In the past few months, we have covered startup ecosystems in Pune, Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Gujarat. Moving ahead with the Indian Startup Hubs series, this time we have put together the list of startups & organisations that are flourishing the startup ecosystem in Kerala.
Founded In: 2012
Funding: It had raised an undisclosed amount in angel funding in June 2013 from Project Guerrilla. Later, it raised $200K in crowdfunding in March 2014 & an undisclosed amount in Series A round from Kalaari.
After smartglasses and smartwatches, smart rings have entered wearable technology. They will sit inconspicuously on your finger and will let you feel like a magician. The startup has developed a Bluetooth enabled ring that can be connected to different gadgets like Smartphones, Smart TVs, Automobiles, and Home automation devices providing multiple device compatibility. It uses bluetooth for communication with connected devices. Launched recently, Neyya, lets the user control presentations, play music, and activate camera with a simple tap or swipe on the ring. It has seamless integration with iOS and OS X devices, Windows laptops or even GoPro Cams.
Founded In: January 2014
Funding: Initially backed by Project Guerrilla, Flip had raised $35K in seed funding from Flat6Labs in March 2015. $100K from Qualcomm Ventures and Accel Partners as a part of Qualcomm QPrize in August, 2015 and $50k from Make in LA accelerator in LA – September, 2015
Flip Technologies comes as a boon for all skateboard lovers. The startup develops tracking devices for adventure sports. Its product, Rideblock, is a skateboard tracker which is used to enhance their ability to perform and analyse tricks. The device connected to the skateboards trucks tracks the dynamics of the board and the data is send to a smartphone app via Bluetooth. The app can determine the trick performed and help skateboarders improve their skills and show off their skills and abilities in the social media. The device is a great learning tool and acts like a personalized trainer for everyone.
Founder: Jayakrishnan Thrivikraman Nair
Founded In: 2012
Funding: Backed by Project Guerrilla
ASIMOV is an acronym for Advanced Systems with Intelligence Mobility and Vision. ASIMOV Robotics Pvt Ltd incorporated in April 2012 is managed and run by a team who have over eight years of experience in conceptualizing, design, development/manufacture of various robot hardware, software and solutions applied to real life problem solving. The startup provides reliable and sophisticated systems and solutions in the areas like robotic simulation and control, machine-vision, AI, virtual reality, and navigation for the use of various market sectors such as light-duty flexible manufacturing guidance, assistance, surveillance, security, health-care, space exploration and entertainment etc.
Founded In: January 2011
Funding: The startup had raised $125K in seed funding in December 2014 and $48K from Project Guerrilla
Apps are used anywhere and everywhere. This Indian startup came up with a brilliant idea of creating a smart oven which brings crowd-sourced recipes directly to your kitchen. You can search for recipes based on ingredients, type of dish or just ask MAID to recommend a dish.
MAID is connected to a recipe store via internet where chefs across the world can upload recipes. It will also have the capability to stream cookery shows from the Recipe Store so that you can cook while watching them. It will keep an eye on your eating habits and calorie intake and act as a personal dietician.
Founded In: June 2014
Founders: Vivek Mohan and Alfred Johnson
Funding: Backed by Project Guerrilla
Bisko Labs focuses on hardware products that redefine the conventional way of doing repeat tasks in daily life.This Kochi based startup has made some cool stuff like automatic plotter which has an accuracy of 0.3mm. Another product is a sensor based quadcopter which uses gesture input to operate. Their latest and most revolutionary product is Intelligent Gear Transmission (IGT) which can convert any geared motorcycle to an automatic.
Founded In: 2012
Funding: It has raised seed funding from Project Guerrilla
A hardware product startup formed by three computer science graduates, Mashinga builds multi-touch hardware and surface computing solutions. It leverages the technology of multi-touch and the art of human computer interaction to bring computing to new mediums. Its products/solutions include multi-touch tables, interactive kiosks, and inclined or vertical displays which can be used in various sectors like Food & Hospitality, Retail, Advertising, Conventions and Information Display.
