Even as the fear of a second coronavirus wave lingers, Indian startups are on a rebound mode. The immediate goal for most of them is to chase their pre-Covid mark in terms of revenue and reach. The long-term goal could be making their business models resilient enough to tackle any crisis in the future.
While the pandemic has been a blessing of sorts for startups hailing from edtech, enterprise tech, fintech and digital commerce space, the drastic changes witnessed in the past one year are working as innovation triggers to cope with the new normal. And startups are leveraging them to take their businesses to the next level.
30 Startups To Watch: February 2021
This month, our list of 30 startups highlights early-stage businesses that use top-notch technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning and next-gen hardware (think of a pilotless air taxi with drone-like functions) to make lives easier for consumers and productive for companies. Many of them have been outliers in recent months and forerunners of innovative business models. Then there are startups across sectors that stand tall because they have learnt to address the pain points of people and enterprises in a pandemic-hit world. It is not surprising that they have seen a spectacular rise in recent times.
A close look at the February listing further reveals that 7 out of the 30 startups are from the fintech sector. Not exactly surprising, considering how the sector has consistently grown over the past year. The same applies to ecommerce as the list has 6 companies from that sector.
India’s enterprise tech sector continues to cash in on the opportunity triggered by the pandemic. Other hot sectors in this month’s list include media and entertainment, healthtech and deeptech.
Check out the Inc42 Plus list of 30 startups for February 2021.
Editor’s Note: The below list is not meant to be a ranking of any kind. We have listed the startups in alphabetical order.
Why Argoid Made It To The List
Every commerce platform today aims to capture customers through a personalised user experience and achieve the best conversion and retention rates. Argoid taps into this opportunity by enabling digital commerce companies to provide personalized recommendations and search capabilities via its AI-powered personalization engine in real-time at scale.
The startup’s product offerings are available as a Software as a Service (SaaS). The customer needs to subscribe for an annual license and pay upfront monthly or quarterly based on the SaaS Application Programming Interface (API) usage.
The startup claims that its product offers a simple to use, easy to integrate and a powerful recommendation engine. Recently, the startup signed a deal with one of the leading User Generated Content (UGC) platforms where the product delivers AI-driven recommendations to millions of users in production.
Why AttainU made It To The List
Given the recent impetus to the remote work culture and online-first teaching, placements platforms have been witnessing good growth. AttainU is one such startup that claims to have surpassed its pre covid placements frequency.
The Bengaluru-based startup offers live online-courses on skills needed for careers in software engineering. The startup has also launched a recruitment platform making it easy for companies to hire talent. It follows a study now, pay later model, where students need to pay 90% of the course fee only after placement. 10% is upfront payable in the form of registration fee.
The company has also launched plagiarism detection software for its test and homework submissions with the objective of making its outcome data more accurate. It is currently revamping its admissions funnel which includes counselling and demo classes and will soon be launching more courses.
Why Battery Smart Made It To The List
E-rickshaws in India have become a preferred mode of first- and last-mile commutes in metros besides gaining popularity in smaller cities as a shared-commuting option over short distances. But the earnings of e-rickshaw drivers are capped as they use traditional lead-acid batteries, which require 10 hours of charging and come with a limited battery life of six months.
Therefore, Delhi-based Battery Smart is building a network of EV-battery swapping stations for e-rickshaws, an initiative that will unlock 2x earning potential for e-rickshaw drivers, the startup claims. Those who want to avail of this scheme need to get a membership post which they can stop at any of the swapping stations in Battery Smart’s network and get a fully charged battery against an empty one.
The company has partnered with small stores in high street neighbourhoods along high traffic routes for easy access to swap points. When battery-swapping units are installed at those stores, shop owners get an additional income without any added labour or real estate cost.
As of now, Battery Smart has 25 operational swap stations in Delhi, carrying out more than 1,000 battery swaps every week. It has also developed an integrated B2B technology platform over IoT to manage its network and monitor the health and utilisation of the batteries in real time. Its small store partners are provided with smart chargers and a mobile app to run the swap operations efficiently.
Why BigSpoon Made It To The List
Cloud kitchens have been gaining momentum in the post-Covid world and are being considered the future of the food and beverage industry as they bring in efficiencies of operations and unit economics to the business and convenience to consumers. These restaurants do not provide dine-in facilities to walk-in customers and function as a production unit.
BigSpoon is one such Tier-2-focussed multi-brand cloud kitchen startup that is tapping into this huge opportunity and has a presence in Ahmedabad, Baroda, Surat, Indore, Jaipur, Nagpur and Pune.
