Bengaluru is known as India’s Silicon Valley and the startup hub of India followed by other metro cities like Delhi and Mumbai. Tier II cities are also showcasing a plethora of innovation, skills and evolving as an early stage hub, despite facing quite a few additional roadblocks.
One among these is the 'Pink City' of India – Jaipur, which is buzzing with talent and entrepreneurs who are trying to solve pertinent problems of the citizens. Over the last few years, the city has grown to become one of the favourite destinations for angel and venture capitalists. It has also nurtured some of the well-known firms which have rapidly scaled up - Girnarsoft, Razorpay, CultureAlley, LogicRoots.
Harshil Mathur, Founder of Razorpay, says, “We moved out of Jaipur a year back. But starting up in that city gave us an added advantage as it lowered all the costs, including the salary packages, logistics, rental, etc. All this contributed to the low cash burn, which is essential for an early-stage startup.”
On the challenges front, he says that raising capital sitting back in the city is tough as the entrepreneurs do not have ample opportunities to meet the investors, who prefers to restrict themselves to the metros and not travel to these tier II cities. Secondly, these startups face a serious challenge while hiring senior technical folks who prefer to work in metropolitan cities and avail better scope.
This year, Jaipur has raised more than $16 million across eleven deals so far, which mostly included seed rounds. In 2015, $9 billion was invested in over 1,005 deals in India, according to YourStory research. Among these major deals, two were bagged by Jaipur-based Cardekho and Netmeds, which secured $50 million each.
"In the last two years, the startup ecosystem has rapidly evolved in this city. There are a lot of potential upcoming startups that have raised their seed funding and are building good business models," says Satyam Mishra, Founder of UrbanDhobi, an online aggregator for laundromats, headquartered in Jaipur.
Incorporated in 2014, Jaipur-based incubator Startup Oasis was setup by the joint initiative of RIICO and the Centre for Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE) at IIM Ahmedabad. Since then, it has been nurturing startups and strengthening the ecosystem further. Till date, the incubator has mentored startups like SRJNA, UrbanDhobi, RazorPay amongst others and has trained more than 1,000 aspiring entrepreneurs.
Chintan Bakshi, Co-founder and COO of startup incubator Oasis, says that the city now has multiple support programmes, and investors like Rajasthan Angel Investors Network (RAIN) and Rajasthan Venture Capital Fund help entrepreneurs with funding and mentorship.
Oasis also organised a startup fest last year in October, which was attended by VCs including DG Ventures, Lead Angels, Unitus Seed Fund and Villgro. With such events, Chintan says, the number of opportunities to meet the VCs have surely soared, but still is relatively much less when compared with other major cities.
Headstarts, The indus entrepreneurs (TiE), Entrepreneur Cafe, and Think Space are few names that organises events and accelerator programmes catering exclusively to startups, renders the prerequisite mentorship and fosters entrepreneurship. Chintan adds,
Jointly in 2014 and 2015, we had incubated around 750 colleges. But this year alone, we have incubated more than 750, which vividly shows the growth of startup activity in this city.
Commenting on the business models, he says, “In the present market, B2C has a higher demand, but many business models are now being pivoted to B2C models as they are working well these days.”
“Although the penetration of online services has been growing, but in terms of revenue Jaipur still does not make it in the top 10 city list. We have received incredible response from tier II cities, but 80 percent of our revenue is still generated from the tier I cities,” says Anurag Jain, Co-founder and COO of Girnarsoft.
Based on innovation, reach and other measures, here is a list of 10 upcoming startups from Jaipur to look out for, in no particular order:
- Netmeds - Founded in 2015 by Pradeep Dadha, Netmeds is an online pharma aggregator. The platform allows users to upload a prescription and order medicine through its mobile app. Through the app, the users can check the catalogue and the firm also maintains the records of the medicine order and provides refill reminders to the end user. Once a user has uploaded a prescription, it is examined by the company’s pharmacists for proper dosage, duration, and other points of validity. Despite, the controversy regarding the sale of online medicines, this startup has stood strong and paved its way through the nascent market.
- Hey Jaipur, listen up! We are coming to your city on September 1 as part of TechSparks city meetups happening across India. Get ready to listen and engage with us and tell us your stories. Book your spot for free here.
