Startups across the world have impacted lives of millions addressing real-time problems. The startup ecosystem in 2016 brought forth noteworthy disruptive and innovative models creating shockwaves across the globe.
In the last few years, we have witnessed booming growth or inglorious ends of many startups; both of which failed to deter the entrepreneurial spirit. Last year we saw various innovators taking the plunge and swelling the startup ecosystem with next-level revolution.
MarkUp lists down 10 hottest startups of 2016, both in India and abroad who are here to create history.
What: EduRev (abbreviation for Education Revolution) is an educational network that connects students and teachers with courses and learning materials, based on a crowd-sourced library. It started its pilot operations in March 2015, but launched its portal officially in May 2016. The team started operations in Chandigarh, and is now functioning in Pune, Haryana, and New Delhi.
Over 40,000 students have joined the EduRev network platform, which contains over 100 courses and more than 70,000 documents, videos, and tests. The startup also sells efficiency and management platforms to institutions and teachers to help them digitize their classrooms.
Founded by: Kunaal Satija and Hardik Dhamija
Funding: The startup raised an undisclosed amount of funding in a Pre-Series A round from Pradeep Reddy Kamasan, who is part of Hyderabad Angels group.
What: ListUp was launched in January 2016 with an aim to disrupt age-old classifieds in India. Focused on Peer-to-Peer (or P2P) exchange of second-hand goods, ListUp aims to bridge buyers and sellers using location-based discovery of products, and social approach to classifieds.
A mobile app-only product centered on geographical proximity, it enables discovery of goods being sold in a neighborhood, thereby minimizing the time between contacting the seller via direct chat and meeting them in person. The proximity and social verification also ensures quicker and safer transactions.
Founded by: Sumit Gupta, Pulkit Gupta, and Saurabh Jain
Funding: It has raised $500K (INR 3.3 Cr) in its seed round of funding led by Kae Capital, along with participation of Kunal Shah (FreeCharge, CEO) and Sandeep Tandon (Tandon Group).
What: Founded in August 2016, Indore-based InstaCar provides inter-city car rentals solutions to travelers, offering one-way fare ride to commuters for outstation trips up to 400kms. The startup claims, their USP is that they don’t just provide any car, but offer choice of cars, models, luggage carriers and other options at the time of booking to commuters.
Founded by: Ishan Vyas, Anurag Gupta, and Priyanshi Choubey
Funding: It has received $1 million (Rs 6.65 crore) in seed round of funding from Hong Kong-based Swastika Company Pvt. Ltd. in September last year.
What: Flex Class provides online certificate MBA courses to its users. It is the first-of-its-kind online business school, which provides 100 percent cash back to students when they complete their certification. Backed by over 120 faculties and globally-accepted quality content, Flex Class claims to serve over 67,000 students worldwide. Its regions are the emerging economies where setting up of the physical infrastructure for education is still a pain.
Founded by: Tarun Saxena
Funding: In January 2016, it raised $12.9 Mn at a valuation of $60 Mn, to compete with the likes of Udacity and Udemy.
What: The app offers a basic wheel of audio-guided, five-minute meditation for specific scenarios, like having a tough day or needing a good night’s sleep, along with a fuller library of mindful content uploaded by teachers on the platform — divided into topics like stress, personal growth, kindness, relationships and work.
Founded by: Yunha Kim
What: ProAcDoc is a Delhi-based service platform, which maintains a person’s medical records and history. The app allows patients to maintain their medical history, track therapies, monitor effectiveness of previous treatments, make predictions about outcomes, understand diagnosis and status, and subsequently create a treatment plan. The app also provides emergency alerts and notifications. The reports can be shared with doctors. Users can manage their family medical history as well.
Founded by: Alok Sharma and Prateek Sharma
Funding: In February 2016, the company secured $19K in its seed round of funding. Following that, it raised around $900K in series A round, in March 2016.
What: The San Francisco-based startup was launched last year when Illumina, the maker of DNA-sequencing technology, teamed up with a group of Silicon Valley investors to develop a blood test for any kind of cancer at an early stage.
Grail combines the power of high-intensity sequencing (ultra-broad and ultra-deep sequencing), leading-edge computer science, and large population-scale clinical studies to enhance scientific understanding of cancer biology and develop a blood test for early-stage cancer detection.
Founded by: Jeff Huber
Funding: $100 million from investors, including Arch Venture Partners, Bezos Expeditions, Bill Gates, and Sutter Hill Ventures. Illumina remains majority shareholder.
What: New York-based, ride-sharing service Juno was founded by Talmon Marco, an entrepreneur who sold his messaging app Viber to Japanese ecommerce major Rakuten for $900 million. The startup that competes with well-entrenched players like Uber and Lyft says that it’s much friendlier to drivers and takes a smaller share of profit, leaving more to drivers.
The company distributes equity to drivers every quarter in the form of restricted stock units. These stock units, which vest after a certain amount of time, can be cashed out after a ‘liquidity’ event such as a sale of initial public offering, similar to incentives given to employees at technology startups.
Founded by: Talmon Marco
Funding: Reportedly in talks with investors to raise a $30 million round.
What: San-Francisco-based Recharge, gives people the chance to find some quiet time during the day. By partnering with hotels, the startup charges people 67 cents a minute, or $40 an hour to get a private room so that they can nap, take a shower after a run, or just find a quiet place when they need a break.
The company created the service with business travelers in mind, who often need to take a break or catch up on work in between meetings. The idea is to appeal to customers who would normally balk at paying for an entire night when they only want a couple of hours of rest.
Founded by: Emmanuel Bamfo
Funding so far: It raised $2.3 million from Binary Capital, including Floodgate, entrepreneur Rick Marini, Eniac VC, Expansion VC, entrepreneur-investor Scott Banister and early Google engineer Harry Cheung in June last year.
What: Launched by the former CEO of Aereo, Chet Kanojia, Starry aims to sell wireless equipment that will deliver super-charged internet speed up to 1 gigabit per second using a technology called ‘millimeter wave band active phased array’ technology. That’s fast enough to download a two-hour movie in just a few seconds.
Starry has developed and is deploying the world’s first-millimeter wave band active phased array technology for consumer internet communications, using that technology as a platform for rolling out a nationwide fixed wireless broadband network capable of delivering internet speeds of up to one gigabit, wirelessly to the home. Using a self-installation system, consumers will be able to buy Starry products directly and connect to the internet in minutes, without arduous contracts, data caps or having to wait for an installer.
Founded by: Chet Kanojia
Funding: Unknown, backed by FirstMark Capital, Tiger Global, IAC, KKR, HLVP and Quantum Strategic Partners.