Delhi-NCR is the new hotspot for startups and unicorns in India and the third-largest start-up network in the world after the US and UK. Six Indian cities – Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad and Pune – rank among the top-100 start-ups globally. Bengaluru, Delhi NCR, and Mumbai – collectively cornered almost 90% of the startup funding during the last five years.
Here is a list of top startups based on funding, overall growth and job openings which survived against all odds in 2020
IntrCity RailYatri – India’s top single-window platform for safe, time-bound, and hassle-free mobility
There is a saying that a journey of a thousand miles often begins with the first few steps – one at a time — in the right direction. This holds true for IntrCity RailYatri.
The startup’s journey began in 2014 when Manish Rathi and Kapil Raizada quit their regular job to start IntrCity RailYatri a smart user-friendly portal for passengers travelling by rail. What they wanted was to provide comprehensive travel information under one roof and help people plan their journey from one city to another.
Today brand IntrCity is synonymous with a comfortable, convenient, and reliable travel experience by bus or train. Its ethos is to deliver – safe, time-bound, secure, and hassle-free travel to customers- anywhere, everywhere, always, and every time. IntrCity RailYatri –is a brand people trust to reach their destinations in a safe and secure manner in a — 100% hygienic, convenient and comfortable bus journey.
The COVID 19 opened floodgates of possibilities for IntrCity SmartBus and helped the company innovate and carve out a niche in the intercity mobility segment. To overcome the fear in the mind of the travellers IntrCity SmartBus introduced Safe+ initiative. Apart from this, the Company pioneered the concept of SmartBus Lounges where due attention was paid to maintaining social distancing and sanitized interiors. The Company also introduced convenient and comfortably air-conditioned lounges where the travellers could wait for their bus and spend time indoor in a safe environment. These lounges had recliners for taking a power nap, besides free Wi-Fi capability, mobile charging points, and basic amenities like clean drinking water, coffee and toilets.
This worked as the consumers today have started expecting a better quality of safety, with comfort and convenience than ever before. This understanding of the shift in consumer preference helped IntrCity SmartBus scale-up its performance and cross all-time high peaks.
IntrCity RailYatri now plans to expand its services and penetrate deeper into India’s heartland with a fleet of 2,000 buses over the next three years.
Care.fit — online video consultation services
Cure.fit, a health tech and wellness start-up promoted by Myntra founder Mukesh Bansal, and Ankit Nagori a former Flipkart top executive in May 2016 takes a holistic approach towards health and fitness by bringing together all aspects of a healthy lifestyle on a single platform. cure.fit offers both online and offline experiences across fitness, nutrition and mental wellbeing through its 4 products, i.e, cult.fit, eat.fit, mind.fit & care.fit.
Its aim is to make fitness fun and easy. Cult.fit gives workouts a whole new meaning with a range of trainer-led, group workout classes. Eat.fit makes healthy eating, easy & affordable. Every freshly cooked eat.fit meal offers the best and calorie counted ingredients and is delivered to your doorstep. Mind.fit focuses on relieving day to day stress and improving overall mental wellbeing through yoga, and guided meditation. Care.fit offers doctor consultations and clinical expertise to help in providing care for common illnesses and complex issues.
The Covid-19 pandemic made people focus on health and well-being while being confined indoors. Many of them started looking for online health care apps to stay fit. Cashing in on the trend cure.fit started online classes and fitness sessions by trainers and celebrities.
Cure.fit conducted 3,500 to 4,000 online personal training sessions daily. Consumers aged between 25 and 34 were most willing to adopt digital fitness solutions, with female users (60 percent) being more open to virtual classes than male users (40 percent). Online classes and sessions enabled them to work out from the comfort and safety of their homes
The company aims to add 300 to 400 gyms into its network by the end of 2021.
Delhivery – one of the largest logistics company in India
Logistics startup Delhivery founded by Sahil Barua, Mohit Tandon, Bhavesh Manglani, Suraj Saharan, and Kapil Bharati in 2011 is today one of the largest supply Chain Company in India in terms of revenue generation. One of the first e-commerce delivery companies in India it offers an array of services which includes cross border and technology services, parcel transportation, freight, and fulfilment services. Delhivery provides parcel transportation, warehousing, freight, reverse logistics, cross-border and technology services to over 10000 customers. Delhivery can process more than 10 lakh (1 million) parcels per day and boasts of a nationwide network that touches over 17,500 pin codes and 2,300 cities. Based on its performance during the current financial year, the company expects to move ahead of its competitors like Blue Dart, FedEx, Ecom Express, Gati and XpressBees.
