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30 Startups To Watch: The Startups That Caught Our Eye In March 2021

30 Startups To Watch: The Startups That Caught Our Eye In March 2021

Inc42 brings you a curated list of 30 early-stage startups founded after 2018 and now on the road to success

These startups are making a mark in the market with their unique business models and product offerings

In this month’s list, 7 out of the 30 startups cater to agricultural supply chains and 6 cater to SMEs seeking to digitise their businesses

It has been a year since the Covid-19 pandemic shook the world, disrupting lives and livelihoods, businesses and national economies. There has been a silver lining, though. Emerging pain points are getting addressed by all-new, extremely agile startups that came into being in the midst of a global crisis and catered to the evolving needs of people and businesses trying to cope with the new normal. Shutdowns happened, but what intrigued us most were the timely pivots by the ‘war veterans’ to rise above the crisis and the bold leaps of faith by those building new or niche solutions for the new-to-the-internet ‘next billion’.

30 Startups To Watch: March 2021

This month, our list of early-stage startups focusses on ‘enablers’, those white knights with innovative business ideas who are helping farmers, small and medium businesses (SMBs), and even big enterprises work smarter. Most of the startups listed here offer SaaS solutions for a diverse range of problems, right from a sericulture-focussed supply chain to AI assessments of students to business enhancements and much more. 

As we complete a year of the pandemic that disrupted life as we knew it, the startups in our watchlist reflect many changes in consumer and business demands that we have observed over the past year. Some of these startups have reimagined their business solutions in the past 12 months now offer digital- and app-friendly services for traditional companies still struggling to adopt tech-driven frameworks for better growth and greater sustainability. 

The increasing concerns regarding health and the environment have pushed agritech startups to the front row as they are developing smart supply chains, preventing food spoilage and ensuring food provenance. In fact, seven startups in this watchlist are doing all these and more. 

A look at the list will also reveal that at least six startups directly address SME pain points like credit access, client discovery, call centre management and global supply chain. 

Five new-age businesses offer workplace collaboration and sales productivity solutions, a testament to the rapid development cycle that marks the post-Covid work culture as remote working takes centre stage.  

Finally, there is content to think of, not the largely anglicised version that floods the World Wide Web but the local, the vernacular and the niche. A few startups in this list are working on it and pressing deeptech into service to augment creativity or trigger business growth. We have five companies dealing with different challenges in building content for commerce or large-scale sharing. 

However, the common threads are the SaaS model and subscription-based offerings, which have reached a level of maturity, allowing businesses of all sizes to package and procure solutions effectively. That is the gold standard of agility and sustainability businesses need to exercise to corner the market.  

Check out the Inc42 Plus list of 30 startups for March 2021.

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

Bimaplan

Bimaplan factsheet

Why Bimaplan Made It To The List

As overall insurance penetration in India is abysmally low at 3.7%, a huge untapped market is out there to cater to the low-income population that has been historically ignored. Set up in 2020 in the midst of the pandemic, Bengaluru-based Bimaplan is now offering customised, small-ticket insurance products to the digitally literate hailing from the low-income segment (both blue-collar and white-collar workers). But unlike traditional insurance channels, this startup wants to use social commerce and vernacular content as customer acquisition vehicles. 

Bimaplan’s insurance partners will underwrite all policies, but these will be co-branded and distributed by the startup. The company is also working with a network of micro-agents who will help gather all relevant data for designing bespoke products. The goal is to ensure that people will stay insured despite changes in their incomes. And the target audience is the primarily ignored class of customers who cannot pay more than upwards of INR 450 monthly premium. Annual premiums will be in the range of INR 350-3,500 ($5-50). 

The startup expects to achieve product-market fit in the next 12 months, during which it plans to reach 100,000 customers. It is currently seeking to raise pre-series A funding. 

