When we look at the investment figures that go towards building start-ups in India, the trajectory shows us a clear sign on how start-ups in India are a booming industry. Here is a small glimpse of how the sector has grown from the viewpoint of investment raised over the past few years:
2018 – $6.6 Billion
2020 – $10 Billion
2021 – $36 Billion
(Figures from StartupStash website article)
These figures are a simple reflection of the entrepreneurial strength of the Indian eco-system and our rapidly growing economy that is offering a strong foundation for start-ups to be born, thrive and grow. This article features a small part of the start-ups eco-system in India, offering a glimpse into few leading tech start-ups and the industries they operate in. Let’s not forget, some of these start-ups are also part of the unicorn club.
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“Easy. Fast. Transparent.
Investment in India was none of the above. But we are changing that. Super easy to use, lighting fast and crystal clear.”
This is Groww’s own description of what they represent – Investment made easy, the brand’s mantra. Groww is a fintech start-up that is teaching young professionals and millennials in India on how to invest their money wisely aiding in changing the investment landscape for the country pushing it towards being Easy, Fast and Transparent. What started in 2016 as an investment platform (offering investments in stocks, mutual funds, IPO’s and more) via a web offering and an application has grown into fastest growing start-ups in India that entered the unicorn club in 2021. Groww is also part of CB Insights List of 250 world’s most promising companies. They have over 40 million users and are focused on educating their user base on various investment types.
Groww is backed by Tiger Global, Ribbit Capital, Sequoia, ICONIQ, Satya Nandella amongst others.
For their future, the brand mentioned that they will soon be launching deposits, credit, and US stocks along with growing its financial education content that they consider crucial to their success – primarily aimed at millennials.
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‘Rewards for paying credit card bills’, CRED’s homepage tagline is clear, we’d say.
The USP of reward-based spending is a huge game changer for the Indian market. And if that USP was not enough, the brand has a long list of celebrities they used in smart curated ad campaigns to reach different niche audiences.
CRED is a fintech start-up that is one of the fastest ever billion-dollar (unicorn) start-up in the Indian start-up scenario. CRED offers you a platform where you can pay your credit card bills and get incentive offers leading you to improve the way you manage finances and your financial behaviour. If you pay your bill on time, you get rewarded. When a CRED user pays their credit card bill on the app, they earn “Cred coins”, these coins collected can be redeemed for buying a product, booking a workshop, or entering a contest.
The brand believes in the concept of good begets good and offers a range of curated products and experiences to its user base. These products and experiences on CRED are offered in partnership with a multitude of leading brands like Puma, Samsung, Dineout, The Lalit and more. With more than 9 million users on the app, the brand’s customer base includes 22% of all the credit card holders, as claimed by the brand.
The brand is backed by Falcon Edge Capital, Insight Partners, Tiger Global, DST Global and a few others.
“Insurance is complicated, we are here to simplify it.”
Using this as their main tagline, Digit makes it crystal clear they are all about Insurance and simplifying it. The USP you ask, well, Insurance at your fingertips. From your car, bike, scooter or your health insurance, international travel insurance, home insurance and shop insurance – there are a wide range of options available for you to make the right choice.
This InsurTech start-up was founded in 2016 and has celebrity investors like Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli. Virat Kohli is also the brand ambassador for digital and can be seen in brands merchandise across digital and outdoor marketing platforms.
Digit Insurance has also been awarded Asia’s General Insurance Company of the year 2019 and 2020. While also reaching “Fintech 250 List” and more. The brand chairman confirmed in 2020 that the brand grew 30% in 2020 also reaching their breakeven point, when the entire insurance industry was struggling. Digit offers documentation in simple words, no technical jargon, or hidden clauses. They are working on building a transparent process that is valued by the customers.
Digit Insurance is also backed by Fairfax, one of the world’s largest insurance companies.
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“India’s largest omnichannel beauty destination”
Nykaa in its own words claims to be one of the largest e-commerce market segments for beauty products. Founded by Falguni Nayar in 2021, Nykaa today is a unicorn start-up that has strong female celebrity investors like Alia Bhatt and Katrina Kaif.
The brand is proud to be redefining the art of e-retailing in the beauty and personal care segment in India. Their USP lies in the experience they offer to the customers that isn’t limited to domestic and international brands but also onboarding cult, niche and prestige brands – all of which are further celebrated with videos featuring experts showing how to use the products, informing customers of its advantages and styling tips. If this was not enough, there are exclusive on-trend pop-ups and kiosk stores by Nykaa across the nation along with a growing online community for beauty enthusiasts and buffs along with a beauty helpline.
Started as a beauty and wellness brand, Nykaa expanded into Nykaa Fashion offering apparel and accessories and has also introduced its own private label for intimate wear called Nykd. The brand successfully launched their own IPO in 2021.
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“Transform the way trade is done in India leveraging technology”
With a bold vision like this, Udaan is India’s largest B2B e-commerce platform with operations in fruits and vegetables, pharma, toys, general merchandise, home & kitchen staples to electronics amongst others.
This start-up reached the unicorn status within 2 years of operation and has been growing tremendously ever since. How, you ask?
Their main notion is to solve the core trade problem that many small to medium business owners in India face. Udaan offers them a low-cost business model on their platform that already leverages tech and brings e-commerce to them. With a network of over 3 million registered users and over 25,000 sellers across 900+ cities covering 12,000 pin codes, the platform enables farmers, small manufacturers and brands to market and sell their products nationwide at low costs. Udaan also offers them 100% payment security and complete transparency. This allows for small business owners kirana stores, local shops, restaurants, street vendors, small factories etc. to source from a wide and deep selection of high-quality products at best prices.
Focus on simplifying healthcare & impacting lives.
Pharmeasy calls themselves a “super app” while also focusing on their goal to make healthcare simple and more accessible to impact lives positively. Dealing with consumer healthcare, this start-up provides customers with on-demand, home delivered access to a whole range of prescription, OTC pharmaceuticals, consumer healthcare products, diagnostic test services and teleconsultants.
The brand has over 25 million registered users and 8.8 million orders (FY2021 – as per their own website). PharmEasy delivers medicines in close to 1000 plus cities and across 22,000 pin codes and has been featured in CB Insights for their ‘Digital Health 150’ list in 2020 making PharmEasy one of the promising start-ups in the digital health sector.
To assure its customers of fastest delivery of their medical needs (products/services), they are now building partnerships with existing pharmacies and retail stores – which will help them to offer quick deliveries in many new market segments.
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Brands in today’s global age also hold the responsibility to create and lead a positive change. These are only a few examples of leading tech start-ups in our country that aim to reflect the diversity in the offerings and the USP’s for each that helped them to become unicorns. They all focus on hyper-connectivity, being available to the last mile and managing customer engagement as a core area. That the emergence of these start-ups is also a direct reflection of customer needs, new age tech driven innovations and global connectivity.
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