New Year's Resolutions: How These 25 Start-ups Are Getting Ready For 2020
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Year 2019 saw several developments in the start-up ecosystem including high-ticket investments, foreign acquisitions, partnerships, mergers, layoffs and much more. As the start-up ecosystem continues to grow, Indian companies are prepared to achieve their next milestones this year.
Entrepreneur India reached out to some start-ups to learn more about their goals and their new year resolutions for 2020.
With inputs from Entrepreneur India’s Tahira Noor Khan, Debroop Roy and Prasannata Patwa.
Overview: Bengaluru-based fintech company ClearTax offers solutions related to income-tax filing, GST and mutual fund investments. Founded in 2011 by Archit Gupta, Srivatsan Chari and Ankit Solanki, ClearTax provides software and services including tax filing, TaxCloud, TDS returns, GST, mutual fund investments, CA and legal services, designed to empower individuals, accountants and MSMEs. It claims to have served over 5 million Indian taxpayers to e-file their tax returns, about 600,000 businesses, 60,000 CAs and tax professionals. ClearTax has raised $65 million equity capital investment since its inception. The company was incubated in Y Combinator and is funded by Silicon Valley investors, including PayPal co-founders Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund, Max Levchin and Scott Banister. ClearTax’s investors include Composite Capital, Sequoia Capital and SAIF Partners.
2020 Plans: According to Archit Gupta, founder and CEO ClearTax, the company is focused on providing value to our current customer segments such as enterprises, CAs, SMEs, and individual income taxpayers. “We will launch products which will solve the cash-flow problems of businesses. We aim to triple our revenue in 2020,” Gupta said.
Gupta added that in 2020, the company’s growth trajectory will accelerate as it will focus on Indian businesses which are underserved by the financial services industry in India.
“Our mission is to simplify financial lives for Indians. In five years, we will create value for customers with artificial intelligence-enabled products and services. ClearTax will create value for millions of businesses and individuals by helping them make better financial choices,” Gupta said.
Milestones Achieved In 2019: Talking about the goals achieved in 2019, Gupta said, “We have emerged as one of the most leading fintech companies with an action-packed 2019. Right from entering into strategic partnership, expanding into new markets to acquiring a company. ClearTax has been successfully catalyzing digital transformational growth for its customers by simplifying the financial lives of Indians.”
Overview: Launched in 2019, Mavyn is a technology-driven logistics company which focuses on truckload transportation in India. It provides a cost-effective solution to transport goods and offers a strong value proposition to all stakeholders such as shippers, truckers, partners and drivers. Mavyn aims at revolutionizing the Indian logistics industry and become a global digital logistics company in world competing with top MNCs. Through its technology-based approach, the start-up ensures that all logistics services can be availed through the touch of a smartphone.
2020 Plans: According to Sachin Haritash, founder and CEO of Mavyn, the company plans to implement AI spot freight. Mavyn’s focus this year is to increase its trucker base and add 60,000 vehicles for providing logistical services. It also aspires to have a run rate of INR 60 crore by March 2020. In the next two years, the company plans to increase its network across all districts in India and aims to have 20 per cent of all commercial vehicles on its logistics portal by 2023.
“We have a robust order book which is increasing exponentially and Mavyn plans to achieve a top line of INR 300 crore by 2021. Our aim is to acquire top 100 shippers of India in our platform and to onboard 60,000 vehicles,” Haritash said.
Milestones Achieved In 2019: “We launched as a digital logistics and truckload transportation start-up in April 2018. Since then, the journey has been phenomenal. We started out with 24 shipments and five shippers in 2018. In 2019, we serviced around 200+ shipments with 20 shippers per month. Since inception, Mavyn has achieved five times year-on-year growth. The platform has a robust order book of INR 10 crore and is growing everyday. Mavyn partnered with top three economic shippers and achieved 70 per cent auto shipments,” Haritash said.
He also added that the company made partnerships with popular brands such as Flipkart, Amazon, Good Year, Urban Ladder, HUL, etc.