The startup has four brands including Makhni Brothers, Oven & Grill, Meals101 and Thali Central and delivers via its own app, Zomato and Swiggy, across meal timings and party sizes.
The startup has also brought in robotics and automation in production and inventory management, to standardise quality and food taste across all outlets. The startup would soon be live in ten cities and will be launching its fifth brand. It also aims to bring advanced robotics in food production to scale efficiently.
Why Birdfin Made It To The List
One of the biggest responsibilities of parents towards their kids is to inculcate good money habits in their formative years. Teaching children the value of money and imparting important financial lessons such as saving and spending can go a long way in turning them into responsible adults. However, most often children are reluctant to learn financial skills as they find such lessons boring.
Fintech startup, Birdfin, offers an app that makes money management lessons interesting through gamification. The startup helps children understand money better through an experiential learning approach. It enables parents to schedule tasks for their children and offer digital currency, called Crystals, in return.
For instance, kids can earn Crystals when they complete a household task. Parents in turn convert these into real money and transfer into the child’s savings bank account and digital wallet. The startup also offers a host of ecommerce options in the Birdfin app such as books, apparel, fashion accessories which children can select and buy once parents approve of the choices made. This way the startup believes, children learn to earn, manage, save and spend money in a more secure way.
Why Bueno Finance Made It To The List
Despite the increased push towards financial inclusion for all, blue-collar workers in India still face challenges while availing basic banking services. Bueno Finance taps into this huge gap in the market for blue-collar workers financing by helping them get access to formal credit.
The startup claims to offer instant access to a revolving credit-line for blue-collar workers through partnerships with lending institutions such as Stashfin and Liquilaons. The startup’s flagship product, a digital credit card, is built over UPI and helps blue-collar workers improve their creditworthiness. The company captures real-time behavioural and payment data to understand them better. It has also recently launched a product for ‘new to credit’ customers, which aims to help customers get a bureau footprint.
In the short term, the startup wants to acquire as many customers as possible and help them build their credit history and in the long term, it wants to offer a suite of financial services to its customers under one umbrella through multiple partners.
Why Cognext Analytics Made It To The List
A rapidly changing regulatory landscape increases the cost of risk management and compliance for banks and financial institutions exponentially. Additionally, they find it difficult to address the challenges posed by any new regulatory environment as it demands greater responsiveness and auditing of various submissions and risk disclosures.
Cognext has built a no-code risk and regulatory compliance platform, called Platform X, that makes regulatory calculations and compliance easy-to-manage, interactive, scalable and less costly for financial institutions, large and small.
Platform X claims to offer a faster, better and cheaper alternative to address the most urgent and critical regulatory challenges in a post-pandemic scenario. The startup makes money by charging an annual subscription fee to its clients. The annual fee is determined based on the asset size of each institution and specific modules subscribed by them.
It claims to have a track record of delivering a 50% time and cost reduction in risk and regulatory function while delivering 10X improvement in performance. Notably, it has entered into a fintech partnership with Infosys, TechMahindra and is working to build partnerships with leading hyperscalers such as AWSand Microsoft Azure.
Why Countingwell Made It To The List
Whether edtech startups in India can keep up the momentum gained recently is still not clear, but for now, they are the most favoured lot among VCs. Countingwell is one such Maths learning platform for students of class 6 to 10. Within two weeks of launch, it hosted an event that saw the participation of over 150 schools and over 10K students.
It offers a gamified mobile app to deliver personalised learning for children and will also be launching its B2B offering for schools soon, which will help the company extend classroom learning into a blended learning model. This will align with the school curriculum and enable teachers to conduct continuous formative assessments and adjust their teaching plans based on the students’ performance in real-time.
The startup plans to start the B2B offerings and engage schools from the April 2021- March 2022 session in Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities and expects to turn these partnerships into long term contracts soon. It aims to target schools in international markets in 2022.
Why Doosra Made It To The List
While digitisation and technology has resolved many problems for consumers, it has also brought with it many challenges. One such challenge is the nuisance of telemarketing and spam calls that one receives every day.
To tackle this problem, Doosra offers an app that generates a ‘second,’ virtual phone number without the need for a SIM card or e-SIM. This number can be used for registrations on ecommerce websites, loyalty platforms and other aggregators such as Zomato and Swiggy as well. Thereby telemarketers never really get a real number and all calls and messages are filtered out.
