One-third of the startups in this month’s cohort are bootstrapped, with a mere five startups having raised more than $1 Mn since their incorporation
Another recurring theme playing out within the early-stage startup ecosystem appears to be the B2B shift, a segment that is loaded with high-ticket billing
Continuing our tradition of identifying some of the most pathbreaking startups every month, we bring you 30 startups that caught our attention in November
The Indian startup ecosystem has been on a rollercoaster ride since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, oscillating between exhilarating highs and disheartening lows.
While the initial years of the pandemic were marked by a massive capital influx, the prolonged funding winter, since 2022, has forced many startups to re-evaluate their strategies and adapt to the changing landscape.
Indian startups managed to raise a mere $7 Bn in funding between January and September 2023, a figure even lower than the $8 Bn that they secured during the corresponding period way back in 2020.
Needless to say, startup funding has reverted to pre-pandemic levels, and this, according to investors, is the new normal. Amid the current scheme of things, bootstrapping appears to have emerged as a major undercurrent within the world’s third-largest startup ecosystem. Focused on innovation and customer-centricity, a new breed of more resilient and frugal homegrown ventures are carving their niche in the startup ecosystem.
It is this resourcefulness that forms the core of the 42nd edition of Inc42’s 30 Startups To Watch, as a third of this month’s cohort is bootstrapped. More so, a mere five startups have raised more than $1 Mn in funding.
This trend mirrors the fact that the country’s new-age ventures are shedding their reliance on VC and PE capital, a lesson that almost every investor wants Indian startup founders to learn. Well, better late than never!
Moving on, another recurring theme playing out within the early-stage startup ecosystem appears to be the B2B shift, a segment that is loaded with high-ticket billing. Continuing our tradition of identifying some of the most pathbreaking startups every month, we bring you 30 startups that caught our attention in November.
Editor’s Note: The list below is not a ranking of any kind. We have listed the startups alphabetically.
Helping You Start Your Fitness Journey
Founded in 2015 by Pratik Saraogi, Tushar Patil, and Dr Ateeb Shaikh, Actofit helps individuals track the progress of their healthcare journey. The startup offers smartwatches, smart scales, chest straps, continuous glucose monitors (CGM) and smart rings, along with a companion app that offers deep insights based on data collected by Actofit devices.
The startup’s smart scales use advanced sensors to measure body composition metrics, including weight, body fat percentage, muscle mass, bone density, and visceral fat. These scales sync with the companion app, allowing users to track progress, receive personalised insights and recommendations, and access guidance from a team of personal trainers. The other devices operate, as the label says, with all devices feeding data into the Actofit app for insights.
The Mumbai-based startup primarily makes money from its smart devices and subscription fees for its premium app features. Additionally, the startup generates revenue through partnerships with healthcare providers, corporate wellness programmes, and fitness centres. The company also explores opportunities for data monetisation, leveraging its vast repository of user data to provide valuable insights to research institutions and pharmaceutical companies.
The Scent Of Luxury
Noticing a discernible gap in the Indian luxury body care and perfumes market, Jagrattan Singh Anand and Pravneet Kaur Anand established ANMER London in 2022.
ANMER’s product line includes premium body care offerings such as perfumes, body washes, hand and body hydration, and shower oils. Their formulations, meticulously crafted in the UK, boast clean beauty ingredients. ANMER London’s commitment to sustainability extends beyond its formulations to eco-friendly packaging with recycled materials and refillable glass bottles.
The Delhi NCR-based startup has crafted a revenue model that blends direct-to-consumer (D2C) channels, online marketplaces, offline exhibitions, and potential brand collaborations. With a 70% D2C and 30% marketplace sales ratio, ANMER London ensures a direct and personalised connection with customers while expanding its reach through renowned platforms like Ajio Luxe, Tira Beauty, Amazon, and Flipkart.
As part of its strategic focus for 2024, ANMER London plans to expand its range of fragrances, diversify its product portfolio with body mists and soap bars, and foray into the burgeoning market of home fragrances. By 2026, the brand plans to enter new segments like home and car fragrances, and establish offline stores for a tangible and immersive brand experience. It also has celebrity endorsements on the cards.