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- Tax2Win - An online tax portal, Tax2Win was founded in February 2015. The portal eases tax filing with three offerings. The end user can do it himself without any cost borne or take a CA’s help or review at the end and pay $4.50 and $1.50, respectively. Last month, the startup had raised $1 million.
- KhanaGadi - Food delivery aggregator KhanaGadi was founded by Amit Deep Kumar, Naman Goswami and Sunil Awasthi in 2015. Owned by GBS Travel, KhanaGadi has raised an undisclosed funding from Hyderabad-based 50K Ventures, this year. The platform offers plated meals and combos to train passengers at 150 railway stations in the country. Though the growth of food tech segment has been sluggish, this app-based startup plans to launch its services in Gurgaon, Navi Mumbai, Pune, Dubai, and Kuwait city and serve more than 1,000 customers on a daily basis by 2017.
- WiredHub - Co-working space Wired Hub was launched by Himanshi Goyal in February 2016. The platform raised its seed funding in June and has registered over 10 members till now. A fee of Rs 2,500 is charged as membership fee, which includes networking, workshops, mentorship sessions for the members.
- HippoCabs - Bootstrapped HippoCabs offers luxury inter-city cab service on the route of Jaipur and Delhi where the passengers often need to pay double the amount for the lack of demand. Founded in 2015 by Sagar and Sahil Agarwal, the platform has registered more than 4,000 users and it is growing at more than 30 percent a month. The service is currently also available in Udaipur,Jodhpur, Ajmer and Pushkar and will soon be launching in Mumbai and Pune as well.
- Awaykey - Launched by Ankit Jain and Animesh Tanwar in 2015, Awaykey is a lock accessory. It attaches to the existing door handle locks, which then attaches to the lock from inside of home/office, and becomes an automatic key. The accessory works on Bluetooth which then can be controlled through laptop or mobile phone. So, making it simple the key lets you lock or unlock the door, without any manual process involved.
- SRJNA- Education startup SRJNA was founded in 2014 by Sharad Bansal, Om Prakash, Kapil Arya and Vivek Pathak. It has created over 200 educational models which helps the students learn through experiments. So far, they have trained more than 25,000 students, 500 teachers and 80 schools across Delhi NCR, Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana and Gujarat. The firm had raised Rs 1 lakh in seed funding from Venture Lab.
- ZeroWaste- This re-cycling platform ZeroWaste was founded by Prateek Goel and Dixit Singhvi in 2014. It allows customers to sell their old electronics and ensures that the customer receives the price in cash. The firm also ensures that the e-waste collected through their collection centers are cautiously dumped. In the first nine months of starting operations, the company had claimed that it earned a revenue of Rs 2 crore and now has more than 1,500 customers.
- Curious Cobo - Founded in 2015 by Prateek Jain and Saloni Jain, the startup helps kids aged three to five years and also five to eight years learn and enhance their thinking capability by making tools for creative learning. The platform sells a monthly educational box, which is carefully designed by experts and tested by kids and is delivered to the customer.
- Houssup - Incubated by Oasis, Houssup provides customised and personalised interior designs by interior designers. It also lets the customers choose from buying the components of the interiors via its website or app. Houssup was founded in 2016 by Hemant Singh, Devendra Baghel, Shubham Trivedi, Pranjal Gupta, Sameera YVS and Raghav Mundra. The platform has raised an undisclosed amount of angel funding.
Some of these startups are introducing unique concepts in the market. However, few startups like KhanaGadi, Tax2Win, Houssup will be competing with biggies like KFC, McDonald’s, and FoodPanda, who has partnered with IRCTC to deliver food to passengers. Tax2win will be competing with ClearTax, myitreturn and others, while Houssup will be broadly facing heat from the other furnishing e-commerce companies.
If you know other Jaipur-based startups which are innovating and building the right products, please do let us know in the comments below.
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- Vivek Pathak
- Anurag Jain
- Startup Oasis
- Sharad Bansal
- Kapil Arya
- Prateek Jain
- Sonali Jain
- Satyam Mishra
- jaipur startups
- Amit Deep Kumar
- Hemant Singh
- Sunil Awasthi
- Devendra Baghel
- Naman Goswami