A casual observer of Indian media will probably imagine Delhi (NCR), with its many issues of traffic, pollution, ‘aggression’, and political gamesmanship to be a bit of a crisis zone. Thankfully, none of this has stopped the region from evolving as a premium and preferred destination for startups and entrepreneurs (after Bengaluru). In fact, if anything, the NCR region’s many founders, both storied and otherwise, seem to thrive on the ‘jugaadu’ mindset and overarching ambition to think big, always, that people expect them to have.
Over the last five years, the National Capital Region has produced several posterboys of Indian startups and now houses four unicorns including Snapdeal, Zomato, ShopClues, and Paytm. Besides funded peers, the city also counts great bootstrapped stories like Wingify, Sollfege, The Testament, and Voice Tree, amongst others.
While up until 2014–15 the NCR region had a reputation for manufacturing e-commerce ventures, things have changed in the last 12–18 months.
Now we see the emergence of several technology and logistics startups. Unlike e-commerce and logistics startups, pure play technology companies lament the access to quality employees in the region. But gradually this problem is also getting sorted.
NCR’s fledgling startup ecosystem has drawn almost all the blue-chip investors and according to YourStory Research, the region has outnumbered Bengaluru in number of investment deals so far this year. Delhi reported about 184 deals while Bengaluru managed 156 investment deals in total.
Besides the above startups who have graduated beyond the starting up phase, here’s a list of 10 firms, from early to mid-stage, that promise to make an impact.
Crofarm: Crofarm is the brainchild of serial entrepreneurs Varun Khurana and Prashant Jain. Launched in April this year, Crofarm is changing the way businesses procure agricultural produce by essentially weeding out intermediaries. Currently, it works with Metro, Jubilant Foodworks, Bigbazaar, Grofers, and Big Basket, among others.
Magicpin: Magicpin creates online communities of users and merchants that drive and visually capture the local buzz, activities, and transactions. It helps the community discover trending events and serves as a visual referral network for new customer acquisition and engagement.
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Coral Carebook (CCB): CCB is a medicine management venture backed by proprietary technology, inventive packaging, and a full service pharmacy. Its core service includes multi-dose packaging (patent pending) along with automated dose reminders and refill deliveries to help ensure complete adherence.
Rivigo: Founded in 2014 as TruckFirst, the company currently provides high quality services across major industry verticals such as e-commerce, FMCG, auto, pharma, and the cold-chain space. With over 550 company-owned trucks, Rivigo offers line-haul solutions and claims to lower transit time by 50–70 percent compared to typical operators.
HyperTrack: HyperTrack helps businesses by providing them a ‘track and trace’ service for their local deliveries. Just like users can see their Uber ride coming to them on a map with an ETA, along with driver’s photo and contact details, similarly using HyperTrack, any app can provide the same experience to its consumers. The company is founded by serial entrepreneur Kashyap Deorah and Tapan Pandita.
Indifi: After a stint as partner and Managing Director (MD) at VC firm Canaan Partners, Alok Mittal started Indifi Technology. Indifi aims to address the $380 billion debt financing gap in India’s MSME sector. The platform leverages technology to fill this vacuum and work with partners to enable working capital or debt to smaller businesses.
Currently, it works with online travel agencies, B2B platforms for traders, and e-commerce companies. Indifi collects demographic, business, and financial data, and analyses it to assist small businesses in securing credit from banks and NBFCs.
Mappr: Mappr is a cloud-based technology platform that establishes a secure learning commune by seamlessly connecting schools, teachers, parents, and students in a secure environment. This learning commune stimulates peer-to-peer learning to bring hesitant learners mainstream. The brainchild of Dheeraj Jain and Ashwani Duggal, Mappr also enables personalised attention without increasing the teacher’s workload, ensures proactive parental engagement, and focuses on multi-dimensional development of the student.
Innov8 Coworking: Innov8 is a platform to connect a community of freelancers, entrepreneurs, corporates, tech innovators, and investors under one roof and in a social environment. Innov8 gives women extra incentive to start up. The company aims to build Delhi as the next Silicon Valley after SFO, Tel Aviv, and Bengaluru by setting up the flagship Innov8 property in Connaught Place in New Delhi. Innov8 also recently opened a co-working space in Chandigarh.
Sollfege: Founded by ex Bose employee - Vickey Koul and Manoj Agarwal - Sollfege is about converting homes into smart homes by providing one touch and easy control of gadgets used for enhanced comfort, security, convenience and entertainment using computing devices and information technology in a sustainable way along with the entertainment products for luxury. The Kolkata cum Delhi based company claims to reach a figure of 2 million USD bookings and 1.5 Million USD billing by FY16.
Octo.ai: Octo.ai is an open-source analytics platform built for machine learning. Founded by Akshaya Aron and Dipankar Sarkar, Octo helps companies retain their data and apply machine learning to power real-time insights, segment-of-one marketing, recommendations, personalised feeds and much more on their platform. Its feature set is a combination of Mixpanel and Segment.io which any startup/enterprise can deploy on their own servers and customise.
A big shoutout to all our sponsors - Zendesk, Axis Bank, Sequoia Capital India Advisors , Digital Ocean, Microsoft, AWS, Akamai, Target, Verisign, Kerala Startup Mission, Brand Launch Centre, Tork and Blink.