Inc42 has curated a list of 30 early-stage startups, founded after 2018, that have shown the most promise in the past few months
Edtech continues to rule the roost this month as well with 8 out of the 30 startups operating in the sector
Enterprise tech has also been grabbing the limelight and many startups in the space have consistently featured in this series. 7 out of 30 startups in this month's list operate in this sector
The economy has seemingly reopened its doors and after months of layoffs, tech startups and companies in most sectors have also started to recruit to prepare for the months ahead. Just a few months ago, many startups had pivoted to new business models such as catering to small businesses, solving digital payments hurdles and going directly to consumers and today they have become the norm or the hot areas of tech development. Venture capitalists have also shifted gears and are looking for innovative models that fit well into the new-normal.
Our list of 30 startups for October includes companies that have been forerunners of new business models and some that have survived or helped companies survive through the crisis. These early-stage startups are developing solutions to cater to the new and emerging needs in the Indian market as well as the global tech ecosystem, given the worldwide disruption.
30 Startups To Watch: October 2020
With schools still stuck edtech continues to find many takers. From regular classes, there also seems to be a demand for platform offering or aggregating after-school activities.
In our list for October 2020, eight out of 30 startups operate in edtech, with startups from the enterprise tech sector, which has gained prominence after the pandemic, also standing out among the crowd. The two other major sectors are fintech and agritech, contributing five and three startups respectively to our list.
So without further adieu, here is the Inc42 Plus list of 30 startups to watch out for in October 2020. Keep an eye out on these startups in the months to come.
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 Agrix Made It To The List
Agritech as a sector is fast gaining momentum. Many sub-segments within the sector are likely to gain more prominence in the post-pandemic world. One such segment is farming as a service (FaaS).
Patna-based agritech startup Agrix also operates in this sub-segment and provides solutions including machinery rental along with agri-inputs, supply digital farm management, market linkage and affiliate farming. The startup promotes smart, digital farming while providing complete mentorship support to the farmers to enable this shift. It aims to usher in the age of “Agriculture 4.0” where technologies such as computer vision, big data, and IoT sensors are used to modify farming in new ways.
Agrix leverages a cluster-based model to manage these operations efficiently. In the long term, it plans to build digital platforms and backends featuring data-driven farm management systems, demand predictions, and supply chain optimizations, and image-based plant phenomics.
Why Avalon Meta Made It To The List
Capitalising on the new opportunities in the edtech sector, Avalon Meta allows students to learn digital skills such as coding, marketing, finance, game development, sales. The Avalon Meta app allows students to learn digital skills through industry-grade course content for free, a virtual campus with voice rooms and chat rooms and Pro Leagues, a paid offering where students subscribe to a mentor with live weekly grading and a project-based approach to learning. The premium tier also includes access to a full job placement network from Jobspire.
A student can gradually build up their abilities in the Pro Leagues and create a customized virtual college. “At my last company, a tech recruitment platform, I worked with 1500 recruiters including Uber and Swiggy. I realised that the quality of fresher talent in India is poor,” said Varun Mayya, cofounder, Avalon Meta.
He added that in 2019, he and his cofounder introduced a new segment into Instagram, the rise of the educational influencer. The Avalon Meta app quickly scaled to 50K users within two months of launch. “Our virtual campus on Discord has one of the largest retention rates, 90% retention and 27 minutes per user per day. Most other platforms forget this, but learning is a partly social process. Without the ability to make friends and find like-minded project groups, the student often fails to learn how to build and work in a team,” Mayya added.
Why BASIC Made It To The List
India’s fintech companies have been streamlining the conventional lending processes with innovative business models across categories that have yet to be digitised. Fintech startup BASIC is developing an automated platform for home loans to provide consumers with end-to-end fulfillment through technology for faster loan disbursements. Competing with EasyHomeFinance, the startup aims to make home loans stress-free, quick and basic for the low-income and middle-class India.