India’s First Amphibious Drone
Founded in 2021 by Gouthami T S and Jitendra Kumar Purnmal Saini, AquaAirX has built an AI-powered amphibious drone capable of operating underwater and on land. This feature makes it ideal for offshore search and rescue missions, environmental monitoring, asset monitoring and military operations, among other amphibious applications.
At the heart of AquaAirX lies its groundbreaking multiplane propulsion system, designed to enable the drone to manoeuvre with precision in both air and water. The multiplane propulsion system can transition between media within seconds. The startup also has multiple model options designed for a variety of applications and services, each model being equipped with a customised array of sensors.
While AquaAirX is yet to make its commercial debut, Aeronuts has a clear vision for its future. The company plans to adopt a drone-as-a-service (DAAS) model, partnering with government contractors to provide access to AquaAirX’s capabilities on an as-needed basis.
Smoothies Stirred With Health & Taste
Healthier lifestyle choices often start with food, and it is a general perception that healthy food is tasteless and boring. Founded in 2020 by IIT Delhi graduates Harshita Kejriwal and Karan Dwivedi, Basil resolves this with its tasty health drinks and smoothies.
The healthtech startup offers a selection of 28 drinks through nine locations across Delhi NCR. Basil’s range of refreshers, smoothies, shakes, health-conscious coffee, hot beverages, pressed juices, and other drinks are made with fresh natural ingredients.
The startup claims that there is no added sugar or preservatives in its drinks. Basil also ensures that the drinks are ready to be consumed within five minutes of ordering. Its drinks start at INR 69 and go up to INR 299.
Offering Tailor-Made AI Chatbots
In the ever-advancing universe of AI & ML, Indian chatbots are not exactly setting the best examples. This is because many are being built with pre-programmed responses, resulting in inaccuracies and unhelpful interactions.
After keenly observing the white space in the existing chatbot technologies and what consumers are being offered in the form of AI-driven customer support, Vikas Kookna and Navjot Singh Cheema founded Chatclient.ai this year.
Unlike traditional bots, the Bengaluru-based startup leverages advanced LLMs, enabling instant, autonomous, and personalised customer support. According to the startup’s website, the startup helps businesses create custom AI chatbots based on the company data, just like ChatGPT, and seamlessly integrate it as a widget on their sites.
Operating on a subscription-based SaaS model, Chatclient.ai caters to diverse business needs. The model ensures a steady revenue stream while offering flexibility and scalability to businesses, ranging from startups to large enterprises. Currently operating globally with a focus on English-speaking markets, the technology supports around 95 languages, providing room for future expansion.
In the last three months, the startup claims to have seen a 25% increase in the customer base. In the short term, the startup wants to expand language offerings, improve contextual understanding, and double its customer base. Chatclient.ai’s long-term vision is to enable chatbots to process audio and video inputs and integrate with more platforms.
AI-Driven ESG Solutions
ESG (environmental, social, and governance) reporting is a crucial aspect of performance evaluation for enterprises, especially in the context of climate change and other related issues. However, the intricate process of collecting and analysing data on the environmental impact of a company proves to be challenging. As a result, only a few companies successfully execute ESG reporting, contributing to significant confusion within the industry.
Founded in 2018 by Arun Aggarwal, Pankaj Mathur and Ashish Airon, CogniTensor offers AI-driven solutions focused on ESG compliance and sustainability management.
CogniTensor’s flagship product, Sustain3P, ingeniously combines data analytics, AI insights and performance tracking. The startup’s unique selling proposition (USP) lies in AI-powered analytics, offering energy optimisation, predictive maintenance, and robust ESG reporting. This product addresses key industry needs such as real-time energy management, predictive insights for sustainable practices, and comprehensive ESG compliance reporting.
The revenue model is structured on a subscription basis with tiered pricing, tailored to the unique needs and sizes of client organisations. In the past three months, CogniTensor has onboarded three major corporate clients. In the short term, CogniTensor aims to strengthen its presence in India, initiate operations in the Middle East and augment its AI capabilities for predictive analytics.
