Indian startup MineWhat Graduates from Vertical Retail Accelerator “The Ark Challenge”

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It was early May this year when we wrote about a promising young Indian startup, MineWhat, a product that enabled personalized shopping but now has a lot more to offer. Founded by Janakiram Ganesan and Pavan Kumar, MineWhat was looking for global opportunities to expand their presence and build customer base.

This is when they landed upon “The Ark Challenge”; a vertical accelerator. A full member of the Global Accelerator Network, The ARK is a new mentorship-driven business accelerator program for technology startups serving the retail, transportation and logistics and food processing industries.  MineWhat applied and was selected as a part of the first batch that had 15 startups from across the globe. “We placed ourselves in the retail segment and applied for the program. A simple application form, the whole procedure was smooth and with a few days we were confirmed as a part of the batch by Jeannette Balleza, director of ARK Challenge,” explains Janakiram.

Janakiram Ganesan and Pavan Kumar

Landing up in Northwest Arkansas, the duo found the accelerator very conducive and got some very valuable inputs on their product. Mentored by investors, experienced entrepreneurs and industry experts. Jeff Amerine, serial entrepreneur turned investor who has had multiple exits previously was their dedicated mentor, MineWhat found direction and have now settled upon a model where they have 6 pilot customers including the likes of Acumen brands.

MineWhat now delivers solutions for ecommerce companies to “re-engage” their consumers. “MineWhat’s platform decreases user acquisition costs, increases conversions by providing auto magic shopping assistance and behavior analytics. Our goal is to empower online ecommerce to engage their consumers,” says Janakiram. MineWhat already has 6 million users profiled and have captured more than 60 million transactional events.

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All Teams at The Ark Challenge

Also having seen investor interest, MineWhat is well underway on closing the first round of funding. “One very important thing we noticed was the value for work and recognition. People are very open to try new ideas, eco-system support startups. We desperately need that in India,” says Janakiram. He talks about how even setting up a meeting with the VP of big corporation wasn’t a big deal and access to such resources is what lets you grow fast.

MineWhat is now on the lookout for talented developers for their team and are looking at developing a strong technical team in India. They have registered as MineWhat Inc. in the US and will have a business unit there but would be catering to all geographies.

Read more about MineWhat here.

About the author

Jubin is an old timer at YourStory. Deeply entrenched in the Indian startup ecosystem, he has written about and analysed more than 1000 startups. He operates from the mountains in Dharamshala where he plays with technology, farming and eco-construction. He can be reached on Twitter @jub_in and on mail at

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