50 Startups In India You Should Get To Know
50 Startups In India You Should Get To Know
With last month’s news of Biz Stone’s entrance into the flourishing Indian entrepreneurial economy—Stone described Lookup founder Deepak Ravindran as “an amazing person and inspiring entrepreneur”—we feel compelled to document the continually rising star of the deshi startup ecosystem.
With a post-Series-A epicenter in the city of Bangalore, India is attracting billions of dollars from global VC and PE firms with a keen eye on last year’s best-performing emerging market. Indeed, 2014 was a stellar year for Indian startups, as the B2C space blossomed in typical “startup hotspot” fashion, with ecommerce notables Flipkart and Snapdeal garnering 50% of the $4.9B that was invested.
Keeping up with the pace of any entrepreneurial hub in the 21C is a tough job, given the constant self-enhancement of disruptive cultures, but our finger is locked onto the startup pulse, allowing us to bring you the following 50 Indian startups that are currently the most follow-worthy.
India’s foremost online retailer, providing a marketplace for both direct sales and merchants. Like rivals Amazon and Alibaba, Flipkart’s diverse array of products includes everything from LED bulbs and bath towels, to sarees and fans, and they are still adding more. In addition to apps on every mobile OS, Flipkart has partnered with India’s top mobile wallet brand Mobikwik.
By March of 2015, Flipkart had received a total funding amount of $2.45B, with Accel Partners and Tiger Global Management among the key investors.
Given that Flipkart’s founders Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal once worked at the Seattle headquarters of Amazon, we are keen to see just how far they can take their Bezos-inspired entrepreneurial vision in the world’s best-performing emerging market of 2014.
The Delhi-based Snapdeal is Flipkart’s main competitor on home soil, with a network of over 50,000 domestic and international brands and more than 20 million members. As well as its Deal of the Day feature, the ecommerce marketplace also sells special offers of newly launched products, like the Lenovo WD100, in its Exclusive Store.
When news broke in June 2015 regarding the recruitment of former Yahoo! executive Anand Chandrasekaran, Snapdeal was discussed by the tech media alongside Uber and Snapchat due to its $1B-plus unicorn status.
In a mere 5 years, Snapchat’s two founders have managed to capture 1 out of every 6 Indian Internet users, so its future—just like that of its prestigious U.S. counterparts—is certainly one to keep an eye on.
Primarily a mobile Internet startup, One97’s flagship brand is India’s largest digital-goods ecommerce platform Paytm. In addition to the standard mobile-content offerings, Paytm users can also use their mobiles to buy travel tickets, secure deals, and speak to Bollywood celebrities with the Superstar Talk product. Paytm also provides an RBI-approved semi-closed wallet as a prominent mobile-first payment solution for ecommerce merchants.
One97 has managed to attract the VC dollars of Alibaba’s Ant Finance arm to raise a total of $610M, of which the Chinese giant now has a 25% stake in.
Co-founder and CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma shared the highly ambitious aspirations of Paytm in March 2015, whereby the company seeks to grow from 25 million active wallets to 100 million wallets by the close of 2015. Furthermore, Sharma stated that One97 wants to take Paytm’s $1B daily gross transaction value up to $4B—with plans of this magnitude, we won’t be the only ones awaiting the outcome.
In a market where smartphone usage continues to head skyward, FreeCharge’s platform for recharging mobile phones and data cards has gained strong traction. Described as a “uniquely Indian” model by Tech In Asia, FreeCharge rewards users with value from more than 300 premium brands including McDonalds and Lavazza.
Acquired by Snapdeal for $450M in April 2015, FreeCharge is now being positioned to take on Paytm dominant presence in the Indian consumer Internet market.
Following the news of the acquisition, the startup’s founder and CEO Kunal Shahof told the media that FreeCharge has never been scared by “audacious goals” while explaining that he wants to add utilities to the platform so that customers can benefit from a “complete set of services.” Such boldness is characteristic of the startup ethos, so if it pays off, FreeCharge’s success will surely be something to behold.
ShopClues has managed to carve out an ecommerce niche in India by catering to second- and third-tier markets, whereby the focus is on providing small entrepreneurs with a national reach. While it hosts a similarly diverse array of products as its competitors, ShopClues’ unstructured categories means that brands do not necessarily take center-stage, in accordance with the bazaar-style ethos that the founders have adopted.
