Flipkart, Indiaâ€™s homegrown e-commerce marketplace, today announced the evolution of its flagship startup accelerator program – Flipkart Leap to identify wider and relevant market opportunities for its selected startups. After the successful completion of the first cohort of the program, Flipkart Leap will now evolve into two new programs – Flipkart Leap Ahead (FLA) and Flipkart Leap Innovation Network (FLIN). Flipkart Leap is proud to announce this launch on National Startup Day, a day recognized by Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently to help startup culture spread better across India.
Designed to cater to the dynamic needs of startups across different stages, these two programs – FLA and FLIN will support the startups through insights, mentorship and funding as needed, while helping them scale and build disruptive innovations. With the introduction of these programs, the startup ecosystem will be able to access end-to-end partnerships with Flipkart across their growth stages.
Ravi Iyer, Senior Vice President and Head – Corporate Development, Flipkart, said, â€œAs a homegrown company, we are thrilled to bring innovative propositions back to the ecosystem to foster new-age startups. On the back of its early success, we are evolving Flipkart Leap and bringing relevant offerings that can support startups in the long run. With dedicated tracks for early-stage and growth-stage startups, this cohort will now expand its benefits to a much wider pool of entrepreneurs who are solving for Digital India â€“ be it meaningful partnerships and potential projects with Flipkart or equity investment that enables them to scale up further.â€
The Flipkart Leap program graduated its first cohort in July 2021 with eight startups, who have gone on to successfully raise further funding/investment post their selection in the program.Â
Flipkart Leap Ahead
Flipkart Leap Ahead will invest in seed-stage startups at the cutting edge of the latest technology across varied sectors, which have disruptive business models and are innovating in areas that are a priority for the Flipkart group. The program aims to identify startups across sectors with a broad focus on Fintech, Supply chain, Logistics, SaaS (focussed on consumer tech), Alternate Commerce, B2B, Social, Healthtech, Agritech and Edtech, among others.
The selected startups will be able to participate in a mentorship program encompassing benefits such as 1:1 connects with experienced Flipkart leaders, customized curriculum and workshops run by Flipkart experts, prominent investors and industry specialists. In addition, they will receive an equity investment from Flipkart ranging between $150K – $500K as well as ecosystem connects, co-developing products and strategies.
The Flipkart Leap Ahead program will be the cornerstone of seed-stage investments made by Flipkart Ventures, the $100M venture fund announced earlier last year by Flipkart.
Flipkart Leap Innovation Network (FLIN)
The Flipkart Leap Innovation Network program has been designed to enable a broader set of start-ups to engage with Flipkartâ€™s product and tech teams. The Flipkart Leap Innovation Network will look at a wider pool of mature startups that have a viable product that solves problems across themes such as – rethinking supply chain, building retail tech, accelerating digital commerce, future of fashion, and redefining customer experience. A select set of startups will also get the opportunity to execute pilots and forge commercial partnerships with Flipkart.
Jeyandran Venugopal, Chief Product and Technology Officer, Flipkart, said, â€œAs we continue to strengthen our commitment to the growing startup ecosystem in India, we are proud to introduce programs that support the growth of the start-up ecosystem in the country. Our program Flipkart Leap will now support a much wider base of start-ups, presenting growth opportunities to businesses to help accelerate their journey while leveraging benefits through the Flipkart Groupâ€™s ecosystem. We want to identify and work with businesses that are building relevant solutions to India-specific e-commerce problems and get more customers to benefit from e-commerce. In our journey to reach the next 200 million customers, we will look out for start-ups that have innovative solutions that cater to the dynamic needs of our country, and help them scale their vision with us.â€
The startups in FLIN will be able to participate in various topical workshops with Flipkart and industry experts, to help them build robust solutions with product market fit for the e-commerce industry. In addition, the startups in this exclusive network will benefit from peer-to-peer learning from the community of entrepreneurs.
Starting January 17, 2022, the Flipkart Leap Ahead and Flipkart Leap Innovation Network will start accepting applications from startups. The applications are open till February 28, 2022.