All this is in keeping with its ethos- making the world a smaller place
Grofers – one of India’s leading online grocery delivery service
Grofers started as a grocery delivery platform based out of Gurugram in 2013. Today Grofers provides a mobile e-commerce platform for online shopping and delivery of groceries, fruits, vegetables, cosmetics, electronics, and other daily needs. It offers fresh produce, pet care products, bakery products, meats, flowers, sports products, household products, baby care products, and others.
Grofers operates in 29 cities namely Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune, Jaipur, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Lucknow, Aligarh, Agra, Ahmedabad, Gurugram, Noida, Ghaziabad, Kanpur, Faridabad, Meerut, Rohtak, Bhiwadi, Moradabad, Mathura, Sonipat, Guwahati, Panipat, Durgapur, Vadodara, Allahabad, and Modinagar. Grofers was among the few online grocery platforms that continued to operate even during the lockdown in India
As a one-stop-shop for online grocery shopping, Grofers offers attractive discounts to its customers from time to time.
PaytmMall – an online marketplace for a wide range of products
PaytmMall strives to make online shopping a pleasant and cost-effective experience by providing top quality products at the best price rates in India. Its wide range of products consists of electronic appliances, clothes, grocery, home and kitchen products, backpacks, automobiles, books and stationery, to name a few. The company is now associating with international brands like Mawarid Distribution, Vedica Organics, Ceegee Impex, Five River Foodstuff and Mayar Foods to promote Indian products in global markets.
Some of the benefits of shopping on PaytmMall include user-friendly Safe & Secure online shopping experience and multiple payment options like Paytm Wallet, Credit/Debit Cards, Netbanking and UPI. Some of the other benefits of Paytm Mall include faster delivery and amazing deals. Paytm Mall World Store offers access to imported products ranging from beauty and personal care, watches, and jewellery at competitive rates.
Avaada Energy – one of the leading Independent Power Producers (IPP) in India
“AVAADA” is derived from two words – Ayurveda (the science of life) + Vaada (promise) symbolizing the promise of a sustainable future. One of the pioneers in the field of renewable energy, Avaada was founded established in 2017 driven by a promise to make the world a better place.
Avaada is one of the fastest-growing green energy firms, developing sustainable and innovative solar, wind, and hybrid energy solutions. Avaada Energy has commissioned over 1.8 GW of renewable assets (Solar and Wind) and is in the process of implementing 2000 MW of open access solar plants in Maharashtra, Tamilnadu, Haryana, Karnataka and Orissa. Avaada has undertaken projects at remote locations like Jayapur, Kargil, Leh, Ladakh, and Manipur.
Avaada Energy recently raised over INR 1000 Crore from investors such as the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Dutch Development Bank, and Netherlands Development Finance Company (FMO). Avaada aims at building 5 GW of renewable energy portfolio in Asia and Africa by the year 2022. The Company aspires to be a leader in the renewable energy sector by 2025.
The Company philosophy is to make this world a better place, to bring value to people, create a sustainable society and give back to planet earth.
PolicyBazaar – India’s largest online insurance aggregator
PolicyBazaar.com is India’s prominent online life insurance and general insurance aggregator. It aims to make it easier and help insurance buyers make an informed decision at the click of the mouse that too from the comfort of their home. PolicyBazaar has tied up with 50+ insurance companies in India to offer a myriad of options. It is a one-stop-shop where buyers can compare different insurance policies such as car insurance, life insurance, two-wheeler insurance, term insurance, post-retirement pension plans as well as other investment, and tax-saving options.
Founded in 2008 PolicyBazaar is going strong in its eleventh year of operation. Policybazaar.com offers an unbiased and hassle-free data-driven platform to buy insurance.
PhonePe — a digital wallet and online payment platform
PhonePe – a Flipkart group company – has revolutionized the way mobile payments are made or accepted in India. It is a safe, easy and reliable digital payment app that allows its users to transfer money instantly to anyone, by using just their mobile number. PhonePe service was launched in 2015 by Sameer Nigam, Rahul Chari and Burzin Engineer to foster a cashless economy in India. The PhonePe app went live in August 2016 aiming to make digital payments so easy, and universally accepted thus eliminating the need to carry cash or credit/debit cards.
PhonePe app, users can make instant money transfers, pay their utility bills, make routine food, travel, grocery payments, buy gold, invest in tax saving funds and recharge their mobile or DTH connection.
PhonePe today is a preferred payment option with over 200 million users and accepted at over 10 million merchant outlets in some 400 cities all over India.