After going live in only January 2012, ShopClues now boasts a merchant base of 130,000 sellers, over 50 million monthly visitors, and nearly 1.5 million monthly transactions. ShopClues launched its B2B wholesale platform in mid-2014.
As cofounder Sanjay Sethi explains, India is “primarily built around small businesses.” By representing the existing fragmented supply chain of India, ShopClues now registers growth of 600% year-on-year and we want to see what else the startup can do.
Part of Germany’s Rocket Internet family, Jabong is a fashion-focused ecommerce startup that offers international, boutique, and designer/premium brands, including Indian designers like Manish Arora.
Jabong signed a deal with Microsoft in June 2015 to embed its app in some models of the Lumia series of handsets, as its smartphone transactions increased from 5% up to 50% in 2 years. By November 2014, Jabong’s orders had grown by 171% to 3.2 million.
Cofounders Arun Chandra Mohan and Praveen Sinha invested $2M in Indian on-demand laundry startup Wassup in May 2015, so we are interested to see how this will factor into the development of their core startup, which is yet to reach the heights of the major Indian ecommerce names.
Grocery e-tailer BigBasket is India’s largest online food and grocery store, selling more than 1,000 brands including an “Imported & Gourmet” range. Residents of Bangalore, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Pune, Chennai, and Delhi can pay online with plastic, or by cash/sodexo when the delivery arrives at their door. The startup also sells grocery products under its own brand names Fresho, Popular, and Royal.
BigBasket’s 40,000 sq. ft warehouse will expand to 75,000 sq. ft by August 2015, and CEO Hari Menon revealed plans to launch in a further 50 cities by mid-2016.
BigBasket plans to grow revenue four-fold in the 2015–16 financial year, and Fresho, Popular, and Royal products—which account for 35% of revenue—will be available in 1,800 grocery stores by the end of 2015. BigBasket only launched in December 2011 and, with Indians spending around $370B annually on food and groceries, the future is bright.
Based in Bangalore, UrbanLadder’s “good quality, well-designed, competitively priced and dependable furniture” has become a hit with urban middle-class Indians. After the cofounders were unhappy with the prices and quality of existing brands while setting up their own homes, they now produce more than 4,000 products in their online store, and deliver to 12 cities in India.
After raising $50M in Series C funding in April 2015, UrbanLadder’s total since launching in mid-2012 reached $77M. Investors include Sequoia Capital and Kalaari Capital.
Ashish Goel and Rajiv Srivatsa believe that technology will be the key driver for their startup’s growth and plan to use their Series C funding to solve complex furniture ecommerce problems. Furthermore, their presence will more than double by the end of 2015 with the addition of another 18 cities.
Hungama.com is a Bollywood specialist, with the world’s largest repository, but the digital entertainment company’s storefront has over 2.5M pieces of content spanning an array of genres and languages. Subscribers can stream music tracks, movies, music videos, and dialogues, as well as mobile content including ringtones and wallpapers.
The digital-entertainment ecommerce startup crossed the 50M MAU mark in May 2015 after raising $40M from Intel Capital and Bessemer Venture Partners by the end of 2014.
Owned by Hungama Digital Media Entertainment, this startup is in good hands to reach its goal of a 100 million MAUs by March 2016. Also, Hungama is wisely using its funding to further develop its mobile-first capability.
Online ticketing platform BookMyShow provides caters to customers who want to attend everything from movies to plays to sporting events. Customers can purchase gift cards, receive offers based on bank patronage, and use the mobile app to buy their tickets.
After raising $25M in June 2014, the company has been growing yearly at 70%, and operates in 2,500 of the 10,000 screens across India.
Having secured the ticketing rights to both the Indian Premier League and the Twenty20 World Cup, BookMyShow is a force to contend with. With a presence in the UAE and New Zealand, cofounder Rajesh Balpande says that the startup will look at internationalization more seriously in the next period.
Micromax’s consumer electronics offerings cover mobile phones, tablets, monitors, and its Canvas Laptab laptop/tablet hybrid. Its presence has been made with a focus on affordable electronic consumables.
Micromax is now one of the leading consumer electronics company in India and the 10th largest mobile-phone manufacturer in the world. By the end of 2014, around a decade since it launched, it had reaised $90M from investors including Sequoia and Sandstone Capital.
After recently surpassing Samsung in smartphone sales, Micromax is now in the process of building its own manufacturing facility in Telangana, India.
