Y Combinator’s new batch features its largest group of Indian startups – TechCrunch
Y Combinator’s latest batch — W21 — features 350 startups from 41 nations. Fifty percent of the firms, the highest percentage to date, in the new batch are based outside of the United States.
India is the second-largest demographic represented in the new batch. The world’s second-largest internet market has delivered 43 startups in the new batch, another record figure in the history of the storied venture firm. (For comparison, the W20 batch had 25 Indian startups, up from 14 in S20, 12 each in S19 and W19 and one each in W16, S15 and W15.)
“YC going remote has helped make YC more attractive to companies at different stages and far away geographies. For companies in India, founders no longer have to spend three months away from their customers or teams. Covid has also taught us that building a program that is remote and more software based makes YC more accessible to founders around the globe,” the firm said in a statement to TechCrunch.
“When it comes to choosing founders in India, we accept them based on the same criteria we judge companies from anywhere else. Founders must be able to communicate their local context to investors. That is an important skill.”
Here’s a list of startups, in no particular order, from India that have made it to YC W21, with some context — wherever possible — on what they are attempting to build (several have elected to stay off the record).
QuestBook, from CreatorOS, is an app for professionals to teach in bite-sized courses using chat and a mobile-first experience. We wrote about CreatorOS last year.
Leap Club is attempting to build a Good Eggs for India. Leap Club users can order fresh and organic groceries sourced from local farms through the startup’s website or through WhatsApp. The startup says it delivers the item to customers within 12 hours of harvesting. Leap Club is already garnering over $14,000 in monthly revenue.
CashBook is building a cash account app for small businesses in India. There are over 60 million small businesses in the country, nearly all of which currently rely on traditional ways — pen and paper — for bookkeeping. The startup launched its app just six months ago and has already amassed 200,000 monthly active users. In the month of February, CashBook logged cash transactions of $511 million.
GimBooks is attempting to solve a similar problem as CashBook, though from a different angle. The startup says it offers industry-based invoicing and bookkeeping with integrated banking and payments. Its app has been downloaded more than 1.4 million times, amassed over 11,000 paying customers and clocked revenues of over $450,000.
BusinessOnBot is banking on the popularity of WhatsApp in India, where the Facebook-owned app has amassed over 450 million monthly active users. BusinessOnBot says it is building Shopify on WhatsApp for direct-to-consumer brands and small and medium-sized businesses, helping them acquire users and automate sales.
ZOKO is helping businesses do sales, marketing and customer support on WhatsApp.
Prescribe is a Shopify for hospitals. Its platform is aimed at helping doctor’s offices run their business online. Users can book appointments, chat with the doctor, pay and refer friends on WhatsApp.
Chatwoot is an open-source customer engagement suite alternative to Intercom and Zendesk. Over 1,000 companies are already using Chatwoot and it’s clocking $32,000 in ARR from six customers.
Weekday is helping companies hire engineers who are crowdsourced by their network of scouts. The startup says it has found a way to solve the biggest problem with referrals — that it doesn’t scale.
Fountain9 helps food brands and retailers reduce food wastage. According to some estimates, over $260 billion worth of food is wasted every year due to mismanaged inventory.
Dyte is attempting to build a Stripe for live video calls. The startup says a firm can integrate its branded, configurable and programmable video calling service within 10 minutes using the Dyte SDK.
YourQuote has built a writing platform, with over 100 million posts. It has over 250,000 daily active users. The startup clocked revenues of $200,000 last year and is profitable.
Fifthtry is building a GitHub for product documentation. The tool blocks code changes until documentation has been approved. It has piloted its tool with three companies, all of which have over 100 developers. The startup plans to launch its tool publicly next month.
Voosh is building an OYO for restaurants and dark kitchens in India, helping them improve their economics using tech.
Kodo is building a Brex for India, helping Indian startups and small businesses secure corporate credit cards. (Banks and other credit card companies are still not addressing this opportunity. The problem Brex solved in the U.S. is even acute in India, Deepti Sanghi, co-founder and chief executive of Kodo, said in the presentation.
Krab provides instant loans for trucking companies in India. India’s logistics market, despite being valued at $160 billion, remains one of the most inefficient sectors that continues to drag the economy. In recent years, a handful of startups have started to explore ways to work with trucking companies.
