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30 Startups To Watch: The Startups That Caught Our Eye In 2020

30 Startups To Watch: The Startups That Caught Our Eye In 2020

Inc42 launched the '30 Startups To Watch' monthly series to showcase early-stage startups that are disrupting industries with innovative ideas and the right product-market fit

In the past 10 editions, we have featured 300 bright and promising startups that continued to garner attention through a challenging year for the Indian tech ecosystem

With the last edition of 30 Startups for 2020, we bring you the top 30 from among these 300 startups who have shown tenacity, fight and remarkable growth as a crisis raged on

Building a startup that will last is an arduous job even at the best of times — forget about a pandemic year. In 2020, concepts such as the right product-market fit and user persona seemingly evolved every week and startups have plenty to be proud about as they fought the pandemic, its aftershocks and the ripple effect across sectors.

While some startups that emerged in the past couple of years failed to keep their business going, many sailed through the choppy waters and reached some prominence. In February, Inc42 launched the 30 Startups To Watch monthly series to showcase early-stage startups that are disrupting industries with innovative ideas and the right product-market fit in these inclement times.

Now, at the end of 2020, with each passing day, businesses are heading towards a better tomorrow and thousands more will emerge in 2021 given how early-stage startups have attracted funding this year. According to Inc42 Plus data, in 2020, early-stage startups bagged a total of $403 Mn funding across 380 funding rounds, significantly more than $255Mn bagged in 2019 across 312 funding rounds. After a tough year, this underlines the fact that startups can indeed swim against the tide and attract capital.

30 Startups To Watch — 2020 Edition

Over the past 10 editions of 30 Startups, we have featured 300 startups across sectors and for the last edition of 2020, we bring you a shortlist of the top 30 from among these 300. These startups have displayed remarkable growth, many directly aiding the fight against the pandemic and every one of them emerged as an outlier by achieving business growth, signing new partnerships, launching new products, attracting funding, and more.

Editor’s Note: The below list is not meant to be a ranking of any kind. We have listed the startups in alphabetical order.

Agnikul

 

30 Startups To Watch: The Startups That Caught Our Eye In 2020

Why Agnikul Made It To The List

For this Chennai-based spacetech startup, the biggest achievement in 2020 was undoubtedly inking an agreement with the department of space (DoS) which brings access to Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) facilities and technical expertise to build India’s first private small satellite launch vehicle.

Agnikul is currently working with various ISRO centers on technical information for the launch vehicle development. Since we last featured them in March 2020, the startup has gone on to build the infrastructure required to test its subsystems and also continued to build and test its engines and avionics.

Currently, it is in the process of partnering with about 50 customers to launch missions with payloads on its vehicle, Agnibaan. Agnikul also claims the Agnibaan rocket is capable of carrying up to 100 Kg of payload to low Earth orbits up to 700 Km with a plug-and-play engine configuration. The startup is planning its first launch by the end of 2022.

Airmeet

30 Startups To Watch: The Startups That Caught Our Eye In 2020

Why Airmeet Made It To The List

The pandemic has come as a blessing in disguise for businesses like Airmeet, a virtual meetings platform that supports multiple events formats such as networking, workshops, company events, meetups, webinars and conferences.

The startup was featured by Inc42 Plus in March this year and since then it has not only successfully helped organise 60k+ events but has managed to double its revenue.

Airmeet has also launched a scalable, multi-track conference format for large scale virtual summits by enterprises and brands. The conference format can support up to 100K concurrent participants at a virtual event and is being adopted by some of the leading global conferences, the startup claims.

In the last few months, the company has also expanded aggressively into key markets in North America, Europe and Africa and has also brought on board some key leaders to focus further on product and design. It also raised $12 Mn in Series A this year from Sequoia Capital, Accel India, Redpoint Ventures and others.

Basis

30 Startups To Watch: The Startups That Caught Our Eye In 2020

Why Basis Made It To The List

The new-age Indian woman wants to be financially empowered and take all finance decisions independently and this is evident in the growth seen in fintech startups catering to women. And of course, when it comes to gender disparity in financial inclusion, there’s a very real problem to be solved.

Which is why Basis made the cut for this list. The startup, which offers an app-based platform that aims to power financial independence for women, will be touching 50K installs by December 31 and it has been seeing 5X growth in monthly active users in 2020.