Harmonising Data Compliance
Founded in 2023 by Gaurav Mehta, Concur has been incorporated to play a pivotal role in the data protection space. The startup positions itself as a Digital Personal Data Protection Act compliance solution provider and is on a mission to harmonise data protection compliance for digital nagriks.
Concur has its eyes set on safeguarding personal data. Its innovative suite of enterprise solutions is designed to simplify compliance and protect sensitive information, ensuring that businesses and individuals can navigate the complex world of data protection with ease and confidence.
The startup’s solutions encompass automated data discovery, Personally Identifiable Information (PII) categorisation, data lifecycle management, content management, systems integration, and DPO office operations.
With a freemium model, Concur has successfully onboarded seven diverse organisations, ranging from NFBCs to technology enterprises. By 2026, Mumbai-headquartered Concur wants to enter the markets of Saudi Arabia and Brazil.
E-bike Rentals In The Heart Of Kashmir Valley
Despite being a renowned tourism destination and a culturally significant region in India, the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir still needs to improve on the technology and innovation front.
However, Curve Electric aims to disrupt the status quo. Established in Srinagar in 2022 by Sheikh Yameen, the startup introduces a fleet of e-bikes through an extensive rental programme inclusive of maintenance, insurance, and 24/7 support. With 11 strategically placed docking stations across the valley, Curve Electric is dedicated to transforming the local landscape.
Beyond the conventional rental model for individual users, the startup also enables businesses to advertise on their e-bikes, creating an additional revenue stream.
Personalised AI Teacher
Founded in 2023 by Abhishek Verma, Bengaluru-based DoubtClear AI utilises advanced ML and Gen AI models to instantly resolve doubts of students — ranging from third graders to PhD candidates.
The edtech startup claims to be combating the challenges of accessibility and socio-economic disparities in the Indian edtech space by developing scalable solutions that are affordable and cater to diverse learning styles.
Operating on a subscription-based Software as a Service (SaaS) model, users can ask unlimited doubt. Already operational on Android and serving 174 countries in APAC, Europe, and the Americas, the platform is gearing up for an iOS deployment by 2024.
A key highlight of DoubtClear AI’s 2024 roadmap is the customisation of its ML algorithms for specific exam types. DoubtClear AI’s revenue model revolves around monthly and annual subscriptions. The startup has ambitious plans to introduce immersive learning courses by 2026.
The New Way To Own A Second Home
India’s holiday homes market is projected to reach $8 Bn in the next 3-4 years. Amid this, the share of fractional ownership of holiday homes, too, is anticipated to rise to 5% from a mere 1% currently.
Founded in 2021 by Mohit Prem Gupta, Puneet Gupta, Abhishek Madhukar, and Aashish Raj, Equity Address wants to be the key force behind redefining the Indian holiday homes market, making it a compelling choice for investors seeking modern and accessible avenues for real estate investment. This tech-enabled marketplace facilitates co-ownership of second homes, democratising access to this asset class.
The platform seeks to simplify the investment process in second homes, making it more accessible to a broader audience. By allowing fractional ownership, Equity Address tackles the traditional barriers associated with owning holiday homes. The model involves a 5% revenue share on each fraction sold and 3% on fraction re-sale, ensuring a sustainable and mutually beneficial ecosystem.
Equity Address and The Venya are two of its vertically integrated technology platforms. Equity Address offers a modern investment approach, allowing individuals to co-own second homes through a tech-enabled marketplace. Meanwhile, The Venya serves as a global marketplace for luxury vacation home rentals.
The startup has already secured mandates of INR 50 Cr worth of assets in Goa. Looking ahead, the company projects an AUM of INR 100 Cr by 2024 and envisions an AUM of INR 400 Cr by 2026.
Simplifying Last-Mile Deliveries For Businesses
Even though India’s third-party logistics ecosystem comprises a healthy mix of big and small players, issues like limited visibility into fleet operations, inaccurate delivery time estimates and high delivery costs continue to sour the overall customer experience.