Bolkar

Bolkar Factsheet

Why Bolkar Made It To The List

According to a KPMG report, there has been an exponential rise in internet adoption across rural India, and 90% of the new internet users are consuming content in their local vernacular. More importantly, one in three global internet users now use voice interfaces on their mobile phones each month, but these figures are even higher in Asia, especially in countries like India, China and Indonesia. As new internet adopters across India  use more voice searches and voice commands to surf, shop and interact, Delhi-NCR-based Bolkar and its ilk are gaining traction. Set up in 2019, the startup has introduced a voice-based question-and-answer platform specially designed for Bharat users where it has excluded the typing and the English language barrier. Thanks to the app, voice continues to grow, users are listening to vernacular audio and the largest pool of user-generated audio content in local languages is being created. Bolkar was one of the top 10 apps nominated for the 2020 Google User’s Choice Awards and bagged the top slots in the ‘Personal Growth’ and ‘Learn in Local Languages’ categories.

The company will soon launch real-time audio-based discussion-style groups for popular topics, allowing participants to interact with experts over voice chat. It is planning to bring subject matter experts and influencers on board for sustained growth and looking to solidify its product-market fit.

Clergo

Clergo Factsheet

Why Clergo Made It To The List

Work-from-home is the new normal in the Covid-19 era, but it often turns out to be utterly frustrating as teams spend hours in virtual meetings and on group chats and email to collaborate on projects. Globally, more than 56 Mn people actively use work chat tools and lose valuable work hours. San Francisco-based Clergo wanted to address the millions and billions of work hours lost in this way and developed a SaaS-based remote collaboration solution to eliminate unnecessary work meetings. 

Set up in 2020, Clergo helps teams reduce their time spent on chats and emailing and enables them to get things done while maintaining the context around conversations. Different teams use Clergo’s SaaS solution with simple plugins to streamline conversations regarding projects/work goals. Clergo gives users easy access to important takeaways from those chats.

Currently, the startup is working with a group of early customers and fine-tuning the product that is currently in the beta stage. Its long-term plan is to scale the product to a lot many teams.

Data Sutram

Data Sutram

Why Data Sutram made it to the list

Hyperlocal services are the flavour of the season, with everyone from Google to Reliance keen to cater to local businesses and demands. Kolkata-based Data Sutram’s B2B SaaS solutions help here as it enables companies to gauge their hyperlocal business requirements across regions without building a Pichai or Ambani-level marketing team. 

Data Sutram’s core product includes a location data engine that cleans, processes, geotags data from multiple sources and combines relevant data points with the help of artificial intelligence and machine learning to create accurate and actionable data and insights for every location. This, in turn, helps businesses identify the most profitable locations to set up stores, warehouses and touchpoints, besides identifying hyperlocal marketing opportunities and partnerships. The company has two revenue models: First, clients pay as they use APIs and the second, a monthly subscription fee. 

Set up in 2018, Data Sutram has been working with a leading pharma company to offer hyperlocal marketing use cases and also with a financial institution to help it evaluate SME borrowers. Its goal is to emerge as a global DaaS (data as a service) platform that provides accurate insights across sectors. It is also planning to specialise in pharma, financial services and retail sectors in India.

Deepsync

Deepsync factsheet

Why Deepsync Made It To The List

Audio content, especially podcasts, are gaining in popularity among Indians. Therefore, a startup that helps create audio content is bound to see rising interest. Traditionally, it takes nearly seven hours to produce an hour-long audio content, including initial recording, editing and retakes. But Delhi-NCR-based Deepsync Technologies has speeded things up by replicating a person’s voice with the help of artificial intelligence. Simply put, its voicetech AI tools learn every feature of a speaker’s voice, be it accent, pitch, speed or other parameters, so that a fully augmented and high-definition audio can be created quickly. The company has a monthly/annual subscription service in place for its SaaS offerings, starting at 10 hours of production service per month. 

Six months ago, Deepsync used to take three-four minutes to produce a few seconds of audio.The company has already made it faster and economical and delivers the same output quality within a minute, claim the founders.

Set up in 2018, Deepsync is getting active interest from US-based content creators and production houses as its paid customers are mainly based outside India.

EmerTech

Emertech factsheet

Why EmerTech Made It To The List

While farmers across the country are coming together to demand better prices and better policies, concerns around spoilage and wastage continue to plague the agricultural sector. EmerTech Innovations, a B2B agritech startup incubated at IIT-mumbai in 2019, has built a sustainable, transparent and traceable agricultural value chain that brings better profitability to farmers’ collectives and provides food provenance so that consumers know the quality and value of the produce and farmers know the pricing.