Picked in our 10th list, Basis is currently building Basis First, a subscription plan for its growing community of users to get personalised financial advice, premium financial content, masterclasses with experts and more, which will be launched in the next quarter. It is also soon launching a web platform and is in the process of onboarding curated financial services.

Overall, the startup is trying to reach women who often take a backseat in money matters at home, but have a strong intent to change this. Often these women have fewer options in the market that directly speak to them and address their needs and this is the gap that Basis is trying to fill.

Bijak

30 Startups To Watch: The Startups That Caught Our Eye In 2020

Why Bijak Made It To The List

The resilience of agritech seen during the lockdown brought many new agritech startups to the fore. More investors today are analysing the startups in the space than ever before, particularly mega global funds.

Bijak, an agritech startup that allows traders, wholesalers and food processors to keep a track of transactions, access pricing, and logistics, and improve working capital cycles, also grabbed an investment of $12 Mn Series A round led by RTP Global in April this year.

The startup has recently added financial services to its bouquet of agritech services as well and has expanded its operations to Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, targeting between 5K and 10K buyers and sellers in each state.

This year alone, the startup has scaled to 22 states, 90 commodities, and clocked $150 Mn in gross merchandise value (GMV). It also claims that thousands of buyers and sellers across more than 500 locations use the Bijak platform to transact every day.

BitClass

30 Startups To Watch: The Startups That Caught Our Eye In 2020

Why BitClass Made It To The List

Using tech tools was new territory for many Indian teachers up until the pandemic caused many disruptions. Acquiring students through online channels is not something they were familiar with.

Launched in 2020, BitClass has been focussing on building technology tools that can help teachers navigate this hurdle and build highly lucrative online teaching businesses.

The startup has enabled teachers on its platform to clock more than INR 1 Lakh in monthly income through their live class sales. Its team of 25 has onboarded more than 6K teachers so far. “This is a small milestone that we have recently crossed and are super-excited about helping more teachers reach here and the existing ones go 10x,” said cofounder Gunjan Kejriwal.

The startup essentially works towards empowering individual teachers across academic fields as well as in non-academic domains through digital transformation tools to build online presence, acquire learners, build communities, conduct live classes and reach a wider audience.

Chingari

30 Startups To Watch: The Startups That Caught Our Eye In 2020

Why Chingari Made It To The List

The ban of around 220 Chinese apps including TikTok by the Indian government starting in June this year has opened the market for homegrown alternatives, especially short-video and gaming startups.

Chingari, a short video sharing platform launched in November 2018, rose to the occasion, reiterated itself in June 2020 to move into the vacuum created by the ban and grow rapidly.

In less than four months since June, the mobile app organically garnered more than 35 Mn users in India, with more than 75 Mn videos being watched every day. The Bengaluru-based startup, which aims to be the one-stop short social video platform, claims that around 2.1 Bn videos were downloaded and shared on other platforms more than 50 Mn times in the last 70 days.

Today, through its app, users can create and upload videos in more than 10 multiple languages including English and Hindi. Users also get the option to select a song, lip-sync, dance, voice over to movie scenes, comic dialogues, and create a creative video to a selection of that song. The app also has in-built AR filters which create visual effects of videos.

The startup has also started early monetisation which it claims is seeing a massive interest from brands across domains and has introduced its own self serve ad platform like Facebook or Instagram. Additionally, in October 2020, it also announced collaboration with content house NH Studioz to distribute Indian cinema around the globe through Chingari multiplex, while also tying up with celebs such as Madhuri Dixit, Akshay Kumar, and others.

Classplus

30 Startups To Watch: The Startups That Caught Our Eye In 2020

Why Classplus Made It To The List

The lockdown in March this year left many private coaching centres and tutors in the lurch and like schools and colleges, moving online was the only option left for them. However, unlike established educational institutions, doing so was a herculean task for many tutors as they did not have the infrastructure or tech support to do so.

Edtech startup Classplus, which offers a software suite that can handle class communication, payments, assessments, online learning programmes and attendance, realised this gap early on this year and capitalised on the same. It claims to have recorded 14x platform growth since April 2020, and also launched Classplus Lite during the lockdown to support home tutors, independent teachers, school teachers free of cost.

It is also the only Indian B2B edtech company to raise three rounds of capital in 2020. “Classplus ensured that educators kept their offline businesses running in the times of Covid, and ensuring that they don’t lose their livelihood and legacy of teaching,” cofounder Mukul Rustagi told us.