Set up in 2021 by Moidu Chandanam, Motilal Keshavdas, Javokhir Vapaev, Nabeel Abdul, and Dattatray Kanaki, Fleetroot has built a logistics SaaS solution that enables enterprises to control their supply chain more efficiently by allowing them to optimise their delivery routes and operations. The startup’1s automated route planner helps businesses save time and money by efficiently managing their delivery fleet.
Fleetroot uses predictive analytics to anticipate delays and disruptions, helping businesses avoid missed deliveries and customer dissatisfaction. The startup further provides real-time tracking of deliveries, allowing businesses to monitor the progress of their shipments and keep their customers informed. Fleetroot’s APIs can integrate with almost all the popular CRM and ERP platforms, enabling businesses to easily get started.
The startup offers its solution for free for the first 14 days, following which users can select any one of the three plans it offers, based on the size of their business and the number of deliveries they expect to make in a given month.
Leveraging Homemakers’ Potential With Micro-Commerce
India’s booming startup ecosystem has created a new wave of women entrepreneurs who are now driving economic growth. With the country’s GDP set to reach $5 Tn by the end of 2025, these women are breaking barriers to lead diverse industries.
One such venture is Ahmedabad-based Frendy. Founded in 2019 by Sameer Gandotra and Gowrav Vishwakarma, the startup is a convenience store network for India’s small towns that leverages existing micro-stores such as family-run kirana stores and new home-based stores set up by housewives as a last mile distribution point.
The platform sells household items with the help of its women community leaders or Frendy Partners. It claims to have expanded to over 40 Tier II- Tier VI towns in Gujarat, serving 50K customers with over 4.5K products.
Frendy, which sells beauty, cleaning, grocery, and kitchen products, among others, under its private-label portfolio, claims that its revenue doubled to INR 82 Cr in FY23 from INR 40 Cr in the previous fiscal.
New-Age D2C Brands At Your Fingertips
Anticipated to account for a significant chunk of the $400 Bn ecommerce opportunity by 2025, the D2C arena is one of the fastest-growing segments in India, as per an Inc42 report.
However, many of these businesses are new, therefore customers face a hard time discovering and trusting these new D2C brands. Furrl, established in 2022 by IIT Kanpur and Harvard Business School alumna Esha Tiwary, provides a platform for D2C brands to showcase their products and sell them to customers.
Furrl’s handpicked selection of brands undergoes a rigorous vetting process, ensuring that only authentic and high-quality brands make it onto the platform. This curation sets the startup apart from traditional ecommerce marketplaces, offering a more personalised and discerning shopping experience.
Further, Furrl offers a seamless one-click ordering system, comprehensive product information, and hassle-free returns and exchanges. Consumers can browse through a diverse range of categories, from fashion and accessories to home décor and lifestyle products, all curated to cater to the tastes of discerning shoppers.
Furrl monetises its platform via two channels – earning a commission on each sale made through its platform and allowing brands to pay to have their products prominently featured on its homepage or within specific categories.
Food Testing Takes A Deeptech Turn
For large-scale food production, testing remains an important final step before any food shipment goes out. However, the process of manual food testing also does not detect adulterants beyond a certain point.
To solve this, ex-Snapdeal research engineers Shweta Gupta and Abhishek Goyal founded ImagoAI in 2019. The startup claims to have developed the world’s fastest non-destructive food test – Galaxy. The test uses hyperspectral imaging and AI to detect mycotoxins, pathogens, vitamins, proteins, and other micronutrients in food.
ImagoAI combines digital imaging with spectroscopy to give 3D imaging. Further, the startup’s proprietary AI micro models use each pixel’s spectral bands as a chemical signature. They extract features from each chemical signature and these extracted features are fed into its AI to generate test results in seconds.
ImagoAI claims to serve multiple Fortune 500 food companies and monetises its products through direct sales.
Cutting-Edge Analytics To Enhance Your Stock Market Returns
Even though India has the largest number of stock market traders in the world, a significant chunk of them do not possess the know-how to make informed trading decisions. This is probably why many end up losing a lot of money in the market.
The platform provides data visualisation to easily spot trends and allows scanning and searching of data with predefined setups and analysis of trends and sentiment.