The agri startup has used blockchain technology and artificial intelligence to develop a SaaS platform that connects all stakeholders of the value chain. This means farmers’ collectives can connect with each other and also with their consumers. The blockchain technology, a cloud ledger for securely storing information, helps trace the produce (like tracking the journey of a cotton T-shirt via a QR code), enables buyers to track how much of the money they pay goes to the farmers and also helps farmers access credit by generating plot-wise credit scores. 

EmerTech has a subscription-based revenue model and farmers’ collectives need to pay based on the services used. Currently, the company is tracking more than 120 crops and 5 lakh crates of produce from 10,000 farmers. It is aiming to onboard more farmer collectives and create a mega-collective that can work in collaboration with each other and get better prices. Eventually, it wants to serve at least 1,000 farmer collectives from India.

Emitrr

Emitrr factsheet

Why Emitrr Made It To The List

Solutions that enable or improve remote working will only grow in demand, and this Delaware-headquartered B2B SaaS company meets this requirement. Emitrr is a platform focussing on call centre agents’ productivity and works on solving specific issues faced by multi-location businesses like healthcare chains (primary care, dental care, veterinary care and so on). With Emitrr solutions in place, companies can grow their revenues by ensuring continuous improvements in problem areas like missed and abandoned calls, average handle times, call quality training and more.

In 2019, the founders — Anmol Oberoi and Pulkit Gambhir — were already building solutions for global SMBs when they came across the requirement to manage call centre performance and implement improvements. So, they spoke to more than 100 SMBs to understand the problem and decided to set up Emitrr in 2020. Over the past three months, the company claims to have added clients across 500 locations. Its goal is to reach $500K in average rate of return (ARR) in the short term. It will also work on improving all call centre/front-desk metrics to enhance business performance.

Ezstays

Ezstays Factsheet

Why Ezstays Made It To The List

Student accommodation offers a massive business opportunity, both globally and in India. With millions of students moving out of parental homes every year to pursue courses in medicine, engineering and science and technology — subject matters that cannot be studied by switching to a 100% remote learning mode — this sector continues to grow and thrive. As several educational institutions are often clustered in certain cities, a large chunk of the student population has to migrate there to pursue higher studies. But these institutions cater to less than 20% of the total demand for student housing, thereby creating a huge opportunity for organised players to enter the market. 

Founded in 2019, Delhi-NCR-based Ezstays offers all-inclusive rental accommodations that take care of rooms, meals, laundry, housekeeping, Wi-Fi and other facilities such as gymnasium, games room, TV room, library and more.

Ezstays is planning to consolidate its existing number of beds and expand sustainably with the focus on achieving gross level profitability across individual properties. It has already achieved 90% occupancy across all properties, claims the company.

GetWork

Getwork Factsheet

Why GetWork Made It To The List

The job market is becoming tough, and not all colleges, especially those in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities, have access to prominent recruiters like their Tier 1 counterparts. GetWork from Delhi-NCR saw this opportunity and developed a SaaS-based HRtech platform to connect to students and businesses. 

GetWork is a recruiting platform for corporates, SMEs and startups to directly hire from the 18,000 placement cells spread across non-Tier 1 institutions. It also helps placement cells with aggregating resumes, managing interviews, tracking skills and applications and disseminating job opportunities for its students. The startup’s unique ‘Connect’ feature allows placement cell heads to reach out to HR departments and vice versa. Although in its infancy, GetWork claims that it places one student every four hours.

Set up in 2019, GetWork wants to offer a seamless campus hiring experience through an easy-to-use credit-based system, where colleges and corporate houses pay as per usage to avail of services like job postings, resume search, ‘Connect” with colleges and companies and track end-to-end hiring journeys. The startup is currently utilising its funding to reach out to more recruiters and offering solutions to enable recruitment on the platform itself.

GlobalFair

GLobalFair Factsheet

Why GlobalFair Made It To The List

The US alone gets more than $500 Bn worth of its imports (total $2.4 Tn) from MSMEs, but even then, homegrown and other Asian suppliers find it difficult to discover new buyers across global markets. So, Delhi-NCR-based GlobalFair decided to step in and solve the issue with an SMB-to-SMB, full-stack sourcing platform that makes inter-country sourcing agile, transparent and reliable.