The startup is looking to grow on the back of its partnerships with leading home loan lenders in India and a strong tech stack that it claims automates every aspect of the lending process including sourcing and distribution. Besides this, it follows a ‘phygital’ approach, wherein BASIC technology is run on advisor networks to boost reach and address digital loan needs.
The startup has an asset-light business model and aims to penetrate the tier 2, tier 3 cities to serve the current underserved customers looking to buy an affordable home. On the business front, BASIC is looking to cross $60 Mn loan disbursals in the first year of operations.
Why Digitap Made It To The List
Rationalising expenses and costs is a high priority for most enterprises these days. API-based SaaS product maker Digitap is looking to give business clients the flexibility of pay-per-use for its API finance services.
While most SaaS startups focus on a one-time licensing fee or minimum monthly billing, Digitap’s USP lies in its ability to help companies manage expenditure and keep fixed operational expenses to almost zero.
The startup’s current focus primarily is to cater to the banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) and fintech industry, however, it claims that its products are viable for sectors like security and surveillance, recruitment, real estate among others.
Bengaluru-based Digitap executes digital customer onboarding journeys, both app and web-based, across various OS and digital credit underwriting mechanisms through its artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) based alternate data solutions. Its onboarding solutions include modules for instant KYC verifications, video KYC, e-signing of documents, regular payment set-ups and AI-driven user fraud checks. Its alternate data solutions include customer profiling and income analysis through device data; user ecom footprint analysis; and a bank statement reader.
Since July 2020, the startup claims to have added four to five clients every month and its clientele include BFSI startups and companies such as Kreditbee, Navi Technologies, Motilal Oswal, Faircent, Lendbox among others.
Why Examarly Made It To The List
Managing the entire cycle of test preparation from the discovery of exams to finally attempting the exam with a heavy focus on planning and managing the entire process can be a hectic task manually. To resolve the same, Examarly is building a product to help aspirants discover exams according to eligibility, making a consolidated plan for multiple exams, revision, managing and making the entire prep more efficient.
Before launching Examarly, cofounder Nishant Shukla spent six years preparing for different competitive exams and also kept discussing the challenges in the journey with fellow aspirants. The realisation was that competitive exams need much more than just content.
The startup claims to have onboarded more than 100 campus ambassadors across geographies. It plans to launch an app by mid-November this year.
Why Foxmula Made It The List
The inability of educational institutions to equip students with industry-oriented skills has opened up new opportunities for edtech startups. Foxmula is tapping into the increased need for skill-based teaching by creating a one-stop platform for students to learn industry-oriented skills, acquire global certifications, and grab industrial internships through its e-learning programmes. Furthermore, it also offers guaranteed job programmes with pay after placement model for learners.
For businesses, Foxmula extends its services to provide offshoring, outsourcing, and remote/direct hiring of tailor trained workforce. “When we started, we were engineering students and the issues we faced made us realise that students were too engaged in dealing with academic curriculums that they forgot to explore growing and cutting edge technologies. There were tonnes of unexplored domains that students didn’t have time to explore. Who knows who could be great at something naturally and he/she never even comes around it,” said Ayush Bansal, cofounder, Foxmula.
Since March 2020, Foxmula claims to have gained 7K+ new users. The immediate plan for the startup is to strengthen its user services further by introducing new domains and by implementing AI in the learning process along with 24*7 teaching assistance and discussions.
Why Fyllo Made It The The List
Since the last four or five years, India’s agritech startups have been able to help farmers produce more efficiently using technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), AI, data analytics, and remote sensing. With an uptick in the adoption of such technologies by farmers recently, there seems to be scope for further innovations and newer business models.
Bengaluru-based Fyllo helps farmers take on-farm decisions using data. It installs an IoT device at a farm that contains an array of data. The startup collects data from below the soil, near crop canopy and above the crop. This data is then combined with data from various other sources. With these data points, the startup’s ML and agronomy models help farmers with decisions like precise irrigation, disease and pests, live weather and predictions and fertigation.
Additionally, farmers get all the decision points and live data on their mobile app in the vernacular language. The startup claims to have increased production by 25 percent and at 20 percent less cost on Fyllo managed farms. In the process, the company claims, it has saved 70+ Mn litres of water till now.
