Promising Mumbai based startups that've bloomed in 2014Jubin Mehta
Okay, this article was written earlier in 2014 with the title "5 promising Mumbai based startups that'll bloom in 2014" but the amount of inbound requests we've got from people looking to join startups in Mumbai has compelled us to extend this post. We've included more promising startups in the list and have also given an update on how the first five companies we earlier wrote about have grown.
This list initially consisted of the first five startups all of which either in stealth or just started. Here's the extended version of the article with the list of promising tech companies from Mumbai:
Haptik: A messaging app, Haptik allows consumers to connect with brands via instant messaging. The asynchronous nature of messaging along with its growing use makes this a good value proposition. The company is founded by Aakrit Vaish, ex-Flurry India Director and has been running a beta with promising results. Read their story.
Status early in 2014: We were still in product development mode. We were bootstrapped, and had about 8 employees total (2 founders, 2 full time, 1 part time, 3 interns). We launched the app on March 31, 2014.
Current Status: Haptik has processed more than 1 million messages on the Haptik platform since launching 7 months back. It has been featured by Google in the Productivity category of Google Play alongside global apps like Dropbox, Gmail, etc. The app is rated >3,000 times across the App Stores with an average rating of 4.5 out of 5. The team has grown to over 32 employees (2 Founders, 9 Full Time, 21 experts) across Mumbai and San Francisco and the company raised $1 million in seed financing from Kalaari Capital.
Toppr: Toppr is into test preparation and currently helps students prepare for IIT JEE mains (is now open for other entrance tests too). The company has a large IIT Bombay cohort behind it and has been founded by Zishaan Hayath. Earlier, Zishaan co-founded Chaupaati.com where he built the phone commerce platform. Chaupaati.com went on to get acquired by Futurebazaar.com. Now with his new startup, the stage is set for another success story.Status early in 2014: We were a 5 member team working out of my apartment in Chandivali. We had just launched our engineering program.
Current status: We are a 40 people team. We outgrew our first office within 6 months and are now in our second office. More than 30,000 students use toppr. We now also have pre-medical and foundation courses along with engineering entrance. SAIF and Helion have backed us.
WizRocket: Founded by Anand Jain (ex-Burrp), Sunil Thomas (ex- Network18 Media and Investments) and Suresh Kondamudi (ex-Network18), WizRocket is a SaaS tool kit that tries to give better analytics. The product values people over page views and the team was recently shortlisted for a YCombinator interview as well. Even though WizRocket didn't make it, 2014 will be the year for them.
Q: What is WizRocket?
A: WizRocket provides unified analytics and messaging - 100% free, unlimited and blazingly fast.
Status early in 2014: We were busy coding up v1 of our product and pitching to VCs for funding.
Current Status: We've secured USD $1.6MM in venture funding from Accel Partners, have a team of 10 in place, working with 50 global customers, process over 600 million user actions every month and have a presence in the Valley.
Fusedcow (.net is the business domain): fusedcow Inc. was founded by Shubh Cheema and Kris Nair in Jan 2013 after a six year research on 'self learning CAD' and human centered design. fusedcow explores the intersection of product information modelling, architecture, economics, computing, data analytics and digital distribution. Kris has been involved with multiple startups before and knows the tight walk, and combined with Shubh's domain expertise, the duo make a solid team in a rather unexplored field.
Q:What is Fusedcow?
A: Design+Data Platform for the Construction Industry. We analyse billions of datapoints (construction info, material info, and economic info) and help construction & real estate companies worldwide in making designs faster and better.
Status early in 2014: It was more of a 'understanding the market' phase, we worked closely with one (large) customer, built stuff around their requirement, studied their end users, and slowly built a platform around it. More of non-scalable boring manual work - but it was important.
Current status: We are growing in revenue terms- more customers, better+efficient small team. 2015 order-book looks scary big and I think it is a good thing. We learned that doing non-scalable boring things is important, because it teaches you more about the market+customer. We are probably first in this space to create a data driven decision making tool - it is tough, but it is lovely to see the savings our customers make. Year 2014 was a struggle too, emotionally and financially but we also learnt that customer is the biggest investor ever.
Emportant: Co-founded by Sandeep Todi and Kanchan Kumar, Emportant is an HR & Payroll Management solution for fast growing Enterprises. The product suite is called UnComplex and their HR Apps ensure that consumers use and pay for only what they need. Sandeep and Kanchan have both worked together and have a solid experience in IT and HR domain. Kanchan is an integral part of TiE-Mumbai as well.Emportant is still in stealth.