Additionally, the startup has more than 50K educators on its platform today, serving over 7Mn students across 2500+ postal codes. The idea behind the startup is to help teachers to focus on the educational side of the business while reducing their time spent on managing other aspects of the business.

DotPe

30 Startups To Watch: The Startups That Caught Our Eye In 2020

Why DotPe Made It To The List

Digitisation is now not a choice but a must for businesses. Brick and mortar outlets have been forced to digitally-transform their operations and offer ecommerce solutions in 2020. This has opened up the market for the likes of DotPe, who are looking to ease the hurdles in digital transformation for small merchants.

The startup, which was launched this year, has made it to this list as it has on-boarded more than 3 Mn merchants and has already crossed more than INR 1000 Cr GMV.

It has recently launched ‘Digital Showroom’ to help SMBs take their business online at zero cost through a digital catalogue, ordering system and digital payments. The startup has also partnered with tech giants like Google, Facebook, WhatsApp, Paytm, PhonePe among others to ease distribution of its services. Besides, in addition to delivery through their own fleet, merchants can leverage DotPe’s integrations with logistics startups for distribution.

Enkash

30 Startups To Watch: The Startups That Caught Our Eye In 2020

Why Enkash Made It To The List

Driven by accelerated digitisation due to pandemic, EnKash, which offers a single B2B platform for all business expenses, payables and collections, is today creating multiple use cases in the space and solving real challenges faced by businesses with new normal.

Currently, it claims to have more than 65K clients and 100K users and 25% monthly growth. It also claims to be seeing good traction in business growth as well as solid inbound interests from businesses and financial institutions to partner with it. It intends to announce a couple of partnerships soon. The fintech startup is also coming up with a few more industry-first products by early next year and intends to touch $4 Bn – $5 Bn of spends in processing by next year.

It has also recently launched its new business prepaid card which can be used to digitise payouts at individual branches or teams for corporates that have a distributed presence. It works with its existing platform to provide centralised control over spending, adding value to the businesses already working with the company.

EWar Games

30 Startups To Watch: The Startups That Caught Our Eye In 2020

Why EWar Games Made It To The List

Esports, which was already a burgeoning industry in India, has seen a huge uptick in adoption and traction after the pandemic. And, EWar Games, which is a vernacular gaming app offering multiple games and tournaments with real money rewards, has capitalised on it clocking month on month revenue of 30% with some months clocking almost 70% as well due to COVID impact.

EWar is currently focussing on growing its franchise and marketing platforms and has also recently launched its franchisee, the Mahayudh Series to promote Esports in India. The Tournament hosting various esports was sponsored by the likes of Poco etc. Also, Ewar has expanded its offerings by adding Poker on the platform in partnership with Baazi Games.

Live streaming along with making it’s platform vernacular with 8 languages has helped the company clock more than 100K downloads and a user base of 1Mn. The company is also developing a layer over its existing esports products for more competitive tournaments and increasing external viewership. Last month, the startup also raised an undisclosed Pre-Series A funding round led by Inflection Point Ventures (IPV).

FamPay

30 Startups To Watch: The Startups That Caught Our Eye In 2020

Why FamPay Made It To The List

Within India’s fintech sector, FamPay has a unique business model that has found 500K customers since it was featured in March. The startup empowers teenagers to make easy financial transactions independently by offering them debit card services. With this, users can make both online and offline payments, including UPI transactions, without having to set a bank account.

Besides P2P UPI payments and wallet support, the startup has also launched an in-app marketplace and a community for live or virtual experiences, workshops and activities. Its FamCard numberless card is powered by IDFC First Bank works on the NPCI RuPay network. The startup claims to have issued over 50K FamCards.

FamPay also said that it has clocked a total transaction volume of INR 15 Cr with a million transactions till date.

Fasal

30 Startups To Watch: The Startups That Caught Our Eye In 2020

Why Fasal Made It To The List

While precision farming is the need of the hour, only a handful of startups have been able to take it to the farmers. Fasal is one such startup that caters to more than 2K farmers across 10K acres in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and some parts in Telangana. The startup has made a 250% growth on the revenue front as compared to last financial year.