Currently focussed on horticulture crops, the startup wants to provide more solutions by going deep in the selected crops. Parallelly, it is also building software for other ecosystem players like exporters, corporate farming companies, insurance players using the same data.
Why GoodGamer Made It The List
Companies such as Dream11 and MPL have grown exponentially in the last four years. Tapping into the massive opportunity due to the rising popularity of online gaming and the increase in mobile device users in rural areas in India is GoodGamer, a Bengaluru-based fantasy sports and esports gaming platform with cricket, football and CS:GO.
The platform earns revenue by holding contests across sport and esports categories. The fee ranges between 10-20% depending on the size of the pot and the match type. “India has over 900 Mn cricket fans and over 700 Mn internet subscribers, second only to China. We also saw the rise in popularity of esports in India and in North America. I followed DraftKing’s debut on the Nasdaq and it was wildly successful. It was one of the few stocks that continued to climb, which made our team realize that online gaming will dominate the industry as more people stay home and have less to do,” said Charlo Barbosa, cofounder, GoodGamer.
The company claims to have hit 250K registered users recently and has also launched specialised fantasy cricket contests. The startup’s goal is to become a skill-based, real money app store platform where publishers interested in monetising their apps can come onboard.
“We will run all contests and tournaments for them. What we particularly love about this model is users are able to play games 24/7, unlike cricket where the daily matches are limited and the season lasts for only a couple of months,” Barbosa added.
Why Hobspace Made It The List
While learning had to be moved completely online after the schools got shut early this year, extracurricular activities were completely stopped for most children. The first focus for most parents in India was to make the shift to online schools smooth and easy for the children. Thus, most of the extracurricular activities had come to a complete stop.
However, since the last few months, there is an uptick in the number of parents opting for virtual classes for out-of-school activities such as dance classes, chess, yoga and others as well. Tapping into this opportunity, Hobspace offers a one-stop-solution for out-of-school activities for children between the age group of 3-14 years.
The startup aims to provide a holistic learning experience for children moving from the typical reading, writing, arithmetic to “communication, collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, and citizenship”. As education is shifting from rote learning to more experiential and cognitive models, Hobspace is looking to cater to the all-round development of kids.
The online platform offers various categories for activities such as dance, music, mental agility, fitness, verbal ability, music, STEAM learning, language learning among others.
Why HOP Financials Made It The List
With a majority of banking systems in India around a decade old, there is a need for technological intervention to streamline the process. “They are branch-based, in-person and involve extensive paperwork. There is also a lack of transparency and an inherent distrust with the banks. The banking system is in dire need of an overhaul,” said Mayank Goyal, cofounder, HOP Financials, a startup which is building a mobile-first digital banking solution with a cross-border angle.
The startup claims that everything can be done on the app using HOP’s ‘One global account, one global card.’ Customers can apply for an account through the app, they are then onboarded using digital KYC and instantly issued a multi-currency account and virtual card.
The app enables customers to conduct all the day-to-day banking activities such as save, invest, borrow and spend. “You can conduct on-demand 0% mark-up currency exchange by clicking a few buttons on the app. You can use either the virtual card on the app to transact using NFC or a contactless physical card to pay at POS, withdraw money or use for online transactions,” Goyal added. The HOP card basically acts like an amalgamation of debit, credit and FX card.
The primary financial instrument around which the solution is designed is the savings account. The rest of the elements are satellites around it. The savings account has two components: the expenditure account and the Smart Savers’ account. The expenditure account is where all monthly spending amount is held and is linked to the spending instruments (QR, virtual card and physical card) while the Smart Savers’ account is where any amount over and above a predefined threshold is swept in.
Why Inspektlabs Made It To The List
Using emerging automation technologies to optimise business processes has become a necessity for companies in every sector. Inspektlabs is a computer vision technology platform focussed on the automation of inspections of any physical asset using photos and videos. The company’s current focus is on automating car inspections for automotive and insurance players.