Indiacharts provides subscribers with daily, weekly, and monthly updates on the stock market, including analysis of Nifty50, Bank Nifty, commodities, currencies, individual stocks, and Indian and global economic trends. The startup also offers a mentorship programme and a discussion forum, enabling users to become better traders.
STRIKE is currently being offered for free by Indiacharts, with the startup planning to launch the paid version by 2024. In the long term, Indiacharts wants to throw open its platform to the world. It plans to foray into the US and European markets by 2026.
Sell Local Products To The World
While India has generated several multimillion-dollar manufacturing enterprises, a significant portion of them are highly localised and do not look outside their local markets, let alone the country, for prospective buyers. Though many Indian brands have global ambitions, a lack of connections to global buyers is often their undoing.
Founded in 2023 by IIT Kharagpur alumni Rajiv Patki and Sambuddha Adhikari, Jodaro provides global commerce solutions to manufacturers. The startup specialises in identifying supply gaps across geographies and automating global commerce operations.
Jodaro’s core product includes four key elements – storefront management, inventory management, global logistics and marketing and social media management. The startup also allows manufacturers to build an omnichannel presence globally, enabling them to sell efficiently across both online and offline sales channels.
It offers its products via a SaaS-based revenue model, with custom-built plans for each customer. By 2026, Jodaro envisions expanding operations to 10 global markets, collaborating with over 500 manufacturers, and curating 15,000 diverse products.
Foundational LLM For Finance and Banking
India’s banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) sector is often characterised by inefficiencies. Even though this sector is considered to be the backbone of the economy, technology adoption has been slow in this space.
Bengaluru-based OnFinance envisions a future where Gen AI can revolutionise the BFSI sector. Founded in 2022 by Anuj Srivastava and Priyesh Srivastava, the startup is committed to leveraging the power of Gen AI to deliver solutions that enhance efficiency, productivity and customer experience for BFSI institutions.
At OnFinance AI’s core is NeoGPT, an in-house LLM, tailored for the BFSI domain. NeoGPT can understand and generate human-quality text, translate languages, craft creative content, and respond to questions.
The startup has developed AI copilots, which integrate with existing BFSI workflows to support internal teams across various functions such as research, relationship management, sales and customer support. It offers custom AI solutions and provides consultation services to assist BFSI companies in seamlessly integrating the startup’s AI solutions into its existing infrastructure and processes.
Turning Supply Chain Into Your Competitive Advantage
Even though new-age industries like electric vehicles (EVs) and drones are growing at a break-neck speed, companies working in these areas continue to be bogged down in supply chain issues.
Seamless sourcing of complex machinery, components and technology is the need of the hour for sustained growth of these burgeoning industries. Founded by Ninad Kashid in December 2020, Procurabl does exactly this. The startup unclogs supply chain bottlenecks with its solutions. Drawing on his experience as a founding team member at a battery pack manufacturing startup, Kashid navigated the intricacies and risks associated with establishing supply chains for the EV industry.
The company offers end-to-end supply chain solutions for powertrain, electric drive systems, chassis assemblies, and their components. Procurabl claims to have an impressive 98% perfect order rate for its powertrain supply chain solutions. The business model also includes engaging in local manufacturing projects with Indian MSMEs. Revenue is generated through a project/milestone-based model. Procurabl collaborates with OEMs, offering contract manufacturing, white-labelling, and standardised part sourcing tailored to the specific needs of its clients.
The startup positions itself as a strategic partner in addressing challenges faced by OEMs in areas like optimising projects for enhanced visibility, reducing time-to-market, and cost management. Procurabl aims to propel its business growth by 10X by next year. In the medium term (by 2026), the startup has plans to collaborate with over 100 OEMs in five countries.
Smart EV Platform For Fleet Operators
Founded by Akhil Jayaprakash in 2019, Pulse Energy is a SaaS platform dedicated to enhancing energy systems. The company’s primary offerings comprise a charger management solution designed for operators overseeing chargers remotely.
Additionally, there is a fleet EV charger management product, enabling seamless access and payment for EV fleets at charging stations nationwide. Catering to EV OEMs, Pulse Energy provides a charger interoperability product, facilitating access and payment at any charger across India.
