Modern technologies, be it AI, machine learning, 5G, Internet of Things, or blockchain, are transforming our future. Leading the way are startups that are harnessing “disruptive innovation” to create a new market and value network, displacing established firms and products.
As India’s startup ecosystem grows at an incredible pace, founders are seizing the opportunity to disrupt – and flourish. YourStory has painstakingly curated its 2019 list of startups that are creating deep impact with groundbreaking ideas.
The ranking of the 50 Most Disruptive Startups for the year 2019 was based on a well-defined methodology that takes into consideration key valuation metrics and leverages the YourStory team’s rich experience and knowhow in the space. As the most prominent startup ecosystem enabler in India, YourStory is rightly equipped with the qualitative data and industry insights to create the most authentic listings of its kind.
Our ranking of the Top 50 Most Disruptive Startups spotlights startups with groundbreaking ideas that are creating a deep impact for good with the help of technology.
Ola’s EV entity Ola Electric tops the list, followed closely by Paytm’s wealth management arm Paytm Money and B2B supply chain startup Ninjacart at second and third spots, respectively.
To arrive at the rankings for the 50 Most Disruptive Startups, a jury comprising YourStory Research and Data Heads, senior editorial staff, and industry experts narrowed down the initial list of around 300 nominations through multiple deliberations. A score was assigned to various valuation metrics such as market opportunity, team, technology or the product or service provided, innovation, and growth potential to determine the ranking of each of these startups.
The jury carefully considered the team’s capabilities and skills to create disruptive tech-based solutions and scale the business in its addressable market. In addition, the extent of the product innovation of startups, both in terms of product utilisation and defensibility, its market potential, the scalability of the solution, and clarity of the revenue models were also carefully considered by the jury before making their final selection of 50 Most Disruptive Startups.
Redefining electric mobility in India
Ola, one of the world’s largest ride-hailing companies, announced 'Mission: Electric', with a commitment to place 10,000 e-rickshaws in its service in the next 12 months.
From cycle rickshaws to shuttles and last-mile transport, three-wheelers continue to be a dominant form of daily transit for many people in India. Building on the pioneering EV pilot by the company in Nagpur, Ola believes electrification can improve outcomes for drivers, customers, and its business model.
Ola Electric, which was set up in 2017, will work with driver-partners, cities, vehicle manufacturers, and battery companies to make sustainable technologies cost-effective and viable in daily mobility.
Ola is the market leader in app-based hailing and intends to leverage its scale to bring cleaner, more comfortable, and safer products to the market.
With investments from SoftBank, Tiger Global, Ratan Tata, and several others, the well-heeled startup became the fastest unicorn after Udaan.
Ola Electric has an ambitious target to deploy a million EVs by 2021, with around 10,000 of them by end-2019 itself. It is also building charging infrastructure and swappable batteries for these vehicles.
In March this year, Hyundai Motor and Kia Motor announced an investment of $300 million in Ola with a focus on electric vehicles. As part of this partnership, Hyundai, Ola, and Kia will develop unique fleets and different mobility solutions.
Read more at: https://yourstory.com/companies/ola-electric
Looking to take wealth products to 50 million users
Paytm Money is a wholly-owned subsidiary of One97 Communications, which owns and operates Paytm. The company has partnered with all 40 AMCs, making it the only investment platform that offers investments in direct plans of mutual funds from all AMCs in India.
The company has received regulatory approvals for offering Stock Broking NPS services and is expected to launch soon.
Paytm Money aims to become a full-stack investment and wealth management platform in its journey to bring wealth creation opportunities to millions of Indians. It is headquartered in and operates from Bengaluru with its 250+ member team.
Paytm Money, the wealth management division of Paytm, one of India’s biggest payment brand, launched with a bang last year. Pre-launch, the platform already had close to 850,000 signups, 65 percent of which came from Tier II and III geographies.
And now, a year after launch, Paytm Money boasts of over three million users, claims to have tied up with all 40 AMCs in India, and is doubling down on introducing newer products on its platform.
The diversification includes its foray into stock broking services—for which it has acquired necessary approvals from SEBI, earlier this year—as well as the sale of National Pension Scheme, exchange traded funds (ETFs), and other financial instruments.
This comes when just two percent of India’s population has invested in equity-related vehicles. Meaning plenty of opportunities for new-age digital investment platforms like Paytm Money.
Paytm Money also gets a runway to sell to Paytm’s customer base of 400 million , for which early integrations happened this year. In February, Paytm Payments Bank said it would allow its 42 million customers to invest in mutual funds through Paytm Money.
The One97 Communications subsidiary is also looking to pick up Rs 250 crore from its parent in the next 18-24 months, and reach 50 million users in the next three years.
The wealth management space in India has caught the eye of several investors this year, including the likes of Ribbit Capital, and Y Combinator with their investment in Bengaluru-based wealth management startup Groww.
Read more at: https://yourstory.com/companies/paytm-money
Disrupting the fresh produce supply chain
Ninjacart undertakes the risk of picking up fruits and vegetables from farmers and delivering it to small retail outlets, its revenue is largely dependent on the commission it earns from the entire transaction.
The startup says it will enable farmers to earn better remuneration since there is no involvement of middlemen and there is a guarantee of a steady demand.
In a country like India, the supply chain of fruit and vegetables is riddled with inefficiencies where the ends of the chain, meaning the producer (read farmer) and consumer, are generally shortchanged in terms of quality and price. Bengaluru-based startup Ninjacart wants to change that with the adoption of technology.
The startup sources agricultural produce directly from farmers and supplies to small retailers. Fruits and vegetables are highly perishable commodities, and any lag can severely impact the entire supply chain.
Ninjacart says that it has, over the years, created the technology backbone required to deliver produce almost error-free. With over 1,500 tonnes being supplied daily to close to a dozen cities, Ninjacart has achieved scale with precision.
A huge endorsement for Ninjacart was when the young startup got the attention of Tiger Global. In April this year, the PE fund led the $100 million round for Ninjacart. Walmart has also reportedly expressed interest as an investor. The staratup has raised $154 million till now.
Read more at: https://yourstory.com/companies/ninjacart
Changing the face of security management services for gated communities
Residents use the MyGate app to communicate with neighbours, discuss matters of the community and society on internal discussion forums, manage visitors (guests, deliveries, cabs etc), maintain attendance records, and salary payments for daily help, discover services, pay society maintenance bills, among other services.
According to the founders, the startup is expected to serve close to 7,000 gated communities by the end of this year. Since its launch in 2016, it has also trained over 1.7 lakh guards on its platform. The startup claims to be growing at 8X year on year.
The huge market opportunity has seen many players throwing their hats into the ring. MyGate competes with the likes of Reliance Industries (which has entered the segment with its apartment-management app JioGate), NoBroker, and Adda, to name a few.
Bengaluru-based startup MyGate offers security management and convenience service for gated communities and apartments. Its mobile app allows home-owners and residents to have control and monitor entries and exits, communicate with their neighbours, log attendance for domestic workers, and pay society maintenance bills.
Seeing the new trend of delivery persons of ecommerce companies and food delivery startups being ubiquitous across cities, MyGate has also forged partnerships to ensure a “silent and secure” delivery experience for users.
In October 2019, the security management startup bagged $56 million in its Series B funding from China’s Tencent, Tiger Global, JS Capital, and existing investor Prime Venture Partners.
The startup said it would invest the funds in its technology architecture and hire almost 200 individuals across its product and technology functions. With a team of 700 employees, MyGate plans to take its employee count to 2,000 over the next year.
At present, MyGate claims to be serving close to 1.2 million homes across 11 cities and 5,000 gated communities. The platform processes over 60,000 requests per minute and facilitates over 45 million check-in requests every month.
Read more at: https://yourstory.com/companies/mygate
From homemakers to entrepreneurs, the social commerce way
Meesho is creating an environment where anyone can start their business with zero investment. The startup aims to create about 20 million micro-entrepreneurs by 2020.
Meesho is a social commerce platform that undertakes retail distribution, enabling small retail merchants to connect and sell their products effectively via social media channels.
The word meesho means ‘my shop’, and the hook of the company is to enable people to start their business from home without any investment, the biggest problem that any small entrepreneur faces.
There are over two million resellers on the Meesho platform; more than 20,000 manufacturers from 500 towns get distribution facilities through Meesho across the country. Meesho works on approximately 10-15 percent commission and sellers can earn by adding a profit margin on every sale.
The company saw 50X growth in two consecutive years and the growth in the number of orders (HY18 to HY19) has been 1451 percent.
The biggest validation for the company was when Facebook invested in the company. Till date, the startup has raised $215.2 million in funding.
Bengaluru-based Meesho is a mobile-first social commerce platform for small businesses that typically use WhatsApp and Facebook to keep in touch with customers. It is touted to be one of India’s first reselling apps, providing an "escape route" to homemakers.
In four years, Meesho has emerged as a disruptive retail distribution platform by empowering housewives, aspiring entrepreneurs, and students to launch, build, and promote their business online via social media, including Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram.
While social apps have seen a lot of traction in Bharat, social commerce is still in its early days in the country: while 300 million people use social apps like Facebook on a regular basis, less than 100 million of them buy online – trust and discovery being the biggest issues.
Meesho, which has stated its vision is to enable an environment where anyone can start their business with zero investment, is solving for these problems, by providing micro-entrepreneurs with trusted supply, social sharing tools, efficient logistics, and payment capabilities.
It began with with apparel, but Meesho now sells a range of products, including cosmetics, jewellery, accessories, and kitchenware. According to RoC filings, the startup reported a revenue of Rs 84.88 crore for FY19, an increase by 14x from Rs 6.01 crore in FY18.
Facebook recently made an undisclosed investment in the startup - the social media giant’s first in a startup in India.
Read more at: https://yourstory.com/companies/meesho
Bringing behavioural analytics, personalisation, and more on one unified platform
CleverTap claims to have generated over $2 billion in incremental revenue to its customers, and currently, has a reach of more than one billion devices and over 8,000 consumer apps in more than 100 countries.
Since 2015, the startup’s revenue has been growing at 250 percent year over year.
CleverTap claims that it has over 8,000 clients globally which include Vodafone, Star, Sony, Domino’s Pizza, Gojek, Cleartrip, and BookMyShow. The company has offices in San Francisco, London, Singapore, Mumbai, and Bengaluru.
Recently, the startup opened its APAC headquarters in Singapore and has expanded its presence in the US and Europe to serve rapidly-scaling brands.
The India market has a clear dearth in providing viable solutions that drive needed business outcomes for mobile conversion, retention, and growth. CleverTap is solving this pain point, and is the only player that has shown significant growth metrics in India.
The platform offers customer lifecycle management and engagement, so as to promote growth and long-term user retention for startups run by mobile apps. Leveraging machine learning, it offers an engagement suite that enables brands to convert, engage, retain, and grow their mobile user base.
Mohit Bhatnagar of Sequoia Capital says, “CleverTap is solving a significant pain point for marketers by offering a user retention platform that can exponentially increase customer lifetime value and long-term growth.”
Led by its existing investors Sequoia Capital India and Tiger Global Management, CleverTap raised $26 million in Series B and $35 million in Series C funding rounds, raising its valuation to $385 million.
The company said the latest round of funding would enable it to help more companies achieve their retention goals as they build long-lasting relationships with their customers.
Read more at: https://yourstory.com/companies/clevertap
A one-stop marketplace for industrial products for corporates
BulkMRO caters to large corporate customers that procure MRO (maintenance, repair, and operations) products in high volumes. It supplies products usually categorised under 'indirect spends', 'category C spends' or 'miscellaneous spends' in the company's finances. This includes products across hardware, tools, electricals, and office supplies.
By availing BulkMRO’s solutions, customers have to interface with only one vendor for all their requirements.
