Outliers #011

The Indian Diaspora: A Tech ‘Mafia’?

Launching Part 1 of Lachlan Duffy's series on talent flows, we look into India's executive dominance of US tech, and what that means for Indian innovation.


The most interesting global Seed to Series A deals from outside the US this week:

  1. Gourmey - US$48m - Paris, France - BioTech/Food
    A very French startup, Gourmey is working on bringing lab-grown foie gras to the masses.
  2. Tanda - US$20m - Nairobi, Kenya - FinTech
    Having served 30,000 businesses in 4 years, Tanda allows shop owners to access inventory on credit.
  3. Fintastic - US$12m - Tel Aviv, Israel - FinTech
    Leveraging probability science, Fintastic has launched a more sophisticated financial planning and analysis platform.
  4. Konvy.com - US$10m - Krung Thep, Thailand - E-commerce
    Generating US$32m last year, Konvy has built an e-commerce platform for beauty products in Thailand.
  5. Bunny.net - US$6m - Kranj, Slovenia - CyberTech
    Operating in the Content Delivery Network (CDN) space, Bunny.net focuses on smaller scale developers. They have 24,000 paying customers since their 2015 launch.

A VC's Insight

Talent flows in a borderless tech world: Part 1

An Outliers first, Lachlan Duffy kicks off a two-part series on global talent flows in our borderless tech world. In Part 1, Lach looks into the Indian executives dominating Silicon Valley and what it means for India's local tech scene.

The flow of talent from emerging markets is a curious one. In today’s inter-connected world, the international talent market operates much like the English Premier League; it has no salary cap, no borders and the world’s best talent can go wherever they want. Markets such as the US have the advantage of infrastructure, the systems, operations, culture, talent and capital density and has historically been able to outbid basically anyone else and consistently acquire the world’s best talent.

There’s always been something about the immigrant grindset. There’s something about the agency from moving countries that breeds a desire to truly make something of oneself and one’s family in a new country. The US has had the pick of the world’s highest agency migrants for coming up on the third century in a row. Immigration has fuelled American exceptionalism, with new recruits outgunning local US competition at almost twice the rate.

Source: CityGlobe Tour

The Indian Diaspora: A ‘Mafia’?

The US has been a major beneficiary of the Indian migration for many years now and the US has cashed in. The US has Indian CEOs for 12 of the largest technology companies in the world. The Indian Diaspora Migrant Mafia with their seemingly endless stream of elite global talent is only set to increase.

The Indian Diaspora is being unlocked and in a very competitive global market hungry for talent, India is providing big time. We will be seeing more and more Indian Global Tech and Fortune 500 CEOs.

Closer to home, India recently celebrated their 100th unicorn and are now third on the list of countries with the number of unicorns behind the US and China. A remarkable achievement for any country, and with more and more outlier geniuses gaining access to global talent markets every year, India and its diaspora look set for a roaring 2020s.

In fact, 44% of America’s unicorn founders were founded by people born outside of the US, as shown below. Ironically, when you remove 44% of America’s unicorns founded by people born outside the US and repatriate them, the US’s number of unicorns starts to look a lot more like China’s number of unicorns.

Incredibly, while India has 100 unicorns, the US itself has 90 Indian Unicorn Founders, with many more likely ‘US-born’ founders being second generation Indian immigrants.

India has a far greater ratio of US-unicorn founders to its countries total unicorns than China, which accounts for ~2.5% of US-unicorn founder ranks. In fact, out of the list, India has the worst ratio of Unicorns founded at Home (100) to US Unicorns with a founder from that country (90), except Canada, based on the data above. Put differently, every other country has a higher ratio of its nationals building world-leading companies from their home countries and not from outside.

American Exceptionalism in global technology has been one of the defining features of this century. Lesser known is that almost half of it is underwritten by attracting non-US born talent, with former Indian talent helping build the world’s best companies on US soil.

Despite many of the Indian diaspora building world-leading companies from outside India, India have still managed to take out the #3 position in unicorn producers.

But for emerging economies it does pose an interesting question - in today’s international talent market, how can you help your best and brightest nationals to build world-leading companies at home and not abroad?

Stay tuned for Part Two in next week's Outliers as we investigate how a 150 year old idea is seeing migration flow back.


A few weeks ago we looked into India’s rapid internet adoption growth. Largely, Jio Internet was the reason hundeds of millions of Indians were onboarded onto the internet. In this thread, Preethi Kasireddy breaks down exactly how Jio unrolled free data to the masses and the impact it had on India’s economy and way of life. As Preethi covers, even YouTube and Facebook saw a huge growth kick on the back of Jio’s initiative.

Full Tweet thread here.

Macro lens

Here is everything you need to know about the state of the Australian economy in ~120 graphs. Bringing the focus closer to home and sharing an unbelievable resource created by the Reserve Bank of Australia each month…their economy and markets chart pack. While there are too many insights to list here, some of my favourite charts include those on Australian household spending habits from page 6 and industry output data from page 14. I could spend hours going through this pack.

Find the full pack here.

Your authors this week

Lachlan Duffy - Passionate about countless ideas and possibilities, Lachlan puts traction to the side. If you have a big vision, Lachlan is waiting for your deck.  

Alex Barrat - New to the VC world, joining the TEN13 deal team, Alex spent his early career at VC-funded scale up Stake. As one of the first ten hires, he left the team of 130 almost 5 years later. All pitches welcome. Submit your deck here.