India has now surpassed the United Kingdom to become the third country with the most unicorns, following the United States and China. According to the Economic Survey, the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade recognizes approximately 61,400 startups in India (DPIIT). The services sector has the highest number of startups in the country. According to the survey, India’s 83 unicorns are worth $277.77 billion, with more than half having been formed in 2021.
Furthermore, the year 2021 will be remembered as a watershed moment in the Indian startup ecosystem, with a record 44 businesses reaching billion-dollar valuations and becoming members of the coveted ‘Unicorn Club.’ The trend appears to be continuing into 2022, with four new startups joining the billion-dollar club in January, averaging one per week in the first month of the year. With investors betting big on the Indian economy, pandemic-driven digital transformation, and opportunities in the ‘Bharat’ market, India’s startup ecosystem has been on full throttle.
According to Venture Intelligence, Indian entrepreneurs raised a record 35+ billion dollars in venture financing the previous year. According to the Economic Survey 2022, with more startups added since April 2019, Delhi has surpassed Bengaluru as India’s startup hub. According to the report, more than 5,000 recognized startups were established in Delhi between April 2019 and December 2021, while 4,514 were added in Bengaluru.
The Delhi National Capital Region (NCR) now has over 9000 startups and is leading the pack in terms of numbers. According to a report by Jefferies, an equity research firm, the startup ecosystem in Delhi NCR received $4 billion in the first half of 2017 and $1.6 billion in the second half. The country’s capital city was only able to raise $2.8 billion in finance in the first half of the previous fiscal year, slightly more than Bengaluru’s $1.8 billion.
The availability of talent is one of the most important factors driving the creation of startups in a given city, and work from home has given people more options when it comes to hiring. Furthermore, the availability of better infrastructure and other amenities has prompted many people to relocate to Delhi, which has aided startups in recruiting employees. Another factor that has contributed to Delhi’s status as a startup hotspot is the city’s well-developed infrastructure, which includes well-connected public transportation and highway construction. Talents from all over the country are drawn in by the easy access to better living conditions and opportunities.
These are the most well-known startups in Delhi.
Progcap (Desiderata Impact Ventures Private Limited) is a mission-driven, inclusive financial technology startup dedicated to unlocking the transformative impact of millions of micro and small businesses in the last mile by providing affordable, customised financing and digitising their supply chains. The startup underwrites loans using a combination of technology and its innovative delivery methodology, providing underbanked semi-urban and rural businesses in India with flexible, collateral-free working capital. The startups‘ financial and supply chain solutions can also benefit micro and small businesses. The lending platform generates credit scores for consumers by risk modelling these businesses with non-traditional ecosystem data. The startup’s goal is to empower these customers by providing them with affordable and quick credit through the use of cutting-edge technology.
Progcap’s online lending platform offers working capital loans. It provides tailored financing options for micro and small businesses, allowing users to apply for collateral-free loans via a mobile app or a web platform and receive quick approval. The platform’s credit algorithm evaluates borrowers’ creditworthiness by analysing data from business operations and supply chain ecosystem factors, and it offers collateral-free financing options. Repayment is flexible and linked to the consumer’s financial flow.
The company was founded in 2016 and is headquartered in New Delhi, India. Progcap focuses on providing quick and flexible collateral-free working capital to retailers in Tier II, III, and IV areas, where capital is often difficult to come by. Half of those who use this last-mile retailer loan are new to the credit system. Its lending platform analyses the risk of these firms using non-traditional ecosystem data, generating credit scores for consumers who are now ignored by traditional financial institutions.
Pallavi Shrivastava and Himanshu Chandra founded the startup, which provides no-collateral loans to shops across the country. It claims to have 3 lakh customers spread across 50 companies and has so far disbursed Rs 1,500 crore in loans. The fintech startup hopes to have reached more than 5 million businesses by the end of 2023. Stride Ventures and others contributed $1.4 million in debt to its most recent investment round in February. Progcap has also received funding from GrowX Ventures and Sequoia Capital India.
WinZO, a Delhi-based startup, is a mobile e-sports social game platform that rewards players with cash and prizes. It is an e-sports-based competitive gaming platform for trivia games. On both the platform and the app, gamers can compete in a variety of gaming challenges and win real money. WinZO is the most popular social gaming and entertainment platform in India. The startup reported 50 million users in September 2021 and established a $20 million fund to assist Indian game developers.
The company, which launched in early 2018, collaborates with third-party developers to host games on its own Android and iOS apps, allowing players to enjoy customised multiplayer gaming experiences. In India’s Tier 2–5 cities, the startup is working to build a passionate community of gamers and gaming influencers. According to the startup, the WinZO platform, which is funded by a unique micro-transaction model, can provide a culturally appropriate and pleasurable experience in the Indian gaming environment in the future.
Among the nearly 70 games available on the platform are carrom, fruit samurai, knife up, memory madness, cricket, bubble shooter, fantasy league, and trivia-based questions. WinZO hosts all of its games on a single platform in a variety of formats and regional languages, with non-English languages accounting for 60% of its content consumption. The site is available in 12 languages, including English, Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati, Marathi, and Bhojpuri, and has over 70 million registered users. The WinZO platform, which supports over 70 titles, processes over 2.5 billion microtransactions per month.