Founder: Sunil Vallath
Founded In: 2015
Funding: The startup had raised seed funding of $500K in September 2014 from Startup Village and $26.8K in January 2015 from Project Guerrilla and Rajeev Krishnan. Also, raised $500K in a crowdfunding in October 2015.
Exploride is an IoT startup which has made a heads up display for cars. It sits on the dashboard of a car innocuously and prevents distraction. It transfers the information one needs from a Bluetooth enabled smartphone to a transparent display. It even allows access to the information by simple hand and voice gestures. Being an IoT device, it also provides information about weather, music streaming, News read out, VoIP calling and so on.
Related Article: Not All Gloom And Doom; Indian Startups Have A Lot To Cheer
Founded In: 2011
Funding: It has raised undisclosed amount in seed funding
CIED Technologies works to bridge the gap between code and design with its cloud based web application. It has launched an app named Elop to help people confess their feelings to their crush. The app respects privacy and does not support unwanted activities or spams. The startup has also launched a musical cube fitted with lights called CUBOH which can double up as a notification center as well.
Founded In: 2011
Funding: Incubated at Startup Village
There are times when people can’t find words to express themselves while they are highly eloquent in their thoughts that’s where Wowmakers comes in. The startup is a team of storytellers, designers, engineers, strategists and digital marketing experts. Its products include various types of videos such as 2D animation, 3D animation, whiteboard animation, stop-motion animation and live product videos.
Founder: Varun Chandran
Founded In: 2012
Funding: It has raised $200K in angel funding round in January 2015
Corporate360 offers SaaS based Marketing Data & Analytics software for B2B marketers. Headquartered in Singapore with subsidiaries in the US, the UK, Philippines and India, the company offers innovative marketing data & sales analytics solutions for global markets through a disruptive, low cost Data-as-a-Service model. Its products Tech SalesCloud, ProspectR & EmailR helps B2B marketers to discover prospect insights, target audience, buyers persona, technology installations, business contacts, sales patterns and sales lead recommendations.
Founded In: 2011
Funding: Raised angel round led by Jose Pattara
The company started in 2011 by getting provisional patent claims in humanoid robot with artificial intelligence and within a year team Agrima started with a group of 9 young minds. The following year, they developed a personal assistant with its own knowledge base for Blackberry and now they have come up with an automated concept truck for volvo. The company’s services include development, design and online marketing and it claims to have 52 satisfied clients.
Founded In: June 2013
Funding: It had raised an undisclosed amount in seed funding from Unitus Seed Fund in May 2014, and raised another round from Unitus Seed Fund and Times Internet in June 2015.
Jiffstore connects local kirana stores to customers through a mobile app that offers online grocery ordering and home delivery. The new amount of funding will be used to further develop its technology platform and to significantly expand its customer base of small shops.
The startup provides even smallest kirana stores with an easy-to-use mobile-based order management platform to help engage their customers while increasing their sales. The shop owner uses an Android app to interact with customers, manage inventory and other functions. On the other hand, by using an iOS or Android app, consumers can easily browse store items, make orders and optionally, have them delivered.
Founder: Arvind Sanjeev
Founded In: May 2014
Funding: Backed by Project Guerrilla
DIY is a non-profit organisation which works to promote the Maker culture and IoT based products from the country and thus create the engineering revolution India deserves. It provides a prolific range of free DIY tutorials, open source projects and eBooks which will allow an individual to prototype and bring their ideas to life! It also hosts workshops to tutor students on technology development and imparts pragmatic knowledge required to build products on their own along with mentoring, supporting and guiding thousands of students and individuals.
Founded In: 2013
Riafy works on a pioneering technology, capable of identifying and unlocking patterns from data. The company uses RIA, an intelligence engine, to deliver users the best content on the web, based on his/her interests. RIA can be used to predict the content that is likely to go viral.
Founders: Shiju Radhakrishnan, Chitra Radhakrishnan, Nisanth Kumar, Amit Singh, Rachna Kalra and Piyush Agarwal
Founded in: 2012
Funding: In February, 2015, it raised $1 Mn in funding from ah! Ventures, LetsVenture and Mantra Ventures.