“With our technology, any customer can capture a 360° video of a car using a smartphone, and within a few seconds, we respond back with an inspection report, for instance, dent on front door, claim value etc,” said Devesh Trivedi, the company’s cofounder.
The startup has an API-based product wherein it charges the clients on a pre-inspection basis. One inspection could have one video of a car, or 8-20 photos of a car.
The company’s current focus is on automating car inspections for automotive and insurance players. “Every time a physical asset changes hands, there is a need to perform inspection on the asset for any damages. Our goal is to automate inspection on any physical item that changes hands,” Trivedi added.
In the long term, the deeptech startup plans to launch products for the automation of cellphones, motorbike, truck, pipes and ship inspections.
Why Kaze Living Made It The List
While urban farming has been popular in developed nations for more than a decade, it is gaining prominence in India only now. Hydroponics or soil-less farming is one such sub-segment of urban farming that is being looked at as a sustainable farming technique. Kaze Living partners with hydroponic farms to provide the technical expertise, farming inputs, and a platform to sell their produce.
The startup’s online store provides a curated selection of safe, fresh and pesticide-free food to consumers’ doorsteps. At its core, the startup is developing an expertise sharing and analytics platform that consolidates over 100 data points around crop cycles, inputs, micro-climate, etc. from all its partner farms. It will soon leverage crop sciences and AI to improve production protocols and make soilless farming increasingly cost-effective in India.
“Excessive pesticides, illegal GMOs and food wastage is almost unavoidable in India. We want to solve this problem, starting out by scaling pesticide-free soil-less hydroponic farms around cities and bringing the freshest produce straight from the farm to the consumers’ doorsteps within three hours,” said Anisha Goel, cofounder, Kaze Living.
Founded in Delhi in January 2020, last month Kaze clocked 1250 orders. The startup claims to be growing at 40% month-on-month with 67% monthly retention.
Why LamdaBlocks Made It To The List
The disruption caused in the supply chain after the pandemic has led to an increased need for innovative solutions. LambdaBlocks provides blockchain services and solutions for challenges being faced in the supply chain especially in the manufacturing and pharma Industries.
“At LambdaBlocks we envision our customer who is a manufacturer ensures that his customer gets their genuine products and recognises legitimate claims in the return process, thus maximising his sales,” said Ramesh K J, cofounder, LamdaBlocks.
LambdaBlocks’ trailLedger is a B2B SaaS-based traceability solution that leverages blockchain, AI & IoT and is currently focused on pharma, OEM & agro, or food industries. The startup plans to soon build a decision making engine to have strong business intelligence and going ahead plans to continue focussing on the same sectors and become the leader in the vertical.
Why Niivo Made It To The List
Building a SaaS platform to provide high-quality financial services across asset classes to customers, Niivo uses the latest communication and reporting modules to communicate effectively, manage client and intermediary operations across workflows, use behavioral and investment analytics to provide insights to businesses. It also offers value-added services on top of its SaaS product to allow intermediaries to generate higher revenue and save costs for end clients.
The company also offers an app for the end client which allows them to monitor investments, communicate with intermediaries and generate reports & execute transactions.
Originally a B2C company, Niivo pivoted to B2B wealth management and financial services given the changing regulatory and competitive landscape. The absence of a real leader in the B2B space along with a differentiated product, attracted the founders to the category.
Niivo has been incubated by Afthonia Lab since January 2020 and its mentor panel has allowed it to expand its team size and push for faster growth. It is also working with subject matter experts on the insurance side to catalyze its journey into the multi-asset space.
Why Notebook Made It To The List
For over a decade, online learning solutions have been offered to students. However, despite them being around, many students, particularly in rural areas, still remain to be served. Notebook was born out of this need-gap, where digital enablement of education had to be reimagined.
Notebook offers an after-school learning product, using which students and teachers can access video lessons for each topic from their school syllabus. The startup specialises in the creation of high-quality video content tailored to the school curriculum and then making it available for classroom teaching for the teachers, as well as for after-school learning by students on their personal devices.