In late November 2020, Fasal unveiled its fourth version of on-farm IoT sensors called ‘Fasal Kranti’. The self-deployable and plug-and-play device is equipped with 12+ sensors to monitor macro-climatic factors such as rainfall, wind speed, wind direction, LUX, solar intensity, micro-climatic factors such as temperature, humidity, leaf wetness and more as well as below-the-soil parameters like soil temperature, soil water tension at multiple levels. It can also be integrated with other agriculture automation systems for interoperability.

So far the startup has been able to save around 3 Bn litres of water by providing precise irrigation advisory to farmers. This motivated the startup to launch Fasal Water Credit in November 2020 to encourage farmers to save water and in-turn reward them with subscription credits. This initiative is launched to promote sustainability in agriculture.

Gigforce

30 Startups To Watch: The Startups That Caught Our Eye In 2020

Why Gigforce Made It To The List

This year, we saw a surge in demand for gig workers and an increased realisation that the gig economy is crucial for any business. That is why the August edition of our series featured Gigforce, a startup that is trying to bridge the gap between companies seeing a workforce crunch and workers looking for flexibility. Gigforce connects available staff to short gigs in their locality spanning from a day up to a few months, with proper training, documentation and payouts.

Since August, the startup claims its monthly revenues have grown 10X. The startup has also doubled the gig workers engaged with them on a month-to-month basis.

Since its launch in July this year, the startup has expanded its footprint to about 10 cities in India including Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Pune, Mumbai, Kolkata and Guwahati where it now has the capacity to recruit, source and manage gig workers at scale both online and offline. It serves a large number of clients in the logistics, mobility and warehousing domain and next aims to enter the retail market, where it is in talks with companies.

Recently, it launched an ambassador programme where one can enroll others who lost their jobs by creating pre-verified profiles on its platform. It has also launched a complete suite of learning and development programs to train and upskill blue and grey collar workers.

Kaagaz Scanner

30 Startups To Watch: The Startups That Caught Our Eye In 2020

Why Kaagaz Scanner Made It To The List

When Indian document scanning and file storage app Kaagaz Scanner launched its app officially in June this year, little did it know that in two weeks Chinese apps, including its biggest rival CamScanner, would be banned giving it a huge market opportunity.

In a span of six months, it has more than 2.3 Mn installs and more than 100K people using it on a daily basis. Over the past five months, it has added many new features including introduction of 8 Indian languages, the option to put custom watermarks in their scanned documents, improved scan quality, an option to organise documents in folders, among others.

The startup has just launched an iOS version of the app and is currently beta testing a cloud storage feature for the Android version. It raised $575K in a seed funding round in November led by Pravega Venture. The company plans to use the funding to accelerate the growth of Kaagaz Scanner and increase its team size to speed up product development.

Karbon Cards

30 Startups To Watch: The Startups That Caught Our Eye In 2020

Why Karbon Cards Made It To The List

Looking to streamline finance operations at startups, Karbon Cards offers a SaaS product for the card management allowing multi-card issuance, subscription management, AWS/G Suite direct billing integration (with discount), flexible cashback schemes.

These cards are bundled up with several essential tools and packages that come in handy to scale the business. Besides this, Karbon Cards also offers rewards of up to $50K for startups.

The startup today caters to 800+ customers and has clocked 50x monthly transaction growth from March this year. It has also onboarded large MNCs onto Karbon’s platform.

The startup has also launched corporate payments via NEFT/IMPS/RTGS which has all the capabilities of a current account with UX of a SaaS platform allowing smaller companies to reap the banking benefits of larger organisations.

Klub

30 Startups To Watch: The Startups That Caught Our Eye In 2020

Why Klub Made It To The List

With many brands today adopting a direct-to-consumer (D2C) approach, their working capital needs are evolving with scale and growth. Fintech startup Klub has developed a hybrid marketplace for revenue-based financing (RBF) to consumer brands and has invested in over 25 brands in 2020 alone. Prominent brands include Wellversed, Tjori, Pipa Bella, The New Shop, Tagz Foods, Third Wave Coffee Roasters and others.

Given the growth for D2C brands in fashion and lifestyle, FMCG and consumer products, Klub has even been able to invest second and third rounds in nearly 30% of the brands that it works with. It recently expanded its platform with three varied RBF products suited for brands of different revenue scale — Klub Speed for brands with monthly revenue ranging from INR 2 Lakh – INR 10 Lakh, Klub Blaze for businesses with monthly revenue ranging from INR 5 Lakh – INR 50 Lakh and Klub Gro for larger companies and brands with monthly revenue over INR 50 Lakh.