Incubated from Kerala Startup Village, but based out of Bangalore, iTraveller, is a proprietary technology platform that offers end-to-end online solutions for holiday discovery, planning and booking across various domestic and international locations. The platform also allows travellers to customise their itineraries as well as automation with the hotels, transportation etc.
Founded in: 2006
Funding: The startup has raised 3 angel round funds as of now. First in December, 2006 – $200K; 2nd in June, 2007 – $200K; and 3rd in January, 2014 – $3 Mn
mobME Wireless Solutions (P) Ltd is a Kerala based Mobile Technology company building solutions at the intersection of banking and mobile technology. mobME has evolved into one of the coolest and fastest growing startups in India with a unique set of products and services in its bouquet. It serves mobile operators, brands, enterprises and end-users. Chillr, a subsidiary of Mobme, recently raised $7 Mn in series A from Blume Ventures, Uniqorn Ventures, Sequoia Capital and others.
Founder: Kallidil Kalidasan
Founded in: December 2010
Funding: INR 2.5 lakh from DST through Technopark TBI
Mindhelix has developed digital watchdog to guard homes when everyone’s away by the name of Rico. It is a dog-shaped device packed with motion, temperature, smoke, carbon monoxide and humidity sensors. The companion Android and iOS apps let you view sensor-related stats at-a-glance and receive alerts based on security, safety and environmental triggers. Not only this, one can stick an old smartphone inside it to tack on HD camera,microphone, loudspeaker capabilities.
Founders: Mohammed Aboobacker, Navaneeth PK
Founded In: 2014
Mobiopush helps Internet companies engage with website visitors via push notifications, sent as clickable messages, which render as app-style notifications on smartphones and desktop. The highly advanced new marketing channel is capable of delivering impact of an app installed in smartphone through web. Over 2000 websites are using mobiopush sending push notifications to over 65 million users.
Mentors and Angel Investors
Ritesh Malik is a doctor by profession but an investor, an entrepreneur, an angel capitalist, a photographer and more. He is also the founder of Woodapple Hospitality and ThinkPot, and is also a co-founder at AdStuck Consulting and Harvin Academy. He has recently created Innov8, a co-working space in the heart of Delhi, Connaught Place. Ritesh is an MBBS from M.G.R. Medical University (2007-2012). Few of his investment companies include RHlvision, Mashinga, Asimov Robotics, SectorQube Technolabs and Bisko Labs among others. Though Ritesh is based out of Delhi, he is active in the Kerala startup ecosystem.
Jayasankar Prasad is currently the CEO of Kerala Start-Up Mission (formerly T-TBI) as well as Director at International Centre for Free and Open Source Software (ICFOSS). Prior to this, he worked as a Special Officer at Indian Institute of Information Technology Kottayam, Government of Kerala and ICT Academy of Kerala. As for his educational qualification, he has a PhD in Management from University of Kerala and an MBA from Institute of Management in Kerala.
Deepak Ravindran is currently the founder and CEO at Lookup as well as Partner, Member of the Board at Startup Village. Besides, he is also the founder of Innoz, Quest Technologies Inc and Swades Solutions. College dropout Deepak was named as one of MIT Technology Review’s outstanding innovators under 35, for the year 2011. Deepak has completed his Fellow, Leadership, focused skill-building workshops from TiE Startup Leadership Program.
Dr. K.C. Chandrasekharan Nair is currently the Associate Principal Consultant at KITCO Ltd; employed at NRI TBI, Infopark Kochi, Kerala Startups; serves as the Chief Financial Officer at Technopark; Managing Director and Registrar at Technopark Technology Business Incubator; and Director & co-founder at DheerkAYUSH Hospitals. He also serves as a Member of Advisory Council of Startup Village. Mr. Nair completed his Masters of Arts (M.A.) in English Language and Literature/Letters from Sri Venkateswara University.
Sanjay Vijayakumar is the founder and Chairman of the Board of Governors of Startup Village. Vijayakumar co-founded MobME Wireless Solutions Private Limited and serves as its Co-Chief Executive Officer. He previously served as the Chief Executive Officer at MobME and has been a fulltime Director at MobME Wireless Solutions Private Limited since January 7, 2013. He holds a degree in B.Tech (Industrial Engineering) from University of Kerala.