CarDekho – India’s leading car search venture that helps users buy the right car, right now
True to its spirit right car, right now – Gurgaon-based CarDekho which went live has made buying and selling of cars seem like child’s play by enabling buyers and sellers the tools for comparison, valuation, and EMI calculation. CarDekho.com is India’s most popular Auto portal that helps its users with car research, finance, insurance, used cars and get the best possible deal through its exclusive tie-ups with car manufacturers, finance and insurance companies. The company has tied-up with more than 4000 OEMs, car dealers and financial institutions to facilitate the sale-purchase of vehicles.
Its website and app carry authoritative automotive content such as expert reviews, detailed specs and prices, comparisons as well as videos and pictures of all car brands and models available in India.
Set up by two brothers Amit and Anurag Jain in 2008 CarDekho.com has today expanded to Southeast Asia and also has a presence in the UAE. Its investors include Google Capital, Tybourne Capital, Hillhouse Capital, Sequoia Capital, HDFC Bank, Ratan Tata and Times Internet.
VMate – online platform for creating and sharing videos
Vmate was launched as an online platform for creating and sharing videos in 2016. But since then it has emerged as a social video sharing platform that enables users to share video clips, stickers, filter magic stickers and more. It has amassed 30 million users globally. VMate is today one of the top five “breakout social media App” with a total of 50 million active users in India.
VMate was launched in India in 2016 by Alibaba subsidiary UC Web as a video streaming and short-video-sharing app. VMate now has features such as video downloads, and 3D face emojis. VMate’s main competitors include Roposo, ShareChat and TikTok.
VMate allows users to watch the latest movies online and videos based on a user’s browsing history and interest. Users can also edit videos through the mobile app and share the same on various social platforms such as Facebook, and Instagram.
During the lockdown due to the pandemic, VMate launched ‘Myth Buster’ – a public awareness drive to raise awareness and provide WHO-sourced information about Covid-19 in interactive and animated format. Apart from this, #21DaysChallenge was launched with a fresh contest each day to keep people busy in their homes and provide an opportunity to win cash rewards to users who were unable to go for work resulting in loss of income.
Apart from these, VMate also roped in stand-up comedian Bharti Singh, in a campaign titled #GharBaitheBanoLakhpati which provided users with an opportunity to earn cash rewards up to Rs 3 crore by creating comical videos.
UrbanClap – home and beauty services platform in India, Middle East, Singapore and Australia
Urban Company (formerly known as Urban Clap) founded by IIT-Kanpur graduates Abhiraj Singh Bhal, Raghav Chandra, Varun Khaitan in 2014 is one of the much-talked-about startups. It began in 2013 when Abhiraj Bhal and Varun Khaitan left their jobs as consultants at the Boston Consulting Group in the USA and decided to return to India to launch their venture. They met Raghav Chandra who had previously worked with companies like Yelp and Twitter. The trio pooled INR 10 lakh each to launch UrbanClap, a hyper-local home service platform.
Urban Company links professionally trained high-quality service providers with consumers who seek these services with professionalism from the comfort of their homes. It enables service providers to undergo intensive training before they list their services on the platform. On-demand the platform’s algorithm matches service providers and customer’s requirements based on proximity, time, and date.
Urban Company has over 60,000 professionals on its platform, and it fulfils the requests of over 5,500 customers daily. Urban Company has already served over 5 million customers across India, Dubai, and Abu Dhabi.
1mg — India’s leading online pharmacy & digital healthcare platform
1mg is an online pharmacy network platform that sells prescription medicines, generic medicines, and a range of other wellness products in over 1000 cities across India.
Founded by Prashant Tandon, Gaurav Agarwal, and Vikas Chauhan in 2013 it was initially called Healthkartplus — a medical information repository that dealt only in alternative medicine. The vision behind it was to empower Indian consumers to provide them with an option to select the most appropriate healthcare service at the best possible price.
Over the years, it evolved as a platform that offers medicines, lab tests, and doctor consultations. 1mg provides a wide range of allopathic, Ayurvedic, homoeopathic medicines, vitamins & nutrition supplements and other health-related products. It is today an online pharmacy network and generic medicine engine which enables users to find information about medicines prescribed by doctors and also buy them. Users can find drugs by ailments, class, companies, and brands.
One can also book for lab tests and get telemedicine services on the platform. From doctor consultations on chat to online pharmacy and lab tests at home, it has delivered over 25 million orders in 1000+ cities till date. At present, the platform has about 2,000 tests and 120 verified labs listed and users can consult a doctor across 20 specialities.
In recent times, 1mg has played a pivotal role in ensuring that the much-needed healthcare services continue to remain accessible to families’ right from their homes even amidst the pandemic.
1mg has made its mark as a pioneer and leader in the digital healthcare space and boasts of being the most trusted player in the segment. Its vision is to be India’s #1 Digital Health Company that is making healthcare affordable, accessible & understandable.