Indian e-commerce major Flipkart has launched its startup accelerator program, Leap for idea-stage startups.
The virtual accelerator program will identify business-to-consumer and business-to-business startups in the technology and consumer internet space and help them grow, scale and navigate challenges involved in setting up a business. The shortlisted startups will get an equity-free grant of USD 25,000 (INR 18.7 lakh).
Flipkart Leap will shortlist idea-stage startups across five themes—design and make for India, innovation in digital commerce, technologies to empower the retail ecosystem, supply chain management and logistics and enabling relevant deep tech applications, the company said in a statement—with the focus on bringing digitization and tech advancement in these areas.
“With innovations and disruptions in the field of technology coming about each day, we want to be at the forefront of driving scalability and helping these startups bring value to the industry as well as Indian consumers. Flipkart Leap is aimed at unlocking this potential and nurturing new ideas that bring innovation, curiosity and unconventionality to the local entrepreneurial ecosystem, while boosting the government’s ‘Start-Up India’ initiative,” said Kalyan Krishnamurthy, CEO, Flipkart Group in a statement.
Through the 16-week intensive program, Flipkart’s leadership from business, operations, product and technology will mentor the shortlisted startups along with other industry experts hosting master class sessions.
“As a company that has undergone that phase and built its own success playbook, we wanted to utilize our network to build a program that helps startups in these early stages to evolve and become successful brands in future,” said Jey Venugopal, Chief Product and Technology Officer, Flipkart.
Startups that apply for Flipkart Leap should be based out of India and have a working prototype with early adoption metrics, the company said.
After the completion of the program, the final participants will get a chance to pitch their business model to investors, corporates and other ecosystem players on the demo-day and may also be considered for funding by Flipkart. Last year in March, the Walmart-owned company had announced the launch of its venture fund to back early-stage startups in ecommerce, fintech, payments and other related areas. Flipkart has not disclosed financial details yet, but the fund size is reported to be in the range of USD 60-100 million and aims to invest USD 2-3 million in each shortlisted startup, as per industry reports.
Flipkart Leap is curated in partnership with management and consulting firm Zinnov. Naren Ravula, head of product strategy and deployment at Flipkart will manage the accelerator program.