Yatra.com’s one-stop-shop mission is to create “happy travelers,” so its users can reserve rooms at over 22,000 hotels in India and over 500,000 hotels around the world, and receive information, pricing, and availability to book domestic and international air travel, holiday packages, and bus and railway reservations.
Yatra had raised $23M by the end of 2014, with backers including Norwest Venture Partners and Intel Capital. Although the travel-booking segment in India is crowded, this startup is exploring mobile to standout from the pack and boasted 2M app downloads in mid-2015.
While the Yatra team have picked a difficult niche to get ahead in, they have certainly made a good impression so far, with an investment from Bollywood actor Salman Khan and 3 India Tourism Awards. We think it’s worth seeing if they do indeed have what it takes.
Cleartrip is another startup in the online travel space that is selling itself as the simple solution. Customers can access the company’s selection of flights, hotels, and trains on mobile and desktop solutions.
Cleartrip has carved out the largest market share in India mobile-wise, while turnover for the 2013–2014 FY was $800M.
The startup’s last funding round was in 2012, as its success has meant that it is not looking for funding. Cleartrip is projecting a growth rate of 45% for the 2014–2015 FY.
Must See India
Must See India provides online customized holiday packages, whereby users can create their own package without the need for call-center contact, with average booking times sitting at around the 5-day mark. The startup also provides access to in-depth travel guides for over 1000 destinations in India.
After launching in 2008, Must See India hit 500K users within 18 months and reached 5M monthly visits in 2013.
Now that Must See India has integrated social sharing on its platform, the startup’s popularity will grow even further.
ixigo.com is a trip-planning and travel meta-search app. Like other startups in the travel space, ixigo is about simplifying the travel experience, and they claim to be “your friend, philosopher and guide” with their online tools and mobile apps. Everything from local trivia to monuments to maps are covered.
The startup recently crossed 5M monthly uniques and receives over 200M monthly screen-views, after raising $18.5M in 2011.
In 2015, ixigo launched the “ixigo cabs“ app to help Indian travelers find cabs anywhere in India and revamped its trip planner. With a new leadership team as well, the startup is taking its monetization emphasis seriously.
Ola is India’s locally grown version of Uber, with a vehicle range that consists of economy hatchbacks, sedans, and luxury cars. Popular models include the Toyota Innova and Chevrolet Tavera taxi cabs. After booking a ride with the Ola app, users can pay online or by cash on delivery.
Even though Ola currently serves over 100 cities, the startup raised $400M in its Series E round in April 2015 for even further expansion. The latest funding round was led by DST Global, which values the company at $2.5B.
Ola has become more attractive to Indian customers after Uber-related incidents continue to appear in the media—the latter is present in only 11 Indian cities—and, with the 10-fold geographical expansion it achieved in the last year, the transport app is likely to reach its 200-city target by the end of 2015. Recently, Ola also launched a food on-demand service called Ola Cafe, and acquired smaller rival TaxiForSure along with its 15,000 vehicles.
While TaxiForSure’s transport app is known for its focus on the economy market segment, it now also offers an “Enterprise” service for corporate customers. TaxiForSure also launched a Nano line that is cheaper than the 3-wheel auto-rickshaws of India. As of May 2015, customers can pay with Paytm.
After the startup raised US$30 million in series C funding, it was taken over by Ola in March 2015 for $200M. The app handles around 60,000 daily orders.
With a quarter of the $400M that Ola raised in Series E earmarked for TaxiForSure, the startup seems destined to increase its customer base from 2 million to 20 million users.
InMobi bills itself as “the world’s most powerful mobile advertising platform,” and serves brands, developers, and publishers seeking to engage mobile users with an advanced native ad platform and mobile rich-media ads.
InMobi reinforced its status in a Feb 2015 press release that announced that it was the first-ever mobile-first platform to reach over 1B unique mobile devices. InMobi also launched the InMobi Exchange in May 2015, which offers “programmatic reach across more than 7,800 apps,” thereby giving advertisers access to mobile native and video placements at scale.
After the startup was founded in 2007 as a text message-based advertising company, it is now looking to scale its user base to 2 billion within a 24-month time frame. InMobi, valued between $2.5B and $3B in mid-2015, also has wearables and IoT devices in its sights.
Komli Media prides itself on the “game-changing” ATOM digital advertising platform, which is one of Asia’s first Real Time Bidding (RTB) ad platforms. In addition to RTB, APAC’s “leading real-time digital technology platform” seeks to enable data marketplaces, big data, algorithms, and targeting for its clients.