Further, the startup is also looking to improve funding prospects for women-led businesses, with nearly 50% of its portfolio comprising such startups. Besides directly working with brands, it also has multiple embedded finance partnerships with platforms such as Meesho, Shipway, Zamstars, Winkl, Big Bang Social, AdYogi, Revex, CoffeeMug and Digidarts.

The company has over 650 patrons on its RBF marketplace built through word-of-mouth in the pilot phase, it claims. Klub also has three institutional investors and multiple family offices active on the RBF marketplace and aims to grow this community of brand enthusiasts to over 3500 patrons in 2021.

Kyt

Why Kyt Made It To The List

Kyt has effectively capitalised on the need for organised extracurricular learning among a sea of edtech products catering to K-12 and test prep. The startup has recently added more animated videos and gamification to its platform to go with the live classes and customized video conferencing solution for each course.

Additionally, its course on chess designed by Grandmaster Vidit Gujrathi is now live and has a waitlist of students already. The number of student registrations and enrolment is said to be doubling month-on-month, while the number of teachers has also been rapidly increasing by 50% month-on-month.

Kyt currently has more than 30 teachers on board, with plans to increase this to 500 over the next 12 months. Kyt claims that its workshops have been getting an incredible response with all batches going full and the company is working on adding more workshops across a wide variety of co-curricular and extracurricular categories.

Leap Finance

30 Startups To Watch: The Startups That Caught Our Eye In 2020

Why Leap Finance Made It To The List

Despite the pandemic bringing in travel limitations, the quest to seek higher education in institutions across the world still seems to be higher among students. Leap Finance, which offers low-interest-rate loans to students planning to study abroad, has counselled more than 2000 students and helped them in securing admissions to universities abroad.

The fintech startup has sanctioned education loans worth INR 230 Cr for over 500 students for Fall 2020 academic year. It has also recently added a number of products and services that help the student journey including a bank account and international debit card for Indian students, a remittance service, and an end-to-end counselling platform.

MoneyOnClick

30 Startups To Watch: The Startups That Caught Our Eye In 2020

Why MoneyOnClick Made It To The List

MoneyOnClick started as a lending company in 2019 to provide large ticket unsecured loans to 500Mn underserved lower-middle income customers. And, despite Covid-19, the startup was able to maintain 0% default rate. The startup claims that it will reach net profitability by mid 2021, which will make it the only fintech company to reach profitability at the seed stage, after just two years of starting operations. The startup is growing at 20% month on month and is at 150% of pre-Covid business.

Since featured in this series in April this year, the startup has leveraged its expertise in lending and launched financial services for freelancers in small cities. Using this platform, freelancers such as LIC agents sell financial products like loans and micro-insurance products to underserved customers using social media channels such as WhatsApp and Facebook.

It also launched low-cost micro-insurance products for underserved customers and has served the same to customers in more than 500 cities without any physical team using the social selling model.

Myelin Foundry

30 Startups To Watch: The Startups That Caught Our Eye In 2020

Why Myelin Foundry Made It To The List

2020 has been a breakthrough year for over-the-top (OTT) and video streaming platforms. And, this helped Myelin Foundry come to the fore. The startup flagship product, Fovea Stream, enables OTT players to stream at standard definition, while it transforms the video to high definition on the user device. This enables a significant reduction in streaming costs for OTT players, and improvement in the quality of experience for viewers.

Since we featured the startup in March this year, it has added quite a few products. The startup has integrated analytics to showcase the improvement in the quality metrics, such as % of buffering, average bitrate etc, launched the product in India and clinched 2 customers in OTT and edtech. It has also set up a go-to-market partnership with a leading global content delivery network (CDN).

The startup that has started booking orders in the media and entertainment vertical recently, has piloted on 15K users and is gearing up to bring on board 2 Mn+ users in India in the next quarter.

Near.Store

30 Startups To Watch: The Startups That Caught Our Eye In 2020

Why Near.Store Made It To The List

In April 2020, when Near.Store was featured in the 30 Startups series, its focus was primarily on making a store’s individual catalogue available online to consumers. Today, in addition to that, it also offers more than 75 pan-India and D2C brands in multiple categories such as hygiene, snacks, health products.

Near.Store basically allows neighbourhood stores such as small businesses, pharmacies, and mobile phone stores to create their own digital presence without relying on any third-party platforms.

