From being one of the first cities to roll out the red carpet at the peak of IT revolution, to now hosting global giants like Microsoft, Google, Apple and Amazon, Hyderabad indeed contributes handsomely to the world's business and technology ecosystem. Now it is shining bright in the country's startup ecosystem as well.
As of last year, over eight percent of startup activity was believed to have taken place in Hyderabad. According to YourStory research, as of 2015, over 39 deals amounting to $52 million were made across Hyderabad-based startups. This year, over $14.7 million has been invested across 21 deals in the city.
Sanjay Enishetty, Founder 50K Ventures, says
By 2018, the Hyderabad startup ecosystem will be bigger than the Bengaluru startup ecosystem.
There are several factors that could contribute to this theory, one primarily being a thriving talent pool across sectors, thanks to several high-end and top institutions across the city.
Also, Hyderabad, has one of the largest incubation centres—T-Hub—in the country, which referred to as 'incubator of incubators'.
Ramesh Loganathan, VP Products and Centre head, Progress Software, and one of the city’s most sought-after mentors and advisors, hails T-Hub's initiatives to be autonomous. Though inside the IIIT Hyderabad campus, and despite being a government initiative, it is completely governed and mentored by industry stalwarts.
Apart from incubation centres and academic cells, Hyderabad also currently has arguably the best infrastructure. Ramesh points out that the city is one of the cheapest metros in the country, and the seeds of its growth were sown early on.
Taking in all its potential, YourStory decided to take a quick look at the top startups in Hyderabad:
Started by surgeon Niranjan, Caremotto began operations in March this year. Dr Niranjan founded Caremotto, a part of the SLP Leadership Program, when he noticed that despite the number of healthcare and healthtech platforms, there still was a clear need for a platform that help patients discover the best hospitals and procedures for surgeries at guaranteed prices.
“I found that even in the smallest of surgery procedures, patients were wary of going to the doctor, and postpone the procedure. I thought it would be best to bring in some transparency to the surgery and surgical procedures,” he explains. (Website)
Started by Vikas Jagetiya, after a particularly harrowing journey, OMitra is a unique Indian rail social app, aiming to solve most of the common problems that a train traveller may face. After you book a ticket on IRCTC, and receive an SMS, the app identifies the SMS and sets everything up for the passenger: it tracks the train, finds co-passengers, creates reminders prior to the journey, and lets you know if you have been confirmed from your position on the waiting list. It also does real-time tracking of the train and its stops. (Website)
After a particularly bad trip to Konark, Anoop Munshi started Tourity, realising the need for a travel portal that could help travellers connect with tour operators, fellow travellers and get access to travel itineraries. Working as a peer-to-peer marketplace, Tourity ensures that every traveller gets to choose between a wide range of trusted choices.
Using technology, Tourity provides travellers with accommodation help, tour package with hosts, transportation, food, and an on-the-go digital travel guide as a personal navigator. (Website)
Started this year by Ramesh Mudunuri, Orvoz is a patient-engagement platform to address the gap in interactions between doctors and patients. In most cases, diagnosis of diseases and consultations can be done earlier on, but as most people avoid going to a doctor or hospital, many treatments get delayed, be it consultations, diagnostics, home sample collections, medicine delivery or even routine checkup.
Looking at this problem, Ramesh decided to build Orvoz, a cloud-based platform that claims to take care of everything, providing efficient patient care, whether it is building awareness, going through records, consulting with outpatients or even regular checks. (Website)
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Started by Manikanta Racharla, ShopTap is a sales platform that helps bridge the gap between sellers and buyers in the online and offline space. It connects the offline traditional stores with the online world. Using the point-of-sale platform, the customer can look at a whole range of inventory.
Apart from that, the web and mobile dashboards help organisations with engagement, conversations, and sales. There are close to 14 categories. The customer chooses the product, the salesman places the order, and the product is delivered with the payment done via cash on delivery.
By the end of this year, the team intends to expand across Hyderabad, and is also intent on expanding to Tier II and III cities. The team is also looking actively to raise its next round of funding. (Website)
Sai Krishna believes that, over the years, we have forgotten the health and nutritional value of ingredients like jowar, millet and barley. With changing lifestyles, most people end up eating junk food, and lead sedentary lifestyles, making several heart and diabetics-related commonplace.
Therefore, with his three year old startup HealthSutra, Sai decided to manufacture healthy food options, like barley or millet flakes, to promote a healthier lifestyle. (Website)
Started by IIIT Hyderabad graduates, Bucker acts as a smart assisting layer for all the different services that help the consumer reduce the time one spends in searching, comparing and jumping across multiple apps.
Working in the background, Bucker identifies the user’s need for a service, makes queries, compares results and provides the best option for the user. The app is integrated with over 15 apps, providing assistance across three verticals: cabs, food ordering, and mobile recharge. The team raised seed funding from Sanjay Enishetty of 50K Ventures. (Website)
The idea of Kahaniya came to Pallav Bajjuri and Devendra Gona a few months ago. Devendra, a voracious reader of Telugu literature, found it difficult to find good Telugu stories online. Looking at the problem, Devendra and Pallav realised that there were many people who wrote stories in regional languages, but they were lost. To revive stories in regional languages, Kahaniya has stories, poems and short fiction work of different regional language authors. (Website)
Started by Kiran Kalakunta, eKincare is a digital platform that enables users to monitor their medical information and history, and view it anywhere at anytime. The technology on the platform gathers medical results from various healthcare providers, updates profiles, and provides a single repository for users to store all their healthcare episodes.
It then identifies potential health risks from the data, and provides a personalised health plan to beat those risks. The team has raised a pre-Series A funding round of Rs 4.4 crore from Bitkemy Ventures (re-invested); Maheshwari Investment. Pvt. Ltd.; and from other HNIs like Anshoo Gaur (Indian Angel network, Amdocs), RamaKrishna Reddy, and Sandeep Seerapu.
Started by Rakesh Gupta and Sumit Handa, Appilyever works along mobile, web and physical channels with the bride, groom and their families to create the perfect wedding. The offerings include curated content with fulfillment support, e-commerce store, and even expert advice.
The platform has close to 2,000 products spread across 10 categories, and it also allows users to create events, send out invites and share updates. The team has raised a funding of $400,000 in February from angel investors and entrepreneurs. The round was led by Varun Aggarwal, Co-founder and COO of Univariety.
With the launch of T-hub and increased focus by the various stakeholders in the ecosystem, Hyderabad is all set to revive itself after the political unrest and Telengana trouble in 2014. However, the Hyderabad startup ecosystem still needs to compete with Bengaluru and Delhi NCR, which have deeper pockets and more funding.
Tom Thomas, COO, CIE Hyderabad believes that currently the Hyderabad startup ecosystem has all the key ingredients in place, but still needs a catalyst to create a booming ecosystem.
Hyderabad, nevertheless, has been a strong entrepreneurial hub. Explaining this, Sateesh Andra, Managing Director, Endiya Partners says,
You look at the top names in the healthcare and pharmaceutical world. The entrepreneurs are from Hyderabad. People from Hyderabad have always been great at entrepreneurship and setting up businesses.
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