The app blocks all calls and messages by default and this gives the users complete control, where they can choose the kind of calls they want to receive, while all other incoming calls are ignored. For calls that are not spam, it offers a ‘voicemail’ feature, where a genuine caller calling the Doosra number has the option to send a recorded voicemail. Upon receiving it, the Doosra app user can choose to unblock and listen to the voicemail messages. The app is currently available on Apple App Store and Google Play Store and the service is priced at INR 499 for six months and INR 699 for a year on a subscription basis.
Why Fifthtry Made It To The List
Engineers in India often face the challenge of documentation not keeping up with product feature changes. Fifthtry is trying to solve this by offering a tool with which product development and documentation can remain in sync.
The startup says its documentation tool integrates with Github’s ‘Pull Request’ to ensure that no code goes live without updated documentation. Github is a code hosting platform where more than 56 million developers world over build and maintain their software. And when one opens a pull request on Github, he or she is proposing changes and requesting that someone reviews the same.
Additionally, to ensure that the documents stay updated, users can block Github Pull Requests untill document changes get approved on Fifthtry. Overall, Fifthtry claims to solve all key documentation problems engineering teams face today.
Why Filo Made It To The List
Filo addresses the most common yet unresolved challenge faced by students across all ages and financial spectrum, which is a quick resolution of doubts as and when they study.
According to Filo, at any time more than 10 Mn students study for school exams, college entrance or government job exams but at least half of them lose motivation due to a lack of timely and reliable support for their queries. Filo solves this problem by a tutor on-demand within 60 seconds for a one-to-one video call.
The startup claims that it has seen a significant increase in the number of students opting for its 6 months/1 year subscription plans. All that the students need to do is go to the Filo app, add their queries and connect with the tutor available at that point of time and clear their doubts. The tutors are grads/undergrads from good colleges along with professional teachers and corporate professionals. Currently, there are 3500+ tutors registered on the platform.
Why GramworkX Made It To The List
While agriculture is one of the oldest occupations, the penetration of technology and farm-specific insights has remained low in the sector. To address the same, GramworkX offers an IoT and artificial intelligence (AI) enabled smart farm resource management tool, which provides farmers with micro-climatic information about their farms, weather predictions and irrigation planning for up to one week ahead so that they can take accurate, proactive, and preventive decisions.
The farmers use the startup’s app to get daily recommendations and information. Currently, the app operates in seven languages.
GramworkX primarily operates in Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. The startup works directly with farmers and farmer producer organisations (FPOs) for large scale implementation of the technology and is focussing on a subset of horticultural crops which are water-sensitive and can highly benefit from such technology.
Why GoalTeller Made It To The List
This is the age of economic instability and making the right investment or having a strategic financial plan is key to survive. Tapping into this opportunity, GoalTeller offers an automated platform that allows users to formulate financial plans.
This platform allows users to choose a financial plan that is best suited for her or him. The platform also allows users to customise their own plan to reach financial goals.
Additionally, the company claims to be bridging the information gap for investors on several subjects and investment avenues like small savings schemes, life or term insurance, pension products, time value of money, the discipline of regular and early savings amongst others. Premium users will have access to a human advisor by booking a slot in the calendar.
GoalTeller has recently launched the beta version of the platform to a closed user group to gather responses to further improve the platform.
Why Hashnode Made It To The List
Though blogging is a popular way for writers to express their thoughts and also stay connected, it involves challenges such as distribution of content and also the increasing cost of self-hosting software platforms such as WordPress.
Bengaluru-based Hashnode, a blogging platform that helps developers and businesses start blogs and share them with a broader developer community, claims to address these challenges effectively. The startups solves the problem of content ownership and distribution by allowing users to publish stories on their own domain and connect them to software developers.
With this, the startup says, the writers can purely focus on writing and need not compromise on their content for the sake of improving the traffic and SEO. Launched in 2020 by Sandeep Panda and Syed Fazle Rahman, the company claims that it is growing at 25% month-on-month and over 20K blogs have been created so far. It also boasts of more than 500K readers every month.
Why HelpNow Made It To The List
Medical emergencies are traumatic enough but a shortage of timely ambulance services in the country also leads to delayed treatment and untimely deaths on many occasions. Founded by three IITIans – Aditya Makkar, Shikar Agarwal and Venkatesh Amrutwar – Mumbai-based healthtech startup HealthNow is running a tech-enabled network of ambulances to bridge this crucial time gap.
The startup claims that it can bring a doctor or an ambulance anywhere in the city of Mumbai within 28 minutes by leveraging its cutting-edge technology and unique operational strategy. Throughout the pandemic days, the company has served several individuals and government organisations such as the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), Thane Municipal Corporation and the Mumbai Police by ensuring fast response and safe patient transportation.