With a vision to leverage technology to make quality education universally accessible, Notebook offers device-agnostic streaming of the videos, which are produced in English as well as in vernacular-aided bilingual formats. Through innovation in commercial models, Notebook bridges gaps in language, affordability and accessibility in the online learning space. With over 10K proprietary learning videos, it has also been engaged by various organisations in India and abroad to develop bespoke learning content for them.
The company currently has around 1.7 Mn users, consisting of not only students but also a large number of teachers and parents. One of the unique features it offers is augmented storytelling, wherein it uses a storytelling format augmented with rich illustrations to inspire imagination that enhances cognitive skills. The objective is to educate, not merely entertain.
Why PakkaProfile Made It To The List
India’s blue-collar workforce makes up a sizable population of around 400 Mn and is growing fast given the lack of jobs in the formal sector. However, there hasn’t been an effective solution to date to capture enough data points of this workforce nor a platform to serve their employment needs.
To fill in this gap, PakkaProfile offers an on-demand platform for gig jobs for blue and grey collar workforce. It brings together employers and the pre-assessed workforce on the same platform and facilitates the right fitment. With the use of vernacular games, PakkaProfile is able to collect data points on the workforce which is not very linguistically competent and helps employers understand more about its workforce on personality traits. It operates on two models earning revenue through assessment and through commissions for recruitment.
The startup is using gamification through personality, cognitive and language tests to capture more data points of workers and to create profiles that will help them send out key signals to employers. The company aims to make gig economy and blue collar jobs more accessible and ease the challenges in unorganised recruitment in this space.
Why Profit.Co Made It The List
Bastin Gerald was working in the San Francisco Bay Area for twenty years practising objectives and key results (OKRs) software in tech giants like Oracle when he saw first-hand that companies were struggling to implement OKR software. They were using spreadsheets or cumbersome software and adoption was a challenge.
To resolve this, he started Profit.co in 2018. The Madurai-headquartered startup offers OKR software that can be used by all types of organizations, from Fortune 500 companies to startups, for achieving their goals. Simple to onboard and use, the Profit.co SaaS offering comes with over 300 metrics and allows businesses to define their own custom metrics with ease, the Profit.Co cofounder said.
The startup recently acquired 50+ global clients and further plans to accelerate its growth strategy to add enterprise clients globally. It aims for 8X growth in the next three years and expand its customer success initiatives to increase adoption and grow in its current enterprise clients.
Why ReNEWate Made It The List
Targetting the real estate segment, which is expected to bounce back in the next few months, ReNEWate offers solutions for renovation contractors, property improvement professionals and agencies to manage their business digitally. The SaaS product converts requests into confirmed projects faster, helps manage them more efficiently, get information on latest material trends and close the transaction loop by accepting digital payments and dramatically improving the cash flows of the target base.
ReNEWate’s product comes packed with latest in AR and AI, all with native language support bridging the skill gap and powering a new digital age for property improvement professionals and contractors.
The startup claims to allow multiple easy-to-use features that enable professionals to automate certain processes like documentation, measurements, estimation and invoicing. The technology, the company says, is used by contractors, designer companies, decor shop owners and others, and has empowered them to understand technology to improve sales cycles, manage their business better and substantially increase their revenue.
Why SAWO Labs Made It To The List
Looking to create an OTP-less and password-less digital ecosystem, SAWO or Secured Authentication Without OTP offers a SaaS-based one-tap authentication service. Leveraging the SSL (secure sockets layer) of MongoDB and the FIDO protocol, SAWO provides password and OTP-less authentication services across the web, cloud, on-premises applications, VPNs, and remote access gateways.
Incepted in 2020 during the mass digital migration, the platform provides customer-centric, standardised, and device-based verification by replacing login passwords and OTPs with one-tap authentication.
SAWO focusses on three aspects including security, cost-effectiveness and convenience. The platform does not require businesses to migrate to a new authentication process. It streamlines their current process with end-to-end encryption, thereby ensuring complete autonomy of data with respective companies.