GlobalFair connects verified, creditworthy buyers from the U.S. markets to quality suppliers in Asian markets (India, Vietnam and Bangladesh). The company acts as a full-service partner for MSME suppliers and uses a simple, mobile-friendly order management app, giving real-time order status visibility to the buyer. It also bridges the credit gap for MSME manufacturers by meeting their working capital requirements.

Set up in 2020, the startup is currently operating in the building materials space and has presence in 33 U.S. states. It plans to add two more categories this year and venture into five more segments in the next four years. The company is also targeting to enter the unicorn club in the next four years.

GreenPod Labs

Greenpod Labs

Why GreenPod Labs Made It To The List

India is the second-largest producer of fruits and vegetables but reports about 40% spoilage of fresh produce before it reaches consumers, costing the country $12 Bn every year. To minimise such post-harvest losses, Chennai-based agritech startup GreenPod Labs has come up with innovative packaging that slows down the ripening rate and prevents microbial growth in fruits and vegetables during transportation and storage.

The company uses nano-encapsulated plant extracts that can naturally activate a defence mechanism within fruits and vegetables to reduce the ripening rate and minimise microbial attacks. The B2B startup, founded in 2019, offers its solutions to farmers, distributors, retailers and ecommerce players. 

GreenPod has been a part of major agritech accelerators and agritech programmes globally, including Cisco’s Agri Challenge. It is now looking to commercialise its packaging solution to extend the shelf life of fruits and vegetables. It will also work on minimising food waste with solutions for grains, seeds and milk, among others. 

Grip Invest

Grip Invest Factsheet

Why Grip Invest Made It To The List

Set up in June 2020, this Delhi-NCR-based lease investment marketplace enables users to purchase and lease physical assets such as vehicles, equipment and furniture to companies. One can co-invest in multiple assets through a special purpose vehicle (modelled after an LLP) and have partial ownership of an asset before leasing it out. Grip estimates that Indian investors have $1 Tn in capital to allocate to alternative investment channels, while companies will seek to lease $85 Bn worth of assets every year. 

The startup manages the entire journey, right from identifying corporate partners and leasing opportunities, doing due diligence, including credit evaluations, and listing those opportunities on its platform to finalising lease terms. Grip also curates co-investors, helps them buy assets from quality OEMs and monitors monthly returns to the investors. It collects a processing fee from a lessee and a management fee from each investor.

It is yet to complete a year, but Grip says it has already helped investors purchase and lease assets worth INR 22 Cr. While 1,200 users have made at least one investment via the platform, 10% have already made their fifth investment, claims the company. This has resulted in a 40% month-on-month growth over the past six months in terms of new investors and assets under management (AUM). The company has also set an asset target worth INR 100 Cr to be leased by September 2021. 

Assets purchased by investors have been leased to 24 companies, including brands like Vogo, Furlenco, FabAlley, Bounce, Stanza Living and Zypp. 

Humus

Humus Factsheet

Why Humus Made It To The List

As the current focus is on healthy eating and direct sourcing of agricultural produce from farmers, Bengaluru-based Humus is developing a pan-India farmers’ market chain to minimise/eliminate the middlemen from the supply chain and make farming more profitable. Farmers get fair market prices as the startup procures from them instead of middlemen, does the processing at Humus’ centres and sells the farm produce directly to end consumers while maintaining quality and standard pricing. 

Set up in 2019, the Humus team has been visiting farmers, mandis, intermediaries, markets, collection and sorting centres, and transportation agencies across the country to devise a working model to make the supply chain more efficient and bring in reliable and cost-effective logistics.  It is now planning to reach out to Tier 2 customers by setting up franchise-owned stores and ecommerce platforms. Its long-term vision is to move towards sustainable natural and organic farming where the coverage is quite low and the products are currently overpriced.

Kornem Energy

Kornem Factsheet

Why Kornem Energy Made It To The List

Before establishing the startup in 2020, the company realised that 30% of India’s average diesel consumption (around 28 Bn litres) happened across a few sectors, including agriculture, industry, mining, mobile towers and construction. Although some oil marketing companies have entered the organised fuel delivery business,more than 80% of this fuel logistics is unorganised, unsafe or illegal. On the other hand, diesel alternatives like biofuels have a limited market due to a poor supply chain. To address this critical supply gap, the Delhi-NCR-based company was set up as an on-demand B2B fuel delivery service (diesel and biofuels only) and supply-chain-aggregation platform to ensure speedy and safe operations..