The team also suggests the best possible hospitals for patients, and those hospitals are informed in advance about the patient’s arrival. The vehicles are regularly audited and upgraded with equipment, and drivers are trained and mobilised to service all emergency calls without delay.
Why Hypd Made It To The List
Ecommerce platforms in India are presently divided into three categories- discovery, content streaming and destination. Hypd Store claims to merge all three by being a single platform to facilitate sales over content that convinces a user to experience the product.
Hypd Store hosts videos and images that are aimed at the edutainment of consumer products via lifestyle trends and catchy scripts. This model, the company claims, drives an urge to shop among users by infusing a feel-good factor. Direct ‘Buy Now’ button on a highly curated feed of addictive content paves the way for ecommerce 2.0, it says. Basically, it allows customers to get introduced to the product, the content, the creator, the reason, and the marketplace to shop the product, all in one place.
According to the startup, brands get onboarded with their products to repurpose their content and it offers content disposition to these brands at zero cost. Only when a sale happens, brands pay a cut to Hypd and creators.
Media platform Scoopwhoop has invested in the startup, which will now leverage 30 Mn unique monthly active users on Scoopwhoop’s platform to get educated and introduced to the product.
Why Junio Made It To The List
Fintech for children and teenagers is gaining popularity among urban parents. So, New Delhi-based Junio is cashing in on this opportunity by offering a digital pocket-money card for kids. Put simply, it is a smart card for children for managing online and offline expenses.
Using the Junio card, children can learn the value of money and how to spend and save while parents keep an eye on their spending. The startup says that the product is easy to order and no paperwork is needed for the physical card. One can instantly transfer the money or top up the card, and activate/deactivate it from the Junio app.
As it is a prepaid card, children can only spend the amount loaded and no more, an excellent way of learning financial discipline from an early age. Meanwhile, parents can automate the money transfer at fixed intervals, get instant alerts on spending, set limits on cash withdrawals from ATMs and pay interest on their child’s savings.
Why Kutuki Made It To The List
According to Inc42 Plus, the edtech market is estimated to grow 3.7x in the next five years, touching $10.4 Bn by 2025. Within this space, demand for content in local languages is also expected to increase.
Capitalising on the same, Bengaluru-based edtech startup Kutuki which caters to children aged between three and seven, has developed an interactive learning app in five languages including English, Hindi, Kannada, Tamil, and Marathi.
The startup offers a proprietary story-and-rhyme-based curriculum, with the focus on language, including phonics, foundational literacy, numeracy, life skills, STEM and general knowledge, among others. The company will focus on adding more languages, and expand its presence across Tier 2 locations.
According to the startup’s cofounder, Bharath Bevinahally, when it comes to early learning in India, there is a dearth of context, structure and content localisation and the app is trying to resolve the same by making learning fun and outcome-based.
Why Leher Made It To The List
The sudden spike in popularity of Clubhouse, an invite-only, drop-in audio app for iOS, after SpaceX and Tesla founder Elon Musk appeared on it, had a ripple effect on Indian alternative Leher.
The live discussion social network which allows users to drop into club rooms and discuss with their network, community or friends, has suddenly come into the spotlight. Leher was founded in 2018 by second-time entrepreneur Vikas Malpani, who began conceptualising the idea after his successful exit from real estate startup Commonfloor in early 2016.
Unlike Clubhouse, Leher is available on both iOS and Android. Malpani told us earlier that recently, its user base has been doubling on a weekly basis. He also said that within 180 days of its beta version launch, the company had its users spend about 44 minutes every day and 250K minutes per month for live video sessions. In December, it had said that it had a total of 1.5 Lakh user downloads and had done over 2.5K audio-video discussions.
Backed by Orios Venture Partners, Leher was recently selected for the fourth batch of Google For Startups (GFS) Accelerator India Programme. The app was originally launched as a video-only platform, but added a live audio feature during the early days of the lockdown.
Why Onelife Made It To The List
With changing lifestyles, consumers across the country have become more aware of the evolving need for nutrition. This is all the more important in a post-Covid world as the right kind of nutrition helps boost one’s immunity. Backed by Wipro Consumer Care Ventures, Mumbai-based Onelife offers a wide range of innovative products in the health and wellness space.