BulkMRO was one of the eight Indian startups shortlisted for YCombinator's Winter 2017 batch. In April 2017, it raised an undisclosed amount from YCombinator with other investors, including Ace & Company, Bain Capital Ventures, FJ Labs, and a few other angels also participating in the round.
According to the founders, BulkMRO works with large corporate customers across industries. It makes margins from the difference in the buying and selling price of the products it supplies.
A 2019 Tech30 company, BulkMRO currently serves 250 corporate customers, 40 of which are Fortune 500 companies. The company is running an EBITDA-positive business and growing 3x year on year, with almost 75 percent of its business being repeat.
BulkMRO was founded to consolidate the otherwise fragmented B2B marketplace for long-tail industrial products. Its customers are giant corporates that manufacture everything from medicines and cars to locomotives and turbines. The market for these industrial products is completely fragmented and corporates need to deal with thousands of mom-and-pop shops.
BulkMRO is disrupting this space by aggregating over 5,000 brands and 1.5 million products to become a one-stop online marketplace for industrial products. The Indian B2B ecommerce market is expected to reach $700 billion by 2020.
Major government reforms such as GST, Make in India, and the push to digitise the supply chain have created opportunities for players to consolidate the highly fragmented market. According to BulkMRO’s founders, this is their 'Flipkart moment.'
BulkMRO acts as a master vendor for large corporate customers, managing the entire pool of MRO through a network of indirect vendors on its platform. Thus, BulkMRO, as one centralised vendor, reduces the order intensity and reconciles GST input credits. By consolidating orders across multiple, large customers, BulkMRO is able to negotiate better rates across brands. These discounts are ultimately passed on to the customer.
BulkMRO is expecting a 15x growth in the next 18 months. With offices in over 15 cities, it plans to expand to 20 more cities in the next 18 months, as it scales across existing and new customers.
Read more at: https://yourstory.com/companies/bulkmro
Disrupting the way small businesses do accounting
OkCredit uses digitisation to reduce the merchant’s burden of maintaining business accounts. It also allows them to send collection notifications to customers in case of delayed or missed payments.
To solve the trust problem, once a merchant registers a transaction on the platform against a customer, s/he is immediately informed through text or WhatsApp.
OkCredit’s app launched on Google PlayStore in November 2017. Co-founder Harsh Pokharna said the app was built while sitting with the owner of the neighbourhood grocery store and observing the challenges he faced with accounting on a daily basis.
Eventually, the startup became a part of YCombinator’s 2018 summer batch and raised money from the US-based seed accelerator during its $1.7 million pre-Series A round. The round saw participation from LightSpeed India Partners, Venture Highway, Y Combinator, along with other angels.
In January 2018, OkCredit picked up seed investment of $300,000 from Lightspeed India Partners. Post the June 2019 Series A funding, the founders said the capital will be used primarily for scaling up the team and hiring across functions, including product and technology.
OkCredit will use the funds to grow its customer base by focusing on aspects of customer stickiness.
It was 2017 when serial entrepreneurs Harsh Pokharna, Gaurav Kumar, and Aditya Prasad realised that despite the proliferation of digital payment instruments and point of sale machines, most customers purchase goods on credit recorded in a notebook. Small businesses are yet to completely digitise their bookkeeping processes.
Their interactions with daily grocery stores helped them understand that most of the accounting and credit given by these shopkeepers were recorded on paper; small pieces that could easily be misplaced.
This system meant that it took longer to calculate and also lacked the aspect of ‘trust’ since there was no way to verify accounts. This is what led them to start a digital-based credit balance recording solution for small business owners later that year.
As of September 2019, OkCredit claims a registered base of seven million merchants. The startup claims to be witnessing nearly four million monthly active sessions on the app in recent months. This is a considerable growth since June when the startup had a download base of 1.3 million merchants, 900,000 of whom were monthly active merchants.
Investors have taken notice of the startup’s success. In June 2019, OkCredit stated that it had raised $15.5 million as a part of its Series A round led by Tiger Global Management. The round also saw participation from new investor Morningside Venture Capital and existing investors Lightspeed India Partners, Venture Highway, and Y Combinator. Lightspeed had also made an initial seed investment in the company.
Just three months later, OkCredit raised $67 million as part of its Series B fundraise from Lightspeed (India and US) as well as Tiger Global. This round took OkCredit’s total fundraise from June 2019 to September 2019 to $83 million.
Read more at: https://yourstory.com/companies/okcredit
The content window that dresses the mobile screen
The parent company of Glance is InMobi, which was India’s first unicorn. A little more than a year old, this startup has achieved a key milestone of having customers running into millions and an endorsement by way of investment from a leading Silicon Valley venture capital firm.
These are still early days to talk about monetisation for Glance as this is the initial phase. The monetisation route will depend on how the content players are willing to enter into a revenue-sharing model. It would also be dependent on how the users continue to explore newer avenues that go beyond mere consumption of information.
Glance is available in multiple languages like English, Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu and also in Indonesian language Bahasa. This gives the startup access to a wider captive audience.
The opportunity is quite large for Glance and with the deployment of technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, it gives it the heft to make a difference in the dynamic world of mobile content.
In a mobile-first economy like India, smartphones have seen rapid adoption, and startups are innovating for the handset. Here is a startup that has built a captive customer base at the entry point of any mobile handset: the screen.
Bengaluru-based Glance provides content on the screen of a mobile handset that is snappy, consumable, and in sync with the needs of both the millennial and Generation Z.
The aim of InMobi’s mobile-first platform Glance is simple: provide visually rich content that informs and entertains users – be it an entertainment factoid, a sporting event result, a news snippet, or a fashion recommendation. And all this, one lock-screen at a time.
Today, Glance has over 50 million daily active users under its belt who spend an average of 22 minutes. Glance is not an app, but comes as a service that is pre-installed on mobile phones manufactured by Samsung, Xiaomi, Gionee, and Vivo.
As the entry point of Glance is through the mobile handset manufacturers, it gives them an edge in reaching out to the content consuming public.
Affirmation for Glance came in the form of investment from Mithril Capital, whose Co-founder Peter Theil is a legend in his own right in the Silicon Valley.
This is just the beginning for Glance as mobiles as the platform for content consumption is going to remain for a long time and this will only enable this startup to come out with newer innovations.
Read more at: https://yourstory.com/companies/glance
An affordable and green mobility solution for urban India
Yulu's vision is to decongest urban traffic by providing scalable, affordable, efficient, and clean modes of transportation as solutions for first and last-mile connectivity and short distance commute.
Meant for one commuter, Yulu EVs or its scooters have a 48-volt motor controller and a maximum speed of 25 km per hour, and they require no licence or helmet.
A single charge can take the light-weight bike (45 kg) up to 60 km. The user need not worry about the battery; it has a swappable lithium-ion battery. Like a smartphone, the scooter interacts with the server every five minutes. This helps the company know the charge level of every Yulu Miracle being operated across the city, and the team gets an update the minute the battery levels drop below 10 percent.
If required, they can send the on-ground ops team to swap the battery. Yulu is currently operational in Bengaluru, Pune, Delhi, Mumbai, and Bhubaneswar. In Bengaluru alone, Yulu has over 850 Yulu zones or parking zones. Users pay a mandatory Rs 10 for a Yulu Miracle ride, and an additional Rs 10 per 10 minutes of ride time.
Founded in 2017, the bike-sharing solution platform Yulu first launched its shared-cycles in Bengaluru. It aims to address traffic problems with an IoT solution. Its light blue cycles and electric bikes are visible even in some of the most traffic-congested areas of cities. There are different moving parts in Yulu’s system that ensure these bikes are available in the right density at every location at the right time.
Founder Amit Gupta estimates that the market size of the shared mobility space with bicycles is currently close to $8-$10 billion globally, and is expected to grow beyond $1 billion in India by 2022.
Since mobility solutions need a high-frequency use-case, Amit believes Yulu can be grown into a platform with the business potential between five to 10 times.
Yulu launched its electric vehicles, Yulu Miracle, in Bengaluru in February 2019. It expanded this offering to Delhi in August. The startup also recently partnered with Uber with pilot operations in Bengaluru. With this tie-up, the Uber app redirects users to the registration page of Yulu.
In Delhi, due to the extreme weather conditions, the company doesn't find it feasible to launch its cycles. Yulu is planning to deploy 5,000 Miracles across metro stations in Delhi by the end of this year and up to 25,000 of the EVs by 2020.
Read more at: https://yourstory.com/companies/yulu
A leading developer of renewable energy projects for a sustainable future
Avaada Energy is a leading independent power producer (IPP) of renewable energy projects. With a portfolio of over 1.8 GW of renewable energy projects in India, Avaada is one of the fastest-growing green energy firms, developing sustainable energy through its innovative utility and open access solutions in the solar, wind, rooftop, and hybrid energy markets.
Avaada works with various businesses, supporting them in interweaving business goals with initiatives of environmental sustainability and social responsibility, producing mutually beneficial results. Avaada aims to uplift the livelihood of the communities it works with through its engagement initiatives.
The company claims to have commissioned over 1.8 GW of renewable energy plants and has a portfolio of over 500 MW of open-access solar plants in the commercial category.
Avaada Energy’s annual revenue is estimated as $3 million.
Avaada Energy has engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) capabilities, having built complex solar and wind projects across 10 different states in India.
The company is among the leading players in India and has built the largest portfolio of solar power projects in the country with an aggregate capacity of nearly 1 GW. Avaada Energy in July 2019 had commissioned over 1.8 GW of renewable assets (solar and wind) and is in the process of setting up 2000 MW of open-access solar plants in states including Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Karnataka, and Odisha.
Avaada Energy is on the path to innovate and create new paradigms in clean-technology. It is currently working to cater to underserved communities in the areas of rural electrification, education, empowerment, healthcare, and environment.
It is focussed on building a multi-GW portfolio not just in India but across the world, meeting global infrastructural and quality standards.
The company has a target of developing 5 GW of renewable energy portfolio in Asia and Africa by 2022.
Read more at: https://yourstory.com/companies/avaada-energy
Making healthcare accessible and affordable
Launched in 2013 as Healthkartplus, 1mg initially focussed on the alternative medicine space with AYUSH products.
Over the years, it rebranded itself as 1mg and started offering medicines, lab tests, and doctor consultations on the go. Today, 1mg provides a wide range of healthcare services.
1mg also provides trustworthy information on medicines. It facilitates lab tests at home. At present, the platform has about 2,000 tests and 120 verified labs listed. Users can consult a doctor across 20 specialties.
1mg has delivered over 25 million orders in 1000+ cities to date. Last year, close to 70 million patients from across India accessed its e-pharmacy, e-consultation, and e-diagnostic services.
The company earns from its services like diagnostics, sale of medicines, preventive healthcare, and online consultations, as well as through native ads on its platform.
According to an IBEF report, the Indian healthcare industry is expected to touch $372 billion by 2020. The major factors that can contribute to this growth include rising incomes, increased health awareness, and rising lifestyle diseases.
According to Anjana Sasidharan, Principal, Sequoia, the funding coming into this sector, which was $400 to $500 million in 2016, has more than doubled in the last couple of years.
Started in 2013, 1mg is a healthcare platform covering all health and wellness needs, including consultations through chat, an online pharmacy, and lab tests at home. Its capability to bring all health and wellness needs under one platform has attracted the interest of key investors.
According to media reports, 1mg was one of the startups showcased for Bill Gates during his visit to India in November 2019. Gates was keen to become acquainted with startups focusing on healthcare, sanitation, agricultural development, and financial services, and 1mg was among the handful of these startups.
1mg provides a wide range of healthcare services, including the delivery of prescription medicines, facilitation of doctor consultations, diagnostic services, and Ayurveda and Homeopathy medicines.
The platform is recognised by the Government of India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
Speaking at YourStory’s flagship event Techsparks 2019, 1mg’s Co-founder Gaurav Agarwal said 85 percent of people do not take the prescribed medicines, follow their diet, or get tests done. 1mg has been trying to understand the human psyche and how to reduce friction and motivate a patient to get better. "Data science is incredibly important for consultations. We use it for disease progression and disease prediction," he said.