Kornem uses IoT-controlled smart delivery vans and AI-enabled mobile fuelling units to create a closed-loop supply chain that is fully traceable and automated. This enables the startup to deliver fuel to B2B customers right where they are, with 40% less emissions losses. The entire operational part is carried out through Kornem’s mobile app and the company charges a monthly subscription.

The company currently operates in Delhi-NCR with support from the Indian Oil Corporation (IOCL). It was recently recognised by the Solar Impulse Foundation for working on a sustainable solution. Kornem  raised a pre-seed round of $150,000 in October 2020 and aims to expand its mobile-fuelling network to Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh by the end of 2021.

 Kwik Foods

Kwik Factsheet

Why Kwik Foods Made It To The List

In the year of the pandemic, Indians, just like their global counterparts, discovered the goodness of home-cooked meals. It has also created a market for homemade food, especially among the work-from-home crowd. Delhi-NCR-based Kwik Foods tapped into this opportunity early last year and launched a range of ready-to-cook products as a D2C Brand, with a vision to simplify daily cooking for 100 Mn millennial families.

According to its initial research, the company found that Indians take up to two hours to cook an entire meal compared to other nations. And a large part of this time is spent in repetitive work like preparing a curry base. Moreover, with the rise in demand for healthy food among urban millennials, Kwik Foods also saw an opportunity in the ready-to-cook segment. Currently, it has a portfolio of 10 products under five broad categories — Kwik Tadka, Kwik Batter, Kwik Paste, Kwik Chutney and Kwik Snacks.

Kwik Foods will complete a year in May 2021, but the startup has already scaled to 10,000+ orders a day in the Delhi-NCR region. In the long run, the company aims to build a presence across regions and introduce more categories in the ready-to-cook space. 

 Muvin

Muvin Factsheet

Why Muvin Made It To The List

Teenagers under the age of 18 constitute nearly 40% of the Indian population. This is a massive addressable market for fintech/neobanking companies seeking to foray into an unexplored region. Bengaluru-based Muvin (muvin) is working towards this goal with a mobile-based platform (app and messenger) and offers a unified set of financial solutions through an intuitive, easy-to-use, gamified and financial education-driven experience.  

Set up in 2020, muvin is a young company that will launch its services in the next three months. It is currently building its core team and the technology infrastructure required for the product launch. The startup has also raised seed funding for implementing its business plan as it is seeking to empower the 100 Mn urban youth in India with financial literacy and independence.

Also, to make quality education more accessible and reduce the financial burden on parents, muvin is seeking to partner with schools, colleges and other educational institutions to facilitate the conversion of fees to low-interest EMIs.

NeoDocs

Neodoc factsheet

Why NeoDocs Made It To The List

The absence of tech tools for quick and efficient diagnosis of medical reports often hinder seamless healthcare enablement in India. Although a well-structured ecosystem will take time to develop, given that a huge chunk of medical data is not digitalised or easily available, a young startup from Mumbai is addressing part of the problem. 

 Founded in 2021, NeoDocs has developed an automated system that interprets medical reports, simplifies them and guides patients with personalised follow-ups, including further tests (if required), nutrition, superfoods and supplements, and exercise and yoga, among others. The company works with a slew of healthcare service providers — diagnostic labs, e-pharmacies, patient management companies, tele-consultation platforms, health insurance firms and more — to deliver this service.

NeoDocs was initially launched as a B2C service on WhatsApp that converted medical reports into ‘smart reports’ with diagnostic insights. But based on the feedback, the founders soon decided to develop it as  a B2B solution, particularly useful for the insurance sector. The goal was to build a language-processing engine that could process all medical data to give out simplified, structured output, helping improve health outcomes. The company is currently working on a vernacular model to generate smart reports in local languages. It is also seeking partners across diagnostic labs and insurance companies.

NeoDove

NeoDove Factsheet

Why NeoDove Made It To The List

Indian SMBs were looking at digitisation for the past couple of years, and the pandemic expedited the process. In sync with their current requirements, Jaipur-based NeoDove has developed a sales and marketing automation platform for SMBs. The platform offers customised solutions to meet one’s sales and marketing needs and enhances user experience with a simple interface and multilingual support.