Overview: Bengaluru-based ShakeDeal, B2B bulk sourcing online marketplace for industrial goods, supplies and raw materials. Through a robust marketplace, ShakeDeal is connecting supply chains and closing the gaps in the traditional offline system. It's proprietary tools help buyers in their efforts to source industrials directly from the source of the supply chains. ShakeDeal was founded in 2019 by Akash
Founded in 2016 by Akash Hegde, Akshay Hegde and Santhosh Reddy, ShakeDeal currently services 4,000 orders every month and has over 4,000 registered sellers, over 300,000 products, 40 product categories, over 1,000 brands to choose from and is present in over 21,000 PIN codes for seamless logistics services across India. In 2018, the company was acquired by US-based private equity firm Vora Ventures.
2020 Plans: Akash Hegde, co-founder and MD, ShakeDeal said that this year, the company is aimed at creating the largest direct-to-enterprise (D2E) fulfilment network for industrial and business supplies in the country. “We aim to deploy a strategic network of cloud (CFCs) and dedicated fulfilment centres (DFCs) that will enable streamlined supply of indirect procurement spend, while delivering cost savings and value to our customers. We are going to lead with data driven intelligence, so as to ensure super quick turn around times (TATs) and efficiencies in companies’ sourcing cycles. As the procurement industry matures, bringing in digital transformation to organisation’s systems is certain to be on the KRAs for industry professionals, and ShakeDeal aims to be their preferred procurement partner for achieving the same,” Hegde added.
Milestones Achieved in 2019: According to Hegde, in 2019, ShakeDeal expanded its offerings from MRO (maintenance, repair, and operations) to office/housekeeping supplies and corporate gifting vertical.
“Apart from expanding our breadth, we went deeper by launching private labels in the industrials’ segment, which have now entered almost all states in India. Our presence also expanded as we opened offices in Ahmedabad and Delhi-NCR to be closer to our clients and vendor clusters in the western and northern belts,” Hegde said. He added that the business grew 9 times over the past couple of years and hopes that the momentum continues into 2020.
Overview: Mumbai-based start-up Haptik is an artificial intelligence company powering conversational assistants for brands to transform customer experiences. The platform has enabled over 100 virtual assistants, reaching close to 100 million devices and processing over 3 billion end customer interactions. Haptik was founded in 2013 by Aakrit Vaish and Swapan Rajdev.
Haptik’s clientele and partners include Samsung, OYO, KFC, Coca Cola, the Grammy’s and Zurich Insurance, among others. Haptik is backed by Reliance Industries, a $100 billion-plus conglomerate, with close to 500 million customers.
2020 Plans: According to Aakrit Vaish, co-founder and CEO of Haptik, the company will concentrate on exploring and tapping into the international markets, especially the US, Middle East and South-East Asia via tactical alliances and collaborations with experts, well acquainted with the territory. “Product-wise, we constantly look to innovate and strengthen our technological capabilities. This year we intend to further increase our research and development investments to stay ahead of the curve and incessantly deliver innovative solutions to our customers. Retail, financial services, travel, e-commerce and telecom are the key verticals that Haptik aims to concentrate all its efforts on this year,” Vaish said.
The company envisions to be among the top five conversational AI companies globally in terms of growth and revenue in the next five years and aims to reach 1 billion monthly conversational processes across all our IVA deployments while adding an ROI of hundreds of millions of dollars to our customers.
Milestones Achieved in 2019: According to Vaish, 2019 was a groundbreaking year for Haptik as it has ushered a plethora of new and exciting alliances, cutting-edge products and a rejuvenated sense of purpose. “By creating a state of the art IVAs, we have helped businesses flip the traditional customer outreach pyramid by replacing the manual aspect with AI-driven voice assistants. The latest IVAs designed and developed by Haptik are built to lend the best customer experience and support system thereby increasing the sales and the resulting ROI. By leveraging the power of advanced machine learning and natural language processing technologies, an IVA engages customers in a conversation, pinpoints their intent, and executes the tasks required to resolve their issues end-to-end,” Vaish explained.
