Powai is a suburban neighbourhood located in northeast Mumbai. Originally a central village, Powai has grown exponentially in recent years to become one of Mumbai's most upmarket commercial and residential hubs. It is also Mumbai's startup hub, with young entrepreneurs starting off via incubation centres like Society for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (SINE) in IIT-Bombay in the tech industry as well as other sectors such as e-commerce, foodtech, home services, automobiles, sharing economy. This has earned the area the name 'Powai Valley'.
The proximity to the scenic IIT Bombay campus has nurtured the entire startup ecosystem with easy access to the IIT-B community and the talent pool for the right startup growth. In recent years, IIT-B has been producing technology entrepreneurs at an astonishing rate. Like-minded fellow IITians with a plethora of 'fundae' and knowledge to interact with, access to funding ventures like the Powai Lake Ventures, talent pool to hire, co-working office space etc. has increased the probability of starting up in the Powai Valley.
Powai has gone full circle in that startups are always looking out for people, and people come here to get opportunities. Here is a list of startups in Powai to look out for:
Based out of Supreme Business Park in Powai and founded by IITians, the not-so-tiny TinyOwl is a young startup in the food ordering space. TinyOwl has over 500 employees and is backed by VC funding. With a strong tech team, the team is poised to now take product innovation to the next level after its successful launch of the dishes feature.
CredR was set up in 2014 by Nikhil Jain, Nittin Mittal and Sumit Chhazed, graduates from IIT-B. It is an online marketplace for buying and selling pre-owned automobiles with ease. With current traction of 80+ two-wheelers a day and a team size of 300+, Credr has operations in Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Delhi. Now expanding into Chennai and with innovations in the form of automated bike inspection and live inventory update, Credr is one of the fastest growing startups to watch out for.
Founded by six IIT-B graduates and mentored by the co-founder of Housing.com Advitiya Sharma, HandyHome lets users book brand-authorised repairs and other services for electronic appliances online. The company started early in 2015 and is already showing impressive signs of growth. Co-founder Harmin Shah says, “We are a team size of 40 people. We are able to cater to 500 requests every day for appliance services, and growing at around 30 per cent month-on-month. We are present pan-India through our tie-ups with brands like Godrej, Videocon, Whirlpool etc., for after-sale needs. Now that processes have stabilised, we plan to expand our product line into other services in or outside this vertical.”
Bizongo aims to build an end-to-end solution in the B2B e-commerce space. It recently raised seed funding from Accel Partners to hire the right talent and expand business development, marketing and technology verticals. “We also plan to strengthen our supplier base in the targeted categories and industry verticals,” says Aniket Deb, Co-founder of Bizongo. Currently, the company caters to over 3,000 customers, has over 10,000 products listed on its platform and getting orders with average ticket size of over Rs 10,000.
On-demand home services platform Doormint is doing over 400 transactions a day. With operations covering Mumbai, Doormint has started expanding to Bengaluru and Gurgaon too. Abhinav, Co-founder of Doormint, says “Our current endeavours include scaling up Bengaluru and Gurgaon operations to reach 1,000 transactions per day along with better unit economics/sustainability.”
Founded by IIT-B alumni Kiran Patil and Pritesh Mittal, NearFox features hyperlocal and city news, city-wide events and a discussion platform for neighbour interaction. It has a 16-member team comprising tech, editorial, operations and marketing experts. NearFox has 3,000 installs across the city with over 1,000 from Powai and Andheri alone. Fifty six per cent of the active users visit the app weekly. Sending location-targeted notifications has helped NearFox increase engagement. It is definitely one of the fastest growing startups in Powai.
Founded by IIT-B alumnus Chirag Gander and final-year IIT-B undergraduate Sahil Vaidya, The Minimalist aims to leverage technology to make quality design accessible at global scale. The company aims to become the go-to in-house design agency by providing comprehensive design solutions. Its campaigns have reached to over 10 million and it has already served over 45 clients including Matrix Partners, Housing and Swiggy in a span of five months. Check them out at: http://www.theminimalist.in/
Founded by IITians Debprotim Roy, Vikash Choudhary and Ankit Agarwal, Canvs.in is creating a community of designers and artists in India and abroad, spanning a majority of design disciplines ranging from graphic to product to automotive and interior designing. Over 1,000 creative professionals have joined Canvs in four months and over 50 jobs are listed on the platform. It is one of the largest growing community of artists and one of the hottest startups to look out for from Powai.
Pushing the envelope of sharing economy in the fashiontech space, Flyrobe is an on-demand wardrobe for any occasion. Founded by IIT-B alumni Shreya Mishra, Pranay Surana and Tushar Saxena, Flyrobe has on-boarded 14 designers and brands so far (Shehla Khan, Surendri, Outhouse, Valliyan etc.) and processes over 50 every week with over 17 per cent customers who have transacted multiple times. With a rapidly growing team, Flyrobe is strengthening its tech platform.
Solar energy startup kWatt Solutions Pvt. Ltd., incubated in SINE, IIT-B, has the largest team among the startups in SINE. It has tied up with Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Government of India, to conduct Suryamitra solar training programmes across India. Founded by Dr. Chetan Singh Solanki, a professor in IIT-B, kSPL is growing rapidly and expanding aggressively in six verticals with a vision to economise renewables.
Many more Powai startups such as Holachef, Grocshop, Purple Squirrel Eduventures, Toppr.com, Bewakoof.com, Taskbob etc. are maturing in this ecosystem. Needless to say, IIT-B has played an important part in building this startup culture in the neighbourhood of Powai.