In June 2019, 1mg raised Series D funding of $70 million from investors such as IFC (the investment arm of the World Bank), Corisol Holdings (European family office), and Zur Rose/ DocMorris, Europe’s largest e-pharmacy, which is the largest shareholder.
Going forward, the company aims to personalise care management programmes and expand its ecosystem of partnerships with hospitals, pharmas, governments, and insurance companies. It will also be looking at launching innovative online and offline care-delivery models.
Read more at: https://yourstory.com/companies/1mg
Disrupting the traditional approach to bookkeeping
Legally registered as ADJ Utility Apps Private Limited, the company was founded by Ravish Naresh, Jaideep Poonia, Ashish Sonone, and Dhanesh Kumar.
It is one of the 17 startups from the first cohort of Surge, Sequoia India’s rapid scale-up programme for early-stage startups in India and Southeast Asia. Y Combinator and Info Edge are also investors in Khatabook.
Khatabook and its app are impacting the Indian SMEs by becoming the system of record for their business dealings, the equivalent of a business ledger on their mobile phones, says Shailendra Singh, Managing Director, Sequoia Capital (India) Singapore.
Businesses can manage their credit accounts on the app, where transactions are recorded and available for review.
The company’s mobile app service shares WhatsApp and SMS reminders to users when the money is due to be paid or collected. The app also provides support in regional languages.
It helps businesses understand and make better decisions with reports that it generates. The app also backs up all transactions online automatically, so that merchants don’t have to worry if they lose their smartphone.
Data is now cheap in India and smartphone use is on the rise. However, a large number of small businesses prefer recording business transactions in books. Most of them still rely on old practices such as making bills on paper.
They are yet to completely digitise their bookkeeping processes. KhataBook, an app by ADJ Utility Apps Private Limited, aims to leverage the trend of increased smartphone use in merchants by becoming the first business accounting software they've used.
Khatabook says the app has helped its users recover approximately $5 billion stuck in credit in the space of six months. This trend can lead to a significant impact on India’s MSME sector.
As of August 2019, KhataBook recorded over $3 billion worth of transactions on its platform. This, the team adds, has cut down the receivables of merchants to half within a few weeks of onboarding them.
It claims to have helped over five million merchants save over 600 working hours in a year, each. Its UPI-based payment platform is also doubling month-on-month. Khatabook has expanded its footprint across 3,000 cities in India.
In 2019, the startup raised $25 million in Series A funding from Partners of DST Global, GGV Capital, Sequoia India, Tencent, and others. Prominent investors like Kunal Shah, Founder, Cred; Kunal Bahl, Co-founder, Snapdeal; Jitendra Gupta, Head - LazyPay; and Anand Chandrasekharan, ex-Facebook; were among others who participated in the round of funding.
KhataBook says it is growing 20 percent every week and has use cases with more than 500 types of businesses. The team plans to launch other products for MSMEs in the next few months and aims to reach over 25 million Indian merchants in the next 12 months.
Other disruptors in the market include OkCredit, started by Harsh Pokharna, Gaurav Kumar, and Aditya Prasad, and Vyapar, started by Sumit Agarwal.
Read more at: https://yourstory.com/companies/khatabook
India’s first video shopping app Bulbul has GMV worth Rs 15 Cr already
Bulbul is India’s first video shopping app that was started with a mission to make online shopping real via live streaming in a language the audience is most comfortable with. The company was launched in 2018 and is based out of Gurugram.
Live video is a great way to make online shopping fun, engaging, and social while offering consumers the opportunity to discover new and exciting products.
The audience does not necessarily read product descriptions or product reviews and therefore, the video becomes a great way for them to understand products and features. Also, most of the product content is created by women across the country for the local context and to build trust.
India’s first video shopping app, Bulbul aims to be a trusted marketplace of hosts, sellers, and consumers who use the app as a platform to create videos, go live, sell products and services, and for consumers to consume content and make informed purchase decisions, much like they would do in shops and bazaars across the country.
In just eight months, Bulbul has hit close to 400,000 customers with very high content consumption, with over 20 million video views and people spending in excess of eight minutes on the app daily. The company has recorded GMV worth Rs 15 crore already.
The company completed eight months of operation in October 2019 and in this period, the company has scaled well on all parameters viz team, sales, operations, content, engagement, supply chain, and funding.
Bulbul is now looking at consolidating on what it has built and doubling the transaction every two months.
Read more at: https://yourstory.com/companies/bulbul
Doubtnut, solving math problems through interactive videos
Doubtnut was founded by husband-wife duo Aditya Shankar and Tanushree Nagori in October 2017. They launched the platform aiming to make real-time doubt clearance an efficient feature, which many online learning platforms often lack.
Doubtnut offers instant video solutions for doubts raised by students on an app-based platform.
According to the co-founders, more than 90 percent of Doubtnut’s users are from non-metros - as the app is available in 11 regional languages. Since 2018, Doubtnut’s app has also consistently been featured in Google Play Store’s top 10 in the ‘education’ category.
In April 2019, the company raised Rs 23 crore from Surge, an early-stage startup accelerator programme by Sequoia India. The funding round also saw participation from existing investors which include WaterBridge Ventures and Omidyar Network India, and new investor Akatsuki Entertainment Technology Fund Japan.
According to Owler, Doubtnut has an estimated annual revenue of $2 million.
According to a 2017 KPMG report, India's online education market is expected to grow to $1.96 billion and about 9.6 million users by 2021. In 2016, these numbers were $247 million and about 1.6 million users.
The report also says that with an estimated 280 million students expected to be enrolled in schools by 2021, primary and secondary education will be the largest category at $773 million, and test preparation will be the fastest-growing category.
It also adds that one of the key challenges faced by students in offline channels is doubt clearance, and one of the main barriers to adopting online channels is getting real-time solutions to queries. This is where Doubtnut plays a huge role.
Today, we have a large number of online platforms where students can access lessons and teachers, but clearing doubts remains an issue. Doubtnut uses complex artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) algorithms, and image recognition technology to show video lessons in response to photos and texts of doubts uploaded by students.
Doubtnut claims to have 80-90 percent platform accuracy. And, the remaining 10-20 percent can be achieved by asking a query to human tutors available on the app. At times, the startup also takes note of the doubts that could not be solved and creates videos explaining them within just a few hours.
According to Co-founder Tanushree Nagori, the student demographic on Doubtnut is diverse, with children of ‘farm labourers and cement factory workers’ also accessing the app.
Read more at: https://yourstory.com/companies/doubtnut
The Pocket Aces of 'Little Things' on Netflix
Pocket Aces is one of India's leading digital entertainment companies focussed on the creation and distribution of mobile-first content for a millennial audience.
It raised its first VC investment of $3 million from Sequoia Capital in 2016. The Series A round also saw participation from FreeCharge Co-founders Kunal Shah and Sandeep Tandon, TV Mohandas Pai-led Aarin Capital, Axilor Ventures, and others.
The Mumbai-based startup operates multiple digital properties, including FilterCopy (creator of viral short-form videos), Dice Media (for long-form video content and web shows), Gobble (Indian food video channel modelled on Buzzfeed’s Tasty), and Loco (a homegrown live gaming app the company had acquired in 2018).
Loco earned the enviable distinction of notching up nearly 20 million registered users in under two years.
Earlier in 2019, Pocket Aces announced that it plans to bolster its senior leadership team and invest in culture training activities as it embarks upon the next stage of growth in India’s highly competitive digital entertainment market.
The company is 145-people strong now with offices in Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Delhi.
In 2018, Pocket Aces became the first Indian content company to ink an exclusive muti-show licensing deal with Netflix. This year, it released the third season of its flagship web series 'Little Things' on the platform. The show is produced by Dice Media (Pocket Aces’ long-form content division).
The Mumbai-based startup clocks 700 million video views a month, which is about a billion minutes a month, compared to just 20 million three years ago. The company claims to have scaled its viewership by 25X and grown revenue by 15X since inception.
It has also signed content distribution partnerships with homegrown Ola Play, Reliance Jio, and Tata Sky, and China’s Youku Tudou and ByteDance. It even provides in-flight entertainment options to passengers flying on Emirates, Cathay Pacific, and other global airlines.
By 2020, Pocket Aces aims to hit one billion monthly video views on its original content, making it the first homegrown startup to do so. It aims to multiply its social distribution by starting three new content channels in the next 12 months.
The company will also release 30 long-form original shows every year. It will ramp up investments in its live video app, Loco, which is estimated to cross 50 million registered users over the next two years.
Since 2014, Pocket Aces has grown to be one of India’s most renowned digital content companies, attracting users and advertisers alike.
Read more at: https://yourstory.com/companies/pocket-aces
Skillmatics products help children build core skills through systematic play
Skillmatics was founded by Dhvanil Sheth in Mumbai. Initially, the biggest challenge he faced was getting people to join the company when they did not even have a product.
It is one of the 17 startups from the first cohort of Surge, Sequoia India’s rapid scale-up programme for early-stage startups in India.
Skillmatics was initially bootstrapped with Dhvanil’s personal savings. He spent significant time during his stint at Boston Consulting Group (BCG) in Toronto, Canada, working on consumer brands and the retail sector across Asia and North America.
Dhvanil realised that all his clients had the historical advantage of access to the best markets – high per capita income countries with high consumption patterns.
According to market research firm Euromonitor, the global toys and games market is pegged at around $187 million.
The trigger point that led to the birth of Skillmatics came from the Founder, Dhvanil Sheth’s family. His sister actively chose to move her kids away from mindless consumption of on-screen content towards educational products that were both innovative and interactive.
The company claims to be building a new-age business model that will disrupt a $100 billion global industry. It has built a vertically integrated supply chain with in-house manufacturing to rapidly iterate, launch, and scale new products. Working with product design experts in the US, it offers learning aids, STEM products, and educational games with India’s competitive manufacturing costs and content creation expertise.
Some of the games Skillmatics offers include ‘Brain Games’, which teaches children to use a ‘think and reason approach’ when faced with challenges, and ‘Mind Challenge’, which helps them build logic and problem-solving skills.
Skillmatics became the first Indian brand to sell across Hamleys’ stores all over the world. In fact, within six months of its launch, the product was ranked as the number one educational game on Amazon.
Currently, Skillmatics sells to more than 15 countries through its own website, various ecommerce marketplaces, and an international network of more than 3,000 retail stores with a primary focus on the American market.
The startup has 35 employees and is looking to expand the team rapidly. It plans to grow its revenue 10 times and build a global brand in the coming years. It claims to have already hit $1 million in revenue run-rate.
In April 2019, Skillmatics was chosen as one of the 17 startups for Surge, Sequoia's accelerator programme for early-stage startups in India and Southeast Asia. As part of Surge 01 cohort, each company would receive mentoring and $1.5 million in funding.
It raised close to $2 million as part of the round from Surge and a few angel investors this year.
Read more at: https://yourstory.com/companies/skillmatics
String Bio is working towards improving food security by producing protein from methane
An industrial biotechnology company, StringBio delivers cost-effective and sustainable solutions by leveraging methane to create value-added commodities for animal nutrition.
The Bengaluru-based startup uses SIMP (String Integrated Methane Platform), its proprietary platform, as well as areas like synthetic biology, fermentation technology, chemistry, and process engineering to produce the protein. It has already patented five of its key processes surrounding this.
Initially bootstrapped, the venture closed Series A round of funding in 2019, and also received funds as part of the Biotechnology Ignition Grant Scheme. At present, StringBio’s target market consists of animal feed manufacturers, sellers, as well as owners of poultry and aquatic farms.
At a time when the ill effects of environmental degradation, climate change, and food shortage are being felt worldwide, StringBio is on a mission to create solutions to address these challenges. Currently, the startup is leveraging biotechnology to produce animal feed.
