizikey 

Image Credit: microvector/Shutterstock

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