According to the founder, the company witnessed over 200 per cent revenue growth year on year for the last two years. There has been zero customer churn which means that no customer has ever stopped using the Haptik platform once they go live.
He also added that the crowning glory of 2019 was in April when Haptik entered a strategic partnership with Reliance Industries. “The backing from Reliance enables us to have a long-term focus, and gives us the support and resources required to implement our Intelligent virtual assistant solutions at scale,” Vaish said.
Overview: Bengaluru-based Yulu Bikes is a micro-mobility platform. Founded in 2017, it offers electric two-wheeler vehicles to enable integrated urban mobility across public and private modes of transport. Yulu is providing shared and sustainable first and last-mile connectivity. One can download Yulu mobile app on their smartphone and book a ride.
The start-up leverages IoT, cloud and AI to create a vast network of shared dockless vehicles which can be rented by the users. It works on a pay per use business model.
2020 Plans: Yulu is aiming to reach 100,000 vehicles by December 2020 to combat traffic congestion and air pollution for a clean and green India. It will further strengthen its existing partnership with Uber, DMRC, Bajaj, etc. “To ramp up this year, we are committed to revolutionizing the way people commute in India and building livable cities of tomorrow providing a hassle-free and affordable mode to commute. Our objective is to maximize the number of trips or kilometres out of every 100 to electric or eco-friendly and contribute to India’s electric vehicle goals,” said Amit Gupta, founder of Yulu Bikes.
Milestones Achieved in 2019: Yulu launched Yulu Miracle and achieved largest fleet of electric vehicles for shared mobility across cities such as Bengaluru, New Delhi, Greater Mumbai, Pune and Bhubaneswar. “We strengthened our product, expanded our presence, grown our team, concluded meaningful partnerships and raised Series A funding,” said Gupta. The company also expanded across 70-plus PIN codes with more than 2,000 Yulu zones. The company strengthened its product, expanded geographical presence, increased its team, concluded meaningful partnerships and also raised Series A funding.
Overview: After the ghastly terrorist attack on Taj Hotel, IIT-Bombay alumni Ankit Mehta, Rahul Singh and Ashish Bhat along with Mehta’s childhood friend Vipul Joshi realized that they should use technology for providing safety and defence. Thus ideaForge was founded in 2007, a company which manufactures drones in India for defence, homeland security and industrial applications.
Licensed by the ministry of defence, ideaForge claims to have over 90 per cent of market share in security and surveillance segment.
2020 Plans: According to co-founder and CEO, Ankit Mehta, ideaForge intends to deepen its focus on public safety, GIS and agritech applications this new year. “Last year, our micro drone, NINJA UAV, received No Permission No Take-off (NPNT) compliance certificate from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). We plan to make the rest of our product lines NPNT compliant. We have also planned to make drones a ubiquitous part of public safety and enterprise applications such as GIS and agritech solutions rather than they being discrete entities for event-based usage,” Mehta said.
Milestones Achieved in 2019: The company launched its flagship product, SWITCH UAV, which was well received by Indian Armed Forces. It also launched its first micro drone, NINJA UAV which is NPNT-compliant. It also partnered with Aaronia AG, a leading anti-drone solutions provider to provide end-users with a complete and unique intrusion monitoring solution that can track dynamic threats, in the air or on the ground through both operating and monitoring drones via an integrated control center.
ideaForge also partnered with EM3 Agriservices which is involved in increasing agricultural productivity. Through this, the start-up plans to leverage each other’s strengths of technology and wide reach to offer robust agritech solutions to farmers that will accelerate the march towards doubling their income.
Overview: Founded in 2017 by Harsh Jain, Ishan Bansal, Lalit Keshre and Neeraj Singh, Groww is an app-based investment platform. The company provides insights about mutual funds, SIP and everything from the personal finance world to make investing easier for new investors. According to the company 60 per cent of Groww’s user base is spread across the country, predominantly in tier II and III cities, and that percentage is only growing.
