Seedstars World, a global seed-stage startup competition for emerging markets, recently held the Bengaluru leg of its competition at Tech Hub, with startups pitching for five minutes followed by cross examinations from a panel of jury members. As a part of the tour, Seedstars World is travelling to 65 countries in 2016 to identify promising seed-stage entrepreneurs and providing them an opportunity to win up to $1 million at the finals, that takes place annually in Switzerland.
With a network of international partners like Inmarsat, INADEM, Standard Bank and Deloitte, Seedstars World is looking for startups that solve regional issues and develop profitable products for the global market, to support their regional businesses and growth.
The startups selected to pitch at the Seedstars Bengaluru event needed to be-
- Less than two years old,
- Raised less than $500,000 in funding and have built a minimum viable product(MVP), ideally with existing traction.
- Has scope for regional and global scalability.
After preliminary shortlisting, nine Indian seed-stage startups were invited to pitch at Seedstars Bengaluru Summit. In no particular order, the nine startups that pitched included:
Currently focussed on the US market, Cirtru is an inter-company/university classifieds that connected users with people they can trust by providing employment or education background. The startup noted that they plan to launch in India in the near future and currently has over 3,000 companies and schools in its network based in USA.
Hipship is an online portal that helps consumers and businesses ship domestically and internationally with four clicks, at the best possible price. It currently relies on four main vendors, with intercity shipments constituting 90 percent of its shipping volumes. It claimed that that its vendor network and mode of operations help it offer services at almost 50-60 percent of the existing market prices.
Sportzify is a platform that helps with discovery and hourly booking of sporting clubs and events. It has so far collaborated with companies like Uber and Decathlon for different initiatives.
As a new entrant in the market research industry, Piki aims to help businesses get results to short surveys from targeted audiences within four hours. Currently in private beta in multiple colleges, the platform aims to build an active user base among college students before venturing out to the public. College professors and students currently use the platform to conduct quizzes.
TapChief is a platform to seek advice from industry experts via phone calls, The startup is currently exploring a pay-as-you-go model and a ‘coach model’. Tapchief claimed that it currently has about 1,200 students who have prepaid for their services with their community currently consisting of over 3,000 members. The startup had also recently closed a funding round from Vijay Shekhar Sharma, CEO, Paytm.
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With the goal to ‘Uberise’ freight services Trukky aims to be an all-in-one logistics solution. The platform currently offers transport and expert delivery services for full and part loads. It claims to be working with customers like Maaza, Urban Ladder, Amul etc. Users can get an overview of the whole process and get vendor details once the cargo movement and vendor details are confirmed.
Currently still in beta, with the launch scheduled for next week, neoEYED aims to help banks and fintech companies get rid of passwords, tokens, credit cards, badges and keys with artificial intelligence (AI) and a mobile app.
Positioned as a hub of employee engagement products, PlayLyfe lets enterprises better engage customers with their app, website, blog or product. With PlayLyfe’s 2.0 API enterprises can get access to real-time actionable data and advanced collaboration tools.
Fullonwedding is an end-to-end solution that enables couples to research and do their wedding planning online. The platform is currently active in three cities- Indore, Bengaluru, Mumbai, and is currently in the process of launching a mobile app.
And the winners were…
The jury finally came to a consensus and decided on the top three winners with
-FullOnWedding bagging the third spot.
-PlayLyf bagging the second spot.
-Tapchief taking the first place, and the opportunity to represent India at Seedstars Summit in Switzerland in March 2017, to compete for up to $1 million in equity investment.
Seedstars World’s next stop is Sri Lanka at Colombo’s TRACE, to select the best startup in Sri Lanka. Alisée de Tonnac, Seedstars World CEO said,
Seedstars World is a platform connecting investors to the next generation of startup entrepreneurs, pulling the spotlight from Silicon Valley and Western Europe. After three years of our existence, we have definitely confirmed our initial hypothesis that the best way to have an impact in emerging countries is by investing and promoting entrepreneurship. Our previous startups are showing an impressive track record, and we are looking forward to seeing what the startups of the fourth edition will bring.
India was previously represented by Strike, a software collaboration platform for mobiles, and prior to that- HackerEarth, an online developer community that has experienced good growth for the past three years. Both companies are going doing well and Seedstars believes they reflect India’s booming tech and startup ecosystem scene. Seedstars World estimates that all its previous participants have raised over $61 million collectively, while providing employment to more than 800 employees worldwide.
Website- Seedstars World