Investors cautiously optimistic about Web 2.0 in India

MUMBAI: Investors appeared optimistic and cautious at the same time about Web 2.0, in a panel discussion held yesterday as part of IAMAI‘s Web 2.0 conference, titled ‘The Web‘s Next Frontier‘.

Moderated by SeedFund managing partner Mahesh Murthy, the discussion hovered basically around key metrics that investors would examine while investing in Web 2.0 models in India and how they would evaluate emerging media business models.

IDG ventures India MD Manik Arora articulated on the prospective business model, the team working on it and the amount of localisation possible in the venture, as key areas he would look to while investing in a Web 2.0 model. He said, "I‘m not convinced that some Indian copy of Orkut or Myspace is going to work in India, unless there is a compelling reason to do so. We would be looking into the speed of implementation through a local language, mobile optimisation, user generated content (UGC) potential and also an offline presence for the model."


Matrix Partners MD Rishi Navani, who‘s invested in India‘s first online movie rental site Seventymm, appeared highly skeptical of any Web 2.0 model. "To me, Web 2.0 in India is a misnomer. We‘re currently going through a Web 0.5, I guess. However, we are open to investing in ventures, where Web 2.0 features can be incorporated in a Web 1.0 site."

Insisting on perseverance with Web 2.0 in India, Helion VC MD Kanwaljit Singh said, "Optimism is there in India and since its a long term investment, we‘re willing to wait. Ultimately, the Web 2.0 model founding team should be living the phenomena. Having said that, I think advertising based models will only succeed."

On being asked what factors he would examine within the model, Singh replied, "I‘d like to test the possibility of setting up the model online, offline and on other channels." Citing the example of Just Dial as a success, he insisted that Web 2.0 models offering local information and taking up local issues had potential to succeed in India.


Cleartrip travel services CEO and Sherpalo ventures partner Sandeep Murthy was brief in his vision of a Web 2.0. He said, "We‘ll focus on what customers need and we‘re particularly not worried whether it is a Web 2.0 or 1.0." Naming Ebay and as copy-paste models, when asked whether an adaptation of a US-based model would be a cause for worry, he said, "I think a cut-copy-paste model is inevitable in some ways, but we‘ll address firms which are relevant to the Indian context."

Navani however, said, "If we fund something in India, it‘s quite likely to be similar to a US based model. We‘ll first find out whether there is a large business opportunity and second if there is differentiated content."

Nexus India Capital Advisors founding director Suvir Sujan asserted that Web 2.0 is a difficult model to execute in India. "In Web 2.0, your market is building your product. Since websites like Orkut already have engaged users so deeply, entrepreneurs must figure out whether similar models are needed. If yes, then they must come up with a sufficiently different product."

All panelists agreed upon need for advertising-driven business model. Navani pointed out that a good user interface is a precursor for any Web 2.0 model, which would attract more advertisers. Murthy opined that bringing classified advertisements from print, would be a feasible idea only if the firms had the required ground fleet to do so. Agreeing, Sujan said that the challenge for Web 2.0 would be to get advertising at the right time.

Latest Reads
HAL Robotics ropes in Navanit Samaiyar as board member and advisor

MUMBAI: HAL Robotics has roped in Navanit Samaiyar as its board member and advisor. Samaiyar has a record of setting up, scaling and transforming businesses across a very wide cross section of industries spanning from IT/ ITeS to steel, telecom, engineering goods, earthmoving machinery, logistics...

Technology Hardware Components
Republic TV launches Android app

MUMBAI: Republic TV is on a roll. From rocking the ratings chart in launch week itself to going international, the channel has added one more accomplishment to its kitty. The Republic TV Android app is now live.

Technology Software Applications
STB cos in India, China enhancing features, providing customised solutions, Technavio enlists top vendors

MUMBAI: The global STB market is characterised by intense competition as the market is saturated in developed countries. The market share of these players is declining because of the entry of new players. The STB companies are enhancing the features of STBs and providing customised solutions to...

Technology Hardware Set-top Boxes
India's PFT Clear Media ERP suite to help US' PBS content delivery

MUMBAI: Prime Focus Technologies (PFT), the technology arm of Prime Focus, announced that its CLEAR™ Media ERP Suite has been selected by Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) to enhance their Network Operations Center (NOC) ecosystem efficiencies and sustainability, with the objective of reducing...

Technology Software Applications
Broadcasters, OTTs to gain as Via adds xHE-AAC at special rate

MUMBAI: Via Licensing Corporation, a intellectual property solutions provider, has announced the upcoming availability of Extended High Efficiency AAC (xHE-AAC) as part of the Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) patent pool. The expanded patent pool licence will be available at no additional cost to...

Technology Software Applications
Tata Comm to deliver Motorsport videos on global devices

MUMBAI: Tata Communications will now deliver video content for viewers' all devices over its global network. The two have partnered to power the growth of the network’s internet television platforms.

Technology Software Applications
How to create live video content sans pros, convert radio broadcast into visual show

MUMBAI: ChyronHego will be showcasing its live production, automation solutions at Broadcast India show in Mumbai in mid-October.

Technology Software Applications
Sony renews IP licence deal with TiVo

MUMBAI: TiVo Corporation, a leader in entertainment technology and audience insights, has announced that Sony Corporation, a leader in consumer electronics, has renewed its multi-year intellectual property (IP) licence agreement. The license to TiVo’s patent portfolios covers all of Sony’s...

Technology Software Applications
Digital TV, growing telecom major drivers of coaxial cable growth in A-Pac: Study

MUMBAI: The global coaxial cables market is mature owing to the use of coaxial cables in industries for a long time and the slow or stagnant product innovation.

Technology Hardware Components

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories