Category Archives: Investing

Made in NYC – 3 technology driven KickStarter projects

KickStarter, IndieGoGo, Startsomegood are a few of the crowd funding destinations I like to visit on a pretty regular basis. Its where, I can get lost researching on various projects and the technologies behind it. These sites have become a hotbed for creators and investors (both retail and accredited). Crowd funding acts as a preliminary validation platform and can provide for great sources of innovation and thereby attract seed and early stage investment capital. Let’s not forget Oculus Rift, the headset maker acquired by FB for $2B, was a project on Kickstarter.
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Apple & Beats by Dre – The Synergies

beats-by-dr.-dre-logo-448x298The stories are abound this week. Apple to acquire Beats by Dre. Dre to become the first billionaire hip-hop Moghul. Overpriced valuation, right valuation, Apple is only interested in the hardware, Apple wants to augment its iTunes with a new service etc. Without delving deeper into the valuation or financial synergies – which I cannot comment upon since Beats is private, the strategy as to why Apple is acquiring Beats is quite clear to me. Its 2 fold – acquire an extremely popular hardware maker with capacity to scale while bringing in some much needed “youth” to its iTunes offering.
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Let there be Light

Light_InnovationA fifth of the world’s population lives without electricity and a billion more with unstable supply of energy. Close to 35% of the world live in darkness – even during the day. The lack of light has incredible negative effects on productivity and thereby directly results in a death spiral for the poor. The end result is that the poor continue to be poor. Yes, it’s bleak.
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Hyperloop – The economics make it unfeasible

Hyperloop - Elon Musk SpaceXElon Musk is a pioneer – first with Paypal, then Tesla and SpaceX and Hyperloop is his new concept to make transportation efficient. Hyperloop is the word making the rounds on various news websites, blogs and twitterverse. Some have heralded Hyperloop as the next great invention and the general buzz seems focused on re-thinking and re-inventing the traditional transport model. However, I see things a little differently.  The Hyperloop model sounds exciting but I just don’t think it’s feasible from an investment perspective.
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A lesson about business model agility from India’s Amazon

FlipKart is India’s Amazon. Launched in 2007, Flipkart followed the Amazon growth curve initially. The founders are former Amazon employees and oddly enough the first book they sold was “Leaving Microsoft to change the world”. Flipkart is doing just that in the Indian market. The Indian market is challenging and has a plethora of problems that Flipkart has had to confront. Flipkart have not only navigated around these problems successfully but have also grown impressively in the past 5 years.
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