The platform is currently developing OTP-less and password-less express checkout experience for ecommerce customers. It offers plugins on Wix, Shopify, Woocommerce and other marketplaces for D2C brands as well.
Why Sharedpro Made It The List
One of the major challenges faced by the Indian IT sector is the underutilisation of employees wherein around 15% of employees sit on the bench without any work. Vadodara-based Sharedpro fills this gap wherein companies having employees on the bench shares these resources with other companies who are looking to hire employees on contract without exchanging the payroll.
This not only ensures a flexible employment model for the companies but also a steady and safe future for the employees. This model also helps participating companies to upskill their employees as they work on diverse projects in the industry while gaining more exposure. In the last quarter, Sharedpro claims to have helped partner companies to realise INR 1.1 Cr worth of savings while providing a great alternative to layoffs in tough times for companies.
With companies moving away from traditional jobs in search of more flexible employment models, Sharedpro’s sharing model of employment is turning out to be very interesting. The startup plans to add 500 SMBs and enterprise-level IT companies in the next 12 months.
Why StayQrious Made It The List
Cashing in on the growing trend of coding for children in India, StayQrious’s first offering is a coding class for students aged 8-14, focussed on the foundations of coding as well as an integrated curriculum that covers core STEM topics in math and sciences.
The StayQrious digital learning environment is based on principles of cognitive science and behavioral economics. “By combining best-in-class content from India’s top instructors with small-group, learning-coach-led classes, we are pioneering a unique hybrid approach to online learning. With a major focus on experiential learning, social thinking and applicability, the team’s mission is to drive a major overhaul of the existing education system to prepare students for 21st century success,” cofounder Anand Srinivas said.
The startup’s product basis is assessing student strengths and then creating personalised learning goals. “We keep testing their progress and move them ahead based on their mastery of concepts. Students can take as much time as they need with our videos and learning activities. By requiring them to answer open-ended questions, teach each other and give feedback, we train students to think and communicate better. Our learning coaches encourage them, give them personal feedback, and teach them effective learning habits, all of which create a love for learning,” he added.
The startup recently built a powerful tool for its coaches where they can track the progress of children and measure their learning and mastery. The company claims to have a 90% retention over the last six months.
Why Superlative Gaming Made It The List
The gaming market stands at a cliffhanger with doors wide open for disruptive propositions. Founded in 2018, Superlative Gaming, aims to ride the wave with a plan to launch a product that adds value to gamers in the real money gaming space and an interactive platform for gamers.
The key driver in the Indian gaming market was the proliferation of low-cost smartphones. But there are challenges and obstacles in the growth path such as limited local games activation, monetisation of gamers. Looking to improve the penetration of gamer-related solutions beyond the professional set, and targeting mass recreational gamers, the startup is run by experienced professionals in the gaming space.
“Recreational gamers’ contribution to the gaming ecosystem in comparison to benefits reaped is skewed in favour of the professionals, be it in terms of ease of usage, skill development or capacity to win the rewards on offer,” said Pushkin Saxena, cofounder, Superlative Gaming.
The startup is looking to drive recreational gaming volumes by creating new models for retention drivers and rewards frameworks that are geared towards casual or non-professional players. Its first product PokerNXT, which will be launched later this year, is said to be the market validation of the technology catering to mass user bases. The long term plan for the company is to take gaming to masses, not through marketing, but a combination of technology and the right value proposition to promote engagement.
Why Supplynote Made It To The List
SupplyNote provides a Cloud-based web and mobile-enabled suite connecting restaurant outlets, service providers and suppliers. It offers three segments of services. One, a cloud-based software for managing inventory, procurement, and production, which helps restaurants monitor the inventory as per the average requirement of the outlet thus, avoiding any sort of wastage and reducing the cost of operations.
Two, warehouse and logistics solutions, which would address logistics requirements for the business and third ecommerce which will take care of the day-to-day requirements of the food businesses like procuring material, groceries and connecting with the right suppliers can be managed through this one platform.
