India has the distinction of being ranked third in start-ups globally. The start-up revolution has brought in solutions for the most vexed problems that most of us face from finding small change for the autorickshaw ride to tutorials online to even booking a taxi or deciding on restaurants and food, et al. But some of the names of these start-ups will have most people perplexed, while some evoke laughter with their oddity. We showcase some names of start-ups that fit this category, but the growth and revenues of these start-ups are healthy and growing. So there!
Founded in 2012
Founders: Prabhkiran Singh, Siddharth Munot — IITians
What does it do: It is an online fashion brand that sells quirky and funny messages on its apparel. Around 70 percent comprise of men’s apparel and 30 percent women. Next year it will launch children’s wear
Their story: Prabhkiran Singh says: When we decided to start a fashion brand, our strategy was not to adopt English-sounding names like many others in the sector. We first came out with the name Crayzag. We had acquired the domain name bewakoof.com for one of our earlier ventures, a fun-sharing social site in 2009, which was unsuccessful. We wanted a quirky name to sell our brand and decided to use that domain name. It was a bold move to use bewakoon.com. Until then, people had heard of quirky names largely in the food retail business online. Our company is called Bewakoof Brands Pvt Ltd and the fashion brand is called Bewakoof.com. . When we went to register the company, the officer in charge refused to register it thinking the name was an abuse!
Oft-asked question: Mazaak kar rahe ho?
Growth: Rs 30 crore in 2015. Expects Rs 100 crore in 2016
Founded in April 2014
Founder: Sandeep Aggarwal
What does it do: Buys and sells new and used automobiles including planes and helicopters
His story: Aggarwal says: India has the third largest auto market globally after USA and China. The average duration of vehicles in India is getting reduced over the years and there was a massive opportunity in sale of used automobiles which I wanted to explore. We launched the site commercially in January 2015. Our app has had 1.65 million downloads.
Oft stated: That’s innovative
Growth: Rs 550 crore gross revenue in 2015 and GMV at Rs 425 crore. Expects to close 2016 at Rs 2000 crore gross revenues.
Founded in September 2015
Founders: Daman Soni, Rajat Gupta
What does it do: Provides smartphone users updates and content on their lock screen. It provides content in Hindi and English
Their story: Daman Soni says: We wanted to target millenials who are constantly on their smartphones. When a user downloads our app, she earns GoGo points which she can redeem for free talk-time.We saw a similar idea in South Korea and Japan and decided to launch it in India. We have 14 content categories ranging from automobiles, lifestyle, entertainment, etc. We source the content from 70 websites and publish 400 stories daily. We are a data-driven platform. The business model is based on advertisements. We have 60,000 regular users.
Oft-asked question: Crime master GoGo?
Growth: Wants to become a mobile publishing and distribution platform
Founded in 2003
Founder: Allwin Agnel
What does it do: Online portal for MBA, CAT, banking and civil service exams
His story: Agnel says: I was building a community for MBA students from a personal need. I suspected that would be the need of every MBA aspirant like me. We have built a community of unbiased students and teachers who give suggestions on how to prepare for exams. A lot of information from other students and teachers can help students to make informed decisions. The internet is brutal and we keep upgrading our product or we will be dead.
Oft-asked question: Are you nuts to call a portal by this crazy name?
Growth: Traffic has grown 500 per cent in the last three years
Founded in November 2014. It comes from Appropos meaning very relevant
Founders: Mayank Bhangadia, Avinash Saxena, Kaushal Shubhank -- IITians
What does it do: A community of people come together to shop new products. They share trends which are then curated, personalized and updated daily from across online brands and e-commerce portals
Their story: Avinash Saxena says: We wanted to make it easy to search online for fashion. Fashion is important and so is discovery. And that is what Roposo is about. We have a team that is knowledgeable about fashion and they curate products, stories. We have 3,000 brands with us and actively post 200 stories daily. We have two million users on the app. It is a mobile first company.
Oft-asked question: What does it mean?
Growth: 20,000 users in November 2015, which has grown to two million users
Founded in February 2014
Founders: Sachin Bhatia, Rahul Kumar, Hitesh Dhingra
What does it do: An online dating site for singles named after the Savage Garden number, Truly Madly Deeply
Their story: Sachin Bhatia says: We were brainstorming regarding a new venture and contemplating various options. We were looking at trends and found that the number of girls moving to big cities to take up corporate jobs was increasing and they had no social life beyond colleagues in the workplace and Facebook. We decided to fill the gap that existed between Facebook and matrimonial sites with a dating site. We have around 100,000 engaged users on our app who spend 40 minutes on an average daily. Around 20 percent of women take the first initiative to engage in a conversation.
Oft-asked question: Come again. I did not quite get the name of the start-up
Growth: Gross merchandising value (GMV) is estimated at $6 billion over the next 3-4 years. The start-up which recently started monetizing hopes to get to 40 percent market share
Relaunched in February 2015 as Woozoe. Earlier was called Dishgram. Named after the founder’s cat Woozoe indicating a friend who can help you communicate with others
Founder: Vikram Oswal, Founder & CEO
What does it do: A crowdsourced app that allows users to recommend, organise and discover the best eats. Foodies across the globe can share their favourite restaurants and street food finds with others like them
His story: Vikram Oswal says: I wanted to build a brand online which was not niche. We wanted to answer the basic question: What should I eat at this restaurant or which place should I go to eat in this city? We connected with food bloggers and they write restaurant reviews on our site. They actively use our app. There are 40-50 reviews weekly. We are not in touch with restaurants.
Oft-asked question: Is it Woozoe or Zuzoe?
Growth: There is no advertising on the app as of now. But we plan to allow advertisers to some extent soon, says Oswal. Woozoe is looking at opportunities in meals bookings, delivery, payments, etc. Currently, it has close to 2,000 users and a presence in eight cities.
Launched in 2009 as RelocateEasily. It was later called RealtyKart before its current avatar as Zenify. Zenify comes from the Japanese word Zen, which means to be relaxed and calm
Founders: Sudarshan Purohit, Kailash Rathi and Ankur Agarwal
What does it do: A residential rental management start-up for property owners and tenants
Their story: Sudarshan Purohit says: We faced problems often with regard to rentals in Bangalore and launched a a start-up. The idea was to make property for rent accessible online. We take care of the property and the owner does not have to worry about rentals, managing the property, etc. We give the owners regular updates about the tenant and the property. The entire operations are on the mobile. In Bangalore we have 1,700 flats on our database. We are expanding to four cities – Mumbai, Pune, Delhi, Hyderabad, by the year-end.
Oft-stated: Since the company mails make the meaning of Zenify known, it has become a verb with its users who say, We are Zenified!
Growth: Has achieved 100 percent growth year-on-year