From Bolo Indya, Ludo King, MagTapp, Chingari to Mitron and Betterhalf.ai, here are some China-free Indian apps

India's decision to ban 59 Chinese apps has been hailed as a 'revolution' for homegrown tech companies. Here are some Indian apps by companies that have no Chinese investments.
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Indian Apps

The Indian government’s decision to ban 59 Chinese apps has put the spotlight on homegrown Indian apps that serve as alternatives to the banned apps. Many Indian apps, built in India for India, have seen an overnight surge in the number of downloads ever since the ban was announced.


As the Indian public's hostility towards China grows, we at YourStory, bring you a list of desi apps that are built by Indian companies with no Chinese funding. Many of these are lesser-known Indian apps that are poised to power India's digital swadeshi apps revolution.


Here's a curated list of China-free Indian apps that could stand in for the banned Chinese apps:

Social Media

Mitron

mitron


Description: Indian short-form video app 'Mitron' is hailed by many as India’s answer to TikTok, and has clocked more than five million installs within the first month of launch. Launched by friends turned co-founders Shivank Agarwal and Anish Khandelwal, the app crossed one crore downloads on Google Play Store, with a rating of 4.5 out of 5 within just two months of its launch.


Downloads: 10 million +


Investors: N/A


Founded in: April 2020


Founded by: Shivank Agarwal and Anish Khandelwal


Headquarters: Bengaluru




Chingari

Chingari App

Chingari is a short video-sharing app

Description: Home-grown social app Chingari allows a user to download and upload videos, chat with friends, interact with people, share content, and browse through the feed. The app is available in multiple languages, including English, Hindi, Bangla, Gujarati, Marathi, Kannada, Punjabi, Malayalam, Tamil, and Telugu.


Downloads: 2.5 million +


Investors: N/A


Founded in: November 2018


Founded by: Biswatma Nayak and Sumit Ghosh


Headquarters: Bengaluru


Roposo

roposo_cofounders

L to R: Mayank Bhangadia, Avinash Saxena, Kaushal Shubhank, Co-founders of Roposo

Description: Roposo offers a TV-like interface that allows users to watch videos in 12 Indian languages and across 24 channels that are powered by a pan-India network of regional influencers. It has more than 14 million video creators and 80 million videos created monthly.


Downloads: 65 million+


Investors: Tiger Global Management, Bertelsmann India Investments, and India Quotient


Acquired by: Glance, InMobi Group


Founded in: 2012


Founded by: Mayank Bhangadia, Avinash Saxena, Kaushal Shubhank


Headquarters: Gurugram




Leher

Leher

Image credit: Google Play Store

Description: Leher is a network that connects people on LIVE Video Discussions around their interests and passions.


Downloads: 50,000+


Investors: N/A


Founded in: 2018


Founded by: Vikas Malpani, Atul Jaju


Headquarters: Bengaluru


SkillBox

Skillbox

Team at Skillbox

Description: Skillbox is a social network and discovery platform that connects artists, musicians, bands, DJs, producers, session artists, photographers, designers, and sketch artists with enthusiasts and businesses. Recently it also introduced live shows on the app.


Downloads: 10,000 +


Investors: NA


Founded in: 2018


Founded by: Anmol Kukreja, Ravi Pardhi


Headquarters: Gurugram


Category: Entertainment/Community


Bolo Indya

Team Bolo Indya

Bolo Indya team

Description: Bolo Indya is a UGC short videos app,  enabling users to create two-minute videos sharing their knowledge, experience and opinions across interest areas, and taking the videos to the local language audience who share similar interests.  It also allows the users to create and share content in 10 Indian languages with more than 5.2 lakh active members and 2.9 daily users spending more than 39 min per day on the app, providing an opportunity to a competent individual to earn more than Rs 30,000 per month.


Downloads: 500,000 +


Investors: N/A


Founded in: May 2019


Founded by: Varun Saxena


Headquarters: Gurugram


Woovly

Woovly


Description: Woovly is a Bengaluru-based social discovery platform that lets users watch videos across interest areas like Travel & Lifestyle, Music & Movies, Sports & Fitness, Home Decor, and more. Users can watch HD videos of DIY activities, share experiences to become influencers, and also connect with people of similar interests.


Downloads: 2 million


Investors: Duane Park, SOSV VI LLC


Founded in: February 2019


Founded by: Venkat J, Neha Suyal


Headquarters: Bengaluru



Gaming

Ludo King

Ludo King


Description: Homegrown gaming app Ludo King ranks as India’s #1 gaming app, on both Android and iOS. Ludo King adds a modern touch to the royal game of Pachisi, which used to be played between Indian kings and queens in ancient times, has surpassed top gaming titles like Candy Crush Saga, PUBG, Clash of Clans, Subway Surfers, Temple Run, and others in monthly active users in India.


