Last week’s post about the New Tech Triangle of China-Israel-US drew more than a few comments.
Many tech champions who are already traversing this highway regularly couldn’t agree more that innovations will come from a combination of the best each of these hubs can offer.
But I also heard from sources in markets that weren’t included in my Triangle analysis. Chiefly those remarks came India, where venture capitalists and tech entrepreneurs felt slighted.
For a long time, I’ve been predicting that India would rival China for tech leadership. India, which ranks among the world’s top markets in venture capital financing, has been gaining but slowly. But China is too, gaining renewed strength by linking up with Israel’s startup nation and the best of Silicon Valley and Silicon Alley.
This is not to imply that India is being left behind or left out entirely.
In contributing to the Forbes Asia 30 under 30 issue that profiled millennial superstars, I found many up and comers that can make India proud.
These five up and comers who made the Forbes Asia 30 under 30 list from India stand out, and help to showcase India’s strength in software, mobile and e-commerce.
Jerin Venad, Founder, Cityflo
Bus commute service Cityflo uses technology to help passengers find their best travel options. The service was operational in Mumbai across 14 routes and the the network connects major residential city hubs to business complexes. Cityflo was launched in July 2015 then raised $750,000 from from IDG Ventures in September, and gained a large fan following with 20,000+ app downloads, 2500 daily transactions and 5000+ users. Venad is an IT graduate who is looking to revolutionize the daily commute in India’s largest cities.
Raviteja Dodda, Co-founder & CEO, MoEngage
Formed in mid-2014 for mobile app companies to better engage with customers through personalized marketing messages and notifications, MoEngage now has 90 Internet customers (including Snapdeal, Airtel and Micromax) across India, Southeast Asia and the U.S. The business is racking up $800,000 in annual revenues and growing by 15% monthly. MoEngage raised $5 million, notably $4.25 million in a Series A led by Helion Venture Partners in 2015. An Indian Institute of Technology grad, Dodda started as a Cisco software engineer, then co-founded a startup that developed the popular coupon offer network DelightCircle.
Dinesh Goel, Founder & CEO, AasaanJobs
Former Deutsche Bank analyst and Channel V project manager, Goel is using his technology wits to bring order to India’s unorganized labor market. In late 2013, the IIT graduate launched this jobs portal that specializes in entry-level work. Some 130,000 jobs seekers have accessed the site, and 450 qualified workers are being placed every month. AasaanJobs is gearing up for $1.2 million revenues next year, up from $200,000 the past 12 months. Goel has recently expanded the business from Mumbai to Pune and Delhi, and plans to enter Southeast Asian markets soon. In 2015, AasaanJobs lured in $6.5 million, primarily from Inventus Capital Partners and IDG Ventures India, for the task.
Atit Jain, Co-founder & CEO, Pluss
Jain struck gold when his first startup Gigstart, an online portal to find and book artists, was sold in early 2015 to India’s artist management company CAA Kwan, after 15 months from its launch. Now his latest startup Pluss, an app that links up with pharmacies to deliver medicines on demand to customers’ doorsteps in five Indian cities, is off to a flying start. In less than a year, it up to 65 staffers and 300 daily orders. Plus, Jain has raised $1.3 million from IDG Ventures, m & s partners, Powerhouse Ventures and Internet entrepreneurs Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal of Snapdeal fame. It’s a long way from his start as an analyst at J.P. Morgan and his off-hours pursuits as a skydiver, mountaineer and paraglider.
Geetansh Bamana, Founder, Rentomojo
Young Indian professionals are constantly on the move, changing jobs and rental apartments. Bamania is catering to them with a business that rents out furniture, kitchen appliances and home furnishings, even bikes. In a short span of 11 months, the service has gained 2500-plus subscribers across four Indian cities, and is growing by 40% monthly. Plus, Rentomojo is asset light – it doesn’t own the stuff it rents out. IDG and Accel funded the startup with $2 million last year. Though an engineer by training, Bamania is a serial entrepreneur by profession with prior forays into crowdfunding and community learning.
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