Which Sectors will have the Most Disruptive Innovation

Which Sectors will have the Most Disruptive Innovation

Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal, the poster boys of Indian e-commerce, are brazenly betting on so-called moonshot ideas, backing early-stage technology companies working in areas such as healthcare and otherwise struggling to raise money from traditional investors. The latest such company the Flipkart co-founders have backed is Pandorum Technologies, which has found a way to 3D-print experimental-stage human liver tissues in a laboratory. The two Bansals are also finalising another investment in a startup that makes implants, which would mark their fourth funding deal into a healthcare startup.

Overall, one-fourth of the two dozen or so companies in their combined investment portfolios are working on similar deep technology ideas, making the Bansals a rare breed of investors not averse to taking risky bets that can spur truly disruptive innovation. "In India, core sectors like healthcare, education and supply chain will be disrupted (by emerging) technology... Those (startups) don't get funding easily while consumer internet companies do," Binny Bansal said.

His observation bears out in the numbers. Of the 30 early-stage capital-raising deals struck by healthcare startups since 2014, half were in the form of government grants, according to startup data tracker Tracxn. On the other hand, in the same period, 1,166 consumer internet startups managed to raise seed and angel funding. Industry experts concede it's tough for such deep technology ventures to secure funding. "It is not very easy because you need to understand more of technology when you (want to invest in) deeptech healthcare and robotics," said Shanti Mohan, founder of Let'sVenture, one of India's largest funding platforms for startups. For potential investors not familiar with such technology, it becomes difficult to grasp the end uses of the products these startups are developing.

SJP @DigitalAsian - ShareYaar

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