Indian startups with ‘strong fundamentals’ will survive: Vinod Khosla

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New Delhi, April 3

With Indian startups facing trying times amidst funding crunch and mass firings, ace Indian-origin venture capitalist Vinod Khosla says the ones with "strong fundamentals" will continue to be funded, though at lower valuations, a media report said.

"The wheat will get separated from the chaff," Khosla told the BBC, adding that "not-so-good Indian start-ups" will go kaput this year, resulting in fewer but larger start-ups.

The Silicon Valley veteran said since these companies wouldn't have to compete with smaller firms, they could end up using their capital more wisely.

Khosla's comments come after the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) -- a bolt from the blue for Indian startups that had deposits worth about $1 billion with the embattled institution.

Khosla and ChatGPT developer OpenAI's CEO Sam Altman recently offered personal capital to help startups after SVB's collapse.

"We are talking to 100+ portfolio companies assessing their critical needs and plan to bridge where we are a lead or major investor at our cost of borrowing only or under special circumstances where a company's other investors can't respond," Khosla had said in a tweet last month.

Clocking multi-billion-dollar valuations in recent years, India is home to world's biggest startup markets with many foreign investors making bold bets on digital and other tech businesses.

Khosla, who co-founded technology giant Sun Microsystems in 1982, sees India getting the same opportunity as the US, where technology drove a large part of GDP growth, and defined the country's global competitiveness.

"There is long-term opportunity in India as a major developing country with lots of GDP growth to be captured by start-ups," Khosla told the BBC, adding that supportive government policies will help these firms reap benefits.

Pointing at India's unique digital infrastructure that aids cashless transactions, Khosla said: "India Stack, UPI (Unified Payments Interface) and others are good infrastructure for the start-up ecosystem to develop on."

--IANS

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