2020 Plans: According to Lalit Keshre, co-founder and CEO, Groww, 2020 will be the year where the company would be going multi-product. It will move from being a direct mutual fund platform to a full-scale investing platform. The company envions to become one of the most trusted brands for investing in India in five years, that millions of investors trust for their wealth management needs.
Milestones Achieved in 2019: “In 2019, we worked on improving the design for our app to further enhance the user experience. This resulted in Groww garnering appreciation as the ‘highest-rated’ investment apps in India. In mid-2019, we enabled payments through UPI for the ease of our customers. Today almost 70 per cent of the payments on Groww happen through the UPI route,” said Keshre.
Overview: Launched in 2015, Okinawa is an Indian electric two-wheeler manufacturing company. The company strongly believes in providing high performing scooters with sustainable development to its customers.
2020 Plans: Okinawa aims to change people's perception about electric vehicle this year. “Over the period we realized that a lot of people would want to opt for eco-friendly vehicles but had hesitations. These hesitations were result of myths associated with EVs like performance when compared with the conventional fuel vehicles. This year, we at Okinawa Scooters have made it a resolution to burst all the myths that users have in regard to electric vehicles. We will have to work hard to change the mindset and bring about this much required change. We are determined to follow the same this year and make it happen," said Jeetender Sharma, founder and MD, Okinawa Scooters.
Milestones Achieved in 2019: Okinawa became the first electric two-wheeler manufacturer in the country to become eligible for customer price rebates under the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles in India phase - II initiative of the government.
Overview: Founded by Hari Ganapathy and Srinath Shankar, Pickyourtrail is a Chennai-based tech-backed international travel company which helps one curate their own customized tour packages at the best online prices. The company received a funding of $3 million in Series A round led by a slew of investors this year.
2020 Plans: Pickyourtrail aims to go global in 2020. The other significant goal of the company is to build an entire new category of online holiday booking. “Currently folks are comfortable booking a hotel or a flight online. We are excited that we have the product to bring about the shift in consumer behaviour—what it takes for someone to do a $2,000-$3,000 transaction online,” said Hari Ganapathy, co-Founder of Pickyourtrail. He further added, “Going into 2020, we want to continue to grow at breakneck speed without compromising on customer happiness and team growth. UN World Tourism Organisation predicts that India will account for 50 million outbound tourists by 2020; we see Pickyourtrail having a huge role to play in delivering these numbers.”
Milestones Achieved in 2019: Pickyourtrail has helped more than 10,000 travelers from across 14 countries. It was incubated by Amadeus Next start-up and is one of the top 6 finalists of the prestigious APAC Travel Innovation Summit award. “2019 has been the best year till date for Pickyourtrail across revenue, product and people. We were named one of the top 50 disruptive start-ups by Yourstory, grew from a 100-member team to 200-plus, grew almost 150 per cent year-on-year and had a slew of product launches,” said Ganapathy.
OYO Hotels & Homes
Overview: Hospitality Unicorn OYO Hotels and Homes claims to be fastest-growing and second-largest hotel chain in the world. The hospitality major is spread across 800 cities in 80 countries. OYO is also investing in cloud kitchens, co-living, co-workspaces, student housing, extended stay residences and grand hotel projects.
2020 Plans: OYO aims to continue its growth and expansion journey in 2020. Ritesh Agarwal, founder of OYO, talking about company’s aim for 2020 said, “We have been recording a strong performance in India, continued increase in demand across segments as well as all new geographies and we hope to maintain this momentum in 2020 as well. Growing right while growing quickly for us means building a sustainable business with a clear path to profitability.”