A lot of the animal feed available in the market is not rich in protein and is filled with contaminants and pesticides, and StringBio’s idea revolves around resolving this issue.
The startup’s product, String Pro, produces high-quality protein from methane, a common by-product of natural gas, biogas, and landfill gas, in a sustainable and environment-friendly manner. Every kilogram of protein thus manufactured consists of 650 grams of protein, which can be used to feed animals.
The World Economic Forum estimates that by 2050, global food systems will have to meet the dietary demands of more than 10 billion people. At present, StringBio claims it is the only company in Asia that has enabled a methane-based value chain through a biological process. The startup is presently working towards entering the food market.
Read more at: https://yourstory.com/companies/string-bio
Enabling better health choices via environmental intelligence
Environmental intelligence startup Ambee provides real-time information on hyperlocal air quality. The global air-quality forecast market is estimated to be at $6 billion by 2021 and Ambee is targeting that market by providing environment data, such as temperature, humidity, UV, wind-speed, and air pollution recommendations to businesses.
The Indian government has placed sensors to measure air quality across the cities. The World Health Organisation recommends a sensor every square kilometre to accurately measure air quality, an economically non-feasible option. If an individual tries to look up the air quality where they reside, the nearest sensor maybe 15 kilometres away. Ambee is trying to solve that problem.
Ambee has built a hybrid model of open data sources and its own IoT (Internet of Things) sensor network. For every open data source, it verifies with its own IoT networks. Those sensors are, in turn, verified by colocation with a bunch of government data across the world.
Ambee takes care of hyperlocal data to ensure that its measurements are separately benchmarked.
Ambee was accelerated by TechStars, startup accelerator and investor in Uber, SendGrid, DigitalOcean, and PillPack.
The startup's data is a total of three years of evaluation, research, data aggregation, and training artificial neural networks. It sells its data analytics to businesses.
Bengaluru-based Ambee makes hyperlocal air-quality data accessible to developers, consumers, health researchers and media houses. The startup claims to have the 'largest and most accurate' air quality data in Asia. Its sensors are EPA-benchmarked and pass the tests of accuracy and calibration. Ambee provides real-time data regarding the air quality under 300 milliseconds.
Ambee’s website provides users with air quality measurements. By analysing the air quality data history, users can determine factors like which is the best route to cycle to work, etc. Ambee is, thus, on a mission to improve the health and quality of life by creating data that is dependable, insightful, and actionable.
Ambee raised two rounds in FY2019 – a venture round from Debri Foundation and angel round from Vrinda KR and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. Aishwarya invested a little more than Rs 1 crore in the startup. Ambee is also backed by US-based startup accelerator TechStars. It was a part of Google’s Launchpad.
It has set up a sensor network across India and they have the largest private sensor network ever. Ambee has received inbound interest from a couple of investors and is exploring investment opportunities.
According to Co-founder Akshay Joshi, Ambee is also planning to expand its offerings outside India soon. Ambee is also in the process of building a massive environmental engine – a platform where data would be available for anyone, including media houses, researchers, corporations, among more.
Read more at: https://yourstory.com/companies/ambee
An early mover in agritech, leveraging AI and ML to enrich a key ingredient of human life
As an early-mover in the agritech segment, CropIn has the advantage of being ahead in the game. It is building a technology platform on which various inputs are aggregated, absorbed, and then crunched into a solution.
One of the biggest and most persistent challenges for the agriculture sector has been the lack of predictability as there are various factors that can affect the output. To circumvent these unpredictable elements, there is a need for a solution that affords a higher degree of accuracy. CropIn is building just such a set of tools that is going to help generate efficiency and lower risks.
CropIn enables data-driven farming through its ‘SmartFarm’ platform, which helps derive real-time insights on standing crop projects across geographies based on local wealth information and high-resolution satellite imagery.
As the challenge remains on how to make the small land-holders realise the benefits of technology, CropIn is currently engaged with large stakeholders like agriculture processors, distributors, input-providers, lenders, and insurers.
The benefits derived for these segments in the agriculture ecosystem is expected to, over the years, percolate to the small farmer. The business focus of CropIn has evinced the interest of key investors such as Ankur Capital and Chiratae Ventures. However, the shot in the arm for CropIn was the endorsement from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which has placed this agritech startup on the global map.
In June this year, CropIn announced that its annual revenue run rate has grown by 3X in the last five quarters. The startup generates more than 60 percent of its current revenue from the international market, and is targeting 70 percent in the next one year.
CropIn has partnered with over 100 B2B enterprise clients across 30-plus countries in Asia, Europe, Africa, and the Americas. The startup last raised funding in November 2018 and is now looking at growth expansion. It follows the SaaS model with the revenue connected to the number of times its software is used or to the area covered.
In India, the one sector which has been largely untouched by technology until now would be agriculture. Barring certain rudimentary applications, agriculture has not really benefitted from the deployment of software. Bengaluru-based startup CropIn wants to change this scenario.
Given the scale of the agriculture sector with multiple stakeholders present, it becomes important to create a platform that will converge all of their interests. This agritech startup uses big data analytics, artificial intelligence, and remote sensing to analyse data for a variety of crops through APIs. The biggest advantage that can be derived through CropIn’s technology platform is higher efficiency derived from various inputs.
The scope of influence is quite wide for CropIn as it engages with various stakeholders like agriculture processors, distributors, input-providers, lenders, and insurers. Currently, CropIn analyses data of over 384 crops with 5.5 million acres digitalised. Its operations benefit over 2.1 million farmers globally.
This is an opportune time for CropIn as the government is talking about doubling farmers’ income and deploying various technologies in agriculture.
Read more at: https://yourstory.com/companies/cropin
Managing user drop-off with a no-code interface
A deep tech company, Hansel eases a developer’s life by allowing them to push hotfixes without external updation. Hansel.io is a B2B enterprise software that solves the issues of apps hanging during their runtime, without the need for users to update the app.
Hansel’s toolkits can diagnose, hotfix, and communicate from a single dashboard. Using this, developers can arrest crashes, fix any flaws in the code, and communicate the same to users during runtime. Hansel aims to help product owners and managers correct a faulty experience on the spot, thus reducing complaints, social media rants, and customer churn.
The YourStory Tech30 startup from the 2016 batch does not seem to have much competition in India. It only competes with US-based rollout.io and React Native, the open-source tech built by Facebook.
A product-operations startup, Hansel.io helps businesses personalise their user experience without having to disrupt their tech roadmap.
The Bengaluru-based startup offers a platform that assists product managers and owners with user drop-off management with a no-code interface that will help them address low conversions.
Usually, any change to a user experience demands weeks of development effort. Release cycles vary across mobile, web, and other platforms like Amazon’s Alexa. But Hansel claims that its product, ‘Experience Lake’, provides a single repository of user experiences across any platform, because the various user experience treatments are hardcoded in the applications.
It ensures that product teams can personalise user experiences at their own pace, while freeing tech teams to focus on the larger picture. Hansel claims that their product will help businesses take on Uber and Amazon in tech experience.
Hansel.io went live as private beta in February 2016. In less than eight months, they had a total of 29 million installations with 20 clients.
Read more at: https://yourstory.com/companies/hanselio
Skyroot Aerospace is making space accessible to all
The spacetech startup aims to address the rising concerns in the global space industry – to provide low-cost launch solutions to reach space in lesser time. The startup’s three launch vehicles – Vikram I, II, and III – can carry payloads ranging from 200 kg to 700 kg to low Earth orbit.
Currently, the team is going to test a 3D printed liquid propellant engine and a fully composite (carbon fiber) and high-performance solid rocket motor. Besides, it is also in talks with satellite companies for signing up customers for its first few launches.
According to Pawan, the startup has exciting plans for new space products that will be announced early next year. Its rocket architecture is highly mass-producible and modular, where it can almost triple the payload capacity with few additional upgrades.
The startup has received an undisclosed amount in funding from the Founders of CureFit, Mukesh Bansal and Ankit Nagori, who invested $1.5 million in June 2018.
Hyderabad-based spacetech startup is building small satellite launch vehicles (SSLV) for small satellites and promises to launch them into space within a week of a customer’s approach.
Skyroot Aerospace manufactures three kinds of satellites – Vikram I, II, and III – named after Dr Vikram Sarabhai, the Father of the Indian Space Programme. At present, Skyroot is the only company in the world that can carry payloads ranging from 200 kg to 700 kg to Low Earth Orbit.
The startup uses solid propulsion for the first two stages and liquid propulsion for the upper stage. Skyroot’s launch vehicle is one of a kind, which uses the combination of three propulsion technologies production – friendly solid propulsion technologies, Earth-storable liquid propulsion technology, and highly efficient cryogenic propulsion technology.
The vehicles are designed keeping the availability of resources in India in mind. Also, testing and building this launch vehicle before take-off costs one-third of what it takes to do in the US and other countries.
Further, the uppermost stage of the vehicle can restart frequently. This will help insert multiple payloads in different orbits on a single mission, a trait rarely available in launch vehicles across the globe. Skyroot Aerospace’s launch vehicle can also be used to de-orbit its final stage from the space, reducing space debris.
The market is quite vague. Recent reports state that there would be 7,000 small satellites launched by 2027 and 11,746 by 2030. It opens up a huge demand for affordable and efficient services like Skyroot’s vehicles to reach the orbit efficiently.
In 2019, Skyroot Aerospace successfully completed most of the vehicle engineering, and manufacturing has commenced. Following this, most of the rocket will be manufactured and tested in the next 15 months making the spacetech startup one of the first few companies in the world to test multiple rocket stages.
Read more at: https://yourstory.com/companies/skyroot-aerospace
A spider-shaped robot to take a bite out of manual scavenging
Genrobotic Innovations builds its product based on robotics and AI. The company has designed and developed a robot that provides a high-efficacy solution for the related social issues of manual scavenging and sewer deaths.
Genrobotic's first product, Bandicoot, is a 50-kg, pneumatic-powered, remote-controlled robot that can be sent into a manhole where it spreads its limbs and removes sewage. The robotic arms use a 360-degree motion to sweep the manhole floor and collect filth.
Bandicoot is priced between Rs 15 lakh and Rs 35 lakh. The team works with municipal corporations and has two models, sale and rental.
Under the sales model, the team sells the robot and offers training sessions to corporates. It also extends the option of renting a robot and availing training to operate it.
Thiruvananthapuram-based Genrobotic is attempting to end sewer deaths and clean up manholes using its spider-shaped robot, Bandicoot. A central government taskforce in 2017 pegged the number of manual scavengers in 121 of the 600 districts of the country at 53,236.
Media reports suggest that there have been over 300 manhole-related deaths in India over the past four years. Genrobotic’s Bandicoot is capable of ending the practice of manual scavenging in India.
Bandicoot can be dropped into manholes to unclog them and scoop out the debris, which is then transported to waste dumps. Working like a bot, Bandicoot uses machine language (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) to determine the amount of unclogging needed for a manhole. It can complete cleaning work that would usually take three to four hours in just 45 minutes.
As manual scavenging is a source of income for many households, Genrobotic is also providing rehabilitation to manual scavengers. The startup involves these workers in operating Bandicoot. They train and work with these men on using the robot.
Team Genrobotic claims to have rehabilitated more than 100 manual scavengers to date. The startup has deployed 15 Bandicoots in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, and Gujarat. It has also signed MoUs with Dubai Municipality, Sharjah, and Qatar.
Genrobotic has a manufacturing facility in Thiruvananthapuram and will soon set up another one in Pune. The raw materials for the technology are currently sourced from original equipment manufacturers in China and India. The team is looking to tie up with other manufacturers in China.
Genrobotic is working on the next version of the product and is signing on more states and municipal corporations as partners in its efforts to eradicate manual scavenging.
