Cab aggregation service provider Uber on Thursday launched UberPitch in India, an initiative which will connect investors with entrepreneurs during an Uber ride.
The start-ups can register themselves on Uber’s website. The shortlisted entrepreneurs will get to pitch their business ideas to investors and venture capitalists, during a specially organised Uber ride.
Entrepreneurs will get seven minutes to pitch their ideas during the ride and another seven minutes of feedback. Uber ran a similar campaign last year across India where Blume Ventures, Nexus Partners, Kae Capital and Orios Venture Partners took part.
Uber, however, did not disclose the names of the investors who will be participating in the startup pitch rides this year.
This initiative comes at a time when the venture capital funding scenario has declined massively in the country.
Venture capital and private equity firms reduced investments in Indian start-ups by almost a quarter on a sequential basis in the quarter ending March, according to an April report by KPMG and CB Insights.
Investors infused USD 1.15 million in India, during the period under review, a 24 percent decline from the December quarter.
The company also said that three UberPitch finalists will also be taken to Silicon Valley to meet the leadership team at Uber.
“We are highly supportive of initiatives like UberExchange and UberPitch that strengthen the current start-up space through mentor led knowledge-sharing and enable entrepreneurs to realize their potential,” said Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of Commerce and Industry. The initiative was launched by the minister at an even organized by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
“I am excited to see how public-private partnerships are helping catalyse conversations and investment opportunities for Indian start-ups, in pursuit of our vision around Start-Up India,” she added.
UberExchange is Uber’s global startup mentorship programme. The minister added that the government wants to be a facilitator and not a regulator.
Her statement comes at a time when Uber has been struggling with multiple regulatory issues with state governments and protests from traditional taxi drivers in India.
In April, the Karnataka transport department also cracked down on bike taxis associated with Uber. Almost 15 motorcycles were impounded citing that the rules do not allow two-wheeler cabs.