As 10 aspirational startups pitched at Demo Day, corporates reflected on how early-stage tech startups can co-innovate
JioGenNext showcased 10 startups at Demo Day. Innovative startups in AgriTech, EdTech, Drone Analytics, Voice UX and HealthTech from previous batches pitched on the progress they’ve made over the last one year. Also pitching were fintech startups from the second edition of Basecamp in collaboration with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).
“In the alumni companies, we have seen more than 10x growth in terms of their traction after having gone through the mentoring and market access programme. This has been achieved through a combination of the growth opportunities offered by the Reliance ecosystem and our mentors,” says Amey Mashelkar, JioGenNext. Basecamp Demo Day was held on October 15, 2019 at Reliance Corporate Park, Navi Mumbai.
The 10x aspiration
During the opening keynote, Dr. R.A. Mashelkar, Chairman of the Reliance Innovation Council, mentioned how in the last 18 months, Reliance has acquired 18 startups, one per month. "I believe this will go up exponentially. It's a great vehicle to acquire talent, but more importantly, a platform for these startups to grow," he said. He also spoke about why startups should pole-vault and not leapfrog based on the ASSURED framework, which he mentions in his latest book 'Leapfrogging to Pole-vaulting - Creating the Magic of Radical yet Sustainable Transformation'. The ASSURED framework looks at scalability and sustainability in the economic, environmental and societal context and delves on why startups should be distinctive. "There is something called doing well and doing good. You need to do well by doing good. Empathy is very important, I'm happy to see young entrepreneurs now with their heart in the right place, doing the right things 10x better," he said.
Dr. R.A. Mashelkar, Chairman of the Reliance Innovation Council
- Utter - Utter uses the messaging platform to offer conversational chatbots and live tutors to help users improve fluency in the English language at an affordable cost, to excel in their jobs. In the last one year, they've grown close to 10x in signups and 7x in paid users. Co-founder Ninad Vengurlekar says, "Jio gave us the confidence that we matter in the ecosystem, that's a big deal for entrepreneurs.”
- Clinikk - Clinikk has created a 360-degree primary healthcare subscription, coupled with financial risk protection which offers individuals unlimited and free doctor consultations. They also get access to more than 6500 hospitals to avail cashless hospitalisation benefits of up to Rs 2 lakh. Dr. Suraj Baliga, Co-Founder says, "We started speaking the startup language, the business language after being part of the cohort. Having an association with a brand like Jio actually helped us build a lot of credibility."
- BharatAgri - BharatAgri is a technology solution platform for farmers, not only to improve their productivity but also improve the value chain of agriculture in India. "JioGenNext provides a good startup ecosystem connect with technical, business and finance expertise. From 500 users, we now have 15,000 users paying and complying to our solution in Maharashtra," says Sai Gole, Co-founder.
- DronaMaps - DronaMaps is an end-to-end platform to collect, process, and visualise drone data. It empowers decision-makers with robust insights, using a combination of legacy geospatial approaches, made more effective with Deep Learning. Ayushi Mishra, Co-Founder and Chief Business Officer says that they have grown massively in the last year. "Intellectually and strategically, Reliance really helped us find that niche of creating a scalable business model.”
- Jiny - Jiny is enabling businesses to expand in the next billion-user market where users are not digitally savvy. They provide a new class of assistants which helps them do complex digital tasks on their own, without any external assistance. Kushagra Sinha, Co-founder and CEO says, "Being a first-time entrepreneur, there's a lot of noise around, but the amazing mentorship from JioGenNext helped us crystallise our thoughts. From zero users, we have 1 million active monthly users today.”
Co-innovation for exponential growth: How corporates and startups are seizing the opportunity together
The panel discussion with H. Srikrishnan, Jio Financial Services, Hitesh Sachdev, ICICI Bank, Vishal Anand Kanvaty, NPCI, and Aakrit Vaish, Haptik was led by Ravi Gururaj, Qikpod.
Srikrishnan said, “What Jio has created is history by planting a smartphone in the hands of every Indian”. According to Vishal, UPI has grown rapidly and seeded itself into the fintech world, by eliminating friction in payments, "We've crossed 1 billion transactions a year, we will achieve 1 billion a month pretty soon, and the vision is 1 billion a day." Aakrit, whose startup Haptik was acquired by Reliance Jio said "You need the agility of a startup and the resources of an institution. We have a clear path on what we need to achieve as an independent business as well as co-creating with Jio.”
Innovative fintech startups from the second edition
The five startups that are part of this edition of Basecamp and are actively working to redefine the future fintech solutions landscape in India include:
- Rapidor - Rapidor helps small and medium enterprises to completely manage their business in a single window. They don't have to worry about their working capital needs as they can process payments quickly and mange collections easily on the platform. "The important outcome from the programme has been the ability to collaborate with other startups. We've got a clear direction which has been set as part of this programme as well in terms of scaling up profitably and we've met those numbers to a large extent and we look forward to seeing clear revenues coming now," says Thomson Skariah Thayil, Co-founder.
- Swipez - Swipez is a software-as-a-service solution for small and medium businesses to organise their payment collections, automate their payouts and handle GST filing. "Everyone likes to be an engineer and quickly build things, but talking to industry stalwarts always helps to realign what you are doing with what the market needs," says Shuhaid Lambe, Technology Lead.
- Apiria - Apiria is stitching payroll with bank accounts and creating a technology for the future. Their first product is an all-in-one Employee Benefit Card. Darshan Rathi, CTO says, "Jio is all about scale. Through the programme, we got the AI mindset to create products for the future. We also got amazing insights into our growth strategy and how to scale."
- CloudNBFC - CloudNBFC is a new-age digital platform built for financial institutions, NBFCs and small banks to automate their sales, accounting and loan recovery activities. Rahul Dupare, Co-Founder, shares, "The programme helped us in multiple ways – industry connects, focusing on the right customer segment and also pursuing relevant growth metrics."
- MinksPay - MinksPay is empowering thousands of merchants in rural areas with a seamless digital payment acceptance platform, by enabling them to cross-sell multiple financial and digital services to rural customers. "We are building a Bharat-focused fintech company with a mission to digitise 1 million+ stores in more than 15 states in India, thereby helping 100+ million unbanked customers," says Sanket Shendure, Founder and CEO.
Applications are now open for the 11th JioGenNext batch which will be launched in November 2019. If you’re a startup 'building for Bharat', working on any digital solution for small and medium businesses across India, apply now.