Saturday, January 27, 2007

India Startup Tracker: The Wisdom of Crowds

As someone who follows the goings-on in the Indian start-up world, I'm finding it increasingly difficult to keep up with all the activity in this area. This is great! That's a good problem to have. In an attempt to keep track of it all, I've decided to start tracking companies, investments and exits in a spreadsheet. No big deal, you say. True, but wait - there's a twist. The spreadsheet is online and I'd like to make it available for everyone to update. Like a good software design, let's parallelize to scale up. You can view the spreadsheet here. The spreadsheet has two worksheets:
  • Silicon Valley 2.0: List of Indian start-ups, and funding details, if applicable.
  • Wall Street 2.0: List of M&A activity and IPO's in the start-up world.
I'm open to changing the names - please send me suggestions! I will continue to work on it; I hope that if we all keep this updated collaboratively, we'll have the best, most up-to-date source of information available in any one place.

Some ground rules, and a mini FAQ below.

Ground rules
  • Restrict the list to start-ups: This is meant as a listing of start-up companies, not larger companies getting funded by late-stage private equity. What's the exact definition of a start-up? There isn't one - use your judgment.
  • When listing funding details, please provide a source. And it goes without saying that the spreadsheet should only contain publicly available information.
Other than that, let's build this together and see what develops.


Q: How do I edit the spreadsheet?
A: Send me an email at: rahul [dot] roychowdhury [at] gmail [dot] com and I will give you permission to edit the spreadsheet.

Q: Why use Google Spreadsheets rather than a wiki?
A: Good question, and its something I thought about. Wikis generally provide better collaboration than Google Spreadsheets currently does. On the other hand, having the information in tabular form will allow some interesting trend analysis and summary displays once the data set gets large enough. And even if Google Spreadsheets doesn't currently provide charting and analysis tools (#1 on my Google wish list!) you can always download the data to Excel and do the analysis. In general, I think this capability outweighs other considerations.

Q: The format looks pretty awful. Can I change it?

A: By all means.