Top Startups / June 12, 2021
Asaf Fybish

Asaf Fybish is a growth marketing professional. He likes all things organic, especially when it comes to growth. He's our Chief of Stash at StartupStash

Top Indian Startups To Watch in 2021

India is known for many things, a bustling tech support sector, being one of the most populous countries on earth, and its amazing cuisine. Despite this, India has a very active and fast-growing startup ecosystem. The country is currently home to around 38,000 different Indian startups and there are also currently more than 5,000 investors that are currently active in the Asian country. The ecosystem in India is also said to be the third-largest in the world, with the country having created 38 unicorns as of January 2021. This shows that that is a lot of top Indian startups to watch in 2021.

India's startups aren't strangers to attracting outside investment. Despite the complications of the COVID-19 pandemic, the country's startups managed to raise a cumulative $10 Billion in funding during 2020, which is a marked increase from the $6.6 Billion raised in 2018. This indicates rapid growth in the Indian startup ecosystem. Down below, you can see a list of the 21 top Indian startups to watch in 2021.

1. Udaan

Year Founded: 2016

HQ: Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Size: 5001-10,000

Founder(s): Amod Malviya, Sujeet Kumar, Vaibhav Gupta

Udaan is an Indian startup that is currently based in Bangalore, India. The company's offering centers around creating an environment for goods manufacturers, tradespeople, and wholesalers under one roof. This means that a business can access most of the services they need, all in one place. Their platform even comes with a live chat feature that allows the users to interact with each other in a variety of different languages. Their platform is making the B2B environment in India, easier and more convenient.

Since being founded in 2016, Udaan has attracted a lot of attention from a variety of investors. A grand total of thirteen investors have collectively pledged a massive $1.2 Billion to the business during its five years in operation. One of these investors includes the Chinese technology company Tencent. The company has also made its own investment, putting money into the restaurant startup Petpooja at the start of 2020, making Udaan one of the most exciting startups in India.

2. Ola

Year Founded:  2010

HQ: Kormangala, Karnataka, India

Size: 5001-10,000

Founder(s): Ankit Bhati, Bhavish Aggarwal

Ola is an Indian startup that is based in Kormangala, India. You might be thinking that they're just another Uber clone, but you couldn't be further from the truth. Whilst the company does offer cab-hailing as one of its features, they also offer a way to hire bikes, busses, and much more. All of this can be done from the convenience of the company's mobile app, making getting around India and other locations much easier for customers.

Ola has been very active in attracting investment and even making its own acquisitions. The company has received a total of $3.8 Billion in investment funding from 44 different investors through a series of different funding rounds. So far, the company has also made six acquisitions over the years, with other transport and tech startups becoming a part of the company's brand. The level of funding and current success makes Ola one of the most interesting startups in India during 2021.

3. Dunzo

Year Founded: 2015

HQ: Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Size: 1001-5000

Founder(s): Ankur Aggarwal, Dalvir Suri, Kabeer Biswas, Mukund Jha

Dunzo is a delivery and e-commerce startup that is currently based in Bangalore, India. The company's offering features a delivery app that aims to focus on a hyper-local level. This means that customers will be linked with local delivery providers and businesses so that they can expand their online presence. For instance, customers can get groceries, medicine, pet supplies, and much more delivered to their homes.

Dunzo has attracted a great deal of investment from a large group of well-known investors. Dunzo has managed to raise a significant $128.4 Million from a group of 24 investors that include the likes of Google and Lightbox. With the current COVID-19 pandemic, delivery services are seeing more use than ever and this trend will surely help Dunzo grow in the near future as one of the premier India startups.

4. Razorpay

Year Founded: 2014

HQ: Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Size: 1001-5000

Founder(s): Harshil Mathur, Shashank Kumar

Razorpay is an Indian startup that was founded in 2014 and is currently headquartered in Bangalore, India. The company provides a platform for businesses to make and take payments through their online platform. Users will be able to make payments in a variety of different modes, including debit and credit cards, online banking, and various payment wallet platforms. This makes the process of taking payments much easier for business.

