Japanese consultancy launches tech venture fund for Indian startups

09 January 2018 Consultancy.in

In a bid to capitalise on the rapidly expanding digital arena in India, Japanese firm Dream Incubator has established a fund of 5 billion yen (Rs. 280 crore) for investments in the country. The fund will specifically focus on startups that operate in the smart-phone entertainment domain.

India is riding a wave of digitisation. The majority of the substantial population, which hitherto operated outside of the digital domain, is now rapidly gaining access. Management consultancy Boston Consulting Group (BCG) recently revealed that the country is set to have 850 million online users by 2025.

A market that size is bound to attract major investment, signs of which are already abundant. Investments in digital-based services, including media and entertainment, as well as the advertising sector, are expected to grow by hundreds of billions of dollars over the next decade.

Well-entrenched in the digital domain is the world of smart-phone entertainment. India has added over 100 million 4G connections over the last seven months. This is precisely the market that Japanese consulting firm Dream Incubator is hoping to capitalise on with its new 5 billion yen fund in India.

Japanese consultacy launches tech venture fund for Indian startups

The fund is specifically aimed at investing in startups that develop smart-phone entertainment features, including games, music applications, and video streaming. The fund, which already has ten prospects on its shortlist of investments, is planned with an upper limit of ten years. Japanese gaming firm Akatsuki has already agreed to invest in the fund.

In addition to the fund, Dream Incubator appears to be planning for an overall increase in involvement in the Indian market. The firm, which simultaneously operates in the fields of strategy consultancy, venture capitalism, and expansion services, has already made substantial investments in 99Games Online and Baldor Technologies: two digital-based startups in India.

In 2016, Dream Incubator established an India Liaison Office in Mumbai, telegraphing its plans for expansion into the country. The extra dimension offered by the Indian arm will give the firm an edge over its digital competitors in Japan.


Urban transport remains the primary area of investment in Smart Cities

08 April 2019 Consultancy.in

Examining the progress in the government of India’s Smart Cities Mission, global professional services firm Deloitte has revealed that the majority of funding for the scheme is being drawn from the central government, while the investments are focused primarily in the urban transport sector.

The Smart Cities Mission was launched by the Indian government in 2015, with an estimated project value of approximately $14 billion. The scheme aims at developing a number of urban financial centres across India, each of which is endowed with the latest in Information Communication Technology.

By definition, all functions within a smart city are carried out in the digital sphere. According to the World Bank, a smart city is a technology-intensive city that has sensors installed everywhere and offers highly efficient public services using information gathered in real time by thousands of interconnected devices.”Key components of a smart city

Deloitte breaks the characterisation of a smart city down into six primary components. The first is smart governance, which entails the migration of the entire state infrastructure and citizen services to the online domain, facilitated by the presence of a strong IT infrastructure

The second component described by the Big Four accounting and advisory firm is smart living, which includes state-of-the-art facilities for sewage & sanitation, water supply, electricity, housing and a number of other aspects of daily life. These constitute the core infrastructure of a smart city.

In addition, a smart city consists of smart people, which means a comprehensive education programme and an abundance of cultural activities. Smart mobility is another key aspect of a smart city, which not only includes a solid walking infrastructure, but also ICT-based transport and traffic control.Overview of Smart Cities Mission progress

The last two components, as per Deloitte are smart environment and smart economy. The latter ensures that most residents of a smart city have access to employment opportunities, while the former entails the absence of pollution, green architecture, and a reliance on renewable energy.

Building on these components, the scheme has integrated an increasing number of ctiies within this programme, starting with 60 in 2016 and 30 in 2017. By June last year, the North Eastern city of Shillong was shortlisted to be the 100th smart city in the country.

Once a city is selected to be a part of the Smart Cities programme, Deloitte identifies three types of development that are conducted in the urban centres. The first comes under the bracket of Redevelopment Projects, which include replacements of various aspects of the current built environment. Investments in 99 cities by sector

The second comes under the broad ambit of Retrofitting Projects, which entails the addition of new infrastructural development in order to facilitate greater connectivity in the city. Thridly, the firm identifies Greenfield Projects, which include the introduction of smart solutions in “previously vacant areas.”

While the majority of the investment in the Smart Cities Mission is drawn from the central government, Deloitte’s analysis reveals that the smart mobility component is drawing the most funding, followed by area development and economic development. Energy, ICT solutions and housing follow as the next biggest priorities.