Bueno Finance says it wants to help the next billion users in India get access to financial services. It says it wants to solve for short-term cash needs of customers by using digital credit card over UPI. It was to build a Chime for India, and has amassed 70,000 customers.
Betterhalf is building a Match.com for 100 million Indians. It says it is generating $75,000 in monthly revenues, a figure that is growing 30% every month.
Pensil is helping teachers who use YouTube monetize their courses. “YouTube is the largest education platform in India — but it’s not built for teachers,” said Surender Singh, co-founder of Pensil, at the presentation on Tuesday. The startup has built tools to allow teachers to create content, facilitate discussions and collect payments.
AcadPal operates an eponymous app for India’s 10 million teachers to share homework with a tap. The startup is attempting to target a $1.4 billion market, which consists of over 400,000 private schools.
Pragmatic Leaders is attempting to build a platform to provide cost-effective alternative to an MBA. It is already clocking a monthly revenue of $112,000 and is cash-flow positive.
Splitsub is addressing a problem that tens of millions of users in India face — subscription fatigue. It says it has built a Pinduoduo for online subscriptions in India, allowing group buying and sharing of online subscriptions for services such as Netflix and Spotify.
Zingbus has built a platform for bus travel between Indian cities. (Several startups in India are helping users get cabs, three-wheelers autos and two-wheelers bikes. Buses have remained largely untapped.)
Tilt is building a docked bike-sharing platform for Indian campuses. The startup, which has generated about $20,000 in revenues this month so far, says it has been profitable for the past 18 months.
FanPlay is a platform for social media influencers, helping them monetize by playing mobile games with their fans and followers.
(Also read: Why Y Combinator Went 8,725 Miles Away From Mountain View To Find The Next Big Startup)
In India only a fraction of the nation’s 1.3 billion people currently have access to insurance and some analysts say that digital firms could prove crucial in bringing these services to the masses. According to rating agency ICRA, insurance products had reached less than 3% of the population as of 2017.
An average Indian makes about $2,100 a year, according to the World Bank. ICRA estimated that of those Indians who had purchased an insurance product, they were spending less than $50 on it in 2017.
Three startups in the current batch are planning to disrupt this market, which is largely commanded by state and bank-backed insurers.
GroMo is an app for independent agents to sell insurance in India. Most insurance policies in India are sold by agents. The startup says it is already generating monthly revenues of over $200,000.
Bimaplan is attempting to replace the agents with an app and reach users by a referral network. The app launched last month and has already sold 700 policies this month.
BimaPe helps users better understand their policies, and make informed decisions about whether those policies are right for them. The startup, leveraging New Delhi’s new regulations, is using a government issued ID card to fetch insurance policies.
Codingal is an online, after-school program for K-12 students in India to learn computer science. There are roughly 270 million K-12 students in the country.
Unschool provides professional education for college students in India. The founders say, “As former leaders in youth-run organisations with 3,000 members and edtech startups in India, we saw how colleges are not preparing students for the real world.”
Flux Auto builds self-driving kits for trucks.
SigNoz is an open-source alternative to DataDog, a $30 billion company, helping developers find and solve issues in their software deployed on cloud. The startup says recent laws such as GDPR and CPRA have helped drive adoption of SigNoz.
Pibit.ai are APIs to turn unstructured documents into structured data.
Invoid creates identity workflows in India. It’s tapping into a huge market opportunity: About 11 billion know-your-customers authentication is conduced by firms in India each year.
Redcliffe Lifesciences performs genetic testing and IVF treatments across India. Its revenue in March has topped $600,000.
Veera Health is an online clinic that treats Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), a lifelong condition that affects 10-20% women in India. The startup says it launched 12 weeks ago, and 85% members have reported feeling “in control” of their PCOS after 1 month.
Snazzy is SmileDirectClub for India. The startup says it sells clear aligners that are 70% cheaper than those sold by dentists.
BeWell Digital is building the operating system for India’s 1.5 million hospitals, labs, clinics and pharmacies by starting with insurance regulatory compliance.
Triomics is operating a SaaS platform for end-to-end automation of clinical trials.
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