The last couple of weeks have seen a few big stories break along with the general upward trend in terms of new startups coming up and the increasing investor interest. A key discussion area emerged when the likes of Flipkart and Snapdeal killed their mobile websites to focus on an app-only strategy. This was followed by WhatsApp allowing voice calls which gave rise to the debate around NetNeutrality. Also, Chinese giant Alibaba is setting up an incubator in Bangalore which will invest in mobile and commerce startups. Amid this buzz, here are three startups which are still pretty low key but have a certain spark which gets them space in this edition of the Startup Watchlist:
1) Light App
Light is an app that can answer questions a person asks. In essence, a user can ask a question and the app will find out the best (most relevant) answer from the internet. And the answers are pleasantly satisfying. In technical terms, Light is an answering engine built on NLP (Natural Language Processing), machine learning and man-machine hybrid technologies. The backend system of the app has been in the works from a good three years and was initially started as an SMS service. With the rise of mobile, smartphone and the internet, the public launch of Light happened as an app.
Founded by Sanjeev Nair, Animesh Samuel and Sanjeev Menon, the Light App was also a part of the Gennext Innovation Hub, a startup accelerator supported by Reliance Industries and Microsoft Ventures.The company has an experienced team at the helm and is currently in the go-to-market phase. Read their detailed story.
An interesting proposition, the OMitra app helps to connect passengers in a train. Yes, a very India specific problem, OMitra can be used by passengers to connect with each other in case they need to exchange seats, find a gaming partner, seek medical help or just connect with someone who share the same interests. The app aims to be the complete in-train solution with the key propositions right now being tracking a trains progress and the social aspect.
The founder Vikas Jagetiya has more than 10 years of experience with mobile technology and started dabbling with the idea back in June 2014. Along with two other engineers, they launched the alpha version of the app in October 2014. The app has about 1000 downloads at the moment and it is still early days but there are interesting synergies that the company can work out once the app catches steam.
This one is for the heart. Simple straightforward e-commerce (which is very hard to implement), but in Kashmir. Started by Kashmiri Pandits (a minority community of 7 lakh people in Kashmir who’ve traditionally been a working class community where entrepreneurship is seldom encouraged). KashmirOneStop is an effort to take everything Kashmir to the world. The basic premise is to offer a way for Kashmiris away from home to get products shipped from Kashmir.
Founded by a group of Kashmiris who have had experience working in the logistics domain, KashmirOneStop came in existence about a month ago and doesn't have numbers to boast of but such initiatives need support from the entire community so that they thrive and become a source of inspiration for the region. Read their complete story.
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