Facebook has been playing a very important role in nurturing the startup ecosystem through its programmes and initiatives. On the occasion of the first-ever India Startup Day, Facebook took to recognising and celebrating five startups who are changing the game in their field through their innovative ideas.
On October 9, 2018, these five startups were felicitated at the Facebook India Startup Day Awards in New Delhi. The programme brought together eminent leaders from established fields and budding startups who were aspiring to make a mark in the industry.
The winning ideas
With over 500 entries, the five award winners were chosen by the jury in the categories of She Leads Tech, Building for Tomorrow, Building for the Next Billion, Building for the World, and Community Builder. Here is a glimpse into their impactful ideas:
She Leads Tech
This category recognises a woman-founded/co-founded tech startup that has demonstrated superior innovativeness and performance in India.
The winner was Greenway Grameen, a startup that designs & distributes life-improving products amongst low-income markets. Founded in 2011 by Neha Juneja and Ankit Mathur, their products solve some of the most critical problems that consumers face - clean cooking, electricity access and even internet use. They distribute via an innovative credit model, by developing data driven credit profiles for rural women and enabling formal finance. Today, their products are in use in over 700,000 homes and mitigate up to 2.5 million tonnes of carbon emissions annually. Their unique distribution model has enabled credit for over 2.5 lakh customers.
Building for Tomorrow
This category awards startups working on the building blocks for a stronger tech-driven future – essentially, any startup that is applying emerging technologies such as AR/VR to reinvent how business and society can come up with solutions to previously unsolvable problems.
The winner was Scapic, founded by Sai Krishna VK and Ajay PV in 2016. Scapic is a platform that lets people create, share and explore immersive experiences. It is building the WordPress for VR/AR and helps users build virtual, augmented or mixed reality content easily, for social media, the web and spatial devices. For the first time ever, new immersive formats have a democratised tool to power content creation.
Building for the Next Billion
This category awards startups that are developing and implementing solutions for social, cultural and environmental issues in India.
The winner was Aye Finance, a startup built around the mission of transforming micro and small enterprise lending in India by providing inclusive finance at an affordable price to this ‘missing middle’. Founded in 2013 by Sanjay Sharma and Vikram Jetley, Aye Finance has innovated a unique cluster-based credit assessment method that utilises the deep insights of the operations of a business cluster to make good lending decisions despite the absence of business accounts, credit histories or banking track records. They have also removed the friction in customer origination process by using paperless cloud CRM based process for the KYC and credit bureau reporting processes with minimum fuss. Today, the company has enabled the financial inclusion of 80,000 grassroots businesses.
Building for the World
This category seeks to recognise companies working on solutions that are being used on a global scale.
The winner was Nanoclean Global Pvt. Ltd., the only company in the world that produces the most affordable bio-safe nanofibers with its proprietary polymer technology. It was founded by Prateek Sharma, Tushar Vyas and Jatin Kewlani in 2017. Their first commercial product, Nasofilter, is the first ever non-inserted, hypo-allergenic and self-adhering nanotechnology-based respiratory disposable nasal filter in the world. Costing just Rs.10 and very convenient to use, it has the potential to change how India and the rest of the world uses respiratory protection devices.
This final category aims to recognise startups that are building solutions to support the developer/startup community in India.
The winner was Hasura, a platform that helps developers build, develop and scale their apps. The platform has instant APIs for rapid development, and it helps create a to-do app within three minutes. Founded by Rajoshi Ghosh and Tanmai Gopal in 2017, the Hasura GraphQL engine gives instant, high performance GraphQL for any Postgres app without having to write any backend code. The Hasura K8s platform is a new take on PaaS and BaaS in the container era, that allows one to build and deploy scalable applications on Kubernetes, without any prior knowledge of K8s.