Meet the Indian-origin entrepreneurs who are powering the US startup ecosystemSameer Ranjan
The surge in the number of Indian-American founders in the US reveals the contribution they are making to the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Ten percent of the Indian diaspora spread across the world comprises Indian-Americans. Their influence and contribution to the US economy is well known. While Indian-origin CEOs helm operations at US-based global giants like Google, Microsoft, Pepsico, and Adobe, of late, there has been a surge in Indian-origin founders (both first generation and second-generation immigrants) in the US.
According to a study, "America’s New Immigrant Entrepreneurs: Then and Now" by technology entrepreneur and academic Vivek Wadwha, AnnaLee Saxenian and F. Daniel Siciliano for the period 2006 to 2012, overall immigrant entrepreneurship “stagnated” compared to the period from 1995 to 2005. But, startups by Indian immigrants increased 7 percent over the earlier period. Over 33 percent of all immigrants founded companies were founded by Indian Americans.
YourStory lists seven startups founded by Indian-origin entrepreneurs who are set to disrupt the existing business model in their markets.
This robotic process automation software company was founded in 2003 by Mihir Shukla, Ankur Kothari, Neeti Mehta, and Rushabh Parmani. Based in San Jose, California, the company’s product - Automation Anywhere Enterprise – helps enterprises looking to deploy a digital workforce comprising software bots that complete business processes end-to-end. Automation Anywhere raised $250 million in Series A funding in July this year, taking the value of the company to $1.8 billion.
The founders come from varied backgrounds. Mihir did his graduation from The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda while Ankur Kothari completed his engineering from University of Mumbai. Neeti Mehta did her school from Sacred Heart Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Chennai.
The enterprise focused data storage startup was founded in 2013 by Mohit Aron. Mohit, who has a bachelor of science (computer science) degree from IIT Delhi, got a Ph.D in computer science from Rice University.
The company, which is based in San Jose, California, in June this year raised $250 million in a Series D round of funding led by SoftBank’s Vision Fund, with participation from Sequoia Capital, Cisco Investments, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), Morgan Stanley Expansion Capital, Battery Ventures, and Trinity Ventures, among other earlier investors. According to media reports, the company was valued at around $1 billion.
Founded in 2012 by Apoorva Mehta, Max Mullen and Brandon Leonardo, Instacart operates as a “sometimes-same-day grocery delivery service”. The San Francisco-based grocery delivery startup is backed by investors such as Sequoia Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, Khosla Ventures, SV Angel, and Y Combinator. Apoorva has a degree on Electrical Engineering from University of Waterloo.
In February this year, the startup raised $200 million in a round led by investment firms Coatue Management and Glade Brook Capital Partners. The funding valued the company at over $4 billion.
The Palo Alto-based company that provides search and AI-driven analytics for business and enterprises this month closed a $145 million Series D funding valuing the company at over $1 billion. The startup was founded in 2012 by Ajeet Singh, Shashank Gupta, Vijay Ganeshan, Sanjay Agrawal, Abhishek Rai, Priyendra Deshwal, and Amit Prakash. The business intelligence and big data analytics platform aims to help companies explore, analyse and share real-time business analytics data easily.
While Ajeet is an alumnus of IIT Kanpur and IIM Kolkata, Shashank holds a degree from IIT Delhi. While Sanjay and Amit are alumni of IIT Kanpur, Vijay is an alumnus of IIT Madras, Abhishek an alumnus of IIT Kharagpur, and Priyendra an alumnus of IIT Kanpur.
Founded in December 2014, cloud data management company Rubrik provides instant application availability for recovery, search, cloud, and development for hybrid cloud enterprises – with simplicity, instant data access, app-mobility, policy-driven automation, ransomware protection, and analytics at scale. The company was founded by Bipul Sinha (ex-Oracle Corporation) in collaboration with Arvind Jain (ex-Googler), Soham Mazumdar (ex-Facebook), and Arvind Nithrakashyap (ex-Oracle). The Palo Alto, California-based company also has offices in India and Ireland. In April, 2017, Rubrik raised $180 million at a valuation of $1.3 billion.
Bipul holds a B.Tech (Honours) in electrical engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, and holds an MBA from The Wharton School. While Arvind Jain is a B-Tech from IIT Delhi, Soham is an alumnus of IIT Kanpur. Arvind Nithrakashyap holds a bachelor degree from IIT Madras.
The cloud security company was founded by Sanjay Beri, Lebin Cheng, Ravi Ithal and Krishna Narayanaswamy in 2012. With the cloud and mobile making it easy to collaborate, Netskope helps businesses find, understand, and secure software-as-a-service (SaaS) in use by their employees.
Sanjay is an alumnus from University of Waterloo and Stanford University while Ravi holds a degree from NIT Karnataka. Krishna Narayanaswamy graduated with a BE degree from BITS Pilani.
In June 2017, the company announced that it had raised about $100 million in a Series E funding round led by existing investors Lightspeed Venture Partners and Accel.
New York based Roomi is a mobile based platform that helps people find affordable co-living solutions. The app offers apartment listings with background-checked profiles from tenants. Roomi also pulls out data and information from social media, including employment information and photos.
In 2015, Ajay Yadav launched Roomi. Before that, he studied computer science at NYIT and helped launch two other startups. Last November, the online roommate finder platform raised $11 million in a Series A round. Atami Capital led the round that saw participation by Rosecliff Ventures, Townsquare Media, JXC Investors, Great Oaks Venture Capital, DCM, and others.