The startup aims to achieve an overall transaction worth $100 Mn in the next 24 months. To achieve the same, it is aggressively working on the client acquisition and also on widening its seller base to ensure the holistic growth of the platform. The ultimate goal is to provide its solution at a global level and digitally transform the supply chain for the food and beverage industry.
Why Svami Drinks Made It To The List
Since the last few months, ecommerce has been growing at a higher rate than ever before and online shopping has become the norm. And now, brands are also taking charge vertically by going the direct-to-consumer route.
More and more brands are realising the importance of shortening the multiple links in the supply chain such as suppliers, manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors and retailers and want to reach consumers directly.
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 soda and has just launched a ready to drink line of products, including a non-alcoholic Rum & Cola and non-alcoholic Gin & Tonic. Svami is building a diverse portfolio of products catering to both, people who drink and no not drink alcohol.
Based in Mumbai, the startup plans to penetrate deeper into Indian cities and also become a global brand with products that can be on any shelf anywhere in the world.
Why Tarrakki Made It To The List
Looking to carve a niche in the wealth management sub-sector, Tarrakki advises individuals to strategically invest their wealth and income in a variety of asset classes. It tackles customer challenges such as complicated investment options, mediocre or outdated advisory services, and unbalanced asset allocation.
The startup claims to have a team of driven investment experts with extensive experience in portfolio handling, equity advisory, and financial planning. Tarrakki is a SEBI Registered investment advisor, and a bank grade secure transaction portal.
Its wealth management product offers goal-based investing, expert equity advisory, expert mutual fund advisory, thematic Investments, investment strategies and smart advisory services with human touch. According to the startup, its USP is the “Tarrakki Zyaada” feature, which provides a mutual fund investment-linked visa debit card providing users instant liquidity from their mutual fund investment at any visa POS (online and offline) or ATM in India. The startup claims that Tarrakki Zyaada is an alternative to savings bank accounts and fixed deposits, offering higher returns thanks to the unique approach.
Why Teacherr Made It To The List
With edtech gaining prominence, there is an increased interest shown by startups towards training teachers and helping schools find the right talent for online classes. Teacherr is a professional network for K-12 teachers allowing them to take up developmental courses to upskill themselves, find jobs and other growth opportunities, and network with their peers.
Currently, Teacherr is a global community with teachers from nine countries on the platform. The startup’s business model is two-faced. One is training, where the team conducts teacher training and offers certification courses on the platform. There are five areas that it specifically focuses on including digital teaching, innovative subject-specific pedagogy, communication skills, management skills and job-specific training.
Secondly, the startup enables schools and edtech companies to find the best teaching talent. The startup claims to have trained 8K+ teachers over the last few months and helped 100+ schools and edtech companies to date. Teacherr aims to grow to 500K K-12 teachers by 2021 and once it achieves scale, it would allow teachers to take up tutoring opportunities directly on the platform.
Why Tekie Made It To The List
With coding lessons gaining prominence, various new models and takes have emerged in this edtech sub-sector.
Tekie is a live coding platform for kids where learning meets storytelling. While most competing platforms are teaching students block-based programming which means students drag and drop functions to build a logical sequence of commands, Tekie claims to attempt to teach students the fundamentals of text-based programming, which is to write actual coding language syntax.
“Our solution is a long-format animated educational series of 39 episodes to teach the basics of programming with a super intuitive coding platform that has an inbuilt code simulator, workbooks, projects, and a mentor to clarify all the doubts on the go and to help students analyse algorithms,” said Naman Mukund, cofounder, Tekie.
The startup operates on a platform model wherein teachers are paid on a per-class basis. Its live classes are offered in multiple variations. While 1:1 classes cost about INR 28K (INR 728 per class), 1:2 classes are priced at INR 17K (INR 450 per class), and 1:3 classes at INR 12K (INR 320 per class). The mentors are primarily fresh engineering graduates or students pursuing engineering degrees so they can offer a practical picture of the course to students and throughout the course.
