Top 25 inspiring and most read startup stories from the first half of 2014

25_storiesTime flies. Just like it happens every time we look at the calendar, a few months have raced by. We’re already into the second half of 2014 and it’s time we showcase some of the popular stories. We have been covering the startup ecosystem from 2008 and every year has seen a tremendous growth in terms of the number and quality of startups. In this post, we look at the top 25 most read startup stories on YourStory.com. Some pointers regarding the selection:

  • The companies have been selected purely on the basis of how many unique reads it has got (according to Google Analytics).
  • These startups are not ‘YourStory picks’ or a list that says these are the ‘Best Startups’. The list is purely indicative of the traffic the posts received.
  • The stories have not been ranked and the list is in no particular order.

1) Zostel: A backpacker hostel chain currently operating in Rajasthan. The company has been founded by a bunch of IIT-IIM passouts who wanted to create a dent in the hospitality industry in India and bring about a change in how people travel in India.

2) ShubhPuja:   Founded by Gurgaon based Saumya Vardhan, ShubhPuja is a marketplace for pandits and astrologers to help organize pujas. When we last talked to the company,they had has 90+ pandits/astrologers/vaastu consultants in Delhi NCR.

3) Hosachiguru: It is an agricultural enterprise which offers structured investment products to green conscious stakeholders. their mission is to use precision farming to generate substantial commercial, social and economic impact.

4) iRepair: They are the Apple products repair specialists. Co-founded by Harsha P J and Ajay Hegde, the company specialises in providing hardware and software support to iPhones, iPods, iPads and Macs.

5) Indianroots: NDTV’s online retail venture, Indianroots is an online store for ethnic fashion. The company claims to have achieved break even in 8 months.

6) CashKaro: It is a cashback and couponing website founded by the husband wife team of Swati and Rohan Bhargava. When we last spoke to the company, they had 2.5 lakh registered users and drove sales of Rs. 25 crores for its affiliates in 6 months.

7) Esparsha: Founded by Bala Satish G, Nalin Goel and Karthik Venkat, eSarsha is an online merchandise store. The startup claims to have a turnover of INR 2 crores.

8) Sliderule: Founded by a team of rich pedigree, Sliderule is a product that helps people discover the best online courses in every subject.

9) Amar Ramesh Photography: An engineer by training, Amar Ramesh quit working as a techie in the US and found his niche in western-style themed wedding photography. Till date, the team has shot over 200 weddings and they mostly cater to high profile weddings. Building a niche and a name for himself, and providing high quality work ensures that the photography packages at Amar Ramesh Photography starts from INR 200,000.

10) DosaMatic, Mukunda Foods: Two SRM university graduates set out to change the way one food item has been prepared for decades now. DosaMatic, a product of Mukunda Foods, founded by Sudeep Sabat and Eshwar Vikas, is the world’s first automatic tabletop dosa-making machine that can make one dosa per minute at the touch of a button.

11) Paper Boat, Hector Beverages: Paper Boat, launched in August 2013, has a range of traditional Indian summer drinks like ‘Aamras’, ‘Jaljeera’, ‘Kokum’, ‘Jamun’, ‘Aam Panna’, ‘Imli ka Amlana’ and ‘Golgappe ka paani’. Paper Boat is a division of Delhi-based Hector Beverages which also makes the energy drink, Tzinga.

12) GoOnions: E-tailer GoOnions lets you shop for varieties of fruits, vegetables, chicken, fish, prawns and mutton via phone, web, Twitter and WhatsApp. Brainchild of Raghav Vohra, Kailash Tripathi and Shivani Kapur, the three-month old startup ships around 35 orders every day with an average transaction size of Rs. 750 and does around Rs. 5 lakh worth revenue on a monthly basis.

13) Synechron: Synechron is a banking, insurance and financial services technology consultancy business, among others. After 13 years of being in the business, Synechron is still privately held, has $200-million in revenues and works with over 100 clients across India, the US, Europe, South East Asia and the Middle East.

14) FreeKaaMaal: FreeKaaMaal.com was started with the aim of providing low priced deals, offers and free stuff to the blog’s readers. A website which was initially started as a simple blog with Rs.1500 investment has evolved into a big portal within just one year, serving more than 50,000+ users daily.

15) Ovenfresh: Ovenfresh is a QSR (quick service restaurant) chain founded in 2008 by Rajiv Subramanian. Currently, Ovenfresh is in 15 A-Grade locations in Chennai and 10 in Bangalore. They serve over 1000 plates of baked biryani every day, and see lakhs of footfalls every month.

16) JetSetGo: Kanika Tekriwal fought cancer and now she has launched JetSetGo, an interactive technology driven platform enabling users to search and charter aircrafts and helicopters across India. JetSetGo has almost 80% of India’s private jet fleet on board.

17) releaseMyAd: Wharton School of Business grad Sharad Lunia’s startup releaseMyAd seeks to fill this gap in advertising networks. The releaseMyAd strategy is be a web-based advertising agency, tackling both online and offline spaces.

18) FREEKALL: Bangalore based, Freekal allows cloud telephony provides a service where a user can call any mobile or landline for free. Freekal recently secured a seed round of Rs 10 lakhs from Ranjit Cherickel, founding member of 88mph, an Africa-based accelerator program platform.

19) Newshunt: Bangalore-based Verse Innovation’s Newshunt is on a mission to empower the country to celebrate and read its own language(s) by delivering content to people in their native language. The Newshunt app brings regional vernacular content (both newspapers and books) from across the country to one platform.
With over 36 million installs, Newshunt is leading the digital vernacular revolution in India today.

20) Shout App: People are very impulsive and impatient when it comes to planning meetups and organizing get-togethers with strangers. Shout plans to solve this with enhanced user engagements by connecting social media users within a small radius. Users can then post updates called as Shouts which comes as an update to other fellow friends.

21) SkillBoost: SkillBoost offers skill assessment and enhancement services in Microsoft Office applications to make professionals and students more employable, in December 2013. SkillBoost has trained over 1,000 personnel for over 15 companies, including Hindustan Unilever, Coca-Cola, RBS, Religare, HSBC, General Electric, Bharti Group and YES Bank.

22) MarketsAndMarkets: MarketsandMarkets are currently world’s second market research firm in terms of volumes of premium research studies delivered. With a clear research focus on high-growth technology markets and niche offerings that span across 8 major industry segments, MarketsandMarkets have positioned themselves competitively with well-established international research firms.

23) Staple.io: You can loosely think of Staple.io as Indian Buzzfeed for mobile. It intends to be a platform for ‘mobile first’ ‘user-generated’ content.

24) ICE X Electronics: 3 IITians — Ravi Jakhar, Aditya Agrawal and Rohit Sharma started ICE X Electronics from Mumbai. Within a year of their products entering the market, they have clocked sales of INR 10 crore in their own brand, and about INR 40 crore in other brands.

25) The Home Salon: Long working hours in investment banking gave Rishika Chandan very little time for personal grooming. Salon visits were often restricted to weekends. That’s when she thought of having hygienic, professional and trained therapists deliver beauty treatments at home. 

Which one of these inspired you the most? We are eager to listen.


Abhash Kumar

Abhash Kumar

When he is not over-analyzing random stuff, Abhash likes to read a lot and write a little. He has helped co-found Gyan Lab, an education startup while still at college. Most of the time, you can find him hanging out with startuppers and go-getters.