Sijo provided his leadership and vision in setting up the country’s first PPP model Technology Business Incubator, Startup Village. He brings along management consulting experience with two of the Big4s: PwC and Deloitte. As a consultant with the Strategy and Operations practice, he has advised various public and private sector institutions on strategy, business plan, PPP, project feasibility, governance and urban infrastructure. He also founded MobME, a young and vibrant startup in the Mobile VAS space. He holds a PGPM from Great Lakes Institute of Management as well as a B.Tech from College of Engineering, Trivandrum.
Pranav, the CEO (previously COO) of Startup Village, is passionate about technology and entrepreneurship. Before joining Startup Village, he worked with the accelerated leadership programme at Ashok Leyland. Besides, he has also co-founded MobME Wireless Private Limited and Torque Technology Solutions. Pranav has done his Master of Business Administration (MBA) from IIM, Calcutta and B.Tech in Mechanical Engineering from College of Engineering, Trivandrum.
Keyur is an angel investor for several film and media companies and has been the executive producer of Hollywood and Bollywood films over the past 15 years. Keyur is the Chairman and CEO of Fuse+Media and also acts as an International Board member of one of the largest media schools in Asia. He has also funded and is the board member of NDTV and IndiaTV in India, as well as Relativity. Keyur holds an MS in Computer Engineering from Michigan Technological University and a BS in Computers and Communication from the Gujarat University in Ahmedabad. He led the turnarounds for such brands as Inktomi and Maxtor, and incubated, hatched and ran a number of successful companies.
Varun is the founder and Chief Executive of Corporate360, the leader in B2B sales intelligence. He is responsible for advancing C360’s vision to deliver marketing data and world class sales & marketing analytics software to global markets. Before establishing C360, he worked for leading technology companies such as Oracle & SAP where he served global customers on adoption of enterprise technology products. Varun holds executive leadership honors from HaaS School of Business, University of California, Berkeley.
Rohildev is the founder of the robotics startup RHL Vision Technologies, one of the firms incubated at Kochi-based Startup Village, the technology incubator promoted by government and private players. He is an Innov-Engineer with an artistic perception of technology dedicated to developing and implementing futuristic innovations. He has completed his Engineering from Kathir College of Engineering, Tamil Nadu.
Kalidas Kallidil is the CEO and co-founder at MindHelix Technologies. He completed his Bachelor in Mechanical Engineering from Toc H Institute Of Science & Technology. Mobile & Cloud excites him. He loves farming and is planning to learn to fly as he dreams to go to space, the moon and beyond.
Arvind is a founder and inventor at DIY Hacking and also the Chief Innovator, Chief Executive Officer at ARS Devices. Prior to this, he worked with companies such as RHL Vision Pvt Ltd, A.R.S. Devices and Yahoo Research and Development Department. He completed his B.Tech in Electrical, Electronics and Communications Engineering from TocH Institute of Science & Technology.
Jose Thomas Pattara is the promoter of MobME Wireless Solutions Limited. Pattara served as the Regional Chairman of the Indian Newspaper Society from 2002 to 2005. He was the Managing Director of RashtraDeepika, the first Malayalam Daily and also served as the Managing Director of Kumarakom Lake Resorts Private Limited. Besides, he also acts as a Non Executive and Non-Independent Director of MobME Wireless Solutions Limited.
Accelerators and Incubators
Startup Village is a Public Private Partnership model Technology Business Incubator. It is promoted by the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, Technopark Trivandrum and MobME Wireless. Kris Gopalakrishnan (co-Founder & co-chairman of Infosys) is the Chief Mentor for Startup Village. Startup Village aims to incubate 1,000 product start-ups over 10 years and start the search for the billion dollar company to come from a college campus. It offers an ecosystem that allows startups to create breakthrough technologies for the global telecommunications industry. Startup Village’s investment includes companies such as Rabitech Technologies and Exploride Inc.
