[Startup Roundup] All they need is internet, roti can wait, cry small town entrepreneurs
As I gather the startup stories that we published this week, I cannot help but think how fortunate some of us are -- especially those of us living in larger cities with access to high-speed internet connectivity, a responsive market, and easy access to funds.
Since the past nine years, YourStory has brought out stories of grit, guts, and glory that have inspired many to unlock their passion and take the entrepreneurship route to make a difference.
Much has changed in the nine years. The ecosystem in metro cities and larger towns has become richer and it is fairly simple to start up, at least.
But drive down a few kilometers from where you live and you will realise we haven’t even scratched the surface. There are hundreds of youth in tier 2 and tier 3 cities who are working silently and anonymously trying to solve pressing problems faced by their community.
And one of the most pressing challenges that they encounter – among a host of others – is lack of uninterrupted internet connectivity. Something that has come to be a basic human right (at the cost of food and water, at times) in Bengaluru, Mumbai, or Delhi, is a scarce commodity in smaller towns.
As I travelled to Aurangabad in the Marathwada region of Maharashtra this weekend, I met innovators and engineering graduates hungry to catch up with their big city counterparts.
In the next few weeks, we will bring some of their stories. Meanwhile, here’s my pick of startup stories that we published this week and which you should not miss reading.
Talking about internet connectivity, here’s a startup that is thinking 'box', if you please, to solve this problem.
Karam Lakshman and Shubhendu Sharma set up Wifi Dabba to provide cheap and superfast wifi at stores, shops, and stalls. Writes Binjal Shah, “Tea stalls are great unifiers – they cut across class barriers by bringing everyone together over an inexpensive cutting chai. An engineer duo dreamed of making quality, high-speed internet just as class-agnostic and accessible to everyone. And could there be more fitting hotspots than tea stalls across the city of Bengaluru?”
Find out how this Y Combinator-funded startup is solving a much-needed problem with a local solution in the story titled: ‘WiFi cheaper than cutting chai now available at your local tea stall, courtesy Wifi Dabba’
Over the last three years, the healthcare segment has seen the advent of significant players, including Tencent-backed Practo, Sequoia-backed 1mg, Tiger-backed Lybrate, Netmeds, Matrix-backed Myra, and Bessemer-backed PharmEasy.
Kochi-based George Kuriakose jumped into this space to start Pappyjoe, a practice management software, which allows users to register and book appointments with member doctors.
Neha Jain writes that the company brings on board two new clinics or doctors every day and has clocked an annual revenue of Rs 50 lakh in 2016-17 financial year. Over 2,000 clinics across the country use Pappyjoe.
Read the full story here, titled: ‘This Kochi-based entrepreneur is helping doctors with patient management’
Licenced merchandise is a big market in India today. Brand licensing company Black White Orange (BWO) founded by Bhavik Vora has tied up with Universal Studios, Paramount Pictures, HBO, and our very own 'Baahubali' to sell their merchandise.
It also raised an undisclosed funding from Yuvraj Singh’s YouWeCan Ventures in December 2015.
Bhavik says that one of the most interesting things in the company’s two-year journey was the pitch and acquisition of Universal Studios. Another big moment was roping in Game of Thrones. Bhavik adds it took the company a year and a half to acquire it. He tells Sindhu Kashyap it wasn’t about the money, but the fact that he wanted to work with a brand he loved.
Read the full story, titled: ‘From ‘Baahubali’ to ‘Game of Thrones’, Black White Orange brings your favourites home'
This startup offers an integrated cybersecurity solution that uses behaviour analytics and employee monitoring software to null insider and cyber threats.
Launched in 2008, Data Resolve Technologies is an IIT Kharagpur incubated cybersecurity startup. The company was initially headquartered in Kolkata. It later shifted base to Delhi, sensing industry demand and need, writes Libza Mannan.
“The entire idea kick-started from a small but powerful thought that anybody can take away sensitive files on a USB drive without anybody in the organisation knowing,” says CEO Dhruv Khanna.
Read the full story, titled: ‘Delhi-based startup is making businesses leak-proof with data security products’
In a short span of time, The Leather Boutique, has established itself as a premium brand for leather goods from India.
Started in 2012 by Zeshan Rahaman, The Leather Boutique’s flagship store is at Lavelle Road in Bengaluru and also houses a furniture line along with clothing and accessories. The company has partnered with two to three large retail stores to sell its goods.
Zeshan tells Neha Jain, “The toughest challenge has been moulding the brand from a brick-and-mortar model to a multichannel brand. However, we have had the privilege of executing large orders for companies, and sporting organisations within India, and we did this with hard work and dedication.”
Read the full story here, titled: ‘Second-generation entrepreneur creates luxury with leather’