Talking about the hospitality sector in particular, Agarwal said, “Today, the hospitality industry alone creates more job opportunities than the IT industry and has the potential to create 50 lakh jobs (direct and indirect). We at OYO are proud to have supported over 100,000 economic opportunities in India and aim to double that by 2020-end.”Milestones Achieved in 2019: OYO bagged Series F funding of $1.5 billion led by Japanese investing giant, SoftBank, taking the company’s valuation to $10 billion. The company is also focusing on expanding its co-working and co-living segments. “For OYO, 2019 has been an exciting year. We have continued to create impact, deliver against our goals and next year looks equally promising. We have been recording a strong performance in India, continued increase in demand across segments as well as all new geographies and we hope to maintain this momentum in 2020 as well. Growing right while growing quickly for us means building a sustainable business with a clear path to profitability,” Agarwal added.
Overview: Bengaluru-based Fortigo offers fleet management services for truck owners. Fortigo is on a mission to empower the Indian goods transportation industry ecosystem through technology and the power of networking. It provides a common technology platform complemented with business services for every participant in the ecosystem. According to official website, the Fortigo network members interact, transact and manage the entire goods transportation lifecycle and business on the platform. This helps them make a huge leap in productivity, efficiency and customer service.2020 Plans: According to Anjani Mandal, CEO and co-founder, Fortigo, the company is starting the year with an aim to try and beat the overall slowdown of the economy by rebalancing industry verticals. “We are looking to expand our growth in terms of creditworthy customers of growth industries as well as penetrate deeper into the supply chain of each vertical. We are also planning to consolidate data and analytic skills this year for Fortigo. We expect a growth of four times in the following 15 months and hope to achieve break-even in 2020,” Mandal explained.
Overview: Bengaluru-based Awign Enterprises offers outsourcing solutions and is driving business development and research for growing businesses using the concept of ‘crowdsourcing in outsourcing’. Enterprises give their requirements to Awign and the company converts it into simpler tasks—full-time work, part-time work, internships and make them live on their platform. According to the official website, gig workers apply for the task, get selected and get trained using the app.
2020 Plans: According to Sarthak, the company will invest in developing its technology. “Going forward, the aim is to invest in technology and touch more than 10 million lives within the next financial year,” Sarthak added.
“We are fulfilling the industry gap in creating local jobs and livelihoods across India by taking micro jobs to the doorstep of candidates and giving a platform to execute them at the place and time they want.”
Milestones Achieved in 2019: Sarthak also said the company has fulfilled more than 3 million micro-jobs across 400 cities in India. Awign’s technology-enabled platform which focuses on delivering 'work' and not 'workforce' have worked across sectors such as FMCG, consumer packaged goods, retail, BFSI, telecom, e-commerce and mobility sectors.
Overview: Founded by Annu Talreja and Priyanka Gerra in 2017, Singapore-based Oxfordcaps is technology-enabled student housing company, providing student housing product with full-stack service model. In early 2019, the start-up raised $8 million in its Series A funding led by Times Internet. The company launched its services in India in 2018 and currently offers its services in Delhi, Bengaluru, Pune, Dehradun, Indore, Jaipur, Greater Noida and Ahmedabad.
2020 Plans: The start-up is aiming to achieve profitability and expand its product offering in 2020. “Oxfordcaps has clocked a 75 times growth in less than 11 months since its launch in India and has expanded from 200 beds to over 15,000 beds across 12 cities. We are extremely happy to be the first co-living/student housing player from India to expand across the continent. Indonesia and Malaysia with over 5 million and 1.5 million mobile students, respectively, provide an extremely attractive market,” said Annu Talreja, founder and CEO, OxfordCaps.
Milestones achieved in 2019: Oxfordcaps has grown 10 times in Singapore and currently manages 500 beds housing. In India, the start-up has grown at an impressive rate of 50 times to 10,000 beds as on date.
Priyanka Gera, COO of OxfordCaps, added, “We will further expand our presence to 200,000 beds across 35+ cities, making Oxfordcaps the largest student housing manager in Asia.”
