6 Interesting Indian Tech Startups
Far from being confined to Silicon Valley, promising companies are springing up in traditionally developing areas. One of the most vibrant alternative tech scenes is India, where notable startups are attracting investment and interest. These new companies are advancing developments in transportation, FinTech, HealthTech and retail via new technology, particularly Artificial Intelligence and big data. So, who are some of these forward looking Indian businesses today?
1. Capital Float
Small to medium enterprises can be hindered by a lack of available funding, or by long waits on loan payments. Capital Float, set up in 2013, is an online financing platform that provides short term loans for Indian SMEs. Customers receive funds within seven days – a considerable improvement on incumbent lending systems. The company expanded rapidly in 2016, and has received overall investment of over $43 million. The availability of flexible funding is a key enabler for business growth, and therefore India’s blossoming tech scene too. Capital Float has partnered up with industry giants including Amazon, eBay, Uber and Chinese telco Alibaba.
2. Myra Medicines
HealthTech startup Myra Medicines is essentially an online pharmacy that delivers prescriptions to patient’s homes within an hour. The company was founded in 2015 as a response to the inaccessibility of medical supplies. Through data science and machine learning algorithms, Myra Medicines predicts levels of demand and establishes patterns in user behaviour. They also track their orders in real time to make sure that medicines are successfully delivered. Their app now processes 1,000 transactions per day, and serves around 10,000 customers in Bengaluru alone. Notable investors include Twitter’s Pankaj Gupta.
Ola Cabs was founded in 2010 in Bengaluru, and is now one of India’s most influential unicorn companies. A forerunner in the car hailing industry, Ola uses data analysis and machine learning techniques to keep track of traffic, enhance customer experience, understand driver behaviour and improve vehicle efficiency. AI also helps the transportation firm to match supply to demand, as well as noting the in car, info entertainment choices of passengers. Ola gathers data about drivers and customers and then uses it to improve their services. Much like fellow car hailing app Uber, though, Ola is currently dealing with some bad press.
Paytm is an electronic payment company based in Delhi. The Paytm Wallet, launched in 2013, allows customers to pay for plane tickets, taxi fares, broadband, fuel and utility bills using their mobiles. Through machine learning, the platform recognises serious buyers and tailors promotions and recommendations towards them. This May, Paytm received $1.4 billion in funding from Japanese telco giant SoftBank, constituting their largest investment in any Indian business to date. With this sort of backing, it’s no wonder that Paytm Wallet is India’s biggest mobile payment platform, with more than 75 million Android app downloads.
Set up in 2014, FarEye is a SaaS platform that helps businesses to keep track of logistics. It doesn’t sound particularly glamorous, but production metrics, warehouse management and transportation optimisation are vital for any retail business. The company also uses data analytics to suggest the most efficient transportation methods for deliveries, and the best locations for physical stores or warehouses. FarEye is based in Delhi, but plans to open new offices in Bengaluru, Bombay and Singapore. They also want to improve connectivity through the Internet of Things, and use drones for automated deliveries. The startup has more than 75 global clients, including Hitachi, Sephora and Walmart India.
6. Graviky Labs
According to the World Bank, air pollution causes three million deaths per year, and costs a whopping $5.11 trillion in welfare expense. A large contributor to pollution is car emissions, especially in population dense areas. Bengaluru based startup Graviky Labs wants to turn these emissions into something useful – ink. By fitting Kaalink attachments to exhaust pipes, the company collects soot and turns it into a carbon based pigment. Graviky Labs was incorporated in 2016, and has since raised $120,000 in seed funding. They might be a small company, but their vision for sustainability is innovation at its finest.
The birth of successful technology startups in different places across the world shows that investors and disruptors need to adopt a global outlook. This is especially the case for developing areas that might not seem initially suited to high tech innovation. Bengaluru, for instance, is shaping up to be a competitive technology hub. Perhaps the most promising sector is ecommerce, fuelled by AI and data science. Either way, with serious interest from major investors and industry leaders, the wider tech community should watch eastern advancements very carefully.