Guest Column: Making Lifestreaming Click in India

Social Networking continues to attract entrepreneurs and investors alike, despite growing concerns about the long-term business viability of the segment. And a bunch of local entrepreneurs have already latched on to so-called next generation social networking models, termed ‘lifestreaming’. Indian startups such as Lifeblob (received $1 million from Seedfund this month) and LifeinLines, which follow global precedents, fall within this category. What is the future of such me-too startups? Is ‘lifestreaming’ as a model really the next generation of social networking? Norwest Venture Partners India managing director Niren Shah, who was part of the original Baazee management team and served as senior director of strategy and ventures at eBay in the US prior to Norwest, shares his thoughts on the space.

By Niren Shah

There have been several startups in the space of Digital Lifestyle Aggregation (DLA) which have come up globally in the past 18 months. DLAs let users create and organize memorable digital assets (using emails, photos, videos, documents, SMS, blogs, social apps, etc.) and help them share these with family and friends. Users use it to build personal diaries, family tree histories (genealogy) for social casting, etc.

I think it is an interesting space especially for ‘Gen Y’ whose life revolves around the online world and I believe it will continue to grown in the long term. Globally, the early adopters have been the Internet savvy ‘digerati’ who want to preserve their digital memories for the future.

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Terms Sheets and Wedding Planners at Startup Saturday

The July edition attracted over 60 registrations

The July edition attracted over 60 registrations

This weekend (August 9th) belongs to the Startup Saturday club — there are four taking place in Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Ahmedabad. I missed the last one in Mumbai — details here — but the around-the-camp-fire like sessions that bring together entrepreneurs, old and new, investors and others in the startup ecosystem seem to have grown into quite a cult. Why is Delhi missing from the list?

The Mumbai session is being hosted at SP Jain Institute in Andheri West (close to home 🙂 ) with Kaushal Sarda from Collcraft Technologies and Anand Lunia from Seedfund as speakers. Lunia talks about ‘term sheets’ and what to watch out for in them.

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Proto ’08 July: New Delhi Notes 2

We’re having a coffee break at Proto.in, the New Delhi Edition. And there is some ancient music, instrumental, bleating out of the speakers in the auditorium. I absolutely love the venue — IIT Delhi is much better tended than the Bombay version. But you have to go right out of campus to buy basic necessities such as nicotine, etc. The WiFi is still not working — wonder what happens to the live-blogging to win iPod Touch contest…

Sessions so far have been not too bad. I caught Mahesh Murthy from Seedfund being his usual forthright self in the pre-lunch session on ‘The Art of Marketing Your Startup’. My pick of his comments from the session — “Twitter is great timepass, but I wouldn’t invest in it.” Seedfund, as you know, is raising its second fund and as Business Standard had earlier reported, it is indeed going to be a $30 million fund, maybe a bit more. Existing investors are expected to return to Fund II and Fund I, which had a $15 million corpus, will be fully invested shortly with 13-14 portfolio investments.

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Proto '08 July: New Delhi Notes 2

We’re having a coffee break at Proto.in, the New Delhi Edition. And there is some ancient music, instrumental, bleating out of the speakers in the auditorium. I absolutely love the venue — IIT Delhi is much better tended than the Bombay version. But you have to go right out of campus to buy basic necessities such as nicotine, etc. The WiFi is still not working — wonder what happens to the live-blogging to win iPod Touch contest…

Sessions so far have been not too bad. I caught Mahesh Murthy from Seedfund being his usual forthright self in the pre-lunch session on ‘The Art of Marketing Your Startup’. My pick of his comments from the session — “Twitter is great timepass, but I wouldn’t invest in it.” Seedfund, as you know, is raising its second fund and as Business Standard had earlier reported, it is indeed going to be a $30 million fund, maybe a bit more. Existing investors are expected to return to Fund II and Fund I, which had a $15 million corpus, will be fully invested shortly with 13-14 portfolio investments.

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