Introduction to Indian Startup Ecosystem
A recent report published by CBI Insights concluded that India was among the world’s top 3 largest startup ecosystems, closely competing with the US and China. In 2019, Indian startups received significant investment, with as much as USD 4.4 billion infused into various ventures between January and September alone.
Furthermore, 2022 witnessed a rise of as many as 14,000 startups in India. With these figures in mind, it is evident that India is a hub for significant startup activity. There are mainly three main reasons that can be attributed to this. Such include,
- Low-cost skilled labour
- National and international funding
- Growth opportunities
The following article explores some of the best startups in India. So, without any further delay, let’s get started!
Criteria for Ranking Top Startups
Before we delve into the details of successful startups in India, let’s look at the startup ranking system.
While there is no standard way to rank startups, three common criteria are often used to assess and rank top startups. These criteria include:
- Based on the number of companies that have received funding from VCs or angels.
- Based on the percentage of companies that have generated revenue
- Based on the total number of organisations or businesses that have been acquired.
One of the primary reasons for startup ranking is that it accurately evaluates the performance of new companies within a specific timeframe. Examples of startup ranking systems include Forbes Global 2000, Kauffman Index, and Crunchbase Startups.
#1: CRED- FinTech
Founded by Kunal Shah in 2018, CRED is a platform that facilitates the payment of all credit card bills. It has recently introduced a new feature called CRED coins, enabling users to get free coins every time they pay via the application. The coins can be redeemed for product purchases or workshop participation. The headquarters of this startup company is situated in Bangalore, with 11.2 million users.
#2: Flipkart- Ecommerce
Flipkart has become quite a household name in the Indian subcontinent. It was first launched in 2007 by Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal. In a very short period, it has accumulated wealth and fame, thus making its way to the top 10 startups in India.
Flipkart is an online marketplace where sellers can easily connect with buyers. In return, Flipkart charges a commission fee for the items sold via the platform. Initially started as an online bookstore, Flipkart expanded to sell mobile phones, household products, and more. With over 80 million products, it covers diverse categories.
#3: Ola – Transportation
OLA, one of the top startups in India, is a leading ride-hailing company with 125+ million users. It was first launched in 2010 by Ankita Bhati and Bhavish Aggarwal. Fast forward to 2019, it opened its first food delivery service by acquiring Foodpanda.
For every ride booked on this platform, Ola charges a specific commission from taxi drivers. This is its main revenue source, alongside advertisements and premium memberships.
#4: Meesho – Retail
Meesho is a reseller platform that enables small businesses to connect with their target audience. It provides facilities such as managing logistics and payments for the sellers. Founded in 2015 by IIT Delhi graduates, Meesho has grown into a valued marketplace worth USD 2.1 billion.
#5: PharmEasy – Healthcare
Dharmil Sheth introduced PharmEasy in 2015 to digitise the healthcare industry. PharmEasy is a healthcare delivery platform that has simplified the whole healthcare setup in India. It allows you to connect with local pharmacies and have medicines and health equipment delivered to your doorstep.
#6: Nykaa – Beauty Retail
Launched in 2012, Nykaa has very quickly made its name among the best startups in India, and for all the right reasons. It is a home-grown startup store that typically sells products related to beauty, fashion, and wellness, both online and offline. The idea was to make these products easily available to teenagers and young adults.
#7: Zomato – Online Food Ordering
Founded in 2008 by Pankaj Chaddah and Deepinder Goyal, Zomato has emerged as a prominent food application. It operates in 24 countries worldwide and boasts 32 million monthly users. Given such huge popularity and high performance of this platform, it is regarded among the top startups in India.
#8: Boat – Lifestyle
Founded by Aman Gupta in 2016, Boat is yet another example of a successful startup in India. It specialises in electronic goods ranging from earphones to travel chargers. Very few companies have been able to provide top-notch quality of these electronic items at affordable price points. This is one of the many reasons this company has exponentially grown among Indian youths.
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#9: Paytm – FinTech
Paytm is a one-stop solution for all financial needs, from bill payments to mobile recharges and money transfers. It was first introduced in the year 2010 by Vijay Shekhar Sharma. Starting as a simple mobile wallet service, it has now become a leading giant in the FinTech industry, with over 90 million users.
#10: Byju’s – Educational Technology
With over 10 million users, Bujy’s is an online platform that specialises in providing educational courses to students. Tencent and Sofina are among the many investors in this ed-tech startup. It was launched by Byju Raveendran in the year 2015 and has quickly emerged as a leader in the educational technology sector.
#11: Groww – FinTech
Founded in 2016, Groww is an investing platform that has made investment in mutual funds and stocks very easy. To make it more convenient, Groww is now available as a mobile application and on the web. It boasts as many as 10 million active users, hailing from smaller and metro cities of India. An interesting fact about this platform is that it was a joint venture of four ex-Flipkart employees.
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#12: DREAM11 – Fantasy Sports
DREAM11, a Mumbai-based fantasy gaming platform, has over 100 million users today. Starting with 1 million users, it has become one of the best Indian unicorn startups. DREAM11 is the brainchild of Harsh Jain and Bhavish Seth. The idea was to make fantasy sports more popular and accessible to the youths of India.
#13- Udaan – B2B Ecommerce
Udaan, a B2B platform launched in 2016 and co-founded by Amod Malvia, Vaibhav Gupta, and Sujeet Kumar. It quickly gained popularity and now has 3 million users and huge investors such as DST Global and GGV Capital. With the launch of this platform, B2B business processes have become much more convenient and efficient. It has established itself as one of the best startup companies in India.
#14: Skit.ai – ARM
Initially known as Vernacular.ai and later renamed Skit.ai, this AI platform offers software as a service focusing on voice automation. Founded by Sourabh Gupta, Akshay Deshraj, and Major Sarda, Skit.ai provides features like digital voice agents for real-time personalised conversations. It was launched in the year 2016 and is recognised as one of the best startup companies in Bangalore.
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#15: Razorpay – FinTech Payments
Razorpay is an India-based payment gateway platform that offers numerous features, such as subscription billing and smart collection. From healthcare to education, Razorpay has left its mark in almost every industry. An interesting fact about this startup is that it caters to all business organisations, irrespective of their size and sector.
Why these Startups are worth Working or Investing in?
The benefits of working at startups are many. From exciting work culture to flexible working schedules, you enjoy the true essence of having a good work-life balance. Furthermore, you can learn from your colleagues and seniors and develop skills and qualities that may not be as readily available in established businesses.
Startups are also considered worthy investments as you gain access to new technologies and ideas. By supporting the dedicated team behind the startup, your investment plays a crucial role in economic growth and job opportunities.
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Future Outlook for Indian Startup Ecosystem.
India’s startup ecosystem has witnessed massive growth over the past few years. With so many new startup companies emerging, the market is expected to hit USD 5 trillion by 2024 without limiting itself to one domain.
Furthermore, the Indian government has also rolled out various new policies to facilitate entrepreneurs and boost the overall growth of the Indian startup ecosystem. Such include the creation of state-run incubators and reforms like tax holidays, among others.
To sum up, one of the key strengths of startup companies is their ability to adapt quickly and efficiently to a dynamic environment. One main reason behind this is unlike large enterprises, startups usually consist of a smaller team that usually takes prompt actions to implement any new idea in their business. This enables businesses to respond better to the changes in the market and stay ahead of the competition.
If you’re a recent graduate, joining a startup can lead to fruitful career outcomes!