The direct-to-consumer (D2C) brand offers more than 70 scientifically researched products under several categories, including FMCG, organic, wellness, sports nutrition, superfoods and beauty. The startup is now planning to build on its D2C business and currently putting the requisite technology solutions in place to bring in more efficiency. Its product team is also working on R&D and aims to roll out interesting formulations and formats in the vegan space in the next few months.
Why OwO Made It To The List
Access to safe drinking water has always been a challenge in India. Although most homes and offices instal RO systems to address this pain point, many prefer to buy bottled mineral water from retail outlets. Keen to tap into this demand, Gurugram-based OwO was launched in June 2020 to deliver packaged drinking water and beverages.
The microdelivery startup has partnered with several brands such as Bisleri, Aquafina, Kinley, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Tropicana, Parle and Catch to cater to corporates and households. It has recently raised INR 1.5 Cr in angel funding from ah! Ventures and plans to use the money to enhance its tech stack.
The online marketplace for branded water and other beverages also plans to expand to Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and other cities in 2021. To enable the same, the company is setting up temperature-controlled warehouses in these cities.
Why Pencil Made It To The List
One of the key reasons why budding authors in India end up with low success rates is the lack of data and a proper understanding of what readers want. In most cases, authors do not have actionable insights into how readers engage, where their interest drops and when they quit reading a book, or how to make required changes after publishing a book.
To help authors succeed in a technology-driven world, Mumbai-based content publishing platform Pencil provides in-depth and real-time data covering the areas mentioned above and also enables writers to better engage with their readers/fan communities. Better still, the startup publishes their books for free (in paperback and ebooks formats) on its platform and distributes them in 65 languages across the world. The digital ecosystem allows writers to create different types of content, from full-fledged books to shorts to micros (posts). In brief, it is an end-to-end platform that helps aspirants become writers, enables authors to improve their writing, build their audiences and monetise their creative pursuits with the help of analytics, dynamic editing and brand building.
The three-month-old startup claims that about half-a-million words are published on its platform every week. Pencil also says that it has enabled 150+ translation deals in more than 14 languages and worked out eight deals with movie studios and OTT platforms.
Why Qalara Made It To The List
Qalara is a wholesale ecommerce marketplace that connects small producers, manufacturers, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in India and Southeast Asia to small, mid-size and large wholesale buyers around the world.
The startup acts as an intermediary by helping buyers and sellers discover each other and ensure smooth and convenient commerce. The startup takes care of the end-to-end supply chain from the producer to the buyer anywhere in the world for a minimum order value starting at $500.
Founded by Aditi Pany in 2020 , the startup is backed by Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL). It sells more than 35K products from verified suppliers and delivers to more than 100 countries. It enables payments in major global currencies.
The startup claims to inspect all orders, manage production monitoring for custom orders, facilitate secure payments and ensure safe door delivery. It currently focuses on home and lifestyle categories including textiles, furnishings, furniture, fashion accessories, and wellness products, among others.
Why RangeAero Made It To The List
Using autonomous (pilotless) helicopters, Bengaluru-based RangeAero is building an aerial robotics platform to tap into a large addressable market of medium-scale deliveries and ensure a 3x faster delivery than traditional logistics services via road.
This indigenous developer, manufacturer and operator of unmanned logistics helicopters uses proprietary tech to meet commercial and defence requirements. After studying the operating models of large commercial helicopters, the startup has developed medium-scale and cost-effective choppers which are fully autonomous.
RangeAero is also planning to provide a wide range of payload combinations for one-way and two-way deliveries. In its new capacity, it will be able to cover a distance of 120 km and a maximum payload of 100 kg. The company is currently undergoing pilot deployment for its commercial logistics customers and plans to start its commercial operations by 2022 with 10-25 kg payload capacity.
Why Supply6 Made It To The List
Capitalising on the demand for healthy foods, the Bengaluru-based D2C startup Supply6 offers a range of nutritional products in drinkable forms. The idea is to provide the taste and nutritional requirements one would get from a standard meal without feeling too full.
The brand’s flagship product, the Supply6 Meal, is a 400 calorie drinkable meal. All one needs to do is put the meal powder and 300 ml of water in a shaker, shake it for 20 seconds and drink it. “We have named our startup Supply6 because we supply the six essential nutrients that the human body needs with every meal,” says Rahul Jacob, cofounder of Supply6.
The startup claims that the product contains real food ingredients such as rice, peas, oats, coconuts and sunflower seeds and has no added preservatives or added sugar. It also contains 27 vitamins and minerals and is 100% vegan. The company sells its products on its D2C platform, Amazon and BigBasket and also through a few organic stores in Bengaluru.