Central to Pulse Energy’s ecosystem is its “EV Charger Marketplace”, a one-stop solution for EV fleets, OEMs, and charge point operators. Through this platform, EV fleets and OEMs gain easy access to chargers, while operators increase charger utilisation by listing on the marketplace.
Its D2C charging app, InstaCharge, directly serves EV drivers, enabling them to locate, access, and pay for public chargers. Billing is structured on a per-energy-dispensed basis, creating a revenue stream for Pulse Energy. A significant achievement for Pulse Energy has been the onboarding of Uber Green, with approximately 80% of Uber Green cabs now relying on Pulse Energy’s EV charging platform for hub and public charging.
The company aims to expand its market share by leveraging partnerships with renowned brands like Moeving, Everest Fleet (Uber Green), Log9, and Tork Motors. In the long term, the startup aims to extend services to individual EV users.
Managing Guests Made Easy For Hoteliers
Despite major advancements in the field of software development, India’s hospitality industry has often found itself tethered to outdated software.
This is precisely where Quoality, founded in 2022 by Akshay Dekate and Tejaswi Chawla, steps in to fill the gap in the Indian hospitality sector. The startup offers an all-in-one guest experience platform, addressing the need to digitise guest-facing processes. The startup offers a cloud-native platform that simplifies operations for hoteliers.
One of the key features of the Quoality platform includes guest messaging, which automates communication through channels like WhatsApp and email. Further, its ‘ancillary upsell’ functionality offers additional services to guests, maximising revenue streams. Quoality also offers contactless check-in and checkout, reducing wait times. The platform’s payments feature allows hotels to collect ancillary sales and other payments online, mitigating revenue pilferage.
Quoality’s subscription-based pricing model includes the base platform and communication credits. As of now, the platform is active across 5,500 rooms, with ambitious plans to expand to 20,000-25,000 rooms by the end of 2024. The startup claims to have onboarded prominent players in the USA and Middle East markets, with recent collaborations including Choice Hotels India.
Next-Gen Cybersecurity Platform
India is one of the world’s most adversely affected countries when it comes to cyberattacks. A recent report by Singapore-based cybersecurity firm Cyfirma shows that India is the most-targeted nation globally in state-sponsored cyberattacks, with 13.7% of all global state-sponsored attacks aimed at India.
To combat this, Hyderabad-based SecurWeave is building cybersecurity solutions for the future. The startup develops hardware-enforced security solutions to protect against advanced malware attacks. Its flagship product, CHESS (configurable hardware-enforced safety & security), is a platform that can be integrated into various devices, including endpoints, mobile phones, data centres and embedded systems.
CHESS works by using hardware extensions to monitor and control the execution of software, preventing malicious code from gaining access to sensitive data and systems. The startup is collaborating with Intel to improve its advanced malware detection capabilities and protect operating systems from malware attacks. Another focus area for SecurWeave is to leverage its collaboration with Intel to provide security for the Industrial IoT (IIoT) segment.
The firm monetises its platform through strategic partnerships with device manufacturers and software vendors. By integrating CHESS into their products and solutions, these partners gain a competitive edge by offering enhanced security to their customers.
Simplifying Cross-Border B2B Payments
Indian companies working with overseas clients often face challenges related to remittances and receiving payments due to complications with setting up a FEMA-compliant system.
Founded in February 2022 by Movin Jain and Srivatsan Sridhar, Skydo is a fintech startup that aims to simplify cross-border B2B payments by enabling businesses to create a global virtual account within five minutes. Skydo’s platform facilitates invoicing, payments, and accounts receivable. By partnering with leading global banks, it offers businesses their foreign virtual accounts for receiving payments, eliminating taxation and compliance burdens.
Currently serving 750+ Indian businesses and exporters, Skydo claims to have witnessed a robust month-on-month growth rate of 25%, processing over $11 Mn in forex payments since its launch. The company aims to reach 2 Lakh small businesses, targeting $1 Bn in export payment flows over the next year.
Plans include providing financing options, introducing payout cards and offering treasury services to facilitate multi-currency payments, signalling a strategic approach to secure a strong foothold in the market.