Read more at: https://yourstory.com/companies/genrobotic-innovation
With the usage of graphene, Log9 promises 100 percent recyclable energy future
Log9 Materials is a nanotechnology startup that aims to revolutionise the energy sector with an innovative, zero-emission, low-cost aluminium-air fuel cell. The startup intends to commercialise the graphene nanotechnology.
This type of fuel cell has already been successfully tested internally on an electric vehicle running on a refuelling mechanism (with aluminium and water as the fuel) by the startup.
It also started Log9 Spill Containment, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Log9 Materials Scientific Pvt Ltd., based out of Mumbai in June this year, to help keep the oceans clean.
The subsidiary develops oil sorbent pads called Sorbene that are made from graphene, which can absorb oil, petrochemicals, and other hydrocarbon-based liquids up to 86 times its weight.
The startup has sold more than 30,000 pads in the five months since its inception.
Recently, the startup raised $3.5 million as a part of its Series A round, led by Sequoia India's scale-up programme, Surge, and Exfinity Venture Partners.
In the nascent electric vehicle (EV) industry in India, most companies are known to approach battery problems such as range anxiety, cost, and charging time from a battery management standpoint. However, Log9 differs in its approach from a material science standpoint.
Considering the Government of India’s ambition to introduce EV as a mainstream mobility solution, Log9 is at the forefront to accelerate the country’s transition to a faster EV adoption.
The startup works towards a clean energy solution that is better, more efficient, and sustainable for future EVs, as opposed to conventional lithium ion-based batteries.
The aluminium fuel cell technology at Log9 involves the usage of graphene, which helps in harnessing aluminium. This results in a 100 percent recyclable energy future that is safe, free of distribution calamities, generates zero waste - and hence, is fully sustainable.
As of today, the cleantech startup holds 16 patents in graphene synthesis and graphene-based products.
Read more at: https://yourstory.com/companies/log-9-materials
A platform that empowers developers to crack real-world industry problems and ‘learn by doing’
Crio’s mission is to empower developers with high-quality applied-learning opportunities at scale and nurture the country’s product development talent to create great products.
This is enabled through the startup’s unique applied-learning platform which provides work-like experiences powered by data, deep tech, and learning sciences.
Operating in the large space of technology learning where multiple players exist, Crio believes that ‘doing’ is the best way to learn tech. The startup says that it is empowering developers to ‘learn by doing’ on the platform.
This year, Crio.do has on-boarded a line of new customers like go-mmt, Rakuten, Reliance Jio, and Kaleyra, while, according to the startup, its existing customers like Flipkart, Capillary, and VISA continue to use the platform.
Going forward, the startup has a couple of launches lined up for December 2019 that will focus on student developers and entry-level working professionals.
Crio.do helps developers learn tech in an applied way and build products in a work-like environment. It also enables them to demonstrate their skills to potential employers to be discovered and hired.
The platform is built to fundamentally change the way tech is learnt, through its work-like micro-experiences that provide an environment optimised for learning with real-world problems curated from industries.
The platform assists and guides the user in a personalised journey powered by deep tech, data science, and learning science.
Read more at: https://yourstory.com/companies/criodo
INCREFF, a supply chain management platform for fashion retailers
INCREFF focuses on improving inventory efficiency for fashion brands and retailers. Its supply chain management platform broadly includes verticals such as technology-led merchandising and pricing, design intelligence, fulfillment technology, and services.
Its clientele includes PUMA, WROGN, Reliance AJIO, Myntra, MANGO, ESPRIT, Newport, and Ruf N Tuf.
In 2017, INCREFF had raised $2 million in a funding round led by Sequoia Capital. The round also saw the participation from CareerNet Co-founders Rishi Das and Anshuman Das; PremjiInvest’s Rajesh Ramaiah; and Jasbir Juneja, Director of research and advisory firm, RedSeer Consulting.
At present, the company is reported to have a revenue of $3.2 million.
According to Markets and Markets, the global retail analytics market is expected to grow from $3.14 billion in 2016 to $8.64 billion by 2022, at a CAGR of 19.7 percent.
When compared to other industries, the fashion industry faces the challenge to adapt to the latest trends and seasons. Manufacturers and retailers have to have a firm grip on forecasting trends to prevent wastages and unsold stocks.
INCREFF has built a technology solution to this many-variable problem through inventory control, demand forecasting, and order fulfillment solutions.
In April 2019, Binny Bansal and 021 Capital had invested around $3 million in INCREFF. The company had announced that it will use the fund to expand its customer pipeline, enhance its product offerings, and foray into international markets.
The company, this year, had also announced the signing up of three major Indian retail and fashion brands—Future Group, Arvind Retail, and Lulu Group’s multi-brand organised retail arm, Tablez India—as its clients.
INCREFF is accelerating towards the next phase of growth by expanding its customer pipeline and foraying into international markets.
Read more at: https://yourstory.com/companies/increff
Streak AI lets traders create algorithms to generate trading signals without the need for coding
Streak AI claims to be among the first few platforms in the world where traders can create algorithms to generate trading signals for buying or selling stocks without the need for coding.
The platform also allows traders and customers to check the profitability of the trade.
While traders can map only two to three stocks at a time on other platforms, Streak AI allows traders to track as many as 50 stocks at any given time.
It has levelled the playing field by enabling any retail investor to leverage quality back-testing, real-time analysis, and swift strategy deployment to generate returns.
The platform allows tracking of over 2,500 securities such as stocks and futures on the National Stock Exchange (NSE), currencies, and MCX commodities.
Streak’s growth is a testament to the value it provides. In just over a year of its official launch, Streak AI has seen over 2,15,000 users who have created and back-tested more than 19 million strategies on the proprietary platform.
Users have generated a transacted value of over Rs 4,000 crore by deploying these strategies in the live market, on Streak.tech.
The startup claims to have already received overall funding of Rs 9.5 crore, and has a paid-up capital of Rs 5.18 lakh. There are over 19 people working with it as of now.
Streak AI competes with Gurugram-based Algo-trading platform Kuants, which raised around Rs 50 lakh last month.
A B2B2C financial services startup, Streak AI lets traders create algorithms to generate trading signals without the need for coding. The startup is set to sign its service with top banks in the country. The firm is also planning to on-board other traders on its platform.
The platform requires no coding skills to trade algorithmically. The intuitive interface lets them create, back-test, and deploy strategies in the capital market.
The startup, which was officially launched in July 2018 pan India, is seeing phenomenal growth with 65,000 backtests a day, and is adding 10,000 clients a month.
While the founders haven’t decided on enterprise pricing, for individuals, its pricing plans range from Rs 500 to Rs 1,400 that allows users to run 200-1,000 backtests and 25-100 deployments a day.
Read more at: https://yourstory.com/companies/streak-ai
The promise of automated and affordable seizure diagnosis solutions
Started by Ankita Kumar and Aditya Kadambi in 2018, Mocxa Health is creating a solution tailored to meet the needs of doctors, technicians, and hospital staff when it comes to the diagnosis of seizures and epilepsy.
The startup’s video EEG system records whatever the patient is doing or experiencing on video tape during the test. Through this, the doctors reading the EEG can determine the kind of treatment that needs to be prescribed.
This can be of big help in the detection and treatment of the nervous disorder.
Mocxa Health is making the diagnosis of epilepsy and seizure more accurate, accessible, and cost-effective by making Video EEG (electro-encephalograph). Its product 360evs is a robotic Video EEG system that applies mobile technology to diagnose seizure.
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), out of the 70 million persons with epilepsy (PWE) worldwide, nearly 12 million of them are expected to reside in India, which translates to one-sixth of the global burden.
A study by doctors from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Delhi, indicated that videos were more helpful in identifying epilepsy.
Since video EEGs enable neurologists to identify the specific part of the brain affected by seizures, the determination of future treatment can be done in a timely manner. Hence, Mocxa Health’s product will benefit millions of people after deployment.
Read more at: https://yourstory.com/companies/mocxa-health
Bringing premium Greek flavours to a traditional favourite, with a creamy layer of health
Epigamia, the premium all-natural Greek yogurt brand, has more than 21 different types of products on offer.
Over the past year, the company has successfully expanded its product portfolio from Greek yoghurt offerings to other products including its lactose-free Artisanal curd. It has also entered traditional segments with the Epigamia Mishti Doi, as well as introduced high-protein yoghurt-based drinks, in the form of its Greek Yoghurt Smoothies.
Today, even as the brand continues to evolve and grow, at the heart of it the idea remains the same – a brand with an Indian DNA but capable of matching global products.
Launched in 2015, Epigamia is India's first premium Greek yoghurt brand, which is currently available in 21 SKUs and retails across 10,000 touchpoints. In just a little over four years, the company has already solidified its presence as a fresh FMCG brand, creating Greek yogurt as a product category in India. Thanks to its unique positioning in the Indian dairy market, the modern and innovative brand has also managed a unique milestone – appealing to the sensibilities of the ever-growing segment of health-conscious consumers.
In May 2019, Epigamia’s parent company, Drums Food International, brought on board Bollywood actor Deepika Padukone as a partner and strategic investor after she invested an undisclosed amount in the company.
Epigamia, according to Laurent Marcel, who is the Managing Director of Danone Manifesto Ventures (one of the company’s investors), places taste, quality, and health at the centre of its model. This has resulted in its success, especially in the Indian market, which is counted among the leading milk producers of the world.
Its products are currently available across (approximately) 10,000 touch-points. As part of its five-year mission, Epigamia aims to expand distribution across 50,000 touch-points, according to founding partner Rahul Jain. Another goal is to build partnerships or make some acquisitions in the future – a goal, which Epigamia has already started working on.
With Damone on the supply chain side and its partnership with Deepika, the company will be working towards building further awareness about the brand. The actor will also be offering insights to help improve Epigamia’s current product variants, foray into a new range, and introduce limited edition offerings.
Read more at: https://yourstory.com/companies/epigamia
Stellapps is an end-to-end dairy technology solutions company
Stellapps is developing a line of connected products and solutions to optimise the agricultural supply chain across milk production, milk procurement, cold chain, animal insurance, and farmer payments.
Currently, Stellapps is selling these products to dairy service providers such as Hatsun, Lactalis, Heritage, and Prabhat.
The startup was incubated at IIT Madras Rural Technology Business Incubator (RTBI), and later merged with IIT-M Incubation Cell) in July 2013.
In 2018, the startup raised $14 million in Series B round led by IndusAge Partners, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Qualcomm Ventures, and ABB Technology Ventures. The round also saw participation from existing investors Omnivore, Blume Ventures, Venture Highway, and BEENEXT.
This was the first equity investment by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in India and was done through its programme-related investment (PRI) team in London.
Operating in the B2B space, Stellapps’ flagship IoT stack goes under the brand name, SmartMoo, a smart delivery platform that consists of a data cloud that acquires data via sensors embedded in milking systems, animal wearables, milk chilling equipment, milk procurement peripherals, and farm management equipment.
The startup also has a product named SmartFarm, a cloud-based farm and herd management system for animal recording, productivity, peak-yield management, and healthcare.
Farmers can track each animal’s health through an animal-wearable/activity meter called ActiTrak. Another solution is an electronic milk meter called MilkTrak, which measures the temperature, conductivity, and yield when the cow is being milked.
Currently, MilkTrack has 200 odd customers who are supporting more than 350,000 farmers across India, Kenya (Smart Dairy-Netherlands), and Nepal (Sri Laligurams).
Stellapps has built another product ConTrak for the remote monitoring of bulk milk coolers (BMC) and is critical for the milk cold chain in India.
Parameters such as quantity and temperature of milk in the tank, fuel consumption, malfunctions, and cleanliness are monitored based on cloud-based analytics. The startup has sold over 300 units.
Read more at: https://yourstory.com/companies/stellapps-technologies
A plug and play telemedicine solution for employees
oDoc is a B2B telemedicine app that connects users with doctors for video, audio, and chat consultations. It claims to be the largest B2B telemedicine company in Sri Lanka, and is now expanding in India.
