Indian Startups Collaborating with the World, One Idea at a Time

Foreign collaborations and partnerships also serve to fill up the innovation 'gap' in the Indian startup ecosystem.


The sky is the limit, goes the saying and for Indian startups getting into foreign collaborations, the phrase is turning into a reality.

In a bid to expand their markets, benefit from the technological advancements and tap into the overseas investor funding networks, Indian startups are increasingly reaching out to the world. Forging technological tie-ups, incubating in countries like Estonia, South Korea, Saudi Arabia or Israel, Indian startups want to ease out their challenges and cash in on the ‘foreign’ expertise.

In Search of Innovative Solutions

In July this year, Indian firm Kindle Ventures announced a tie-up with Canadian-owned Dutch company Rainmaker World Wide Inc to use a technology, ‘that can make up to 20,000 litres of water a day out of thin air.’ Rainmaker World Wide Inc holds the patent for the product.

“The machine requires a minimum of 15 degrees to make water. I have signed an MOU to bring the core technology to India and not the turbine. We intend to make the turbine in India itself,” Gaurav Goenka, the CEO of Kindle Ventures, said speaking to Deccan Chronicle.

Water is one of the basic needs but there are many such issues waiting to find an ‘innovative’ solution. The rising trend of foreign collaborations of Indian startups is a step in that direction.

Picture this. You need to apply for a visa to Israel and you need a list of documents like invitation letters, employment proofs, identification papers — all checked and verified to be sent from official sources in one country to the official source in another country. What if there was a way to eliminate the hassle of getting documents verified and sent to the government departments? In collaboration with the Israeli Chamber of Commerce, Indian startup MyEasyDocs has created a digital locker system that facilitates and secures documents that are pre-certified and/or issued directly to the locker, removing the need for paper-work and verification.

New Markets

In January this year, the Republic of Estonia launched an e-residency programme, under which anyone in India can establish an Estonian company online within a day and administer it remotely. Many Indian startups have already lapped up the opportunity, considering Estonia is a European Union member state and comes with an advantage of access to European market.

The collaborations and partnerships also serve to fill up the innovation ‘gap’ in the Indian startup ecosystem. In 2016, Indian tech giant Infosys invested in UNSILO, a Danish artificial intelligence startup, in a bid to offer advanced AI tech support to its global clients.

“UNSILO have built an impressive semantic search engine with best-in-class text intelligence. We will partner with UNSILO to bring their artificial intelligence and machine learning technology to our global clients. They join an expanding portfolio of innovative young companies from around the world that Infosys works with to help enterprises drive their digital transformation,” Ritika Suri, the executive vice president & global head of corporate development & ventures, Infosys, told the tech-news portal, VCCircle.

Challenges Vs Opportunities  

An unknown geography, language, finding the right talent and breaking into the new market can be a challenge but in the second phase of their growth story, Indian startups have cracked the code.

“Entrepreneurs must have a clear idea of what they want to achieve in the new country,” says Sathvik Muralidhar, founder of Preksh, a Bengaluru-based startup that was selected for a Korean Startup Challenge, highlighting that the ‘newer’ countries on the block look towards India not just for the market but also to instill entrepreneurial spirit in their own spaces.

“In Korea, most startups are associated with conglomerates like Samsung or sell to conglomerates early on. The Korean government wants to cultivate the entrepreneurial mindset among young people so that they will build the next generation of innovative companies for Korea,” said Muralidhar, speaking to Economic Times.

The foreign collaborations of the Indian startups indicate that innovation and business opportunities can truly create a world beyond borders.

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