The ePlane Company
Why The ePlane Company Made It To The List
A fast-growing population and overcrowded cities call for a much-needed disruption when it comes to urban mobility. Will helicopter taxis usher in a new era in mass transit? Yes, says the ePlane Company, an IIT-Madras-incubated deeptech startup that is building an electric flying taxi called e200. This new mode of transport will ensure 10x faster door-to-door commute in cities at 1.5x the traditional cab fare, according to the company.. Our taxi takes off like a drone and flies like a plane with wings, it says.
The startup is currently building a 50 kg carrying subscale prototype, due to fly in the summer of 2021. In the medium term, it wants to build its manually piloted two-seater flying taxi and get it certified. In the long term, it aims to run its own autonomous air taxi service.
Why UptimeAI Made It To The List
Managers at manufacturing plants often face the challenges of false alarms and have to manually monitor and maintain all equipment, which can be expensive and time-consuming. UptimeAi offers a business model based on the approach of monitoring select critical equipment which limits users from monitoring all equipment in the plant. It offers an AI-based Plant Expert, that empowers operators to avoid surprises and maximize reliability, efficiency and productivity and product quality.
The startup basically aims to make enterprises move away from an asset-centric to a data-centric approach. Further, the startup claims that its subscription-based model and low deployment costs significantly reduces the first-year costs, avoiding the need to budget capital expenses and resulting in a faster ROI.
According to the startup, AI innovation can predict problems, explain the root-cause, and give prescriptive diagnosis. The startup claims to provide value to plant managers and CXOs by providing them with a 10x reduction in false-alarms, manual effort, and time to act, 100% plant coverage of rotating and static equipment with high ROI and system-level models that minimise alarms and help identify the cause. Businesses are charged on an annual subscription basis, depending on the number of sensors it monitors and the industry involved.
Why Vanity Wagon Made It To The List
Clean beauty, which means beauty products made without ingredients shown or suspected of causing harm to human health, is a well established and mature industry in the USA and Europe. During their time at Oxford University, UK, cofounders of Vanity Wagon, Naina Ruhail and Prateek Ruhail, got to access this segment of beauty and realised what India is missing out on, which was a niche clean beauty marketplace.
Vanity Wagon was hence born out of a deep understanding of the space and the dynamics that ruled the Clean Beauty Industry in India. Starting off with ten clean beauty brands in 2018, it now boasts of 97 brands, with a revenue growth of 5x since 2019. It also claims that its consumer base has seen a growth of 10x since 2019.
The clean beauty digital-first marketplace aggregates top Indian and overseas clean beauty brands and brings them to the consumers through direct purchase and ship model. It also offers a subscription box under the name of Bellebox by Vanity Wagon, to make it easy for users to switch to clean beauty and blogs, vlogs and a clean beauty magazine.
Why Vested Finance Made It To The List
When the cofounders of Vested Finance, Viram Shah, Darwin Arifin, Yinghan Lin, who come from different parts of the world, wanted to diversify their investment portfolios internationally, they realised that it was not easy to do so. It involved multiple challenges and paperwork in fund transfer, opening an account, fractional investing and also the need to pay a huge commission.
They then conducted in-depth market research and interviewed more than 100 people to realise that they are not alone, multiple people across geographies have tried to invest internationally but could not do so. Seeing a huge opportunity there, they launched Vested Finance, an SEC-registered investment adviser in 2018 to enable sustainable wealth creation by empowering local investors to go global.
It enables Indians to easily diversify their portfolios by lowering the barriers to investing in the US stock market with paperless KYC, fractional shares, simplified fund transfers and commission-free trades. The startup claims to have processed $100Mn of trades in 2020. It has also partnered with Axis Securities, Kuvera, 5Paisa to offer US investing to its client base and claims that it saw a 5X increase in U.S. brokerage accounts opened through the platform in 2020.
Why yBANQ Made It To The List
In India, collections and reconciliation operations have been mostly manual. This often leads to errors. yBANQ is building a collections and reconciliation platform for MSME’s in India that eases massive tasks such as manual matching of bank statements with Invoices.
With this, the companies can automate their bookkeeping. They can maintain separate ledgers as per their business needs and view dues and collections at a glance. It also enables an easy monitoring of expenses and pending transactions for small and middle enterprises in a secured way.
Other services offered include remainders, third party plugins, invoices, automated sync with tally, and instant settlements. The Y Combinator-backed startup is founded by Abhishek Ayyagari, Ahamed Shah, Ganesh Mallya and is basically building Bill.com for India.