The company enables employers to provide a high-impact health-benefit to employees; banking, financial services, and insurance providers to offer a value-added benefit to clients; and, super apps to provide a plug-and-play telemedicine solution for users.
In January 2018, oDoc was selected for Stanford’s StartX Accelerator Programme as well as for Techstars Bangalore Accelerator Programme. To date, it has received total funding of over $1 million from investors including Techstars and GSMA Ecosystem Accelerator Innovation Fund, among others.
oDoc operates on a subscription model that starts at just Rs 15 per user per month for unlimited video, audio, and chat consultations with doctors.
oDoc offers a plug-and-play telemedicine solution to cover an organisation’s employees / clients, which can also be integrated into an existing app. It is focussed on capturing market share by approaching the end-user through trusted channels. These channels include employers, insurance providers, and established mass distributors (for example, ‘super apps’).
It solves certain technology challenges in providing telemedicine by - Providing a stable user experience for patients and doctors, and doing this via a platform that can be easily launched by employers and integrated into existing apps and platforms.
In 2019, oDoc focussed on growing its client portfolio, securing partnerships with mass distributors, and creating an integration solution for third-party platforms. In India, its client base includes companies like Bigbasket. The startup claims that since May, its key revenue and utilisation metrics have been growing at over 25 percent monthly.
oDoc now covers 140,000 lives across Sri Lanka, the Maldives, and India with operations slated to begin in Bangladesh next year. The company’s goal for 2020 is to establish oDoc as a go-to partner for seamless plug-and-play launches of affordable and high-quality telemedicine in the entire region.
The firm said it expects to launch its integration software development kit (SDK) for telemedicine in Q1 of 2020 and its sales pipeline is on track for 10X growth next year.
Read more at: https://yourstory.com/companies/odoc
Transforming lives in rural India with its last-mile delivery service
Inthree’s consumer-facing, omni-channel Boonbox is a technology platform providing products and services to consumers who live in Tier III and IV towns and villages and currently have little to no access.
The company’s network enables reach to the farthest towns and villages in the country’s hinterlands, and serves as a potent channel to distribute products and services to the vast rural market. The company also extends regular follow-up and after-sales services to its customers.
Inthree directly partners with brands. For the merchant, Boonbox acts as a platform to establish a presence in rural markets as the company aggregates demand for various products and then places orders with the merchants. It claims to offer 15 different product categories across 200 renowned brands, with over 1,50,000 SKUs to choose from on its website.
It currently caters to customers across 10 states, including Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
Inthree Access Services, as a rural ecommerce firm, sells products like white goods, mobiles, and cooking appliances, backed by home-delivery services, to access-deprived Tier III and IV towns right from the taluk level.
Inthree leverages the strengths of its local teams, local languages-based apps, and a customer service team that speaks the languages of 16 states including dialects like Bhojpuri, Sambalpuri, and Bodo.
A joint study by Bain & Company, Google, and Omidyar Network found that India’s 500 million internet users have the potential to generate more than $50 billion worth of transactions in ecommerce in the country. The IBEF expects the Indian ecommerce sector to reach a value of $200 billion by 2026. Rural areas continue to hold a major key to the growth and expansion of this industry.
In July 2019, on the occasion of the 38th Foundation Day of the government-backed National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard), the development bank felicitated five startups, including Inthree for its promising use of technology to harness and uplift rural India. These startups are among the 50 that Nabard has funded through 16 alternative investment funds (AIFs) with an outlay of Rs 272 crore.
According to media reports, the company clocked a turnover of Rs 50 crore in FY17 and more than doubled its topline for FY18 with Rs 118 crore.
Read more at: https://yourstory.com/companies/inthree-access
Giving students new-age classroom experience
Classplus is a classroom management app that helps tutors focus on nurturing students by eliminating time-consuming secondary activities such as creating quizzes, checking assessment, and tracking attendance logs.
Classplus founders initially began toying with multiple ideas and pilots for a venture, but without success. After thorough research and spending several months around Kalu Sarai, Delhi’s largest coaching market, they recorded over 500 interactions with students to understand the gaps in the K-12 private coaching segment.
It was one of the 17 startups from the first cohort of Surge, Sequoia India’s rapid scale-up programme for early-stage startups in India.
Within 15 months of its launch, Classplus has built a base with over 1,200 coaching centres as its clients across 50-plus Indian cities.
Classplus is an app that provides tutors the ease of managing a classroom at their fingertips, helping them invest more time in nurturing students. The UX of the product has been designed in such a manner that actions are either in the form of clicks or drag-drop for a tutor.
Offering useful features such as online assignments, fee management of students, performance tracking and test reports, and live chat with the tutor, the app has three different modes for tutors, students, and parents.
Initially launched as XPrep in September 2015, Classplus has witnessed over 25,000 downloads. The brand has partnered with coaching institutes and tuition centres, and is present across 10 cities in India including Delhi, Ghaziabad, and Agra, among others.
It raised close to $2 million as part of the round from Surge and a few angel investors this year.
Read more at: https://yourstory.com/companies/classplus
Creating artificial lab-grown human tissues to revolutionise healthcare
Pandorum’s proprietary technology platform is designed to develop functional human tissues, including bio-engineered cornea and liver tissue, for medical research and therapeutic applications.
The startup 3D-prints functional tissues from a combination of cells, gels, and cell modulators. Fabrication methods such as self-assembly and 3D printing are used to construct the desired tissue, by employing principles of micro-architecture.
It has also developed a novel hydrogel that can deliver corneal stem cells to the wound site to help with scarless repair and regeneration of corneal tissues. This hydrogel can be directly applied to corneal injuries in a minimally invasive manner.
Pandorum Technologies has also developed the capability to 3D bio-print corneal lenticules, a disc-shaped piece of corneal tissue. This part of the human eye can be used for lamellar keratoplasty, a surgical procedure for the partial replacement of a damaged cornea.
Pandorum Technologies is a biotech startup that focusses on tissue engineering. In 2017, the startup made history to become the first Indian company to 3D-print human liver tissue for medical research.
To expand its research, Pandorum has tied up with the Hyderabad-based LV Prasad Eye Institute. Through this collaboration, the startup has bio-engineered human cornea tissues, with the aim of ultimately removing all dependencies on human donors for cornea transplants. This milestone was achieved by scientists at Pandorum Technologies in May 2019. This bio-engineered human cornea tissue can enable scarless healing of corneal wounds and restoration of vision through bio-regeneration.
Read more at: https://yourstory.com/companies/pandorum-technologies
A new way for buyers to engage with ecommerce
SimSim leverages the reach of influencers and combines it with video and audio commerce in an attempt to penetrate Tier II and III markets.
Operating under the parent company SZS Tech Private Limited, the startup enables community opinion leaders and influencers to sell products to a wide base of micro-communities.
Accel and Shunwei Capital, which both invested $1.79 million in the startup, hold a 12.5-percent stake each in the company, as per RoC filings accessed by YourStory. Good Capital, an early-stage venture investment firm that invested $1.5 million in seed fund and $7.16 million in total in SimSim, holds a 13.69-percent stake.
Angel investors Sunil Kalra and Samrath Bedi also invested Rs 20 lakh each in SimSim.
SimSim, started in Delhi in September 2018, is an ecommerce platform looking to leverage the reach of influencers and combine it with video and audio commerce.
Ecommerce in India has evolved and startups are trying new ways to help sellers reach consumers. New formats such as social commerce and influencer marketing-cum-live commerce have emerged.
Through these formats, startups are tapping into a rapidly growing ecommerce market projected to reach $200 billion by 2026 from $ 38.5 billion as of 2017, according to IBEF data.
Increasing smartphone, internet, and social media penetration has triggered this growth. Social commerce firms Meesho and Shop101, which leverage the power of social media in ecommerce, have made waves with their fundraises.
Now, the potential of influencer marketing and live ecommerce in disrupting and redefining ecommerce has piqued the attention of investors. Initially starting with only women-centred categories and fashion, SimSim now enables internet influencers and opinion leaders to sell products to its users by combining content with commerce.
SimSim is building a horizontal ecommerce platform, keeping in mind the shopping behaviour of users residing beyond the metros of India. It is laying emphasis on local languages and attempting to penetrate markets in Tier II and III cities.
In November 2019, SimSim raised $6 million in Series A round led by Accel India and Shunwei Capital (through Astrend IV India Investment Ltd). Angel investors Sunil Kalra, Samarth Bedi, and Good Capital also participated in the round. According to sources, SimSim is now valued at $7.3 million.
SimSim competes with the likes of Sachin Bhatia and Sichen (Sianna) Liu founded Bulbul and Facebook-backed Meesho.
Read more at: https://yourstory.com/companies/simsim
An advisory startup that lets you make smarter investment choices
Capital Quotient’s core proposition is advisory, and what sets it apart is that it charges clients for it. Relying heavily on machine learning algorithms, the startup claims it offers advisory on different asset classes on the platform, including mutual funds and stocks.
Capital Quotient released its personalised advisory in December 2017. Its ‘Siply’ application enables employees of small enterprises to create a savings fund with a little monthly contribution and get a contribution from their employers as well. It targets those falling under the less-than-10,000 salary bracket.
The company’s revenue is generated through payments for its advisory services. Currently, for a wealth manager, the platform charges a one-time advisory fee of 0.25 percent of the wealth managed. It also offers a subscription model, under which customers are charged Rs 299 per month for an automated AI advisory; a three-year subscription comes at a fee of Rs 10,300.
In its third year of operations, the company has done assets worth more than Rs 350 crore across 9000 customers in 10 locations. Its revenue stood at Rs 3 lakh in FY17, and grew to Rs 30 lakh in FY18.
Capital Quotient aims to help people inculcate a habit of saving, by leveraging technology, gamification, and a planning-first approach. Investments in different asset classes can be automatically synced for users on the platform if Capital Quotient is given permission to their emails and messages.
The company stands out as, from the beginning, it has maintained a strictly non-sales approach towards wealth management, steering clear of any distribution-based model.
In July 2019, Capital Quotient launched a payroll-based programme application, ‘Siply’, aimed at helping employees of small- and medium-sized enterprises in Tier II and III India cities, with IDFC Bank as the tech-integration partner for nodal accounts.
The advisory currently has a presence in Bengaluru and Bhopal. The company is targeting a 7x annual growth rate and revenue of Rs 10 crore by FY20. In addition to Tier I cities, it is also betting heavily on Tier II and III cities. The company said it plans to set up physical operations in 40 cities this fiscal.
Capital Quotient is also looking to counter competition by launching exclusive products on its platform.
At present, it largely caters to customers looking to pay back their loans by making smarter investment choices.
Read more at: https://yourstory.com/companies/capital-quotient
The kiranas’ best ally, saving you time, cost, and energy
Jumbotail provides full-stack services for kirana stores, including storefront delivery and payments collection for its sellers. It also has a fintech platform that provides payment solutions and access to working capital credit from third-party credit providers to its customers, using transactional data and proprietary algorithms.
Additionally, it helps mom-and-pop entrepreneurs run their convenience retail stores on a retail-as-a-service model, with PoS fully integrated with its supply chain and fintech platform.
In the last four years, Jumbotail has tied up with over 20,000 kirana stores in Bengaluru, and has raised $23.2 million in funding.
At present, the platform’s average basket size is Rs 5,000. Karthik claims that 80 percent of its GMV comes from customers who buy a minimum of 10 days a month.
Jumbotail is a wholesale online marketplace for local kirana stores with a full-stack model, including storefront delivery and payments collection for sellers. The startup states it brings in a sense of transparency in the market, especially with prices displayed for store owners to see.
It enables kiranas to stock the right inventory and make their purchases entirely through the mobile platform. Jumbotail’s impact is borne out by the fact that it has reached 20,000 customers to date, enabling them with the benefit of better margins. The average kirana customer of theirs has increased the purchase size to Rs 5000.
