Indian startups are closing the decade on a high and the nation will enter the next decade as the world’s third largest startup ecosystem. The startup culture has flourished extensively in the country over the last ten years with many companies becoming an essential part of our everyday lives.
In 2019 alone, eight startups joined the unicorn club taking the total number of unicorns in the country to over 30 and 50 are expected as soon-to-be unicorns.
This decade, the nation did not sit back and let the world run ahead, college students, aspiring entreprenuers and lovers of challenges actually dared and risked to take their chances in the startup ecosystem and it has paid dividends.
We take a look at the startups that have influenced our lives the most this decade.
- Craving a dish but do not want to go out to have food? Swiggy, founded by Nandan Reddy, SriharshaMajety, Rahul Jamini in 2014 addresses this issue. Ever since its inception, Swiggy hasn’t looked back. Starting from its first external investment in 2015 when Accel and SAIF Partners, along with Norwest Venture Partners invested over $2 million to the string of investments in 2017 that took its valuation beyond a billion dollars, rendering it as a unicorn, Swiggy has provided hassle-free service in the market despite competition from other food delivery companies. Operating out of 100 cities, Swiggy is currently India’s largest and most valuable online food ordering and delivery platform.
- Ola –
- Founded by Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati at the beginning of the decade in December 2010, Ola has grown to be India’s biggest peer-to-peer ridesharing and ride service hailing company. Want to go somewhere? Book an Ola Cab. Developed by ANI Technologies Private Limited, Ola has also expanded into taxi and food delivery services. They acquired Foodpanda in 2017 to take advantage of the growing food delivery business segment in the country. Ola has expanded into overseas market extensively since January 2017 by first tapping into the markets of Australia and New Zealand and then, in the United Kingdom. As of October 2019, the company is valued at $10 billion and provides services across 250 cities in the country.
- Paytm –
- In just 9 short years, Paytm has become the biggest e-commerce and financial technology company based out of India. Paytm was founded by Vijay Shekhar Sharma in August 2010 with an initial investment of $2 million borne by Sharma and began as a prepaid mobile and DTH recharge platform. Data cards, postpaid mobile and landline bill payments were added to the services in 2013. With Paytm, you can recharge your mobile, make utility bill payments, book train, flight and bus tickets, tickets to shows, movies and events, make payment transfers and pay in shops using QR codes. The company is valued at around $1 billion, with Alibaba Group owning the majority stakes of 42%. They have 350 million users and are planning to go public by launching its IPO in 2022.
- Oyo –
- Ritesh Agarwal, who founded Oyo in 2013 when he was just 20 years old had become the poster boy for the Indian entrepreneurial scene. Ritesh had come up with the idea for budget hotels and accommodation called Oravel Stays and after staying in many hotels, guest houses, bed and breakfast houses, he pivoted the company to Oyo Rooms after receiving a $100,000 grant from the Peter Thiel Fellowship. Over six years, Oyo has expanded aggressively to include thousands of hotels, vacation homes and guest houses in hundreds of cities in India, Malaysia, UAE, Nepal, China, Brazil, UK, Philippines, Japan, Saudi Arabia, United States and other countries. It is the world’s third largest and fastest growing hospitality chain of leased and franchised hotels. They are currently valued at $10 billion.
- Byju’s –
- Founded by Byju Raveendran in Bangalore in 2011, Byju’s has become the world’s most valued education technology company, after being valued at $5.4 billion. The company was developed by Think and Learn Pvt Ltd established by Raveendran and in 2015, after 4 years of development, they launched the Byju’s mobile app which was downloaded by 2 million students in the first three months of release. Since then, the trajectory for Byju’s has been a forward climb. Shah Rukh Khan currently endorses the brand and Byju’s are also the shirt sponsors for the Indian national cricket team.