Overview: Goa-headquartered co-working company 91springboard offers office solutions to start-ups, freelancers and business owners. According to the start-up, the members of 91springboard have to their co-working spaces with 24×7 office-infrastructure support, key service providers, knowledge sharing, collaboration and networking. Founded in 2012 by Anand Vemuri, Deepak Sharma, Pranay Gupta and Varun Chawla, the company is currently present across nine cities in India
2020 Plans: 91springboard aims to ensure that work sphere does not lose the importance of personal interactions, physical connections, enthusiasm, passion, and empathy. “Since its inception, 91springboard has had a single-minded purpose—to help our members prosper. As we embark on this new journey for the new year, our resolution will be to sustain and strengthen our stated goal of helping our members succeed,” said Pranay Gupta, co-founder of 91springboard.
Gupta also added that 91springboard is one of the co-working communities which is not run by a real estate company but by entrepreneurs who understand the needs of all kinds of businesses. It raised its Series B funding of $10.2 million in December 2018 and has been expanding its presence in all the major Indian cities.
WEGoT Utility Solutions
Overview: Founded in 2015 by Abilash Haridass, Mohamed Mohideen, Sundeep Donthamshetty and Vijay Krishna, Chennai-based WEGoT offers utility management solutions. The company has developed a convenient platform which integrates all three main resources—water, electricity and gas—and helps every household measure, manage and conserve these critical resources.
2020 Plans: Co-founder Haridass said the company’s new year resolution is to expand and scale its geographical present in India and across the globe. “A number of buildings have successfully deployed our solution and many more are implementing them. This year we also want to invest in recruitment and double our employee base in the next couple of months for research and development, and sales and marketing. Considering we have an immense growth opportunity in facilitating more water-efficient buildings, our vision is to change the way people and buildings use water and conserve 10 billion litres,” Haridass said.
Milestones Achieved in 2019: According to Haridass, 2019 was a very significant year for the company from a growth perspective as they witnessed a heightened awareness among consumers. WEGoT claimed to record an increase in revenue and number of employees.
It also raised $2 million in its seed round from GoFrugal; Shyam Shekar from iThought and Brigade Enterprises participated in the funding round.
Overview: Bengaluru-based MyGate is aimed to make gated communities safer. It offers technology-forward solution for gated communities to simplify everyday lives of residents, visitors, service providers and security personnel. MyGate gives a mobile device to security personnel at the gate, where they only have to input numbers. The simplicity makes sure that even those who are not tech-savvy would be able to use the system conveniently. There are different modules on the platform, with a separate one each for those who visit the apartments for daily chores, delivery executives and relatives.
2020 Plans: According to Vijay Arisetty, CEO and co-founder, the company will be focusing on scaling up and strengthening its user base in 2020. “Over 2020, we will be focused on upholding our lofty customer experience standards even as we scale to over 15 million homes and take our product into every part of urban India,” Arisetty said. “We are working on a number of exciting innovations for seamless interaction between the home and the outside world, toward fulfilling our goal of simplifying urban living.”
Milestones Achieved in 2019: According to Arisetty, 2019 was phenomenal for MyGate, as they evolved into a full-suite solution for gated communities and established a strong footing in all major metros.
Overview: Founded in 2015, Bengaluru-based Signzy offers digital on-boarding solution financial institutions. It works with several financial institutions in the country including the likes of ICICI Bank and the State Bank of India, helping reduce the time and workforce required during several parts of an onboarding process. The company’s core technology revolves around computer vision, which essentially helps computers process and gain an understanding of information from visuals. In case of Signzy, this could range from judging the genuineness of a document to simply finding out a certain kind of information from the input provided. After the extraction is done, the end customer is able to view the output in an easily understandable format.
2020 Plans: Ankit Ratan, co-Founder of Signzy, revealed that the company will be investing deeper in innovation, using technologies such as AI and Ml in 2020. “Our focus is on making our RPA solution much more robust and scalable in anticipation of the potential demand for millions of new customer onboarding in the months and years to come,” Ratan said.