Manufacturers and brands can instantly get direct and highly targeted access to thousands of retailers and institutional customers through the Jumbotail platform without needing to invest in expensive physical distribution networks. Jumbotail also opens up the kirana network to financial institutions looking to extend credit in a cost-effective and scalable manner.
The platform focusses on providing staples (rice, edible oil, sugar, atta, pulses, dry fruits, etc.,) packaged foods, other FMCG products, personal care items, and homecare products.
Read more at: https://yourstory.com/companies/jumbotail
Enabling better prices and optimised logistics for agricultural commodity traders
Bijak is a B2B platform for agricultural commodity trading that gives buyers and sellers better prices, increased working capital, and optimised logistics.
Bijak essentially ensures quick disbursal of loans, reduces cost, eliminate wastage via logistics and convenient payment channel, and works as a bookkeeping app.
In September this year, Bijak was chosen as one of the 17 startups for Surge, Sequoia's accelerator programme for early-stage startups in India and Southeast Asia.
The startup also raised close to $2.5 million as part of the round from Surge, Omidyar Network, Better Capital, and a few angel investors such as Nipun Mehra, this year.
Agritech B2B trading platform Bijak ensures accountability and transparency in the agricultural value chain through a buyer/seller rating system which is based on real-time transaction data. Users on the platform can leverage those ratings to identify and trade with reliable counterparts.
Bijak’s approach of enabling the existing players in the value chain underscores the company’s vision to be a trusted partner of the agriculture commerce community. Most commodity traders refer to invoice details as Bijak, and that is where the app derives its name from.
The app, which is highly customised for agriculture commodity traders, is available in a number of local languages and uses the same terminology that’s typically used in major wholesale markets, also known as mandis.
Read more at: https://yourstory.com/companies/bijak
Building life-saving technologies to transform healthcare services
Launched in 2017, NemoCare is an Indian wearables startup that aims to prevent neonatal and maternal deaths in the developing world.
The genesis of the company lies in a fellowship programme, which Pratyusha and her Co-founder Manoj Sanker undertook at the Centre for Health Care Entrepreneurship (CfHCE), an IIT-Hyderabad initiative to promote innovations in the healthcare system.
Starting from the design, device component, to functioning, NemoCare’s smart baby monitor has technology embedded to its core and is backed by a team of user experience and user interface (UX/UI) designers, software programmers, and embedded engineers.
Focussed on building a less skill-intensive device, NemoCare smart baby monitor can be scaled up with software over air updates to track a particular disease, sending out timely updates, and reports. The device also provides stimulation in the form of a haptic vibration on the baby’s foot, as the first step towards distress management when an apneic episode is detected, helping doctors in time-bound emergencies.
The company has raised a total of Rs $1,65,000 as grants from Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. It generates revenue by selling the product.
Healthtech is an emerging sector in India and innovative startups such as NemoCare are reimagining healthcare services in the country by making the lives of the caregivers, as well as, the patients better and easier.
NemoCare is aimed at creating innovative healthcare solutions for emerging markets. The startup’s first product is a connected system that uses smart wearables for continuous and centralised monitoring of newborns.
Using a proprietary deep-learning algorithm, the device maps the vital parameters to detect distress conditions including apnea and hypothermia.
This helps minimise the burgeoning load on nurses to physically monitor the newborns and provide quality neonatal care. The system can be connected to a platform that collects the data and relays it to a nursing station, where nurses can centrally monitor multiple babies through a single interface. When a distress condition is detected, the device sends out an audiovisual alarm to the nursing station, allowing timely medical intervention.
The intelligent platform thus, helps users collect, store, visualise, and analyse the data generated, aimed at creating a paradigm shift in clinical diagnostics and preventive care through a data-driven approach.
Aiming to marry technology with public health, NemoCare is committed to tackling the feedback loop that extends from the early stages of technology development to clinical field studies.
The product, launching early next year, will be priced at Rs 20,000 on the company’s B2B platform. NemoCare is also exploring another model that would give out the hardware for free upfront and charge on the usage of consumables.
Read more at: https://yourstory.com/companies/nemocare
Reimagining co-living spaces for Indian students
Stanza Living was founded in April 2017 by Sandeep Dalmia and Anindya Dutta. The company is headquartered in Delhi. It is backed by marquee global investors like Falcon Edge Capital, Sequoia Capital, Matrix Partners, Accel Partners, and Alteria Capital.
Stanza Living provides housing and amenities for students across 10 cities in India, and offers nutritious food, unlimited laundry, Wi-Fi, professional housekeeping, tech-enabled security and responsive feedback mechanism.
The company provides fully furnished rooms designed according to the needs of a student. The residences are equipped with IoT enabled systems and new appliances to enhance the residents’ quality of living.
Stanza Living residences have interactive common areas like dining areas, fitness corners, and entertainment spaces. They also have vibrant outdoor spaces for students to unwind and relax.
It has high tech security systems like biometric access gates, CCTV geofencing, motion sensors, central residence monitoring, and an emergency response team.
Stanza Living also has an app for seamless consumer experience, with paperless KYC, automated payments, easy checkout, quick onboarding processes, and more.
Stanza Living is redefining co-living spaces for Indian students using state-of-the-art technology and services to enable a close-knit community.
As of April 2019, Stanza Living has set up over 20,000 beds across 10 cities in India. The company claims that students have spent more than 60 lakh nights in Stanza residences, and it has seen 20x growth in 2017-18, and 10x growth in 2018-19.
It recently hired three industry veterans in top positions with its belief of leveraging the multiplier advantage of inter-generational leadership.
A 2019 report by realty consultant CBRE and the Student Accommodation Provider Association of India (SAPFI) revealed that the student housing segment in India will see an investment of $700 million, and an addition of 6 lakh beds by 2023. Stanza Living is well on its way to capture this large market.
The company’s programmes Stanza Social and Stanza Springboard provide curated experiences like movie screenings, festive celebrations, workshops and internship opportunities, for the holistic wellbeing of students. Exclusive deals and discounts are offered to residents on over 500 brands nationwide. According to Owler, Stanza Living has an annual revenue of $2 million.
Read more at: https://yourstory.com/companies/stanzaliving
EzeRx provides a painless solution for anaemia, liver, and lung-related healthcare problems
The device scans haemoglobin to detect anaemia; bilirubin to study the liver function and detect liver-related problems like jaundice, hepatitis, and alcoholic fatty liver; and oxygen saturation to study the function of the lungs and detect problems like asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, and brain hypoxia.
EzeRx’s device provides a painless testing process that removes the chance of infection. It costs less than Re 1 and allows the data to be transferred anywhere by email or text message, after the completion of the test, within 0.5 to 1.5 seconds.
The device is cost-effective, easy to develop, and can also be used by semi-skilled or unskilled individuals. The startup became a recipient of the Department of Biotechnology’s BIRAC Biotechnology Ignition Grant and completed the clinical trial for the AJO device at the NRS Medical College in Kolkata, with “high accuracy and without any complaints”.
At present, it is in talks with various state governments, hospitals, and CSR partners for the adoption of its device. It has also started clinical trials for oral cancer identification using its product.
In terms of support, EzeRx has been an incubatee at the KIIT-TBI, and has also received undisclosed funding from Villgro’s INVENT and oil and petroleum major Indian Oil Corporation, to continue its work.
EzeRx, which means ‘easy for prescription’, is on a mission to make the preventive healthcare approach more appealing and accessible for Indians by providing easy, affordable, and painless diagnostic solutions.
The startup mainly focusses on anaemia – a condition where a person does not have enough healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen to the tissues, along with lung and liver-related ailments, the three major public healthcare concern in the country.
While the diagnosis of these diseases is costly and requires a lot of expertise, EzeRx provides a solution that is quite simple, non-invasive, non-contact, IoT-enabled portable diagnostic device called AJO (short for anaemia, jaundice, and oxygen saturation).
The device ensures a painless testing process as it measures the spectroscopic signal emitting from the conjunctiva (the clear membrane that lines the inside of the eyelids and covers the white of the eye), resulting in no loss of blood.
Read more at: https://yourstory.com/companies/ezerx
Applying artificial intelligence for a hawk-eye view of medical data
Sigtuple is a medical technology startup whose core product is Manthana, a continuous learning platform for healthcare powered by AI. The platform is used to churn data and generate intelligence for the medical expert community.
Besides, Manthana has the capability to train, validate, and execute AI- and ML-powered models to classify various objects of interest, detect diseases, and compute the metrics for reporting.
The reports generated by Manthana not only contain numbers but also visual medical evidence for each and every reported metric, and are made available to a medical expert on his/her handheld device. This visual evidence eliminates the need for the medical expert to have access to the patient, a medical device, or biological samples. Manthana is made available on a pay-per-use model based on every report generated.
SigTuple had raised Series C funding of $16 million in April 2019, with the round led by Trusted Insights, existing investors Accel Partners, Chiratae Ventures, and Pi Ventures, Flipkart Co-founder Binny Bansal, and Trifecta Capital.
For its customer base, SigTuple has leveraged the network of the few prominent medical industry veterans it has on board who act as advisors to the company. Through them, the company has reached out to forward-looking labs and hospitals to forge data partnerships.
Medtech startup SigTuple stands out in its industry for its focus on building a diagnostic fabric comprising medical devices, software used in diagnostics/diagnostic setups, and infrastructure for services.
In short, SigTuple transcends the space of tech-enabled healthcare and is actually creating the technology ground up to make healthcare affordable and accessible.
The solution provided by SigTuple enables labs and hospitals to scale by implementing a hub-and-spoke model, wherein medical experts can operate from hubs and devices can be installed in spokes. According to founder Rohit, the solution will improve the efficiency of medical experts by automating painful and fatigue-intensive visual medical analysis processes.
At present, SigTuple is working with large-scale hospitals and labs, and it has a group of medical experts in various fields to develop these solutions.
In 2019, SigTuple acqui-hired Bengaluru-based home healthcare startup Medyog, which will be working under Mirable Health Services. This partnership has enabled SigTuple’s customers to order a test through their mobile phones and get it done through Medyog from the comfort of their home.
Medyog is currently operational in Bengaluru, Hyderabad, and Chennai, and will be expanding to 12 more cities by the end of this year. Currently, it has 10 labs in Bengaluru and is looking to launch its labs in Hyderabad, Chennai, and Delhi.
Read more at: https://yourstory.com/companies/sigtuple
Gaming the way higher education and hiring is done
Edyst, which was set up in 2016 by three IIIT Hyderabad alumni, operates in the edtech space and targets college students and working professionals.
In 2019, it was adopted by and received its seed funding from Y Combinator.
Edyst is providing students training via video- and online-based learning courses in the most in-demand areas for college graduates. It also runs a series of bootcamps where students collaborate and learn through gamification.
Edyst currently offers two-course packages. One is focused on skills related to jobs at companies like TCS and Infosys, which is priced at $173 plus one month’s salary after a student lands a job offer. The other is designed toward providing skills for companies like Amazon and Uber and costs about $216 plus one month’s salary. Both courses are about 14-weeks long.
It also runs coding bootcamps for companies like TCS, Wipro, and Infosys who will hire the best performers at these camps.
Most of Edyst’s revenue to date has come from its long-term training and placement partnerships with Indian colleges. The Hyderabad-based company is profitable, according to the founders.
Edyst. an AI-powered online platform that uses gamification and peer-to-peer learning to impart practical skills to college students, is on a mission to bridge the gap between the skills demanded by the industry and the current quality of skills possessed by students.
The startup is looking to create a culture of coding among students and offers industry-relevant courses to enhance their coding proficiency and job-readiness on its immersive and engaging peer-to-peer learning platform.
The startup works as strategic talent acquisition partner of companies by making it seamless and cost-effective for them to acquire graduates trained through the startup’s coding bootcamps.
Edyst is seeking funds to add courses in areas like ecommerce and digital marketing and to expand to other parts of Southeast Asia and the Middle East. According to the founders, they are on the path to empowering 10,000 more students in the upcoming year.