Downloads:  100 million +


Investors: N/A


Founded in: 2010


Founded by: Vikash Jaiswal


Headquarters: Mumbai




Health and wellness

StepSetgo

stepsetgo


Description: StepSetGo was launched in January 2019. It promises to make the simplest workout like walking fun again. Even if you stay indoors. That is definitely worth looking at in these times of self-isolation.


Downloads: 5 million + 


Investors: N/A


Founded in: January 2019


Founded by: Misaal Turakhia, Abhay Pai, and Shivjeet Ghatge 


Headquarters: Mumbai



HealthifyMe

HealthifyMe

Description: Incubated by Microsoft Accelerator, HealthifyMe caters to more than 17 million users in 300+ cities with over 500 coaches. The company delivers measurable results on eating habits, fitness, and weight through tracking lifestyle, providing access to human coaches and AI nutritionist “Ria”. The company has over 700 employees, with a physical presence in Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai, and Chennai.   


Downloads: 18 million +


Investors:  InnoVen Capital, Blume Ventures,  Atlas Ventures, and Chiratae Ventures.


Founded in: 2012


Founded by: Tushar Vashisht and Sachin Shenoy  


Headquarters: Bangalore



Fashion/Ecommerce

AJIO.com

Ajio

Image courtesy: Ajio

Description: AJIO, a fashion and lifestyle brand, is Reliance Retail’s first pan-Indian ecommerce venture that unveiled in April 2016, at Lakme Fashion Week in Mumbai. AJIO deals in categories of womenswear, menswear, kidswear, and technology. With fashion technology, in particular, AJIO forayed into a category that combined technology with the aesthetics of contemporary fashion by featuring a carefully handpicked selection of premium gadgets and tech accessories.


Downloads: 10 million +


Investors: Reliance Retail


Founded in: 2016


CEO: Vineeth Nair 


Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra




News and Content

Inshorts and Public

public app

Description: Inshorts run two apps, Inshorts a news app which offers card based curated news, and Public is location-based social network Public, which enables people in Tier-I, II, and III cities to record and share happenings around them and provide real-time local updates.


Downloads: 10 million +


Investors: Tiger Global, Lee Fixel, Sachin Bansal, Binny Bansal, Rebright Partners, Tlabs


Founded in: 2013


Founded by: Azhar Iqubal, Deepit Purkayastha, Anunay Pandey


Headquarters: Noida, Delhi-NCR


HubHopper

Gautam Raj Anand- Hubhopper

Description: Hubhopper started as a social network in 2015, but in 2017 pivoted to content aggregation and publishing. It is one of India's largest platforms for podcasts and audio content, with over one million hours of content across 15 languages, 12 million devices, and 10 demand and supply side products and platforms.


Downloads: 100,000+


Investors: ITI Growth Opportunities Fund and Unit-E Ventures 


Founded in: 2015


Founded by:  Gautam Raj Anand


Headquarters: Delhi




Lokal

Lokal

Founders of Lokal - Jani Pasha and Vipul Chaudhary

Description: Bengaluru-based hyperlocal content startup Lokal provides local news, classifieds, matrimony advertisements, and job listings, besides other important information in Telugu and Tamil languages, to mobile users of Tier-II and III towns, and villages of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Tamil Nadu.  


Downloads: 1 million +


Investors: 3one4 Capital, Y Combinator, RB Investments, SOMA Capital, and India Quotient


Founded in: 2018


Founded by: Jani Pasha and Vipul Chaudhary


Headquarters: Bengaluru


Vowelor

Vowelor

Lalit Sharma and Manik Ghawri (L-R)

Description:  The app lets readers connect and discuss books and authors with each other. Vowelor also provides a platform for budding authors to showcase and market their publications.


Downloads: 10,000+


Investors: Dr Sanjeev Juneja


Founded in: 2018


Founded by: Manik Ghawri, and Lalit Sharma


Headquarters: Delhi



Matchmaking

Betterhalf.AI

Betterhalf.AI team

The Betterhalf.ai team

Description: Betterhalf.AI uses predictive analysis to help professionals find a match through compatibility scores based on relationship dimensions and their interactions on the product. The platform provides verified matches with professionals working at companies like Google, Facebook, Amazon, LinkedIn, Adobe, and Accenture, to name a few.


Downloads: 3,00,000+


Investors: Former Managing Director of Google India Shailesh Rao; Former Investment Director at Flipkart Vinay Subramanian; FirstPenguin Capital's Rehan A Khan; and other senior leaders from Google, Uber and Amazon.


