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From the world’s cheapest car to the world’s cheapest tablet, India has emerged as a hub of “Jugaad”, a Hindi term which closely translates as “frugal innovation”. Owing to its booming economy, growing middle class and a talent pool of highly skilled engineers, India has a thriving tech startup ecosystem. While there are thousands of startups across the country, we bring you a compilation of tech startups that have risen above the rest to be the talking points in the startup-technology community.
Based on my conversations and interactions with entrepreneurs, investors and other stakeholders, these startups are shaping the way their respective industries work. In no particular order, let’s look at startups and their offerings:
1. MobStac: “Built for a World Where Mobile is First”
MobStac makes it simple for publishers to reach their audience over mobile browsers across a wide-range of devices. MobStac’s mission is to make it possible for people to consume the internet on any mobile device on the planet by accelerating the availability of mobile Internet content and delivering it to the widest possible audience.
2. Reverie Language Technologies: “Making Language Irrelevant in Digital Communications”
Reverie is a software product company that makes text communication possible in any language on digital platforms. They help device manufacturers (OEMs), application developers and content providers reach a larger base of untapped users through instant localization of contents and user interfaces. Reverie provides users the ability to read and type in any language of choice. They also provide automated contextual text conversion of one language to several other languages.
Reverie was judged the India winner of Qualcomm Q Prize 2011.
3. Simpa Networks: “Unlocking Solar through Mobile”
Simpa sells distributed energy solutions on a “Progressive Purchase” basis to underserved consumers in emerging markets. Using Simpa, customers make a small initial down payment for a solar Photo Voltaic system and then pre-pay for the energy service, topping up their systems in small user-defined increments using a mobile phone.
The pricing model is enabled by the Simpa Regulator, a tamper-proof, system-integrated microcontroller and user interface that regulates the function of the solar home systems based on proof of payments, and the Simpa Revenue Management System, a centralized software solution in the “cloud”, accessible via SMS gateway and over the internet, for payment processing and accounts settlement.
4. Artoo: “Technology for the Bottom of the Pyramid”
Artoo’s software solution is designed for field staff. The solution takes the entire process of data collection and workflows online. It will do away with the back and forth of paper, avoid delays, and reduce expenses. The framework will enable field agents to operate remotely and will help distributed enterprises to centralize their operations.
5. Fusioncharts: “Making Data Beautiful”
FusionCharts Suite includes FusionWidgets, FusionCharts, FusionMaps and PowerCharts. FusionCharts Free which is a stripped-down version of FusionCharts offering 22 types of basic charts.
FusionCharts Free was made open source under the GPL and MIT license.
6. Robots Alive: “Robotics to Improve Life and Living Conditions in India”
Robots Alive is a robotics start-up based in Ahmedabad and Bangalore, India. They deliver robotic products and solutions to industries where traditional automation fails. They work on the application of robot technologies on various domains with the primary focus being robots for small and medium industries.
Robots Alive products include Pick and Place Robots, Articulated Arm RA6x and Robot vision systems. Recently they developed the second version of their special purpose robots for plastic industries
7. TringMe: “Calls, Conferencing & Messaging, Anytime, Anywhere”
TringMe provides a unified platform offering that integrates voice and telephony communication devices. TringMe enables users to make calls, send SMS and schedule conferences on any device. The platform has been used by over 6 million users, from over 159 countries.
TringMe’s uniqueness lies in its ability to make and receive calls directly from the web, – no software to download or install and its ability to unify voice across traditional telephony options (landlines, cellular phones) and the internet.
8. Freshdesk: “Your Social Help Desk”
Freshdesk is an on-demand customer support software that combines a back-end helpdesk with a community management platform and knowledge base.
With Freshdesk there is nothing to download or install – you don’t have to babysit your helpdesk or worry about server upgrades and patches. Freshdesk is the winner of India Startup Challenge 2011 organized by Microsoft BizSpark and the Department of Science of Technology, Government of India.
9. Zipdial: “Monetising Missed Calls”
Zipdial is a mobile engagement platform which puts to good use the “missed call” phenomenon in India. The platform can be used for customer verification, feedback, polls, lead generation and customer support. From leading banks to airlines, from events to small real estate agencies and NGOs, Zipdial’s platform has been used in many mobile marketing campaigns.
ZipDial CEO Valerie Rozycki Wagoner won the “Leading Woman in Technology award” at the Women in Leadership Forum.
10. TeliBrahma: “Digital Experience for Offline Interaction”
TeliBrahma’s technologies offer location, augmented reality and visual recognition based services to help consumers receive digital experiences for their offline interactions. Their offerings include Interact and BluFi. Interact is an Augmented Reality platform that provides digital experiences through offline interactions and BluFi is a network of Bluetooth and Wi-Fi installations providing rich media engagements to consumers and providing targeted mobile advertising.
Intel Capital, Inventus Capital Partners and Ojas Venture Partners have invested in TeliBrahma.