From a few thousand entrepreneurs some years ago, the Indian startup ecosystem now has tens of thousands of startups emerging from the void.
While every startup looks at becoming a “unicorn” in the consumer space, its immediate focus to bring a concept to fruition is to catch the eye of big corporate entities. Bagging vendor agreements make the young B2B startups believe they have something big to launch after years of R&D on the product.
Zoho and Freshworks were pioneers in inspiring Indian businesses to go global. Recently, Freshworks also announced that it had achieved $100 million in ARR, signalling that Indian businesses could be cutting-edge.
With such companies inspiring the Indian ecosystem, there is an emerging trend this year, where corporate organisations are giving smaller Indian companies a foothold in the global market.
Here are some of the startups that have won important business deals in 2018.
IERO: The company spent 24 months on R&D and simultaneously kept talking to potential customers about the benefits of using software to target customers while walking in shopping aisles. IERO understands where the customer is located in a store and is able to serve specific ads to them based on their past shopping experience. Hemanth SM and Pavan Govindan, the founders of IERO, now have SPAR, the global retailer, as their marquee customer. IERO is incubated by Bosch and is taking the business global. IERO would not reveal the value of the contract, but said that it has global dreams now that the European retailer is going work with Iero.
Stelae Technologies: After spending several years in R&D where Aruna Schwartz and her team were building a text recognition platform that could convert old manuals into digital PDF formats on the go, the startup received global recognition from NavBlue. Stelae extracts and semantically tags meta-data, structures and hierarchically organises information, generates a table of contents and converts them to XML-based outputs – in real-time. The company recently won contracts from Tech Mahindra and NavBlue. With NavBlue the company will offer real time data-led reporting services for charter flights. This contract was won in July 2018.
Stelae’s product structures content from Paper and PDF, Word, ASCII, OCR (Optical Character Recognition), RTF, Excel, CSV, SGML, QuarkExpress, Adobe InDesign and HTML.
Airpix: Drones flying over fields, scanning topography and taking images for land use – the agricultural sector has benefited from the use of technology. This is what AirPix brings to Indian and global customers. Its drones have powerful cameras with imaging technology to provide farmers the entire topography of the land, which can then be scanned for cropping patterns or improving yields. Discovered by Airbus this year, Airpix is now a part of its drone programme.
NeeWee: This Bengaluru-based IoT company has gone global this year. What it does is figure out the manufacturing data from several disparate systems – over a time period - and is able to lower the cost of manufacturing, helping plan its production strategy better for every quarter. It has also been picked up by Airbus to understand the movement of parts across geographies. Sources say that NeeWee technologies improves movement and production of parts and allows all departments in a factory to function together with seamless data flow.
SunMobility: Chetan Maini’s solar based energy storage and infrastructure company, Sun Mobility, has tied up with Microsoft. Sun will build on top of the Microsoft Azure Cloud, a smart EV infrastructure network that will take data from all users and analyse the usage of energy across the country. Since Sun Mobility is setting up several EV charging stations across the country, having a cloud based platform helps customers track their EV’s range and also the performance of the vehicle. They can also find the EV charging station powered by the Microsoft cloud.