Razorpay's business model and product offering have been validated by the mammoth investment they have received. The company has received a total of $366.6 Million from a group of 29 investors to further the growth of its startup. The company has also been active in the acquisitions market, having taken over Opfin and ThirdWatch in 2019. Razorpay has become one of the most exciting and rapdily growing example of the success of India startups.

5. PharmEasy

Year Founded: 2016

HQ: Mumbai, India

Size: 501-1000

Founder(s): Dharmil Sheth, Dhaval Shah, Mikhil Innani

PharmEasy is a healthcare technology startup that is currently based in Mumbai, India, and was founded in 2015. The company's offering revolves around providing their customers with medicine delivery services, the collection of tests from diagnostic samples, and healthcare consultations that are carried out remotely. This is a very important offering in India currently as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to massively impact the country.

The company has seen massive success in terms of attracting outside investment. So far, the company has received $651.5 Million in funding from a group of 25 investors. The company has also had one count of activity in the acquisitions market, completing a takeover of fellow Indian medical startup Medlife in 2020 for $235 Million.

6. Digit Insurance 

Year Founded: 2016

HQ: Bengalaru, Karnataka, India

Size: 1001-5000

Founder(s): Kamesh Goyal

Digit Insurance is an Indian startup in the insurance sector that was founded in 2016 and is currently headquartered in Bangalore, India. The company aims to make insurance much easier for the general population by restructuring the way pricing works and changing the way people actually buy insurance products. So far, they have been achieving rave reviews, which shows that what they're doing is working.

Digit Insurance has received a large amount of funding from a small group of four investors which includes Fairfax Group. In total, Digit Insurance has raised $244.5 Million since being founded five years ago and the company has had some activity in buying out other companies- taking over the fellow Indian insurance startup ITI Reinsurance for $72.8 Million in 2018. Although, they haven't made any other moves since then.

7. MoneyTap

Year Founded: 2015

HQ: Bangalore, India

Size: 101-250

Founder(s): Anuj Kacker, Bala Parthasarathy, Kunal Varma

MoneyTap is an Indian startup that is based in Bangalore, India. The company was founded in 2015 and since then has developed a solution that provides its customers with a flexible, personal credit line- all from the convenience of an app. You can have up to 36-months to pay it back in certain circumstances. This can be a really great help for people and the company does it in a way that's fair.

So far, the company has managed to get a substantial amount of startup funding, with $40.3 Million being raised from a group of six investors. Convenience is key in the modern world and MoneyTap has that in buckets, which will see them through 2021 and the future. Providing easy credit to the financially disadvantaged makes MoneyTap a premier example of India's startups.

8. Yellow Messenger 

Year Founded: 2016

HQ: Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Size: 251-500

Founder(s): Anik Das, Jaya Kishore Reddy Gollareddy, Raghu Kumar, Rashid Khan

Yellow Messenger is an AI-based technology startup that is based in Bangalore, India, and was founded in 2016. The company's primary offering takes the form of providing AI-driven customer engagement solutions to be used in conjunction with instant messaging platforms that the business may use. For instance, Google, WhatsApp, and Slack. They even provide advanced solutions for Virtual Assistants.

Since being founded in 2016, Yellow Messenger has amassed a respectable sum of investment, which stands at $24 Million. This money was raised from a group of three investors including Lightspeed Venture Partners and Microsoft Accelerator Bangalore. This investment and the reputation of the investors show their faith in the business model of Yellow Messenger.

9. CRED 

Year Founded: 2018

HQ: Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Size: 251-500

Founder(s): Kunal Shah

CRED is an Indian startup that is based in Bangalore, India and was founded in 2018. The company seeks to incentivize credit card users to pay their credit card bills on time. This is achieved through rewards of financial value being paid for each time this happens. There is also a range of features to help people manage their credit card spending. Finally, customers will also get access to a range of credit and products from leading brands.

CRED has received a massive amount of funding in the three short years that they have been operating. In total, this funding stands at $471.2 Million and was raised by a group of 28 different investors, which includes the American company, Insight Partners. Rewarding people for managing their finances is a good USP and these investors clearly believe that too.