Read more at: https://yourstory.com/companies/edyst
Empowering the visually impaired and the differently abled
TorchIt is an ISO certified organisation dedicated to serving people with visual impairment and other disabilities across the world. The startup has been working towards empowering many such people since 2016.
With simple and affordable yet highly effective assistive aids like 'Saarthi' and 'Jyoti,' TorchIt has supported the blind to manoeuvre with ease and confidence and stand on their own feet. Their flagship product 'Saarthi,' an assistive mobility device, comes with “99.7 percent obstacle detection accuracy” in any scenario, ranging from two to eight feet. The product is simplistic, ergonomically designed and is battery efficient. It can do much more than the traditional cane could with its GPS and GSM features.
TorchIt has also won more than 40 national and international awards for 'Saarthi.'
Incubated and accelerated by IIC, PDPU and CIIE, IIMA, TorchIt is accredited by the Blind People’s Association (India) and the National Association for the Blind.
It is also supported by other institutions like the Dept. of Science and Technology, Government of India, Government of Gujarat, MIT Labs, World Bank, Facebook, Lockheed Martin, USAID, Tata Trust, FICCI, Nasscom Foundation, and Royal Academy of Engineering to name a few.
It has received mentorship and guidance from experts in the field such as Dr Bhushan Punani and RP Soni from the Blind Peoples Association, Bhaskar Mehta (National Association for the Blind), Abhinav Kapadia and Anay Mashruwala from PDPU, and others.
India is home to the world’s largest population of the visually impaired, comprising over 50 lakh people, according to the 2011 census.
To address their needs, Ahmedabad-based startup Torchit has focused its innovation on a simple, affordable device that makes the lives of the visually impaired easier. Their flagship product, 'Saarthi,' is an assistive mobility device that acts like a handheld smart cane with smart detection capabilities and helps individuals navigate obstacles in their physical environment.
Three years since its inception, TorchIt has touched the lives of more than 12,000 people across more than five countries namely India, Malawi, Tanzania, Kenya, and South Korea through 100+ partnerships worldwide and 25+ distribution campaigns for 'Saarthi.' Many of these partnerships have been with CSR partners like ONGC, SRB, MLM India Ltd, Ardip Indigo, Oil India Ltd (OIL), Wagh Bakri, Gruh Finance Ltd, and Syngenta.
In the next three years, the company envisions to empower 1 million+ differently-abled individuals across the globe to lead more independent, meaningful, and connected lives through the use of simplistic and effective yet affordable assistive devices enhancing mobility and accessibility, financial sustenance, and literacy via planned projects in India, Africa and Korea.
Read more at: https://yourstory.com/companies/torchit
Reimagining the future of mobility with purpose-built EVs and swapping infrastructure
TresMoto develops smart, connected, purpose-built motorcycles and swapping infrastructure for niche markets. It offers unique business models, provides battery packs, battery swapping services and all other vehicle ownership requirements like insurance, regular service, roadside assistance and consumables in a monthly subscription.
The manufacturing process will include in-house designed and developed drivetrains. These scooters then would be sold to fleet operators. Alongside, there is a mandatory monthly subscription comprising AMC (Annual Maintenance Contract), extended warranty, insurance, and unlimited battery swaps.
The team is expecting a revenue of Rs 2.5 crore after the pilot delivery. The startup is planning to scale this to Rs 10 crore monthly by the end of FY 2020.
TresMoto had previously received a fund of Rs 1.4 crore from Shell E4 during product development and Rs 2.5 crore from angel investors during testing, certification, and approval stage. It is, however, on the lookout for additional investment for further plans.
TresMoto, which makes high-powered, 'purpose-built,' connected electric scooters for fleet applications, is re-imagining the future of mobility.
Its first offering is TresMoto Mule, a plug-and-play scooter for dockless rental and micro-delivery service providers. These purpose-built connected scooters are supported by modern-day services and sub-systems.
TresMoto's offering is targeted at fleet operators, hyperlocal logistics, bike rentals, ride-hailing services, campuses, and public transit points. Alongside, it also provides end-to-end shared mobility solutions like remote access hardware and fleet management dashboard.
Based in Bengaluru, TresMoto today has orders for a pilot batch of 500 units due for delivery in March 2020, as it builds up on orders and acquires more clients.
Read more at: https://yourstory.com/companies/tresmoto
Poised to making touchless, seamless, indirect procurement a reality for the Indian market
Moglix was founded by Rahul Garg in August 2015. While it is based out of Noida, the company is headquartered in Singapore.
Moglix specialises in B2B procurement, maintenance, repair, and overhaul of industrial products across categories like MRO, safety, electricals, lighting, cleaning, housekeeping, office stationery and supplies, hand and power tools, measurement tools, medical supplies, and more.
It partners with manufacturers and distributors across these categories in India, China, and other Asian countries.
Moglix offers more than 4.5 lakh essential industry products, across 30+ categories. The startup has over 1.5 lakh SME clients onboard, provides services to more than 25,000 pin codes across India, and has a supplier base of over 2,000.
The Moglix team is run by 10 professionals, including Rahul, who came from academically refined institutions like IITs, IIMs, and ISBs.
In 2017, Moglix noted that its team strength exceeded 200 employees. The startup also claimed that it has more than two lakh stock keeping units (SKU) listed on its platform, serving some of the largest auto, electrical, and PSUs in the country, including Lumax, IndiaForge, Havells, etc.
The startup raised $1.5 million in seed funding from Accel and Jungle Ventures in October 2015. It also raised an undisclosed amount from Tata Sons’ Chairman Emeritus Ratan Tata in February 2016. The same year in October, Moglix raised its Series A funding of $4.2 million from Accel, Jungle Ventures, and SeedPlus.
Moglix, in its Series B funding round, raised $12 million in July 2017 from World Bank Group, IFC, Rocketship VC, Venture Highway, Shailesh Rao, Jungle Ventures, and Accel. The startup further raised $23 million in Series C from its existing investors Accel and Jungle Ventures, as well as, IFC and World Bank Group in December 2018.
In March 2019, Flipkart’s Kalyan Krishnamurthy made a personal investment of an undisclosed amount in the startup, and it further raised $60 million in its Series D round in July, led by Tiger Management and Sequoia Capital.
According to Owler, Moglix has an annual revenue of $8 million.
In the B2B ecommerce segment, Moglix competes with the likes of Bizongo, Udaan, Power2SME, OfBusiness, and Just Buy Live, among others.
According to Nordea Trade Portal, India's Business-to-Business (B2B) ecommerce market is expected to reach $700 billion by 2020. Currently, the Indian indirect purchase market is worth more than $50 billion and is estimated to grow to $100 billion by 2025.
When it comes to purchasing industrial products, enterprises often have to go through a large number of suppliers to obtain the exact products they need, making it a time consuming and tedious process. Moglix makes the process quick and efficient by using technology to disrupt the traditional channel.
From safety equipment, electrical items, and power tools, to stationery, motors, and medical supplies, among others, Moglix offers almost every industrial product under one roof.
The startup believes that, while globally top manufacturers have evolved towards the adoption of technology for procurement and sales, Indian manufacturers have been slow to adopt technology, leading to process inefficiencies, and limited marketing exposure.
When Moglix raised $60M in July 2019 from Tiger Management and Sequoia Capital, the startup said it will use the funds to create industrial distribution centres across India, to cover all 25+ major hubs for manufacturing by May 2020. It will continue to invest in tech-first strategies to further disrupt the supply chain and procurement domain across verticals, making touchless, seamless, and indirect procurement a reality for the Indian market.
The company is also starting an innovation garage called ‘Moglix Innovation Hub (MIH)’ for B2B commerce and supply chain. The initiative will focus on areas relevant to the procurement domain - advanced technology, SaaS platforms, fintech, and logistics, to name a few. Moglix will continue to invest in young and dynamic EIRs (entrepreneurs-in-residence) to execute these ideas. About $5 million has been set aside for MIH.
Read more at: https://yourstory.com/companies/moglix
Poised to hit one million itineraries by 2019-end
Pickyourtrail is a travel company that delivers tailor-made international holidays. It helps travellers plan and customise their international travels and book multi-country vacations online.
Its unique matching algorithm and price comparison engine gives the traveller the freedom to create his/her own customised tour packages suited to their taste, at best online prices.
In 2016, the company started with a seed capital of $1,700. It spent $7,000 on marketing in the first few years and managed to achieve what many have failed to do.
The Chennai-based startup was born out of a desire to spread the magic of travel through the logic of tech.
Over the years, it has helped more than 10,000 travellers from across 14 countries. It also has a 5-star rating on Facebook, making it one of the top-ranked trip planners in India.
Pickyourtrail is incubated at Amadeus Next and is one of the top six finalists of the prestigious APAC Travel Innovation Summit award.
The startup covers over 130 countries via partnerships with multiple API partners, so that self-serve customers can have an authentic product, whereby they get what they see.
Its NPS score has remained steady at 70-72 despite the rapid growth over the past couple of years.
In the first half of 2019, Pickyourtrail created over 300,000 itineraries or customised tour packages. Pickyourtrail founders Hari Ganapathy and Srinath Shankar say the company is on track to hit one million itineraries on the platform by the end of 2019.
Indeed, in 2016, Pickyourtrail had crafted trails for more than 1,500 travellers from 14 countries. Today that number has grown to over 10,000 travellers.
The number of users has surged to 115 percent in just the past five months; revenue has doubled over the same period (the startup’s revenue in 2018 stood at a run-rate of about $9.5 million).
In February 2019, the startup closed $3 million in Series A round of funding led by Gofrugal CEO Kumar Vembu and Ithought Founder Shyam Shekar.
Rajagopal Subramanian, CIO at Entrust Family Office and Girish Mathrubootham, CEO of Freshworks also participated in the round.
Read more at: https://yourstory.com/companies/pickyourtrail
Mapping neurological brain function to address mental disorders
Championing the human brain’s many wonders is Mumbai-based startup NeuroLeap, founded by Kumaar Bagrodia in 2017. It uses technology to understand the brain and enhance its ability to perform at an optimal level.
At the startup’s centres in Mumbai and Delhi, the NeuroLeap Brain Function Assessment is priced at Rs 25,000. An individual wears the brain-computer interface (BCI) hardware with sensor points that read the brainwave activity for around 30 minutes. The data collected is compared against a global database of reference values by neuroscientists.
Later, the data collected is compared against a global database of reference values by neuroscientists. After studying and analysing the data, a customised protocol is created for each clients which is later followed by sessions of neurofeedback, which cost Rs 10,000 each.
After clocking a total number of 200 patients in the past two years, the startup is now gearing up for growth and has raised angel funding from Rajashree Birla, Chairperson, Aditya Birla Centre for Community Initiatives and Rural Development, and Sminu Jindal, MD, Jindal Saw and Founder Chairperson, Svayam.
The startup has also collaborated with certain stakeholders in the US who are backed by NASA, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the US Army. If that’s not all, some parts of NeuroLeap’s technologies are registered with the US Food and Drug Administration.
NeuroLeap uses neurofeedback therapy to tackle mental disorders like dyslexia, anxiety, depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and insomnia. The startup has also developed a technology to read and understand neural activities.
The Mumbai-based startup uses around 160 sensors to understand the human brain and acquire brainwave data in real-time. One can simply enhance the brain function and imbue it with better attention, focus, sleep, and an overall optimised performance in life.
The core of its functions is monitoring brainwaves to understand the level of a client’s brain function, emotion, and mental health. This is followed by a detailed report and consultation session to understand what functions and emotions are deviating from the norm.
In recent months, NeuroLeap received backing from angel investors Rajashree Birla and Sminu Jindal. It has also been able to demonstrate successful outcomes for various issues like anxiety, depression, ADHD, migraine, and more.
Read more at: https://yourstory.com/companies/neuroleap
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