NeoDove was established in 2020 by a team of founders who were earlier with family-run businesses and knew the challenges faced by SMBs when it came to automating marketing solutions. Consequently, the platform offers subscription-based SaaS services on a per-user basis. NeoDove claims 5 Mn interactions per month on the platform and more than 1,600 users across 170 SMBs. Its immediate goal includes reaching 20,000 users from 2,000 subscribing companies. The startup also eyes global expansion in the long term.

Nupay

Nupay Factsheet

Why Nupay Made It To The List

Customised neobanking solutions will be a necessity in the near future as traditional banks cannot support the growing fintech needs of businesses and individuals. Besides, both big enterprises and SMBs are still subjected to several manual business processes for their banking needs.. To meet the new-age requirements, Delhi-NCR based Nupay has developed an enterprise-focussed neobanking platform that enables banking, payments and credit services.

Set up in 2020, the neobank platform is built on AI/ML-powered 100+ open APIs and manages the financial services value chain with eight leading banking partners. It is currently processing more than $120 Mn of transactions every month. 

Nupay aims to become one of the largest neobanking platforms for enterprises and offers multiple banking products, including cards and innovative loan and investment products. In the long term, it will further improve the product and take it to a global player. 

Otipy

Otipy factsheet

Why Otipy Made It To The List

Otipy banks on social commerce to help predict demand for agricultural produce and works with farmers to address the same. The Delhi-NCR-based startup was set up in 2020 as a pivot from an agricultural supply chain startup called Crofarm. For five years, Crofarm worked to deliver fresh fruits and vegetables, and also connected farmers and traders who supply to retailers, hotels and restaurants, among others. The learning from this venture helped conceptualise Otipy that claims high user stickiness and a prepaid model with a two-day delivery cycle. 

According to Otipy, it moves more than 50 tonnes of fresh produce through its systems every day and services 7,000+ daily orders. It is now planning to expand to categories like bakery, dairy, grocery and other essentials and will start operating in other cities beyond the National Capital Region.

 ReshaMandi

Reshamandi factsheet

Why ReshaMandi Made It To The List

Although several startups try to improve the farm-to-fork supply chain, most of them tend to focus on core food crops. But India also specialises in sericulture and is home to a vibrant silk industry, and discerning buyers are always on the lookout for hassle-free and seamless supply of good quality silk. Set up in 2019, Bengaluru-based Reshamandi has chosen this niche segment and is digitising India’s silk supply chain with the help of an AI-powered and IoT-driven ecosystem that connects silk producers to markets.

The company works directly with sericulture farmers, silk reelers, fabric weavers and retailers, helping them get the best price and reducing the time to market. It also provides logistics help to reduce the burden on farmers. Reshamandi ensures that all stakeholders are supplied with the best raw materials and testing kits. Farmers can also sell their produce directly to the startup without compromising on price.

Currently, the silk supply chain management firm is widening its reach across silk-weaving clusters in the country and has recently established its presence in Varanasi. It plans to reach 2 Lakh+ silk farmers in India and transfer the benefits of technology and efficiency to them to help them earn higher revenues.

RoadMetrics

Roadmetrics factsheet

Why RoadMetrics Made It To The List

With demand for better mapping solutions on the rise from automotive and logistics industries, among many others, there is a scope for mapping companies to differentiate their products. This is essential as vital data featured through high definition (HD) maps that include informatory road signs and 360° road images cannot be recorded via aerial satellites.

Bengaluru-based RoadMetrics, a deeptech mapping startup, is addressing this pain point by developing HD maps of Indian roads with the help of AI-based software programmes which offer 360° street views. Connected automotive software needs this data for advanced driver assistance functions such as lane assist, route optimisation and other intelligent applications. Mapping companies also require this data for a better mapping experience and smart city applications. RoadMetrics’ data output will be sold through an API model or the company will charge a licensing fee for customised applications based on per km requirement and the features sold.