Previously known as Technopark Technology Business Incubator (T-TBI), Kerala Startup Mission provides incubatees with the required infrastructure support, research assistance, technology / prototype development support, and helps in getting funding, business consulting assistance and do whatever is necessary to make the startup a success. Technopark TBI is designed to provide a springboard to budding entrepreneurs who wish to launch themselves into the world of technology-based entrepreneurship careers. Few companies it has invested in include Tech 4 Travel, Gemini Software Solutions, Kerala Start-up Mission and Muthoot Pappachan Technologies Ltd among others.
The National Institute of Technology Calicut is a Technical Institution of national importance and runs on non-profitable basis. It provides workspace with shared office facilities with emphasis on business and professional services necessary for nurturing and supporting early stage growth of technology and technology-based enterprises. It has set up a Technology Business Incubator TBI-NITC with the support of the National Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board (NSTEDB) and the Department of Science & Technology, Govt. of India, to incubate start up industries in the IT and electronics sector.
Amrita TBI funds, incubates and nurtures both technology and social businesses. It provides an ecosystem for a startup company to turn an idea into a product that is commercially viable. They have a rich and diverse group of mentors in areas such as strategy, finance, marketing, intellectual property, product management, micro-insurance, micro-finance, Internet technologies etc. Also, by being co-located with Amrita University, the startups have access to and can recruit the best pool of talented students across different campuses.
The startup warehouse has been launched in support with the Kerala Govt. to build entrepreneurial capabilities in the state of Kerala, create a vibrant community to connect investors, mentors and start-up entrepreneurs, and building tech-entrepreneurship as a preferred career option. The warehouse will be managed by NASSCOM’s 10,000 Startups program. The steering committee of Startup Warehouse, Kochi includes Dr. Jayasankar Prasad, CEO, Kerala Startup Mission, Hrishikesh Nair, CEO, Infopark, Mukund Krishna, CEO, Suyati Technologies Pvt. Ltd., Sunil Balakrishnan, Global Head for Development Center Operations, UST Global and Ashok Madaravally, Deputy Director, NASSCOM 10,000 Startups. CIED, Agrima Infotech, Janta Solutions, GeoSpice Location Intelligence, Quadproso, and Rabitech are currently operating from the warehouse.
It is a global boutique focusing on corporate finance, tax, corporate law, M&A, accounting advisory and corporate restructuring. They have over 75 years of collective specialty in the above mentioned areas. They have been assisting governments on fiscal policy matters and growth initiatives.
CAT Entertainments Pvt Ltd is a digital media startup. They are mainly into creating Corporate Movies, Ad Films, Promotional Videos and Campaign Videos for their clients. The startup has produced more than 600 videos in the last 25 months. Currently, their clients include IBM India, Synthite group India & China, B+H Architects Dubai, Smart City Kochi, Startup Village Vizag&Kochi ,Govt of Kerala and Comet Core California.
Hello Tomorrow is a non-profit organization that helps in solving challenging problems through scientific and technological breakthroughs. It stands on 3 pillars: 1) an interdisciplinary Community, 2) a global startup Challenge and 3) an international Conference coinciding with the startup challenge finale. This program includes pitches of the top 30 startups of the Hello Tomorrow Challenge, handpicked from among 3,600 applications and competing for the €100k Orange Grand Prize.
Maker Party is Mozilla’s global campaign to teach the web. Through thousands of community-run events around the world, Maker Party unites educators, organizations and enthusiastic web users with hands-on learning and making.
Startup Showcase is a thought out concept-turned-service platform, where numerous startup companies showcase their products and services and get connected to successful entrepreneurs and NRI investors. These startup ventures boast of a good mix of young innovators and highly acclaimed entrepreneurs with diverse experience in varied business disciplines. Their aim is to build an innovation zone that facilitates an empowering ecosystem for promising entrepreneurs.
Don’t worry if we missed out anyone, we will keep on updating the list.
[Thanks to Ritesh Malik of Project Guerrilla, Gokul K. S. of iSPIRT and Gautham Nair of Startup Village for helping us put together this list.]
This is part of our special series, In Focus: Indian Startup Hubs, in which we highlight the numerous established as well as upcoming startup hubs in the Indian Tech Ecosystem!