Top 5 Start-Ups by Engineers

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By Vama Parekh

Often, we hear stories about business empires and dynasties being handed from one generation to another. Today, however, we look forward to businesses that come up with solutions rather than being a conventional profit-making organization. The following are stories of five massively successful startups that changed the way we look and work with things forever. 

  • Zoomcar – Greg Moran and David Back moved to India from USA to launch Zoomcar in 2013 after realizing the transportation problems faced by people in the cities. Moran and Back eventually launched their operations in 2013 and raised funding worth $200,000, $30,000, $215,000 and $8 million from different investors. This year it again raised $11 million, adding to a total of $22 million.

They first launched their operations in Bangalore and have grown from 7 cars initially to a fleet of 2,000 cars. This year in February, the company partnered with Tata Motors and added 50 Nano cars to its fleet. Zoomcar has grown 5x this year and now provides services in six cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai and Pune and soon will be expanding to Kolkata

  • UrbanClap – It was started in 2014 by Abhiraj Bhal, Varun Khaitan, and Raghav Chandra. In barely five years have already made UrbanClap the go-to platform for urban Indians looking for anything from pedicures to painting houses. In this short period, they have added 20,000 exclusive service professionals to the platform across 10 cities in India and also in Dubai.

The company has so far raised about $110 million, and in less than two years, it had become one of the highest funded startups in the hyperlocal segment and is valued at around $480 million. This financial year, the company plans to expand its base to 10 more cities in India, and to Abu Dhabi, its second international market after Dubai. 

  • Razorpay – Razorpay was launched by two IIT-Roorkee graduates, Harshil Mathur  and Shashank Kumar in 2014. Almost five years since its inception, the Bengaluru-based startup is now a full-stack converged payments solution company that aims to revolutionise online payments by providing clean, developer-friendly APIs, and hassle-free integration.

    Razorpay started growing, substantially initially, then in multifolds. It received funding from various organizations and brands amounting to $9 million, $20 million, $75 million, and finally a whopping $100 million 
  • Swiggy – Coming from diverse backgrounds, Sriharsha Majety, Nandan Reddy and Rahul Jaimini had faced their share of failures before trying their luck with Swiggy in August 2014. Seeing their business model working seamlessly, many investors got interested in funding the venture and Swiggy received its first cheque of $2 million and received funding from two startups in the same year. By then, the startup already had over 100 restaurants on board and was delivering over 70,000 orders on a monthly basis. 

With six times growth in three years of its launch, Swiggy was leading the Indian food tech space. The year 2017 witnessed Swiggy raising its biggest investment of $80 million. It then received fundings worth 100 million and $210 million, taking its valuation to $1.3 billion. The unicorn also recently closed the funding of staggering $1 billion. With this funding, Swiggy has left the competing Zomato and FoodPanda way behind in the space.

  • Dunzo: Dunzo, a hyperlocal delivery startup was founded by Kabeer Biswas, an alumnus of the University of Mumbai, in July 2014. It has its headquarter in Bangalore, India. As of now, it delivers its services in Gurgaon, Chennai, Mumbai, Noida, Bengaluru, Delhi, Pune, and Hyderabad.Dunzo also operates a Bike Taxi service in Gurgaon.

There have been around 1 lakh app downloads. The company currently has 4,000 riders, covering more than 80% of Bengaluru. In March 2016, Dunzo raised its first round of funding worth $650k from Google India, followed by another $12 million dollars. It was the first direct investment by Google in an Indian startup.  In 2019, the company received funding worth almost 35 crore from another company. 

The key similarity in all these startups was that they were all started by engineers. Another similarity? They are way ahead of the conventional means, and served the community with very fresh concepts and ideas. We all, too, should continuously look for new ideas, and never ignore one, because an idea can change the world. 

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