Think about Pune and startups, and you are bound to end up with handful of names, primarily Helpshift, Druva, Mindtickle and Firstcry. Despite the huge talent pool and the city's proximity to Mumbai, Pune has fewer entrepreneurs to celebrate. However, things seem to be changing as more young souls of the city are taking to and acting ambassadors of entrepreneurship.
Unlike Mumbai and Delhi, Pune has a great advantage of having ex-enterprise resources in products and services, as well as a rich pool of tech developers, product managers, and software managers. The city, which also known as Oxford of East, houses popular institutions like Vishwakarma Institute of Technology, Symbiosis University,College of Engineering Pune (COEP), Maharashtra Institute of Technology, and Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER).
When it comes to challenges, stakeholders of Pune’s startup ecosystem equivocally say that unavailability of quality mentors and angel investors are major pains of young entrepreneurs. While Delhi, Bengaluru and Mumbai collectively witnessed about 500-plus investment deals this year, so far, only 40 Pune-based startups had raised investment. But this does not imply that the ecosystem is slow-paced. The following five startups are set to be the next disruptors from Pune.
1. Plobal provides a do-it-yourself (DIY) native app development platform, and claims to help offline businesses and early-stage startups develop their own app in less than 10 minutes. Plobal Apps claims to have more than 500 clients and over 1,000 apps across Hospitality and Lifestyle sectors. The two-year-old startup has now partnered with international e-commerce player Shopify to help their merchants launch powerful mobile apps.
2. Altizon Systems is an Internet of Things (IoT) platform that helps enterprises build IoT products and solutions in weeks by providing device connectivity kits, a device management layer, a scalable, real-time, big-data analytics engine and alerting and monitoring services. In February 2016, they closed a $4-million round of Series A funding from Wipro Ventures, Lumis Partners, The Hive, and Infuse Ventures.
3. Tork Motorcycles focusses on creating practical electric mobility solutions in India. In April, they raised an undisclosed amount of angel funding from investors including Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati, Co-founders of Ola, and Harpreet Grover, Co-founder and CEO of CoCubes. Founded in 2009 by Kapil Shelke, Tork’s motorcycle has features like cloud connectivity, integrated GPS, and in-built navigation capabilities, thereby making it the first smart motorcycle.
4. Xpressbees, the logistics business spun out of Firstcry, secured Rs 85 crore in February from SAIF Partners, IDG Ventures India, NEA, Vertex Ventures and Valiant Capital. Reportedly, Chinese e-commerce major Alibaba Group was in talks with Xpressbees for potential investments to build a strong logistics infrastructure before launching its horizontal marketplace platform in the country. Xpressbees works with Paytm, which Alibaba has a 40-percent stake in, as third-party logistics and eKYC partner.
5. Intouchapp, which provides contact management, has had over five lakh downloads and manages over 1.3 billion contacts. The app keeps users contacts auto-updated, backed up, and synced. It stores contacts in a cloud-based native database without additional memory on the phone. Founded by Sarang Lakare in December 2012, Intouchapp raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding from Blume Ventures in April 2016.