Founded in: 2017


Founded by: Pawan Gupta and Rahul Namdev


Headquarters: Bengaluru




Education

Magtapp

MagTapp


Description: MagTapp is a web browser with an inbuilt document reader, visual dictionary, and a translation feature. Anyone who faces difficulty while reading English content on their phone due to difficult words just needs to 'tap' on the word (long press on the word) and the visual meaning of that word appears instantly.


Downloads: 500,000+


Investors: N/A


Founded in: 2019


Founded by: Satyapal Chandra, Rohan Kumar Singh, Abhishek Singh


Headquarters: Mumbai



Classes by Zoho

Zoho Classes app

Illustration: Vijeesh MR | YS Design

Description: SaaS unicorn Zoho launched edtech platform Classes as a video-based class and course discovery platform for schools, colleges, coaching institutes, and vocational trainers (of sports, fitness, yoga, art, music, dance, robotics, etc.) in April this year. 


Downloads: 5,000+


Investors: N/A


Founded in: Classes was unveiled in April 2020; Zoho was founded in 1996


Founded by:  Sridhar Vembu


Headquarters: Pleasanton, California


Utter

Utter

Description: Earlier called Sling, Utter was born in March 2015. After two years of research and development, the platform - mentored by Reliance Industries-backed startup accelerator JioGenNext - was launched in the market in August 2017. The app aims to teach India’s more than 80 percent non-English speaking population English over chat, in their native language. 


Downloads: 1 million+


Investors: Unitus Ventures, Jio’s GenNext Ventures


Founded in: 2015


Founded by: Amit Bhadbhade


Headquarters: Pune


Utility

Spaces: Communication & Collaboration for Professionals


spaces

Description: Spaces brings features such as email, chat and cloud storage together into a unique package. It lets users organise important documents, contacts and other information, and offers threaded chats to avoid clutter. 


Downloads: 5,000+


Investors: Blume


Founded in: 2018


Founded by: Sarang Lakare


Headquarters: Pune



InTouchApp: Contacts & Relationship Manager

InTouch Spaces


Description: It is a phone contact management app with unique features such as adding a one liner about the contact to remember how or where you met them or scanning business cards, contacts on map, phonetic search among others.


Downloads: 3 million+


Investors: Blume, Microsoft Accelerator


Founded in: 2012


Founded by: Sarang Lakare


Headquarters: Pune


OH Web Browser

oh web browser

Description: With smartphone sizes growing bigger by the day, it is nearly impossible to use them with just one hand. But, not when you’re surfing on OH Browser. The app’s ‘Reachability’ feature lets you access the browser with one hand by simply pulling down the screen from the top, shifting your entire browsing activity to the bottom of the device.


Downloads: 10 million +


Investors: NA


Founded in: NA


Founded by: NA


Headquarters: Tamil Nadu


Kaagaz Scanner

kaagaz scanner


Description: Kaagaz Scanner has been built by Sorted AI, an Indian startup. Within one day of the CamScanner being banned, the Indian app has claimed over one lakh downloads and is presently seeing considerable interest on the Google Play Store.


Downloads: 100,000+


Investors: N/A


Founded in: June 2020


Founded by: Gaurav Shrishrimal


Headquarters: Gurugram



Expert Advice

UDo

UDo

Description: UDo aims to change the way freelance consulting works. It has been helping its users monetise their video calls/webinars and video conferences seamlessly. Unlike the other applications like Zoom, Skype, Duo, WhatsApp, etc, UDo enables teachers, trainers, coaches, and even businesses to set-up paid video sessions or large group events effortlessly. UDo is one among its kind platforms in India which brings a spread of freelance experts under one roof.


Downloads: 50,000 +


Investors: N/A


Founded in: 2016


Founded by: Teja Gudluru


Headquarters: Hyderabad



Cashback & Coupons

CashKaro

yourstory-cashkaro-raises-25-crore

Description: CashKaro gives users easy access to various Indian brands across categories such as fashion, beauty and personal care, phones and gadgets, entertainment etc., from more than 1,500+ popular sites. CashKaro allows users to shop from popular Indian brands like Ajio, NNNow, and Myntra, and also gives them additional cashback, which is real money that one can transfer to their bank account or redeem as Amazon or Flipkart gift vouchers.


Downloads: 3 million +


Investors: Ratan Tata and Kalaari Capital


Founded in: 2013


Founded by:  Rohan and Swati Bhargava


Headquarters: Gurugram 



List to be updated...


(Inputs by Thimmaya Poojary and Ramarko Sengupta)


Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta and Tenzin Pema

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