Since launching in 2006, Komli has raised $97M in five rounds from investors including Peepul Capital and employs 300 people across India.
Komli has been the subject of media attention after it offered itself as an acquisition target in early 2015. Even though big names like Snapdeal and Paytm have passed on deals, the ad tech startup is still follow-worthy as the mobile advertising space is the missing puzzle piece for the big ecommerce companies.
AdNear’s key strength is its location-data-driven approach that is powered by a proprietary, global hybrid geo-location platform, which means that clients can geotarget their ad messages without GPS. For example, a coffee shop could entice passers by with in-app ads or discount coupons.
Now headquartered in the “Silicon Valley of Asia” Singapore, AdNear raised $19M in its Series B round in Oct 2014, which was followed by its launched in Thailand, Vietnam, and Japan. More than 250 brands use AdNear to better understand their consumers.
After AdNear won Gold at the Mob-Ex 2015 awards, it employed former Nokia marketer Nandita Pal as GM of SE Asian and Hong Kong operations—the star of this ad tech startup is most certainly still rising.
This ad tech startup offers a product portfolio that identifies users to target them with highly personalized and pertinent messages, which are delivered on the right channel in a timely manner. Clients only pay for the transactions that Vizury drives for them.
Vizury launched the new Performance Marketing Hub product to add to its WebConvert and MobiConvert solutions in March 2015, which was followed by a partnership with Berlin’s adjust. The startup serves over 200 brands in more than 40 countries.
As it is one of the only startups to break into the Chinese market, we are keenly watching out for Vizury’s next moves.
AdPushup is an ad revenue optimization tool that can help publishers who are not programming-savvy to further monetize their existing website using advanced automated A/B testing. The startup claims to help websites “fight banner blindness and monetize impressions lost to ad blocking software.”
After launching in 2013, AdPushup managed to raise over $630K in angel funding.
The startup has just moved into a new and custom-fit office, and appear ready to take on the world.
Quikr helps its users buy and resell goods and services, as they can post free ads on its online marketplace. Popular categories on India’s largest classifieds site include “Bikes & Scooters” and “Kitchen Appliances.”
Prior to boosting its total funding to $350M in April 2015, Quikr launched the site- and app-friendly QuikrNXT messaging feature that lets prospective buyers and sellers communicate with each other without disclosing their phone numbers.
According to Quickr, it serves 30 million monthly users who are active in 1,000 Indian cities. With this kind of patronage, Quikr plan to launch a separate property portal called quikrhomes.com is not surprising, and it may eventually win the title of “Craigslist of India.”
CarTrade.com is an auto classifieds portal for buyers and sellers of new and used vehicles in India. Users can filter their searches according to values like basis price and kms driven, and a certifications are applied for high quality and extended warranties. Buyers can directly communicate with sellers independently.
CarTrade raised $30.2M in a 2014 funding round led by Warburg Pincus, which is also invested in Quikr. In Feb 2015, it further raised an undisclosed amount from Chip Perry, the former chief executive of U.S. auto classifieds site Auto Trader.
We are keeping an eye on CarTrade because the auto market in India is booming alongside the country’s overall consumer growth. According to a recent report by Google India and Mahindra First Choice Wheels Ltd, online searches for used cars rose 20-fold over the period since 2008.
In addition to its real estate portal, the Housing.com search startup pioneered the use of map-based mobile technology to lighten the house-hunting load in a disorganized market. Housing.com users can explore properties throughout India using genuine pictures, view all of the nearby amenities, and take virtual tours of all the site’s properties, which are always 100% verified.
Housing is known as one of India’s most well-funded startups, with a total of $129.5M raised from names such as Qualcomm Ventures and Softbank Capital. After a number of high-profile news-media appearances, the cofounders of Housing have become Internet celebrities, with Rahul Yadav participating in a May 2015 Reddit AMA (side-note, follow our Reddit SEO account for all the lulz).
With the launch of the startup’s 50th city in April 2015, we think that Housing may end up joining the $1B club after all.
Restaurant locator Zomato is already well-and-truly internationalized with a presence in 20 countries, meaning that people from Adelaide, Australia, to Porto Alegre, Brazil, can use the site to find local eateries, scan detailed menus, read trusted foodie reviews, share restaurant experiences with friends, and even find an establishment based on their mood at the time.