According to Ratan, the legacy BFSI industry players are readjusting their business and operational models to make room for total digitalization. Particularly for banks, the trend of full-scale digitalization of back-office processes is expected to accelerate this new year.
“We also foresee a greater scale and depth of collaboration between incumbent financial institutions and fintech or regtech start-ups (those who simplify regulatory processes), which will likely bring powerful competitive advantages to the incumbents. While digital or eKYC for new customer onboarding will become the norm for large FIs, it will also see a significantly higher interest from non-banking companies as well,” Ratan added.
Overview: Bengaluru-based equity investment platform smallcase was founded in 2015 by Anugrah Shrivastava, Rohan Gupta and Vasanth Kamath. It builds digital platforms and products to help investors to invest in portfolios of stocks and ETFs in a cost-efficient and transparent manner. The company, which now has a total strength of about 90 employees had announced a $8 million Series A fundraise led by Sequoia India earlier in 2019.
2020 Plans: Vasanth Kamath, co-founder and CEO said, “In 2020, we'll continue to build and deepen infrastructure for the capital markets and our partners, keeping the individual investor at the core. This would include developing unique investment products for different use-cases, enabling advisors to scale more efficiently and unlocking new touch-points for stock/ETF transactions.”
Milestones Achieved in 2019: The start-up scaled its platform to include over 650,000 investors, eight brokerages, and over 30 manufacturers.
Overview: California-based Vested Finance is an SEC registered investment advisor. It helps international investors starting with Indian investors get easy access to the US stock market. The company offers a low-cost and easy-to-use platform which provides knowledge and insights to help clients make investment decisions.
2020 Plans: “We’re looking forward to allowing more and more Indian investors to diversify their portfolios internationally and to invest in the US-listed global brands they use on a daily basis. We will partner with multiple financial institutions in India to make this possible,” said Viram Shah, CEO and co-founder of Vested Finance.
Shah added that the company will also be expanding its team both in India and the US. It aims to lead the way in providing more wealth creation opportunities to Indian investors.
Overview: Bengaluru-based Arzooo is bridging the gap between consumers and small retailers selling consumer electronics. It aims to achieve a growth of more than 10-fold in gross merchandise volume (GMV) in the next 12 months. According to official website, Arzooo.com is a retail-tech company, which is committed to integrate over 300,000 fragmented retail stores and enable them to compete and grow with its retail tech platform, Arzooo Go Store.2020 Plans: “In 2020, Arzooo.com aims to reach out to medium and small retailers across India with the goal of helping them scale profitably by leveraging Arzooo Go Store’s technology. Arzooo powered stores maximize sales conversion in-store by offering its customers the best of offline and online experience under one roof. The larger goal is to empower retailers to compete e-commerce with larger selection not limiting to the square feet space of the store and better pricing,” said Khushnud Khan, co-founder and CEO, Arzooo.com.
Overview: Founded in 2014 by Shobhana B.N. and K.N.M. Rao, Bengaluru-based Quick Ride offers carpooling and bikepooling application which connects commuters travelling in the same direction in real time. It not only makes the hassle of commute easier for users but is also a pocket-friendly option.
2020 Plans: “This year, we specifically plan to holistically popularise its flagship GO-Green Carpool Awareness campaign, where Quick Ride works directly with different companies, both large and small to raise awareness about the benefits of carpooling,” said CEO and co-founder Rao.
Milestones Achieved in 2019: According to Rao, the past year has been particularly rewarding for the organization. He revealed that in 2019, Quick Ride-enabled carpools grew by over 110 per cent. Over 2.4 million users joined Quick ride it helped facilitate over 2.3 million carpool rides. “On the environmental side, these rides shared through Quick Ride prevented over 56,000 tonnes of carbon emissions being pumped into the air. And as far as marketing tie-ups are concerned, we have managed to tie up with Candor Business Space to carry our carpool campaigns on its campuses in Delhi-NCR and Kolkata. Similarly ASCENDAS has tied up to promote carpooling in its campuses across India,” Rao revealed.
