Two Israeli startups are on their way to India: eLoan, which has developed a platform for mediating between lenders and borrowers, and communications security company InQSec. The companies were selected to take part in the second class of the GenNext Innovation Hub operated by Reliance Industries, a concern owned by Mukesh Ambani, considered the wealthiest man in India, in cooperation with Microsoft Ventures. "Forbes" estimates Ambani's wealth at $19 billion, putting him among the world's 40 richest men.
The Bloomberg news agency reported several months ago that Ambani was considering investments in startups in Israel, the UK, and Silicon Valley in order to integrate them in the online commerce and telephony services sectors in India, to which he is linked.
Reliance Industries, which operates in the energy, textiles, retail, and communications sectors, currently has 24,000 employees, and its market cap is $44.9 billion. In May 2015, the company held a technology conference in which Israeli companies also took part, including Celltick, SimilarWeb, and Perion Network Ltd. (Nasdaq:PERI: TASE:PERI).
The Indian market is considered one of the hottest markets in Internet and technology, and one of the most developed. In addition to Ambani's money, his ability to reach large numbers of users through Reliance's connections is guaranteed to attract more than a few entrepreneurs.
eLoan mediates between lenders and borrowers through a platform that provides loans up to NIS 200,000 with repayment periods of up to six years and at allegedly fair and low interest rates, compared with the current alternatives in the banking system. CEO Amit Levinstein, chairman of the board Yigal Alkaslasy, and VP credit risk Yoram Gavish founded the company, and sold 19.9% of it to Meitav DS Holdings Ltd. (TASE:MTDS) in April 2015. InQSec has developed a safe communications platform making it possible to connect two parties through networks, systems, and devices.
Levinstein says, "Reliance Industries' selection of us gives us a chance for a foothold in India, now considered the world's leading technology power. In the incubator framework, I am confident that we'll bring the Indian consumer the most suitable product for his needs."
Microsoft Ventures, Ambani's partners in the incubator, is the world's leading incubator mentor. Microsoft Ventures India director Rajinish Menon said, "The fact that we have startups from Israel shows that India's startup nation is mature."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on October 14, 2015
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