As well as its global expansion, Zomato has made a number of acquisitions, the latest of which was Urbanspoon in June 2015. Post-Urbanspoon, Zomato is expecting to receive 80M monthly web visits, while its funding total of $163M includes backing from Sequoia Capital.
If the intensive, rapid growth has not impressed you by now, Zomato’s 1M-plus listings, located in 10,000 cities in 22 countries, means that the search startup is mentioned alongside names like Yelp and Foursquare. We are keeping an eye on this one.
Like Housing.com, Commonfloor is a real estate search portal, but it is the first of its kind to focus on apartments and gated communities. Commonfloor promotes its comprehensive “online ecosystem” which consists of city and locality insight data, analytics, community management tools, and trending discussions with the startup’s own experts.
In Feb 2015, Commonfloor launched its Retina feature, which allows users to view under-construction properties virtually. A total of $50M has been raised since it went live in 2007, including backing from Accel Partners.
If Google supports your startup with a multimillion-dollar sum, you must be doing something right. Given that the tech giant’s late-stage growth equity fund came forward in only Jan 2015, we think there is a lot more to come from Commonfloor.
Policybazaar provides a search platform that makes the overwhelming process of insurance-policy shopping far less stressful, as users can compare products from all of India’s major insurance companies to emerge with the policy that is most suitable. But, the service doesn’t stop there, as the startup also assists with the online purchase of policies that backed up by 24/7 support.
By May 2014, Policybazaar had raised a total of $50M in funding and its current value stands at over $200M. Cofounder Yashish Dahiya said in March 2015 that the company is working on an mass-media insurance-education initiative for Indian consumers.
In light of the high degree of foreign VC interest at Policybazaar last funding round, we think this customer-centric startup is on the right track.
With a mission to help humans live longer, Practo offers Asia’s largest doctor search engine for India’s healthcare consumers, whereby the most suitable doctors can be sought out and booked instantly. Practo also has a foot in the SaaS industry, as its practice management software package Practo Ray is available to doctors via subscription.
By Feb 2015, Practo Search was being used by over 1 million monthly users to book 120,000 appointments. After it received $30M at its last funding round, Practo is valued at just below $200M.
The founders’ ambition to expand to 35 cities in India and 6-plus countries internationally seems reasonable to us, given that Practo’s volume grew by more than 10-fold between 2014 and 2015.
A further reflection of the burgeoning real estate market in India, IndiaHomes specialized in property advisory services. The startup’s professional advisors assist home-buyers who are purchasing from developers for the entirety of the process, while associate advisors assist home-owners with renting out or selling their properties.
IndiaHomes is active in 50 cities across India and states that its 600-strong team is spread across 17 international “business circles,” including the U.S. and Europe. By the end of 2014, it had raised just shy of $75M over two rounds.
Under the banner of India World Technologies, IndiaHomes is not only in a booming industry, but is also in stable hands. The parent company acquired UK-based Unesta Homes in 2014, so the IndiaHomes motto of “aap ke saath” (Hindo for “with you”) is likely to garner further success.
HackerEarth’s community of developers and corresponding skill graph means that it can present the best opportunities to developers based on their skills and interests, in addition to providing companies with access to pre-screened candidates.
The Bangalore startup received $500K from AngelPrime Partners in Feb 2014 and claims that its revenue has soared 10 times since then, but the founders will not reveal any figures.
HackerEarth is looking to tap into a $2.3B industry, a figure based on the total business done by technology-aided recruitment companies, and HackerEarth’s corporate clients already include Adobe and Altimetrik.
PriceBaba’s location-based intelligence search engine helps shoppers search for the best mobile-phone prices in their local area. PriceBaba now covers 11 cities in India, is linked with 1,500 retailers, and serves 3.5 million users per month.
With an emphasis on revenue and more than half of their funding still in the bank, PriceBaba is going to be profitable very soon with a model that revolves around ads and premium listings.
Wicfy is a social system that uses word-of-mouth to share interesting discoveries about prices, products, and sellers. Users collect credits for their Karma to rise on the Wicfy leader board. Features include Price of the Week and Market of the Week.
Wicfy has raised a total of $403K from two investors including Ecosystem Ventures.