Enterprise Sustainability Management Platform
ESG reporting is one of the most important undertakings an enterprise engages in, second only to financial reporting in many instances. However, the lack of standardised reporting within the segment has led to much debate about the true performance of a given enterprise during a given time, and the arbitrary and subjective nature of ESG data can also be challenging.
Several startups are emerging to revolutionise ESG reporting for enterprises and Bengaluru-based StepChange is one of them. Founded in 2021 by ex-Ola executive Ankit Jain and MIT alumnus Sidhant Pai, PhD, StepChange offers a one-stop solution for enterprise sustainability, ESG reporting, financed emissions, portfolio climate risk management and product sustainability.
The startup’s software is employed by banks, asset managers, insurance companies, and corporations to measure their ESG performance, track progress towards their ESG goals, report ESG performance to stakeholders, identify and manage ESG risks and develop and implement ESG strategies. StepChange’s software is based on the latest ESG standards and frameworks, including the GHG Protocol, the TCFD, and the SASB. The company’s software is also cloud-based and easy to use.
The startup monetises its software through a subscription-based pricing model. Businesses can choose from various subscription plans that fit their specific needs. StepChange also offers a host of consulting and advisory services to help businesses implement and optimise their ESG programmes.
AI For Everyone
In the AI universe, LLMs have emerged as powerful tools capable of generating text, translating languages and creating various types of creative content. However, using these models effectively hinges on the ability to craft effective prompts.
Sugarcane AI, founded in 2023 by NIT graduates Ravinder Kumar and Ankur Agarwal, addresses this challenge by introducing an open-source node package manager-like package ecosystem, specifically designed for prompts. In simple words, the platform enables developers to create, package and share prompt packages, akin to reusable modules that encapsulate prompt templates, datasets and LLM configurations.
The startup offers four components – Sugar Factory (a no-code playground for prompt developers to build and share prompts), Sugar Hub (a marketplace where developers can discover and access prompt packages), Sugar Bakery (a software development kit that simplifies the integration of LLMs into applications) and Sugar Farm (a tool for data scientists to streamline the process of building and training Micro LLMs).
Sugarcane AI monetises the platform through the sales of prompt packages on Sugar Hub, through subscriptions for Sugar Factory, Sugar Bakery and Sugar Farm, as well as support from the community.
Keep Spending To Maximise Your Savings
Managing expenses can be a daunting task, often consuming valuable time and susceptible to errors. Despite the availability of numerous spending management tools, a persistent gap appears to exist. Moreover, entrusting third-party apps with access may jeopardise the security of personal data.
After witnessing this issue first-hand, Rajkumar Desai launched Surplus, a full-stack expense management platform, in 2021. The Mumbai-based startup helps users track their expenses, optimise spending and make informed financial decisions. The platform links with users’ bank accounts to offer features such as expense tracking, personalised insights and a live budget tracker. Surplus also enables users to buy and manage their subscriptions, providing discounts and trial packs based on their spending patterns.
On the B2B side, the startup collaborates with brands to offer discounts, exclusive deals and more. Surplus claims that it enables companies to reduce their Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) and target the right niche of users. The app also allows companies to pay based on the performance of their campaigns instead of a blanket fee.
The startup operates on a B2B2C model and has two revenue streams – transaction fees and other related charges from B2B customers and a subscription fee from B2C users. Currently, the startup is working on rolling out its app on the Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store.
Affordable And Quality-Focussed Fashion
Founded in 2021 by Bhaavan Ramani, Swashaa has forged a distinct path in the fashion industry after learning from the collapse of a previous business. This close-knit team of friends and family has crafted a brand that offers stainless steel jewellery, offering unique design, affordability, and quality. Its flagship products include the Shiny Clover Necklace and Bree Band Bracelet, which embody the brand’s ethos.
Swashaa’s working model revolves around meticulous product management, media, and marketing strategies. The team curates products backed by a robust media and marketing plan executed by an in-house team of photographers, videographers, and influencers. The post-order process, managed by the CRM team, ensures swift communication and resolution, coupled with efficient shipping through selected partners.