Additionally, while its first product focussed on getting grocery stores online seamlessly, it now has a web or app-based product for other types of merchants or traders and small businesses to create their own ecommerce store.

The startup today has 205 active shops on our platform in India with over 1000 stores in the pipeline; it is currently conducting pilots in Bangalore and NCR with more than 50K customers acquired to date and with an average 60% monthly repeat rate.

Newton School

30 Startups To Watch: The Startups That Caught Our Eye In 2020

Why Newton School Made It To The List

Indian education system has failed to imbibe in students the skills needed for employability. And this gap is what Newton School is trying to bridge. The startup trains students to become skilled software developers and get placed in top companies, with a focus on those emerging from small-town India.

In recent months, the startup has launched a women-only batch with a vision of supporting them in becoming great software developers and breaking gender stereotypes. Since the course is online, it helps women in reskilling along with managing their household priorities. The company has also prioritised the development of personalised learning products utilising artificial intelligence to streamline the journey for each student.

Since September 2020, the startup claims to have quintupled its student intake to 250 students per batch and has helped many students get jobs in the year. Currently, it has more than 700 students enrolled on the platform.

NIRA

30 Startups To Watch: The Startups That Caught Our Eye In 2020

Why NIRA Made It To The List

Like many fintech startups these days, NIRA is looking to solve the problem of credit access by targetting middle and low-income Indians. It provides unsecured personal loans to qualifying grey and blue-collared Indian borrowers in partnership with Federal India.

In recent months, while its core offering of small ticket loans is unchanged, it has made some tweaks including reducing the minimum salary for eligibility to INR 11K per month and larger credit limits with longer tenures are also available for performing borrowers.

In addition, NIRA claims that only 2% of its loan book is under the RBI moratorium compared to the industry average of 35%. It has also returned to pre-Covid collections performance (97%) in September and maintained this range for the last three months. The startup claims to be disbursing $1 Mn worth of loans per month, with 2.5 Mn registered users.

This year, NIRA also raised a round of $1 Mn from its existing investors in November 2020. This included the first follow-on investment from the famed Techstars accelerator in an Indian company.

Pidge

30 Startups To Watch: The Startups That Caught Our Eye In 2020

Why Pidge Made It To The List

Latching on to the wave of hyperlocal demand post the lockdown, Pidge was featured in the July edition of our series. Since then, it has started offering innovative temperature-controlled delivery solutions to its business partners. This gave all its food and restaurant partners the ability to safely deliver delicate products to their customers in the required frozen, chilled or ambient conditions across Delhi NCR, without any radius restrictions.

In October, Pidge added versatility to its fleet offering by introducing Pidge Plus, a medium-light vehicle to deliver bulk orders as well as those items which cannot be delivered on bikes. In addition to catering to high volume orders, the hybrid fleet helps in further strengthening routing efficiencies for the startup.

Pidge has completed over 300K deliveries in its first year of operations, and while its first 50K orders came in 40 weeks, it completed the next 50K in just seven weeks following that, reaching 100K orders in six subsequent weeks.

As compared to June 2020, Pidge claims to have witnessed 250% growth in the number of transactions. “We have also had a 275% growth in revenue. The strength of our delivery team has increased by 5x since lockdown and we continue to hire 15% of our existing workforce week on week,” the company told us.

Plum

30 Startups To Watch: The Startups That Caught Our Eye In 2020

Why Plum Made It To The List

Tapping the burgeoning digital insurance opportunity in India, Plum is targetting employee wellness programmes to capture users. Its modern health benefits platform is said to understand the needs of a business and leverage data science to guide them to smarter insurance choices.

In recent months, Plum has also launched a real-time pricing for group health insurance, the first in the industry. The startup now supports companies as small as five employees. In addition, Plum has enabled HRIS and payroll platforms like RazorpayX to offer a 2-click purchase process for employee health insurance within their platform.

With Covid-19, there is an increased awareness about the need to opt for health issuance and Plum has effectively capitalised on the same. It today caters to 20K people by providing them health insurance and benefits. The company claims an NPS of 87, which is the highest in the insurance industry globally.

Since the launch a few months ago, more than 250 startups including Twilio, Groww, Simpl, Happay, ClassPlus, Tapchief, Fyle, Jiny and Stayabode have moved to Plum for employee health insurance plans. It has also raised a seed funding of $4.1Mn from Sequoia Surge and Tanglin Venture Partners.