Overview: Launched in 2015, Namaste Credit makes it easier for SMEs to receive loans through formal banking channels while ensuring banks receive clean loan applications bearing no red flags or major credit risks. The Bengaluru-based start-up currently connects over 80 financial institutions—including the likes of HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank and Axis Bank—to SMEs on its marketplace platform. Using artificial intelligence and machine learning, Namaste Credit also cuts down on loan application processing time, making it faster and cost-efficient for banks.
Till date, the company has helped to deploy more than INR 2,000 crore in loans to SMEs, averaging around INR 100-150 crore per month.
2020 Plans: Gaurav Anand, co-founder and director said, “In 2020, Namaste Credit will focus on enhancing its Neobanking offerings to reach and serve MSMEs better. We will continue to invest in technology to make lending faster and smoother for both businesses and lenders.”
Overview: Bengaluru-based Jumbotail is an online marketplace for food and grocery. According to the official site, the company offers a whole suite of services including supply chain logistics, a mobile app for placing orders, integration with point-and-sales devices and credit solutions to shop owners that can’t easily get a loan from banks. Founded in 2015, the company is aimed at re-engineering the food and grocery ecosystem through intelligent technology, intuitive design and innovative business and supply chain models.
2020 Plans: According to Karthik Venkateswaran, CEO and co-founder of Jumbotail, the company will focus on expanding to new geographies and expand its user base. “At Jumbotail, we see ourselves expanding to new geographies, build deeper direct sourcing linkages to farmers or producers and connect more and more of brands, producers or farmers directly to kirana stores, and continue to expand our J24 programme to help kirana owners compete better in an increasingly technology driven world,” Ventakeswaran added.
He hopes that 2020 will see faster expansion and adoption of B2B e-commerce in multiple geographies and it will be very important to take solutions built for urban centres and scale the solutions to tier II and III cities.
Milestones Achieved in 2019: Venkateswaran added that kirana stores are the economic engine of India, controlling 95 per cent of the $450 billion grocery market. 2019 has been a great year for the kirana economy. “At Jumbotail, we continued our market leadership and stayed ahead of the innovation curve by launching our J24 stores programme to digitise and modernise the kirana stores and transform them to modern convenience stores at scale,” he said.
Overview: Bangalore-based Rapido was founded in 2015 by Aravind Sanka, Pavan Guntupalli and Rishikesh S.R., and is a ride-sharing company. Rapido offers a platform which can be used by people to book a bike ride through a mobile app while traveling solo. In August 2019, the company raised INR 391 crore in a Series B funding round, which was led by Westbridge Capital with participation from Nexus Venture Partners, Ant Financial-backed BACe Fund, Astrend India Investment, and others.
2020 Plan: “With a focus to deliver innovative commuting solutions, we recently launched an offline recharge feature where customers can recharge their Rapido wallets by providing cash to captains. This feature is enabling customers across the country to be digitally independent and be more comfortable in making monetary transactions online. We are working on many such features and are committed to solve the commuting problems for our customers, every day,” Sanka said.
Milestone in 2019: “The idea behind launching Rapido was to make intra-city transportation convenient, affordable and accessible in the country and 2019 has been an extremely successful year for us. Our disruptive service model gave a whole new way to travel, with ease and speed. Our customers have grown close to 4X and this is a testament to our overall growth and reach in the country, ” he added.
Overview: Founded in 2015, Bengaluru-based ShareChat is a social media company which offers content consumption and sharing platform only in Indian vernacular languages. The company is aimed at understanding the needs and requirements of the diverse vernacular audience. Accoring to Google Play Store, ShareChat has recorded more than 100 million downloads.
2020 Plans: “2020 embarks our 5th anniversary, and itself a landmark timeline for us. This year, we are aiming to double our monthly active users to 120 million. We will continue to stay focused on our growth journey, and keep improving our product to help our users express themselves better in their local language,” said Ankush Sachdeva, co-founder and CEO, ShareChat.