Swashaa’s revenue model focuses on direct sales and an advertising model, while strategic decisions like eliminating local vendors and introducing leather handbags showcase a commitment to innovation. The brand’s expansion plan includes the launch of stores at domestic airports and a targeted entry into international markets, with a keen eye on the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
Master The Stock Market With Impactful Insights
While millions of people in India invest in public markets, they require greater access to new-age investment vehicles and crucial insights that could contribute to their success on the bourses.
Founded in 2022 by Pranit Arora, Avneet Dhamija and Vikash Agrawal, Univest is a mobile app that offers investors a suite of investment solutions. It provides users with personalised investment recommendations based on their risk tolerance and financial goals.
The app features AI-powered ‘Buy/Sell/Hold’ insights, advanced screeners and daily pre-market analysis. Additionally, it provides financial news and educational resources to assist users in making informed investment decisions.
The startup generates revenue through a combination of transaction and subscription fees. For each investment transaction initiated through the platform, Univest charges a small commission. Additionally, the company offers a premium subscription service that gives users access to in-depth research reports and personalised investment guidance.
Digital Banking Redefined for NRIs
Indian expatriates constitute one of the primary contributors to foreign remittances flowing into India. Goldman Sachs estimates net inward remittances to India to hover around the $104 Bn mark in calendar year 2023. Despite this, there are several challenges NRIs face while transferring money home.
Founded in 2022 by Stanford dropout Parth Garg, Bengaluru-based Vance is a neobank that streamlines remitting money to India from foreign lands. The startup also provides access to a free international debit card while enabling NRIs to invest in Indian stocks and mutual funds.
Vance charges a flat fee regardless of the transaction size. For instance, the startup charges £3 per transaction from the UK to India, regardless of the amount. The startup also offers NRE NRE (non-resident external), NRO (non-resident ordinary), and FCNR (foreign currency non-resident) accounts, allowing Indians living abroad access to the Indian banking systems.
The startup claims to have nearly 50K users across the US, the UK, Singapore, the UAE and Canada.
Revolutionise Businesses With Customisable Apps And Workflows
While proficiency in coding and programming is crucial for developing customised apps and workflows, a significant number of companies entering the technological landscape lack individuals with the requisite technical expertise to create applications from the ground up. This concern has grown exponentially in light of the escalating demand for applications.
Founded in 2022 by Sagnik Ghosh and Susmita Ghosh, WorqHat is a no-code platform that empowers companies to construct enterprise-grade web applications without coding. The platform, inspired by Photoshop’s user-friendly interface, guides users through a conversational journey of crafting data, components and security features.
WorqHat has developed in-house LLMs tailored to enterprise data, thereby enhancing the platform’s capabilities. The Pune-based startup enables companies to design bespoke applications for various departments, including sales, marketing, finance, operations and more.
Adopting a subscription-based monetisation strategy, WorqHat provides businesses with tiered pricing plans that cater to their specific requirements and usage patterns. This approach ensures a flexible and scalable solution for companies seeking to meet their diverse application development needs.
Smart IoT Delivery Lockers
While India’s last-mile logistics services have made significant progress over the past decade, challenges persist, with issues such as products being damaged or stolen during the delivery process.
Enter Kiran Shivappa and Ravindra Nayaka, who founded Xobox in 2021, a startup that addresses these concerns by offering smart IoT lockers made of durable MS material. Xobox manages the entire process, from in-house designing and manufacturing of printed circuit boards to outsourcing the fabrication of metal lockers.
With a focus on large apartment complexes, Xobox offers an end-to-end solution, and residents can opt to have their packages securely stored in the smart lockers, with the convenience of self-checkout or assistance from Xobox’s dedicated personnel, XMEN. The service aims to benefit elderly residents by reducing traffic within gated communities and instilling a sense of security. Xobox’s business model includes charging residents a nominal fee per transaction and providing an efficient and secure delivery process.
In addition to its primary focus on delivery services, Xobox empowers women entrepreneurs by enabling them to provide logistics services within the community for a reasonable fee. With a successful pilot programme at a 1,650-flat community and 6,000 customers, Xobox aims to replicate its model in 30 societies by the end of 2024.
Edited by Shishir Parashar.