They say India is a land of opportunities. We believe that.
Startups in India have now become mainstream. Numbers are the proof, when Nasscom said that India has moved up to third position (behind the US and China) and has emerged as the fastest-growing base of startups across the world. The country has established itself amongst the first five largest startup communities in the world – with the number of startups crossing 4,200, a growth of 40%, by the end of 2015.
The startup ecosystem in India saw a sudden burst of interest from the industry giants and budding entrepreneurs. Lofty valuations, big cash and a multimillion dollar seed rounds suddenly became the norm. However, 2016 has seen a balance returning to the startup scene as investors looked to support startups that proved their mettle in their various sectors, and the market itself was consolidated and stabilised for the most part.
But there is always room for innovation and disruption – buzzwords that every entrepreneur lives by. And, keeping in mind future trends coming into play in 2017, we at Inc42 have curated the top 10 hottest startups to watch for!
Startups have been chosen on the basis of funding, sector, innovation quotient, and the ripples they created when they were launched.
Sagacito is a mobile-first, cloud-based enterprise solutions company. It uses internal and external databases to create measurable insights that go beyond the conventional data manipulation and computation capabilities. It combines business acumen and advanced data science to arrive at insights and intelligence that help companies maximise profit margins and market shares.
Sagacito offers a Business Intelligence (BI) solution for revenue management services that deliver ‘value’ creation and ‘margin’ expansion. It works with both structured and unstructured data to create machine learning-based algorithms to positively impact business outcomes.
Founder(s): Arunabh Das Sharma, Ankit Garg
Sector: Data analytics
Funding raised: It raised close to $10 Mn from Star India Pvt. Ltd, a subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch’s Twenty-First Century Fox Inc. in July 2016.
Flex Class provides online certificate MBA courses to its users. It is the first-of-its-kind online business school which provides 100% cash back to the students when they complete their certification. Backed by over 120 faculties and globally-accepted quality content, Flex Class claims to serve over 67,000 students worldwide. Its regions are the emerging economies where setting up of the physical infrastructure for the education is still a pain.
Founder(s): Tarun Saxena
Sector: Edtech (e-learning)
Funding raised: In January 2016, it raised $12.9 Mn at a valuation of $60 Mn, to compete with the likes of Udacity and Udemy.
LIQVID (English Edge)
It is a global e-learning service provider with domain-specific expertise in custom e-learning solutions, enterprise learning, blended learning solutions, e-learning technology, and learning support through its flagship product EnglishEdge.
Since inception, the company claims to have created over 8,000 hours of e-learning content and has tied-up with over 1,600 schools. LIQVID is a preferred offshore vendor for Hewlett Packard (HP), US and has executed several projects for organisations like Motorola, IBM, Hughes, American Express, BBC Learning, Harcourt, Oracle, Standard Chartered Bank, and Philips.
Founder(s): Vivek Aggarwal
Sector: Edtech (e-learning)
The startup is a branded network of ready-to-move rental homes for working professionals in metro cities. It provides fully-equipped homes with standardised furniture, appliances, and kitchenware, rented on a per bed/per room basis.
It aims at solving the problem of quality assurance, trust deficit and inconvenience that user faces while taking a home on rent. It also provides last-mile order fulfilment along with online/mobile discovery.
Sector: Real Estate
Funding raised: In July this year, it raised $2 Mn in its Seed round of funding from undisclosed investors. The startup has also acquired Noida-based LifePad Homes, in the same domain, in an all-cash deal.
InstaCar is simplifying the process of booking rented outstation cars by providing a democratic marketplace. It offers users with solutions like choice of car, make and model selection, actual photographs, background-check of drivers, luggage carrier, pet-friendly cars etc. These are the differentiators which makes for a unique business model in India as well as the global market.
According to a company statement, within two months of its launch, the startup had on-boarded over 500 cars in Madhya Pradesh.
Sector: Transportation, cab aggregator
Funding raised: In September this year, it secured $1 Mn Seed funding from Hong Kong-based Swastika Co Ltd.
ProAcDoc is a service platform which maintains a person’s medical records and history. The various features of the app are the production of health trending charts, doctor visits, child vaccinations etc. Health-trending charts are made by the team at ProAcDoc, on the basis of all the reports uploaded by the customers.
The app also provides emergency alerts and notifications. The reports can be shared with doctors. Users can manage their family medical history as well.
Founder(s): Alok Sharma, Prateek Sharma
Funding raised: In February 2016, it secured $19K in its Seed round of funding. Following that, it raised around $900K in its Series A round, in March 2016.
Mallfort is an omnichannel marketplace connecting shoppers to nearby stores in real-time management, to discover electronics, apparel, accessories, baby products and more. Mallfort aims to target the 92% unorganised market, to create an online-offline presence and helps these businesses to liquidate their inventory and forecast their businesses better.
It offers a location-based shopping experience and aggregates brands and retailers in a real-time environment. Its omnichannel marketplace helps consumers to shop from anywhere or return anywhere. The retailer locations are managed by a central system with its OCE Engine, that further helps to streamline the processes with a faster and hassle-free shopping experience.
Founder(s): Sachin Goel
Sector: Ecommerce, O2O.
Funding raised: In May 2016, it raised $100K in its angel round of funding.
Gurugram-based, iAugmentor curates personalised skill-based learning activities. It enables adaptive and experiential learning.
The company uses data analytic tools, artificial intelligence and an individual’s psychometric assessment for the same. Psychometric tests evaluate an individual’s behavioural characteristics and cognitive aptitude. The company creates modules – intuitively linking graphics, haptic feedback, video, animation, movies, theatre, quizzes, games, simulations and instantaneous feedback into a learning experience.
The platform has partnered with both national and international universities. The edtech company plans to expand its footprint across India and other countries based in Africa and the Middle East, in the next year.
Founder(s): Pratik Marwah, Sameer Sikka
Sector: AI, Edtech
Woobly Media is a technology-based app that builds the future for real-time analytics with its primary focus on enhancing the consumer experience, by innovating and putting to use new techniques for a better predictability resulting in easier decision-making.
Woobly is an app targeted at millennials that aims to aid them in discovering the best hangout and eateries near them, by saving their time, money and energy. The app is still in beta testing mode, and is available for downloading.
Founder(s): Satyaveer Paul, Adit Mehrotra, Prakash Shukla, and Pranav Bhushan.
Funding raised: In January 2016, it secured $185K in Seed round of funding from Copper Mobiles.
The startup offers a time-saving, real- time, time-saving, parking app for drivers, looking or spots. looking to save time.
Founder(s): Atit Patel, Yash Patel
Sector: Parking, Real eEstate.
Funding raised: It has secured $50K in Seed round of funding from undisclosed investors, as per Crunchbase data.
From data science to edtech to healthtech and more, these startups will be on our watchlist as they try to chart paths which have been (un)trodden before. How successful their journey will be – be it in tried-and-tested foodtech or the nascent AI space, will be revealed in the coming year. 2016 has been a year of reckoning for the startup ecosystem.
Hopefully, more sanity and less vanity shall be the norm in 2017. And startups will focus more on building a solid business model than a fat, bank balance alone. As this year draws to a close, we hope that in 2017, the gap between strategy and execution also closes.
But we choose to believe what Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”
Here’s hoping the best for these 10 startup dreamers and the countless others in 201
This is part of our special series, In Focus: 2016 In Review, in which we showcase the highlights of 2016 and what’s to come next year in the Indian Tech Ecosystem. Stay tuned for more.