With both Silicon Valley and Switzerland behind it, Wicfy is already connected with 18K stores across India.
iimjobs.com is an exclusive job board for MBAs from India’s top business schools. Reaching over 300K job seekers, the search portal’s categories include Finance, Consulting, Marketing, and Operations. Users can pay $15 for a 6-month Pro Membership Plan that provides added features.
iimjobs.com is now the largest niche job board in India that caters exclusively to the recruitment needs of mid-senior management positions. It also organizes D&I Networking events on a monthly basis, with speakers from firms like Thomson Reuters and the Indian government.
Managed by Highorbit Careers Private Limited, iimjobs has firmly established itself among the right corporate players.
The NewsHunt startup has developed a mobile application so that users can read newspapers and eBooks in their regional language on their handset. Hindi, Bengali, Punjabi, Gujarati, Marathi, Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, and English are the currently supported languages. While the NewsHunt service is fee-free, individual users need to pay the data costs from their mobile provider.
By the end of 2014, NewsHunt had raised $16.5M in series B funding. In mid-2015, NewsHunt is host to 20M MAU and over 3B monthly page views.
In addition to expanding its language range, NewsHunt is also diversifying its digital offerings and announced a partnership with Graphic India in June 2015 that adds comics to its content stable. Based on the success of comic titles at the global box office, the future of NewsHunt will be interesting.
Hike is a P2P messaging app that covers both data and SMS. Its designers have kept the Indian audience in mind with an offline capability, localized stickers, and a hidden mode (it is common to share phones in India). Users can also transfer up to a 100MB of data and manage their privacy with fine-tune settings.
Launched in mid-2012, Hike has grown into one of India’s leading mobile apps with around 35 million users, 90% of whom are aged below 25 years. Three years after going live, total funding has reached $86M.
With the backing of Japan’s SoftBank, founder Kavin Bharti Mittal has made an impact in a short time frame, but the recent acquisition of U.S.-based voice-calling app Zip Phone shows that WhatsApp needs to watch its back.
Lookup stands out in the messaging app space by connecting users with local merchants, whereby customers can chat with shopkeepers and restaurateurs through the app. Privacy is maintained, as the messages are routed through and managed by Lookup’s customer care centre.
After $160K seed funding, the startup gained the valuable interest of Japanese investors and reported a total of $382K at the start of 2015.
Just like Lookup reports, local commerce in India is a $750B industry and “India has the highest shop density in the world with over 45 million local businesses.
CultureAlley aims to turn language-learning on its head with web and mobile apps that combine Facebook’s newsfeed with gaming behavior to convert the learner’s personal newsfeed (or text on any website) into the language they are learning. This is supplemented by interactive lessons, fun games that include reading and speaking practice, a chatting function to interact with tutors, and a dictionary. It also works offline.
The CultureAlley app is now billed as India’s top English-learning app and has been backed by Tiger Global even though it only launched in Oct. 2014. The app has been downloaded 2.2M times.
Currently, the company derives its revenues solely from advertisements, but the full potential of a country in which only 15% speaks fluent English has not yet been realized. As cofounder Pranshu Patni said: “… with a productive workforce numbering 800 million, there is a huge demand for such courses.”
The remote and on-demand tech support of iYogi is available in 11 countries. Consumers and SMEs can choose from subscription plans to receive tech support 24/7.
With total funding of $85.6M, iYogi recently launched a digital service cloud service in partnership with Microsoft.
Backing from Tim Draper is typically a good sign and IYogi is currently embracing the IoT wave with respect to ATMs and car insurance.
Druva’s two key data-protection products are inSync for mobile and Phoenix for remote offices. Users have access to a single dashboard for backup, availability, and governance.
Druva now serves more than 3,000 enterprises in 76 countries. In May 2015, the startup reported rapid growth of 117% over the previous year.
Druva has become an Amazon Premier Partner, reflective of the company’s rapid growth, and was awarded two new patents in 2014.
Knowlarity deals in cloud telephony for SMEs. Automated communication tools include text-to-speech (TTS), conference calls, virtual call centers, and real-time analytics.
Funded by Sequoia and Mayfield, Knowlarity is aiming for unicorn status within the next 3 years, with 10,000 SME clients and around 500 larger clients already. Its revenue will reach $12.5M by the end of 2015.
While the cloud telephony space is hotly contested in India, Knowlarity already has a base in Singapore and will use new funds to expand into the Middle East and APAC region.
Freshdesk’s helpdesk software integrates cloud computing and mobility with CRM. Freshdesk is also the name of its flagship CRM software, but it also has IT helpdesk software called Freshservice, and mobile apps that allow CRM on the go.
