Very few Indians would be unaware of the term `start-ups´, after the success of companies like Flipkart. Many young Indian entrepreneurs have taken the advantage of a booming Indian economy, and a conducive business environment to establish their companies as some of the biggest players in their field. According to the Hurun Global Unicorn List, India is home to 21 unicorns currently. But there are many more in the making.
Deeper penetration of smartphones and cheaper data has made the internet accessible to one and all, and provided a huge potential market for the companies to exploit. Today’s start-ups touch every aspect of our lives, right from our food, to services, to gaming and entertainment. If betting is legalized in India, it wouldn’t be a surprise if there is a start-up that facilitates cricket betting in India.
In this myriad of new start-ups currently operating in India, let’s have a look at some which are worth keeping an eye on, and have the potential of becoming the next best thing.
Gone are the days when cash was the king. Today, our wallets are loaded with credit cards from different banks. Thanks to the digital push by the government, today almost every big and small establishments have a POS machine, allowing you to swipe your card. But with so many cards, it might be a bit difficult to manage the payments on your credit card bills.
Founded by Kunal Shah, in November 2018, Cred is an app where you can save all your card details, and pay the banks via the app itself. There are multiple payment options like net banking and UPI. For every rupee you pay via Cred, you earn a point. Once you have earned enough points, you can redeem them for discount coupons for various goods or services from their partner merchants.
Cred also analyses your spending patterns, alerts you about suspicious activities from your cards, and reminds you about the due dates of various cards. All in all, it is a one-stop solution for all your credit card needs.
Cred raised $120 million in August 2019, at a valuation of $450 million, and is now aiming for a valuation of almost $800 million for the next round.
Started in 2010 as a YouTube channel by Gaurav Munjal, who was later on joined by Hemesh Singh and Dr. Roman Saini, Unacademy first provided free lectures for various entrance exams.
As the channel’s popularity grew, the founders decided to monetize their idea in 2015, by introducing live classes, and an ad-free version for paid members. Today the platform has around 20 million subscribers including both free and paid subscriptions and approximately 18,000 educators who take classes for a variety of entrance exams, including UPSC and CAT. The app also has a premium service for more personalized classes and courses like computer programming and spoken English.
Over the last few years, Unacademy has acquired many small startups to strengthen its portfolio. In the latest funding, it has raised $150 million from Softbank, valuing it at $1.45 billion, making it the second unicorn education start-up in India after Byjus.
Started by Srijana Bagaria, due to her personal experience in a public restroom, along with her husband Vikas, in 2013, Pee Safe began its journey as a toilet seat sanitizer spray. Gradually the company introduced a variety of female and intimate hygiene-related products like panty liners, menstrual cups, sweat pads, and breast pads. After the pandemic struck, the company has also forayed into disinfectants, sanitizers, and masks.
One of the main reasons for its success is that it has an equal reach in both online as well as offline channels. The products are available in around 9000 stores across 70 major cities and are also available on all major e-commerce websites. The company was awarded the best SMB brand of the year for 2020 by Amazon SMBHAV.
The lack of proper infrastructure and poor hygiene and sanitation in public toilets has given Pee Safe a huge market to satisfy. The company has had a 3 fold growth in the past year and is eyeing a 20% monthly rise in the number of customers. After the success of the brand in India, the founders are optimistic about establishing a global presence within the next 5 years.
Formerly known as Urban Clap, the company was established in 2014 as a hyperlocal service platform. The company has around 25,000 service professionals and operates in around 17 cities in India, and in places like Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sydney, and Singapore.
The company offers various home maintenance services like painting, repair, and cleaning, as well as beauty and wellness services like spa, grooming, yoga, and fitness, via its site and app.
Training and up-skilling of the associated professionals is a big focus of the company, and it has established around 50 training centers, where around 100 full-time trainers help their associates. The training has been recognized by the National Skill Development Corporation.
Standard pricing, convenience, and good quality service have been the driving force for the company. This has helped them double their revenues for FY20, compared to the previous year.
The recent pandemic has seen a spike in demand for the company, especially in the areas of grooming and repair, and the company received almost a million orders this month. To take advantage of the newfound demand, the company plans to expand in more than 10 new cities in the near future.
Valued at close to a billion dollars during its last round of funding, the company counts Kalyan Krishnamurthy, the CEO of Flipkart, and Ratan Tata amongst its investors.
Co-founded by Mukesh Bansal in 2016, the company is a fitness start-up. The company has grown on the increased fad amongst millennials to eat healthily and live healthily. It operates on four verticals, cult.fit, eat.fit, mind.fit and care.fit, offering fitness, healthy food, mental health, and diagnostic services respectively. The aim of the company is to provide an easy entry to its subscribers into the world of fitness and keep them motivated to continue.
The company has both, online and offline presence, and currently operates around cult.fit centers in metros like Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Hyderabad, and Chennai. It is also one of the first companies to open a center in Jammu, after the abrogation of article 370.
Cult.fit centers provide training in yoga, boxing, MMA, sports conditioning, Zumba, etc. Eat.fit allows consumers to order healthy diet alternatives like ready to eat meals, proteins, workout supplements, and juices. Mind.fit is a mental health and well-being platform that provides therapy sessions for a variety of lifestyle issues including depression, anxiety, and marriage issues. Patients can book either an online session or visit a nearby mind.fit centers for counseling. Over a period of time, cure.fit plans to develop a whole healthcare ecosystem, right from fitness, mental health, food, prevention, and diagnosis.
Within 4 years of its inception, the company has raised around 2500 crore rupees to fund its growth and was valued at more than $700 million at its last round of funding. The company boasts of Binny Bansal, Ratan Tata, and Hrithik Roshan among its investors.
Recently, the company has also forayed into online grocery and sportswear.