When these life partners turned business partners, startups were born
Be it selling apartments to fund their entrepreneurial dreams, or giving up a cushy job, these couples have fueled each other’s passion to start up.
The perfect marriage, they say, is built by two imperfect people who refuse to give up. Sounds similar to the story of most startup founders? The pace of modern life may have led to the blurring of line between work and home, but Startup India is – in many cases – completely erasing the line.
Entrepreneurial couples aren’t new; we’ve seen them shine with Eventbrite, ModCloth, PopSugar, SlideShare, Housetrip, and Knok. But the startup ecosystem is now witnessing the rise of a new band of couple founders, entrepreneurs who work side by side every day and return home hand in hand.
The life-partners-turned-business-partners may not have found favour with investors a few years back, but these entrepreneurial pairs are showing us how couples can mix their personal and professional lives successfully.
Rohan and Swati Bhargava were good friends before getting married. The couple first started PouringPound to ride on the success the cashback industry was seeing in many countries. The duo had considered the same idea for India, but the ecommerce sector was not quite mature when they launched PouringPound. Eventually, after raising $750,000 from UK investors, they launched Gurgaon-based CashKaro in India in April 2013. According to Crunchbase, CashKaro has raised a total of $4.6 million till now.
This Bengaluru-based design company was started by husband-and-wife duo Vivek Prabhakar and Shubhra Chadda, and now offers accessories for everyday living. Like the founders of Samosa Singh, the couple also sold their Bengaluru apartment to fund their venture in 2010. They started small by offering souvenirs based on Indian themes and soon expanded into an assortment of products – from phone cases and jewellery boxes to laptop sleeves and kitchenware. Last November, the firm announced it had raised Rs 85 crore in a funding round led by Gaja Capital. According to Crunchbase, the startup has raised a total of $28.9 million till now.
Shikhar Singh joined Biocon as a scientist in 2009, and married Nidhi a year later. The conversation at home kept coming back to the business of samosas, the king of Indian snacks. In April 2016, the couple spent a night in their own apartment in Bengaluru for the very first time. The very next day, they sold the flat to invest the money into their Bengaluru-based samosa startup. According to a YourStory report, Samosa Singh “operates out of a large highly automated kitchen that can easily meet the current order size of 10,000 samosas a day”.
Bengaluru-based AapKaPainter is an aggregator that connects homeowners to design consultants and painters, and taps technology to make painting homes and offices a hassle-free experience. Anupam Singh Chauhan, an alumnus of NIT Warangal, and Dhivya Raghavan, from NIT Raipur, met during an industrial training programme at college. Dhivya’s cumbersome experience while getting her home painted in Pune sowed the seed of this startup in Anupam’s mind. The duo set off on their entrepreneurial journey in 2015, got married in 2016, and are now looking to scale.
A marketplace for party planners and entertainers, this Mumbai-based startup was founded by Atit Jain and Madhulika Pandey who met when they were working for The Weekend Consultant (TWC), a community for reviewing eateries, movies, and getaways. The duo was struggling to define the revenue model for TWC and decided to launch Gigstart. This online marketplace facilitates “transparent connect between entertainers and party planners”. The founders claim it is the “first-of-its-kind booking service where all the artists are verified and reviewed in order to ensure we offer you (customers) nothing less than the best”. Gigstart claims to have more than 4,000 artists across 16 different categories. According to Crunchbase, the startup has raised a total of $210,000 till now.