“We’re an amalgamation of synchronous and asynchronous learning as less than 10% of students in this segment are self-learners. It took us three years to develop the product and most of it is just rework/iterations/revamp based on student feedback,” Mukund added.
The startup launched its beta in July 2020 and currently has 100+ paid users with an NPS of 85% and a conversion rate of 25% from trial to premium classes. The immediate plan for the startup is to scale its existing user base without diluting its student experience and constantly keep enhancing the product.
Why TREAD Made It To The List
Just like other industries, the fitness industry is also making the digital shift. Capitalising on the need to manage fitness from home, TREAD offers a one-stop platform that aims to drum up support and growth under the government’s Fit India initiative.
“Our mission is to bring holistic and challenging workouts in a more accessible, affordable, and efficient way within a product catering to specific needs of the community of fitness enthusiasts that the current products available in the market overlook. We aim to encourage people to practice fitness anytime anywhere, creating a fitness routine and engraving exercise as a part of their daily lifestyle with minimal resources, time and money,” said cofounder Dinesh Godara.
Its range of services includes an interactive platform for the fitness community on app and web, where it offers yoga, strength, cardio, and running led by different sets of trainers, instructors and/or fitness experts. It also provides live online training sessions where trainers can work one-on-one with trainees and advise them on maximising their workouts.
Besides personal trainers, TREAD also provides customers with custom fitness schedules based on their fitness goals along with a timeline — its trainers are from India and a few other countries. The app also allows users to track real-time energy score and create personalised dashboards for effective workout analysis. With some free services, TREAD is banking on subscription for revenue and users can opt for monthly or annual subscription plans.
Why TurboHire Made It To The List
The job market is in complete flux and startups are looking to tap into every possible way they can intervene to enable businesses to cope with the challenge of finding skilled hires and recruitment process automation. TurboHire’s B2B SaaS product claims to enable better and faster decisions at enterprises in relation to recruiting talent.
Built on three pillars, the product allows recruiters and companies to build intelligent recruitment processes without getting into manual verification and sourcing.
The first pillar is a multi-channel sourcing engine that helps recruiter source candidates via job boards, social media and more, while utilising AI and proctored assessments to narrow down to the best candidates. Secondly, an automated interviewing platform for conducting group and panel interviews helps build robust stakeholder collaboration during the evaluation stage. Lastly, an applicant tracking and vendor management system helps companies create a structured and collaborative hiring process by streamlining data from various sources.
“Enterprises receive a lot of candidate CVs every year and 70% of their jobs are also repeated over time. However, recruiters only open 20 of every 100 CVs received for jobs. Enterprises don’t have a way to find candidates from their large candidate databases for every job,” said Abhishek Kabra, cofounder, TurboHire.
The above problem is due to the unstructured data of candidates and jobs and the talent industry is suffering because of manual and tedious processing of this unstructured and non-standard data. In terms of revenue streams, the SaaS product has adopted a per-license approach for pricing.
Why Verve Renewables Made It To The List
With stubble burning expected to rise in the next few months contributing severely to air pollution and energy wastage, state and central governments will have a greater focus on technology to solve these challenges as human resources are stretched in the current pandemic. While other startups have also looked to recycle farm stubble, Verve Renewables is looking to tap into the clean energy wave with its end-to-end farm-to-boiler biomass solutions.
The bioenergy company acts as a robust bridge between farmers and energy producers focussing on the facilitation and delivery of biomass-based energy. The startup aims to establish a one platform mechanism for procurement, processing and provision of high-quality biomass or agro-waste that meets the required parameters for the power producers.
In 2019-20, the startup managed to collect and process a whopping 75K tonnes of paddy straw and is targeting 150K tonnes of stubble in 2020. Apart from this, the startup has also mobilised a considerable number of contractors and farmers from the states of Haryana and Punjab. Verve Renewables is also planning to get more cooperative power generation plants on board to create more income opportunities for farmers in Haryana and Punjab.
So, that’s our 30 Startups watchlist for this month. Inc42+ members can access our picks for the past eight months here. To nominate a startup or suggest a name for us to check out, please email at [email protected].