WATCH: The week that was - from Udaan’s journey to becoming a unicorn to Freshworks engineer who believes in getting the basics right
We kick-started this week by talking about Udaan, the fastest Indian startup to have achieved the coveted unicorn status. The B2B online marketplace, which has set its sights to conquer Indian retail, was incorporated in June 2016. Udaan launched its operations a year later to create waves in the Indian startup ecosystem by achieving a unicorn status in September 2018, with a private valuation of $1 billion and above.
The founders – Sujeet Kumar, Amod Malviya, and Vaibhav Gupta, former Flipkart executives, understood the big picture of India’s retail industry, and realised that technology could be a game changer. They say Udaan’s journey has just begun.
The pulse of India’s economy, to a large extent, rests on the retail industry as the nation is driven by consumption, which is expected to touchfrom $1.8 trillion in 2017 to $3.6 trillion by 2020. Powering this consumption will be the retail industry, which is expected to cross $1.1 trillion by 2021. The driving force behind this is consumption of goods like food grains, fruits and vegetables, medicines, clothing, and even mobile phones. Read the story here.
This week, Udaan again raised funding of $585 million led by Tencent, Altimeter, Footpath Ventures, Hillhouse, GGV Capital, and Citi Ventures. The round also saw participation from existing investors Lightspeed Venture Partners and DST Global.
With this fund raise, Udaan’s valuation is now believed to be nearly $2.5 billion to $3 billion. Since 2016, Udaan has so far raised $870 million in funding.
And technology cannot exist without engineers, who are building these unicorns. They say knowledge is power. Fifty-five-year-old STS Prasad, the SVP of Engineering at business software company Freshworks, is a firm believer in this. Prasad believes that there’s only one truth to engineering.
“Get your basic mathematics and logic right. Then you can apply any engineering language for any given problem statement with experience and practice,” he says.
Read his story here.
After talking about Udaan’s fund raise, we cannot miss mentioning NoBroker.com.
Started by Amit Kumar Agarwal along with Akhil Gupta and Saurabh Garg, the one factor which makes the tech-based real estate platform stand out in the already over-crowded real estate market is the complete absence of any kind of brokerage. Meaning, an absolute broker ban – a feature that is plugged in with the help of algorithms and other tech tools.
“A broker cannot post his property. A broker cannot fetch an owner’s contact,” says Amit.
Watch Amit Kumar Agarwal talk about the many hurdles which shaped their success.
After ecommerce and real estate, now let us talk about an upcoming idea in the edtech space. Get Me A Course is an online aggregator of both online and classroom courses, curating courses from various learning platforms and bridging the gap between learners and trainers.
“The model is very similar to travel aggregation sites and apps that list all the different airlines, hotels, and travel service providers,” says Rohan Krishna, the CEO and Co-Founder of the Bengaluru-based startup.
GMAC’s inception has its roots in personal struggles. Launched in 2016 in Bengaluru, the startup is the brainchild of Rohan, a serial entrepreneur,and four others - Kshama Bhatia, Shashwat Swaroop, and Ammin Rajqotwala. All of them had personally faced the dilemma of finding the right skills and upskilling as they navigated their careers.
Asthe edtech space disrupts education and teaching, many foreign companies are now seeing opportunities in India.
The Lambda School, for example, believes India has an enormous need for engineering and technical talent. While the HRD Ministry says that more than 1.5 million students graduate from engineering schools every year, not many of them get employed.
It is to change this that Austen Allred and Ben Nelson started Lambda Schoolin 2017. It is an online coding bootcamp based out of San Francisco. It offers technology courses like Data Science, Full-stack web development, iOS development, and UX Design, owing to high demand for engineers armed with these skills. These courses last from nine to 18 months.
(Edited by Megha Reddy)