10. ZestMoney

Year Founded: 2015

HQ: Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Size: 101-250

Founder(s): Ashish Anantharaman, Lizzie Chapman, Priya Sharma

ZestMoney is a fintech startup that was founded in 2015 and is currently headquartered in Bangalore, India. The company wanted to make the process of shopping and paying in EMI much easier for those who didn't have access to a credit card, or maybe don't have a good credit score. This made the process of using EMI available for millions of people across India.

ZestMoney has already seen a notable amount of investment in the six years since it was set up. At the time of writing, the company has managed to amass an investment total of $68.4 Million, from a group of 14 investors. Notably, some of these investors include Goldman Sachs and the cryptocurrency platform Coinbase.

11. Cult.fit

Year Founded: 2016 

HQ: Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Size: 101-250

Founder(s): Ankit Nagori, Mukesh Bansal

Cult.fit is a healthcare technology startup that was founded in 2016 and is currently based in Bangalore, India. The company seeks to make fitness more fun and much easier by offering a blend of online and offline learning resources related to the topics of fitness, nutrition, and mental health wellbeing. This even includes things like yoga. As modern life becomes busier, being able to have all of these things under one roof makes things a lot easier.

Cult.fit has received a massive amount of support in terms of investment, with the company has gained $404.6 Million from a group of 32 investors. It should be noted that one of these investors includes Unilever. The company has also been active in the investments and acquisitions market, making one investment and acquiring eight different companies. It is likely that they will continue to go to new heights in 2021.

12. Coolberg 

Year Founded: 2016

HQ: Mumbai, India

Size: 101-250

Founder(s): Pankaj Aswani, Yashika Keswani

Coolberg is a craft beer startup that was founded in 2016 and is currently headquartered in Mumbai, India. The company is based around catering to the growing market for non-alcoholic beer as more people reflect on their drinking habits. The company prides itself on its high-quality marketing and the great taste of its beers.

So far, the company has received a respectable level of outside investment, with $3.5 Million being given to the company for further development and growth. These investors are seven in number and it looks likely that the company will continue to grow in 2021.

13. Craftsvilla 

Year Founded: 2011

HQ: Mumbai, India

Size: 101-250

Founder(s): Bhavik Jhaveri, Manoj Gupta, Monica Gupta, Sarvajeet Chandra

Craftsvilla is an e-commerce and fashion startup that was founded in 2011 and is currently based in Mumbai, India. The company is based around providing customers with authentic Indian fashion items from small businesses and individual designers. This gives smaller businesses a chance to break out into the fashion market.

So far, the company has gained a good amount of investment at $62.7 Million that was raised from a group of five investors. One of these investors is Lightspeed Venture Partners. The company has also been very active in terms of acquisitions, having taken over three different companies since 2011. They were all other technology startups.

14. CropIn

Year Founded: 2010

HQ: Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Size: 101-250

Founder(s): Krishna Kumar

CropIn is an agricultural technology startup that was founded in 2010 and is currently headquartered in Bangalore, India. The company has won awards for its work in making farms digital and building the digital infrastructure for farmers. Their solutions include remote sensors, AI functionality, and analytics to drive efficiency in farming. Which is currently a big issue when considering global sustainability.

CropIn has received a healthy level of investment from outside sources, with the company receiving $32.6 Million from twelve different investors. Interestingly, one of the investors behind their business is the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. With their focus on bringing farming into the modern age, it is likely that the desire for CropIn's services will only increase.

15. Vernacular.ai

Year Founded: 2016

HQ: Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Size: 51-100

Founder(s): Akshay Deshraj, Manoj Sarda, Sourabh Gupta

Vernacular.ai is an AI-based software startup that was founded in 2016 and is currently headquartered in Bangalore, India. The company offers an automated call center solution that utilizes AI to work. Improved speech recognition capabilities among other features improve engagement with customers and the operations of your contact center.