The startup had already worked for the Tata group and done a pilot mapping project covering Jamshedpur. It was later converted into an annual contract worth INR 5.6 Lakh. Jamshedpur will be the first city in India to monitor and maintain its road infrastructure by leveraging RoadMetrics’ AI-based system. The company was named as one of the top three startups in the AI for Mobility category at the RAISE 2020 Virtual Summit India, organised by the government’s think tank NITI Aayog and the ministry of electronics and information technology, and received an INR 10 Lakh grant.

SaleAssist.ai

Saleassist.ai factsheet

Why SaleAssist.ai Made It To The List

Live commerce and group shopping are some of the most popular trends seen across the Chinese ecommerce ecosystem. Now Delhi-NCR-based SaleAssist is on its way to enable similar solutions for digital commerce platforms. Founded in 2020, the startup helps sales teams reach out to buyers through video calling, co-browsing, screen-sharing and more. In fact, video chats can be held with a single click from the website itself. SaleAssist has already identified the sectors that benefit from visualising products and consultative discussion before the actual purchase takes place. These mostly include high-end fashion, jewellery, automobile, tourism and home décor, and the company is building suitable solutions for these sectors. SaleAssist charges its clients a monthly subscription fee based on the number of conversations. 

The company is currently working on finalising its SaaS solution and actively hiring to build solid tech, product and sales teams. Its long-term goal is to get integrated with the likes of Salesforce, Dynamics CRM, Shopify platform and other prominent sales and marketing tools. It is also focussing on the U.S. and the Canadian markets and building a complementary partner ecosystem for the same.

Solvio

Saleassist factsheet

Why Solvio Made It To The List

The year 2020 was the year of remote learning, and one cannot overlook the importance of assessment tools in this process, both for edtech platforms and academic institutions. That is why Bengaluru-headquartered Solvio, a deeptech education company, is using AI and other related technologies to build a system that digitises, understands and auto-grades handwritten text answers submitted by students. Solvio’s AI tools use computer vision and natural language understanding to comprehend handwritten mathematical expressions, short textual answers, hand-drawn graphs, geometrical shapes and charts. 

Set up in 2019, Solvio started with grading solutions for schools, but the pandemic saw it pivot to APIs for edtech companies. Education companies can subscribe to its B2B SaaS auto-grading APIs, pay a fixed fee every month for a specific number of requests and then pay an additional amount for every additional API call. The company currently supports assessments for mathematics, science and social sciences in the English language in India, the US, Canada, the UK, Australia and Singapore. Within the next five years, the company aims to support multiple languages such as Hindi, Spanish, Chinese, French, Russian and German, and several curriculums like the NCERT and the Common Core. 

Splitsub

Spiltsub factsheet

Why Splitsub Made It To The List

In a world of entertainment ruled by OTTs, most people share their Netflix, Amazon Prime or Hotstar subscriptions with at least three relatives/friends. Such is the menace of shared subscription that OTT players are now seeking ways to prevent account sharing. But not everyone finds it worth paying the full amount for services she/he does not use regularly. That is why Delaware-based Splitsub is trying to solve the problem with a group buying app for online subscriptions. Users can share subscriptions (mainly applicable to OTT services) with friends and families to split costs or discover people on the Splitsub platform with whom they can share subscriptions and also track expenses. Users can share more than 25 types of subscriptions on Splitsub.

Set up in 2021, the startup does not sell or manage subscriptions at present. Instead, it helps users discover people for subscription-sharing through Splitsub’s payment-integrated platform. The company is also partnering with OTT service providers to launch group-selling services, which will allow the latter to convert groups of trial users into paying customers. As of now, its revenue comes from commissions on subscriptions. 

Splitsub intends to become an aggregator of online subscriptions for digitally consumed content. And it will start offering these online subscriptions on its platform very soon. This will help the service providers acquire new customers, while Splitsub can provide a cost-effective discovery platform to users.

Technisanct

Technisanct factsheet

Why Technisanct Made It To The List

Opting for cybersecurity measures is an essential investment for businesses that depend entirely on the internet to reach their clients. Keeping in mind the requirements of digital-age companies, Bengaluru-based Technisanct has developed a proprietary SaaS-based and AI-powered digital risk monitoring platform called Integrite. The system enables brands to identify exposures and digital risks even from non-conventional threats at an early stage, helping reduce gaps in threat management and bringing down security incidents. Major features of Integrite include 24×7 monitoring of deep/dark web, credit/debit cards, assets and credential leaks.