Freshdesk was the first-ever Indian startup to get backing from Google Capital and has raised a total of $94M. It is now a 400-strong team working from a 60,000 sq ft Chennai office space.
With Elon Musk’s SolarCity as a client, it is is unsurprising that Freshdesk is growing faster than the larger competition, with 40,000 customers and a presence in both London and Australia.
ChargeBee provides billing infrastructure subscription-based SaaS companies, through integration with over 30 popular payment gateways minus the gateway lock-ins.
Backed by Tiger Global and Accel Partners, ChargeBee also has a U.S. office and raised a total of around $6M in funding.
ChargeBee is currently expanding its product offering and looking at expansion into key markets like the US and UK. With over 98% of clients outside India already, internationalization will surely be a breeze.
Delhivery has risen on the back of India’s ecommerce growth with a logistics solution that consists of a suite of omni-channel services, analytics and data services, and fulfillment and shipping.
Since its humble beginnings in 2011, Delhivery is now India’s largest fulfilment and logistics solutions company for non-contact retail. After it raised $85M in Series D in May 2015, its total hit $120M.
The rise of the ecommerce, hyperlocal commerce, and C2C commerce verticals in India needs its backend taken care of by an established logistics company like Delhivery. This need is even greater due to the low level of infrastructure that exists in the South Asian nation.
Inkmonk creates creating high-quality personalised merchandise for companies, as well as offering them different distribution mechanisms like API, widgets, and SDKs. Users can design their merchandise with Inkmonk’s online design tool, Inkmonk will find the best price structure, and users are updated about their status in real time.
The startup has been bootstrapping since inception, and have shipped to 27 different countries with a capacity to handle 30,000 T-shirts a day.
With an API to power ecommerce stores’ printing and fulfillment, and more APIs being developed, Inkmonk’s presence is likely to spread.
ClearTax uses a combination of great design and simplicity to help India’s people with their tax matters, including an self-filing system, free service for women, and a freelancer-friendly service.
One of the few Indian Y Combinator graduates, ClearTax was growing 5x every year prior to its 2014 entry into the famous accelerator.
At the start of 2015, the startup rolled out a partnership with Government of Karnataka, and other partnerships are underway for ClearTax in a country where the government is keen to modernize the tax-filing system.
Instamojo’s key selling point is its technology’s ability to collect payments with a mere link. Its Instapay feature allows a payee to make payments with just an Instamojo username. Instamojo does not have any upfront fees, but they charge 1.9% for every successful sale.
The startup is backed and advised by major VC firms like 500 Startups and Blume Ventures after launching in 2012.
Fintechs like Instamojo are in a comfortable space in India with the nation’s burgeoning freelancer and ecommerce sectors, as well as broader P2P demands.
Touchtalent provides visibility to creators without compromising on the ownership of the content through initiatives like Online Exhibitions and Country Pages. Touchtalent holds a monthly exhibition where users appreciate the most creative content around a chosen theme. Creators can also see the number of interactions that their profile and posts are receiving, which are tracked and shared globally in real-time.
On an average more than 1M pageviews are generated through Touchtalent exhibitions. SAIF Parters and 15 angel investors invested around $700K in the startup in mid-2014.
Between 2012 and 2014, Touchtalent grew by 30% MoM, which is a rate normally associated with Y combinator-backed startups.
India has only one e-waste company capable of extracting pure metals from end of life electronics in an environmentally responsible manner, and that is Attero. Attero has set up a number of e-waste recycling resource recovery plants for the proper disposal of e-waste.
Attero announced a $16.5M round of funding in August 2014. The startup collects 1,000 metric tonnes of e-waste every month from over 500 cities in India, generating $15M in the last fiscal year.
E-waste in India is expected to reach 1.72M metric tonnes by 2020, and the demand will only grow with the smartphone boom. Attero is well-placed in the 21st century.
Techfront leverages technology in the sports-management industry, including digital display systems, interactive solutions, instadia lighting for sporting events, fan engagement, and scoring/analytics software.
After Dubai-based FidelisWorld closed a $23M stake in the startup in 2014, the company was valued at $80M.
With previous partnerships with the English Premier League football event and F1 racing, and ongoing links with global cricket administrators, Techfront has strong foundations.
Written by Smash.vc
We invest in profit-focused lifestyle businesses. Also memes, lots of memes.
We take minority ownership positions in "lifestyle businesses".
We're not VC's, but partners for the longterm.