WinZO launched the Game Developers Console in January 2020, allowing gaming studios and independent game developers from around the world to publish their games on the platform. In March 2020, it also formed a strategic partnership with Tencent Games India to broadcast PUBG Mobile e-sports in Indian languages. In September 2020, the startup will launch its fantasy sports platform, which will allow players to play fantasy cricket, football, and kabaddi. WinZO announced a partnership with Nextwave Multimedia in November 2020 to host the WCC (World Cricket Championship) on WinZO.
This online marketplace for industrial supplies for SMEs and large corporations was founded in 2013 in Delhi by twins Rahul and Swati Gupta. The startup sells over 300,000 products used in manufacturing, construction, maintenance, services, and commercial operations through an online catalogue. It is a B2B marketplace with a diverse product offering. Users can search for products by title, brand, or other criteria or browse through several product categories.
Industrybuying.com is a leading business e-commerce startup that sells a wide range of commercial and industrial products to both small and large businesses. Power Tools, Office Supplies, Automotive Maintenance and Accessories, Pumps, Safety, Material Handling and Packaging, and Cleaning are just a few of the products available. The product catalogue also includes bearings, abrasives, uniforms, cleaning supplies, furniture, and other items.
Industrybuying, which debuted in June 2013, has quickly become a favourite shopping destination for prominent Indian and international companies. Over 1.5 million items are available in 45+ categories, including safety and security, electrical and lighting, power and solar, maintenance and repair supplies, and many more. Over 5,000 registered sellers and over 85,000 registered businesses, SMEs, and large corporations buy goods and services online through Industrybuying.
This startup operates the largest industrial supply e-commerce site in India. It currently has over 50,000 products available and is constantly adding more. It was the first to introduce e-commerce to India’s manufacturing sector. Several prominent Indian and international investors are supporting Industrybuying. The company’s headquarters are in Delhi NCR, but it has fulfilment centres in Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad, and Bangalore.
Shiprocket is a shipping platform for direct-to-consumer businesses that allows them to ship at a lower cost. Its platform employs a machine-learning-based data engine to recommend the best courier service for a business, select a courier firm, print shipping labels, and track orders all from a single panel, allowing businesses to handle shipping and returns more efficiently. The company was founded in 2012 and is headquartered in New Delhi, India.
This startup provides AI and web-based automated e-commerce fulfilment solutions. Customers can use the platform to keep track of their orders and returns. Order management, order tracking, a shipping rate calculator, and other services are all available. It is compatible with e-commerce platforms such as OpenCart and Amazon. The startup offers insurance solutions via subscription. Shiprocket launched its hyperlocal delivery services in 2020, in the midst of COVID-19 and a national lockdown, to provide food, groceries, medications, masks, and sanitizers.
The company is a Delhi-based tech-enabled logistics aggregator that provides data-driven shipping solutions to over 40,000 Direct to Consumer active vendors across 26,000+ pin codes in India and 220 countries and territories worldwide. The client can use its platform to select a courier company, create labels, and track orders all from a single interface. This is powered by a machine-learning data engine that recommends a courier service for a client, chooses a courier company, and generates shipping labels.
Sunil Kumar, a former Rediff, Reliance Entertainment, and ApnaPaisa employee, was named CTO in 2019, and Indranil Nath, a former Club Factory, Flipkart, and Ola Cabs employee, was named Head of Supply Chain Management. In the same year, the company introduced the ‘Early COD’ option in India, allowing its vendors to receive COD payments on a daily basis.
In January 2020, Shiprocket, a tech-enabled logistics aggregation platform, was named ‘BW Businessworld & BW Disrupt Techtors 2020.’ Over $14 million has been invested in the startup by Bertelsmann India, Nirvana Ventures India, Beenext, and 500 Startups. In May 2020, Shiprocket raised $13 million in a Series C investment led by Silicon Valley’s Tribe Capital, Innoven Capital, and previous investor Bertelsmann India Investments.
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Bombay Shaving Company
Bombay Shaving Company is an Indian self-grooming startup for men and women that was founded in October 2015 in Delhi. Bombay Shaving Company is dedicated to providing its customers with the best grooming experience possible, powered by superfoods and devoid of compromises. Its extensive product line offers effective solutions to common grooming problems. After speaking with a coworker at Harry’s, an American grooming brand, Shantanu Deshpande founded the company. As a result, Deshpande realised there was a demand for a similar brand in India.
The startup is a consumer goods company that develops shave, beard, and skincare products. Its specialties include men’s grooming, personal care, skincare, and handmade soaps. Men’s grooming products are sold under a private label brand. There are also shaving kits, beard care products, hair care, skincare, and other items available. The brand also sells feminine hygiene products.
With the recent launch of its hair care product, which includes four superfoods-enriched hair oil blends, it guarantees a holistic, wholesome experience from head to toe. The Bombay Shaving Company produces a wide range of products for men’s grooming needs. The startup sources its blades from the Japanese company Feather, but everything else is made in-house. The startup positions itself as a high-end brand.
Using its investor connections, the startup was able to gain access to the supply chains of major FMCG corporations. Customers can subscribe to their offerings after purchasing a product. The subscription is highly customizable; subscribers can choose their items, refill frequency, and pause/restart/cancel at any time. Their current product line is divided into four verticals: Shave, Beard, Skin, and Bath.
As of August 2017, the startup claimed to have over 12,000 clients and was chosen by Amazon for a global launch. In July 2021, Bombay Shaving Company named star cricketer R Ashwin as a brand ambassador. Ashwin will be featured in the “Shave to Shine” omnichannel campaign, which will include new merchandise, social media activities, retail branding, and influencers.