Leading Indian digital business startups working with emerging technologies
Work from home pushed many digital businesses at the forefront with their innovative offerings that enhanced a user’s experience from the comfort of their homes. It has been noted that in addition to the investments by venture capitalists, the institutional investors and the pension funds have been investing in many new digital businesses and start-ups with massive potential to scale up. Inc 42 noted that in April 2021, the first round of funding, India raised $4.6 billion dollars in funding and 10 brands joined the Unicorn club in 2021.
Some of the top brands who gained this funding are ecommerce brands, EdTech companies, Fintech and Financial services offering brands. When we look at the partnerships between global giant Walmart and Indian e-commerce leader Filpkart, it shows us the path of India growing as one of the hubs for biggest start-ups. PayTM, Dream 11, Swiggy and Razorpay are some examples of Indian start-ups that are rich valued across the world.
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Let’s take a look into some of the Indian start-ups that work with emerging technologies and have made it to the unicorn list recently:
What if you can manage all your credit card bills on one app and keep a check on your credit score? Well, you can!
Founded in 2018, CRED is an Indian Fintech company. It is a members only 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 behavior. 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 6 million users on the app, the brand’s customer base includes 22% of all the credit card holders, as claimed by the brand. As one of India’s youngest growing start-ups, CRED is also planning for their own ecommerce store.
Do you want to start your own business from home with zero investment and also make it go national? Here you go then!
An e-commerce company founded by IIT graduates in 2015, Meesho is a reseller platform that is intended to be consumed by a billion Indians. They are on their way to become one of the biggest e-commerce distribution channels for the category. They lure in the potential entrepreneurs with their platform offering them to start their business from home with zero investment. One of their leading investors includes Facebook, now known as Meta. Meesho not simply connects a buyer and a seller but also offers to manage logistics, orders and payments to the seller. The brand also claims to have 40% of their users as first time e-commerce users and that they are focused on helping Bharat ( India) to learn how to shop online. In 2021 ( September), as per the brand, Meesho has been the world’s most downloaded app on the google play store. They have also helped 13 million women start their own businesses on their platform with zero investment.
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What if you could find options to invest in some of the best mutual funds, stocks and more in one place? It’s here!
Founded in 2016, Groww is an investing platform that allows its user base to invest in stocks, mutual funds, IPO’s, fixed deposits and more. Working as a web offering and an app, the app was started keeping in mind the struggle of making investments in India. The brand entered the unicorn list in 2021 and is busy recruiting new talent, building new products and curating an educational platform for investors. Groww is also part of CB Insights List of 250 world’s most promising companies. Teaching young professionals and millennials to invest their money wisely, Groww is working on changing the investment landscape in India and making it Easy, Fast and Transparent. They have over 20 million users and are focused on educating their user base on various investment types.
What if you can find everything that was otherwise in a medical store – online? Yes, it is all here!
Founded in 2015, PharmEasy is a healthcare app and website offering OTC products, diagnostic tests and medical instruments. The brand prides in calling themselves a consumer healthcare “super app” that provides its consumers with on-demand, home delivered access to a wide range of prescriptions, other consumer health care products, a range of comprehensive diagnostic test services, telemedicine and more. The pandemic helped the brand to become an essential service and products provider that has contributed to its growth. Beyond the regular sale of medicines online, the brand also connects consumers/ patients with local and nearest pharmacies and diagnostic test centers based on their medical needs. The brand delivers medicines in close to 1000 plus cities and across 22,000 pincodes. PharmEasy also offers the online order of medicines and healthcare products to be delivered within 4 hours to maximum 24-48 hours. It aims to offer affordable healthcare to all and has close to 25 million registered users.
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What if the process of insurance was simpler and just a few clicks away? Digit has you covered!
Founded in 2016, Digit Insurance claims to make insurance simple for everyone. Car, bike, health, travel to property insurance, Digit has you covered for all. Entering the Unicorn club in 2021, the brand also has celebrity investors, Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma, who invested close to $340K in 2020. 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 break even 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.
One stop shop for all your beauty and fashion needs? Nykaa, leads the way!
Founded in 2012, Nykaa is a e-commerce giant today leading the beauty and fashion segment in the Indian market. Offering beauty, wellness and fashion products to its customers at reasonable prices. With celebrity investors like Alia Bhatt and Katrina Kaif, the brand was founded by a former investment banker. In 2020 the brand entered the list of Unicorns becoming the first Indian Unicorn led by a woman. The brand has more than 84 offline stores and launched its own IPO in the last quarter of 2021. 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.
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A platform just for traders, manufactures, wholesalers? Yes, it exists.
Founded in 2016, Udaan has a vision to “transform the way trade is done in India leveraging technology’’. One of India’s leading B2B e-commerce platforms, it has operations in various categories; lifestyle, electronics, staples, toys, general merchandise, home & kitchen, fruits and vegetables and pharma. Offering its services mainly to small and medium sized business owners across the nation, Udaan is solving their core trade problems by offering a ‘India-fit, low cost business model with the help of tech and bringing them ( small business owners) the benefits of e-commerce’. With a network of over 3 million registered users and over 25,000 sellers across 900+ cities covering 12,000 pincodes, 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.
The list can go on however it is vital to understand that we live in an age of hyper-connectivity and user/ customer engagement plays the most crucial role in the growth of a brand. The emergence of these start-ups is also a direct reflection of customer needs, new age tech driven innovations and global connectivity. Brands in today’s global age also hold the responsibility to create and lead a positive change.
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