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Announcing ScaleUp: Discovering India’s Promising Consumer Startups

Announcing ScaleUp: Discovering India’s Promising Consumer Startups

Inc42, in association with Josh, seeks to recognise and support India’s most promising consumer startups

Twenty winning startups will be awarded ad credits by Josh, be featured on Inc42 and receive other benefits

The last date to apply is 30 June, 2022

The golden age of India’s internet economy has arrived! According to TRAI, more than 834 Mn Indians use the internet for entertainment, communication, shopping, learning or other purposes. Nielsen’s latest report also points out that nearly 89% of active users in India browse the internet every day.

Fast-falling data costs, the emergence of vernacular-first apps, an explosion in digital transactions and the rise of content commerce, especially video and social commerce, are driving India’s digital transformation and boosting the usage of its technology infrastructure.

The fierce pace of internet adoption in the wake of the pandemic has further propelled the growth of digital businesses. As a result, the domestic ecommerce market is pegged to reach $400 Bn by 2030.

According to RedSeer, the country’s fast-evolving consumer internet economy is growing at 50% YoY, paving the path for a trillion-dollar opportunity by 2030. In fact, many digital-first startups in this space act as catalysts for rapid tech innovation and aim to disrupt the incumbents.

We at Inc42 are always on the lookout for India’s most promising startups. Since 2015, we have been actively supporting India’s startup ecosystem through several initiatives, including reports, trackers, playbooks and events.

This time around, we are focussing on the B2C ecosystem. In a bid to discover India’s most promising consumer startups in B2C landscape, Inc42 has partnered with the short-video platform Josh to launch ScaleUp — the consumer internet edition.

Startups in the B2C segment have ushered in a brand new era of consumer retail, which has been acknowledged well at home and abroad. In the last quarter of 2021, B2C startups from India raised $5.6 Bn in funding across 116 deals. Through ScaleUp, we aim to identify and recognise India’s 20 most promising early-stage B2C startups, which have the potential to transform India’s consumer landscape and their customers’ everyday existence.


Why B2C Startups Should Apply

“We are looking for startups who have an eagerness to innovate and provide them with a platform to reach out to a larger audience base across Bharat,” said Virendra Gupta, founder of VerSe Innovation (the parent company of Josh).

If you are an early-stage B2C startup with big ideas to reshape India’s consumer internet economy, joining ScaleUp will provide you with a bouquet of advantages:

  • New Business Opportunities: The winning 20 startups will get ample exposure to Josh’s monthly active user base of 138 Mn+ and press coverage. This will generate business visibility among potential partners, customers and investors.
  • Growth Acceleration: The top five startups will earn ad credits worth INR 20 Lakh each from Josh to advertise on its platform. And the remaining 15 will get ad credits worth INR 5 Lakh each.
  • Brand Exposure: Winners will be featured on Inc42 and receive Inc42 Plus membership to attend exclusive marquee events.
  • Employer Branding: People are the key ingredients of a company’s growth and success. Joining ScaleUp, hosted by Inc42, will create awareness about your company and its potential to emerge as a most sought-after workplace.
  • Credibility: Gain the Inc42 stamp of approval for creating a truly innovative B2C startup in India.

To participate in ScaleUp, startups must fill out the application form. Only those who complete the entry form will be considered for the selection process.


Application Criteria

India’s early-stage B2C startups which have successfully demonstrated innovation or have the potential to disrupt a category will be selected and ranked by an esteemed panel of industry leaders and Inc42’s editorial team.

The startup should:

  • be founded on or after January 1, 2016
  • have generated a minimum revenue of INR 50 Lakh in any financial year/since incorporation
  • be a privately held, for-profit and India-based independent entity (not a subsidiary or division of another company)
  • should be bootstrapped or have raised no more than $5 Mn in total funding

The winners of ScaleUp will be announced in September 2022.

The last date to apply is 30 June, 2022. Hurry up and apply now!