So far, Vernacular has raised a respectable $5.1 Million in funding from a group of seven investors. They've achieved this total through four rounds of fundraising. With this backing and the demand for call centers increasing, the company is likely to continue succeeding throughout 2021.

16. Stashfin

Year Founded: 2016

HQ: New Delhi, India

Size: 51-100

Founder(s): Tushar Aggarwal

Stashfin is a fintech startup that is based in New Delhi, India, and was founded in 2016. Since then, the company has broken into the finance space with its offering of digital lending. The whole point of their business model is that you get your money quickly and easily. You can even get your line of credit converted into the form of a card- meaning you don't have to worry about day-to-day transactions.

To date, the company has received significant support in terms of startup funding- with $75 Million being raised in five years. This funding was achieved because of a group of 14 investors, across three rounds of funding.

17. Loan Frame

Year Founded: 2015

HQ: New Delhi, Delhi, India

Size: 11-50

Founder(s): Akshun Gulati, Rishi Arya, Shailesh Jacob

Loan Frame is a fintech startup that is based in New Delhi, India. The company was founded in 2015 and since then has gone on to offer easy and fast loans for small businesses. They even have specialist products available for supply chain finance and inventory finance amongst others. The company has made it much easier for small businesses to operate in India, which has been key to their early success.

To date, Loan Frame has managed to raise a good sum of money to further the development of their business. So far, they've managed to raise $12.3 Million in startup funding from a pair of investors.

18. Qure AI

Year Founded: 2016

HQ: Mumbai, India

Size: 11-50

Founder(s): Prashant Warier

Qure AI is a healthcare technology startup that utilizes artificial intelligence. The company uses these algorithms to better facilitate and conduct reviews of any medical imaging that is done for a patient. This means that doctors will have to spend less time conducting routine medical work, which leaves them with the time to personally cater to their patient's needs. This presents benefits for both the healthcare providers and the end-users.

So far, a pair of investors have shown their faith in the company's offering. To date, Qure AI has managed to raise $16 Million in their one and only funding round. The company is also working to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, with AI-driven pandemic response suites being offered to healthcare authorities.

19. Playment 

Year Founded: 2015

HQ: Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Size: 11-50

Founder(s): Ajinkya Malasane, Akshay Lal, Siddharth Mall

Playment is an AI-powered software startup that is based in Bangalore, India. Since the company was founded in 2015, they have built solutions for businesses in mapping, self-driving vehicles, and drone spaces. Their offering is based on their high-quality data labeling and annotating services.

So far, the company has seen backing and validation of their offering by virtue of the $2.5 Million in startup funding that they've raised. This funding was accumulated from a group of six investors, including Google Launchpad Accelerator and Y Combinator. These are well-respected investors and they've surely seen something that they like.

20. BlissClub

Year Founded: 2019

HQ: Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Size: 1-10

Founder(s): Minu Margeret

Blissclub is a fashion startup that is based in Bangalore, India. The reputational and marketing standpoint for the company is that they are the local community's first women's sportswear brand. They want to make sure that women can focus on both style and practicality at the same time- rather than having to sacrifice one over the other.

So far, the company has seen some success with attracting outside investment. So far, they have managed to raise a total of $2.3 Million from a group of seven investors. The company is expanding into a growing market in India and it is likely that they will continue to succeed in 2021 and beyond.

21. MYBK

Year Founded: 2014

HQ: Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India

Size: 1-10

Founder(s): Arjit Soni

MYBYK is a software startup that is currently based in Ahmedabad, India. The company was founded in 2014 and operates an app that allows people to rent and share their bikes with others. The company is the first of its kind in India and it's currently riding the wave of that success. All you have to do is get the app, and then you will be able to find an MYBYK hub and pick up your new bike.

So far, the company has managed to attract investment to further its growth. A pair of investors have pledged a cumulative $1 Million to the company's efforts during its seed funding round. Avon Cycles, one of the largest bike manufacturers in India was one of those investors.

Top Indian Startups To Watch...
Asaf Fybish

Asaf Fybish is a growth marketing professional. He likes all things organic, especially when it comes to growth. He's our Chief of Stash at StartupStash

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