The new additions in this list are:
Status early in 2014: We worked on improving our local data by a huge margin, add new cities, improve our user experience and add more products.
Current status: We served over 4.4 million visitors in October and have very valuable insights on shopping behaviour in India. We would use that to make the best product research engine for India in 2015.
Instamojo: Lets users collect payments instantly with a link. It is an out-of-the-box e-commerce framework that takes care of things ranging from payments to delivery- all a seller needs to do is share a link wherever the audience is. (read their story)
It all started in late 2010 (Instamojo was founded in 2012) when Sampad (one of the founders) started a newsletter comprising of video interviews as a side project. And there was no place to sell! The company has come a long way and has recently raised a series A round from Kalaari along with existing investors Blume and 500 Startups. Instamojo is now shifting headquarters to Bangalore though.
Status early 2014: A team of 13, JustUnfollow had just started working on TakeOff app. The monthly app downloads were at 250k and total app downloads at 3 million+.
Current status: JustUnfollow has a team of 26 now and the TakeOff app has launched in both Android and iOS and has crossed 200,000 users. The monthly app installs are at 350K and the total app downloads is 5 Million (we are 9 Million users).
InOpen Technologies: Educational startup with focus on developing high quality academic content through deep research. InOpen offers products and services to private and public schools. The company was co-founded by Rupesh and Prof. Sridhar in Oct 2009.
Status early in 2014: We were in the transition period from a startup to a more structured organization also by streamlining the processes across organization.Team expansion was in the process and sales were in full swing to increase the client base.
Current Status: InOpen is used by 600000 students in India and abroad spread across 350+ schools to implement Computer Masti (InOpen's flagship product) in their schools. 4000 teachers have been trained on Computer Masti( CM) methodology. The content has been downloaded in 130 countries. Computer Masti has also been translated in 8 Indian and 2 foreign languages.
Sourceeasy: It is a web platform for designers, ecommerce stores, brands to source their private label apparel online, which Sourceeasy's offline network manufactures and delivers. Sourceeasy works on a per-piece markup (No Fixed costs, No Subscriptions). They clearly communicate their typical margins to be in the range of 30-50% of which it helps the customers save between 20-60% on their current buying prices. Backed by 500 Startups, Sourceeasy has operations across the globe and has recently moved HQ to USA.
Shopsense: This startup works with retailers to help them enhance their customer's shopping experience. Shopsense sits at the intersection of technology and retail to develop and deploy some smart ways to engage consumers. It is backed by Kae Capital and other investors, check out their workplace here. Shopsense operates in the B2B space and has Salman Khan's 'Being Human' chain of stores as their most prominent customer.
TinyOwl: it is a food ordering app with a vision of connecting people with their food. The app was launched in March in Powai with 50+ restaurants. Since then, TinyOwl has aggressively expanded to Mumbai, now having more than 3K restaurants. TinyOwl has also raised $3 million from Nexus and Sequoia Capital.
Flatchatapp and Grabhouse: Real estate as a sector is very hot and has seen a lot of action in 2014. Housing and Commonfloor remain the high growth startups (apart from 99acres, Magicbricks, etc.) but there have been two more promising startups.
Flatchat app allows people looking for a place and those looking for flatmates to chat with each other by matching them according to their requirements. This app has an interesting evolution story from Flat.to. Founder Gaurav Munjal started out with Flat.to which got acquired by CommonFloor and noticing a gap w.r.t messaging, Flat.to made a pivot to Flatchatapp.
Grabhouse is into broker-free online house hunting and has served close to 25,000 people till now. The company raised a seed round early in 2014 and currently operates in 4 cities. Apart from flats, Grabhouse also helps with finding flatmates.
Founded by Aditi Avasthi, Embibe was started in 2012 and has focused on getting the product right to help students get through IIT JEE, BIT SAT, etc. In 2014, the company has raised $4 million from Kalaari Capital and Lightbox ventures and is now set to grow and scale.
Testbook is another startup founded by a bunch of IIT alumni who has gained traction and has reached more than 55,000 registered users. The company has raised INR 1.5 crores from Ah! Ventures and LetsVenture.
This list is in no particular order and is open to updation.