Started in 2018, Technisanct is a bootstrapped company and its three founders, Nandakishore Harikumar, Rakesh Aikkara and Dinson David Kurian, have devised an operational road map for the next eight months when the product’s enterprise version will be live. However, the company is looking to raise $400K to scale its sales team to expand across Asian markets.

Transak

transak factsheet

Why Transak Made It To The List

Founded in 2019, Transak is a platform that streamlines buying and selling of cryptocurrencies and allows mainstream users and businesses to access crypto and blockchain. Need we detail any further why it is on the list? London-based Transak’s fiat-to-crypto payment gateway empowers both novices and enthusiasts and enables easy purchase, sale and trading of cryptocurrencies. 

More importantly, users can forget their worries about the complicated operations of blockchain applications. Transak users can buy crypto using bank transfers, debit/credit cards, wallets and other payments apps available worldwide as the startup’s payment gateway is integrated with the fiat payments methods. To make things simpler for the uninitiated, the company calls itself the ‘Razorpay of Cryptocurrency’.

In spite of the recent controversies regarding crypto, Transak is focussing on its India expansion. The company is hiring talented engineers and managers in the country to oversee India operations. For the long term, it wants to expand into more countries, making Transak the go-to payment gateway for all crypto transactions. It is currently operational in 60+ countries and looking to consolidate its expansion by the end of 2021.

Unotag

Unotag factsheet

Why Unotag Made It To The List

If the previous decade evolved around productivity monitoring tools, the current one would be about SaaS investments in employees’ productivity enhancement tools, given the remote working environment triggered by the pandemic. So, Bengaluru-based Unotag has come up with a solution that can be used to motivate people, recognise their achievements and incentivise them further using gamification.

Unotag was started in 2019 and its SaaS solution can be  integrated with most CRMs like HubSpot and Zoho and ERP systems like SAP and QuickBooks. It will go live in less than a week and will have a per-user pricing model. The company uses sales contests like Fantasy Premier League, Sales Olympics, World War of Sales and Diwali Tambola to ensure employees remain engaged and motivated.

The startup is planning to scale its product to 1 Mn+ sales professionals in India from the current 300,000) across sectors like insurance, pharma and finance. The long-term goal is to start and scale its operations in the US to reach 200,000 users and 2,000+ small and medium companies.

Vitra.ai

Vitra.ai factsheet

Why Vitra.ai Made It To The List

Be it education, entertainment, commerce or web surfing, content, especially audio-visual content, is increasingly driving value. But such content needs subtitles, dubbing and captions to reach a wider audience. Globally, this market is estimated to reach $466 Mn by 2026 and Bengaluru-based Vitra.ai is tapping into the opportunity by translating videos and podcasts (dubbing) into 50+ languages with the help of AI and deep learning models. 

Founded in 2020, the company offers a slew of solutions, including video translation, transcription and subtitling; audiobook and podcast translation, noise separation and speech-to-text and text-to-speech conversion. Vitra has a subscription-based pricing model in place to cater to content creators, edtech and media companies among others. 

Set up in 2020, the startup aims to add more languages and industry verticals to its suite of services. It is also working on certain core speech synthesis features to analyse and emulate human emotions in AI-powered voices.

Wingman

Wingman factsheet

Why Wingman Made It To The List

As many businesses now operate remotely to cope with the new normal, sales teams have a tough time training people, monitoring them and assessing their performances. That is why Bengaluru- and US-based Wingman, with its real-time sales coaching solutions, has caught our attention. The SaaS startup joins real-life sales calls to record, transcribe and analyse them and provide actionable insights that help companies improve their deal win rates, sales processes and playbooks.

Founded in 2018, Wingman has come up with several features to help managers get better visibility into their sales teams’ performances, especially suffering due to the remote working situation. Today, managers can use Wingman to understand the health of their deal pipeline and will also get alerted when targets are affected. The startup claims that it has helped its clients’ revenues grow fourfold in the past six months.

In the short term, this B2B SaaS company plans to work closely with businesses and evangelists to build a helpful and high-performing sales community. In the long term, it hopes to become an industry leader in guided selling.

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