Procol

30 Startups To Watch: The Startups That Caught Our Eye In 2020

Why Procol Made It To The List

Digital procurement platform, Procol, which helps companies reduce agri-commodities procurement cost by optimising and streamlining operations, has gone from strength to strength this year. It claims to have acquired 50% more customers than what it had pre-Covid during the past six months with $100 Mn in annualised procurement GMV.

In 2020, Procol continued to focus on building the product and partnered with Arya warehousing during the lockdown to help distribute essential goods to its customers. Additionally, with its core auction engine, it has now added price intelligence and vendor discovery to help companies reduce their procurement cost and build new business relationships. Procol has over 10 marquee customers like Haldiram’s, BigBazaar, Bikanervala, Golden Harvest, and Akshaya Patra.

Rheo TV

30 Startups To Watch: The Startups That Caught Our Eye In 2020

Why Rheo TV Made It To The List

We featured Rheo TV, a game streaming platform that allows users to make gaming into a professional career option in India, in our first list in February this year. Since then, there has been an uptick in the number of gamers in India as well as in engagement time, and those wanting to make it a career.

This has helped Rheo TV scale up faster. In fact, today it claims to have over 100K live streamers from India on its platform, which it says is more than YouTube.

Its new Rheo Studio product enables gamers to create professional live content from their mobile phones, without a PC to stream. This, the startup claims, has reduced the setup price of streaming from $1000 to $10, which is a huge deal in India. Gamers just need a webcam to attach to their mobile phones to create a professional live stream.

The startup also uses machine learning for noise cancellation when someone live streams from Rheo Studio. Shortlisted in Sequoia India’s Surge accelerator programme, Rheo also received undisclosed amount from Japan’s AET fund in May this year.

StockGro

30 Startups To Watch: The Startups That Caught Our Eye In 2020

Why StockGro Made It To The List

Featured in our 10th list, StockGro blends three elements — gaming, social and trading — for its unique social investment platform, which has grown from 1240 monthly active users (MAU) in June to over 75K MAU in December 2020. The startup is now gunning for over 250K MAU by the next quarter.

Besides stock market investing, StockGro has also integrated foreign exchange and global indices and it will soon be launching in multiple regional Indian languages to go deeper into Tier 2/3/4 towns. The startup claims that the total trade volume on its platform crossed INR 32K Cr this year and has onboarded more than 40 B-Schools and engineering colleges to acquire users.

Svami Drinks

30 Startups To Watch: The Startups That Caught Our Eye In 2020

Why Svami Drinks Made It To The List

By and large, 2020 was a favourable year for direct-to-consumer brands. Consumers are today open to ordering directly from company-owned online stores directly rather than going for online marketplaces, and as a result, they are also trying new items that they may have overlooked in the retail aisles.

Svami Drinks is one such D2C brand that was launched in 2018 and has gained more popularity recently. It makes premium mixers like tonic waters and club sodas and has just launched a ready-to-drink line of products, including a non-alcoholic rum and cola mix, and non-alcoholic gin and tonic mix. Svami is building a diverse portfolio of products catering to both, people who drink and those who don’t. Besides the new product launch, the startup also closed a bridge round of $1 Mn last month from Mumbai Angels and existing investors, after being featured in our October list.

Uable

30 Startups To Watch: The Startups That Caught Our Eye In 2020

Why Uable Made It To The List

Edtech startup Uable, which helps students explore different sectors at an early age and develop future-ready skills to achieve their goals, has now crossed 35K sign-ups thanks to the boom for edtech this year.

The company leverages active learning principles, where students spend time visualising ideas, discussing, debating and collaborating with their peers, rather than listening to an online tutor. Built on a subscription model, the company offers 12 sessions, after which parents can choose whether their child should continue in the same domain or switch over to a new course. The startup has added programmes on entrepreneurship and design for children that have seen good uptake and great feedback, it claims

It has recently launched mobile apps for its existing users and is working on launching a free product for children over the age of 13 in January. These learners will be taken through a premium fellowship programme, where the startup is also adding a network of organizations and mentors to guide children towards the right career pathways.

So, that’s our 30 Startups watchlist for this month. Inc42+ members can access our picks for the past nine months here. To nominate a startup or suggest a name for us to check out, please email at [email protected]