Despite some negativity lingering in the food tech or rather food ops space, the rest of the Indian startup scene has been overwhelmingly positive in the past few years. Starting with Flipkart and a few others, e-commerce in India has now grown into a force that is expected to fuel growth in the next few years. And this has had a fair amount of influence in creating a flurry of startups cropping up across the country.
Startups in the recent years have changed how Indians buy, pay, book, order and commute. Barring a few firing sprees, a majority of these new ventures have created many jobs across the country and are hiring, not to mention the billions of dollars that have already been infused into these companies.
Probably the best part worth noticing about these ventures is the participation of women at the top-level management. Women are no longer at the sidelines of corporate structures and are now leading from the forefront.
Here we list four startups that is founded and run by Indian woman entrepreneurs.
Zivame is a fine example of how a woman can be a woman’s best friend. Founded in 2011 by Richa Kar, this startup’s focus is on a very old problem faced by Indian women – buying intimate wear and nightwear. Purchasing inner wear for women is almost always an ordeal. With leering salesmen, the discomfort in making the purchase often hit the roofs. But with the entry of Zivame, this changed permanently, for good. The site not only delivers the top brands from the largest collection of Lingerie, but also has fitting guides, size calculator and a team dedicated to answering any questions women may have. With the availability of coupons for Zivame, it is even much more affordable to buy from them than from anywhere else.
“I wanted to change the way Indian women bought lingerie by offering them an entirely different and enjoyable shopping experience. Every woman, no matter her size or shape, deserves well-fitting and sexy lingerie; and with Zivame I hope to give her that.” – Richa Kar, the woman behind Zivame.com
Richa completed her engineering from BITS Pilani and after having worked in the IT industry, Richa acquired her Master’s degree from Narsee Monji Institute of Management Studies. Post her Master’s she worked with a retail company and technology company before starting up with Zivame.com. With 300% YoY growth, Zivame has raised $49M in 3 rounds till date in funding from investors including IDG Ventures, Kalaari Capital, Unilazer Ventures, Khazanah Nasional Berhad and Zodius Capital.
ShopClues has been a turtle in the e-commerce domination race, but is starting to catch up with the giants including Flipkart and Snapdeal. The company although was founded from the silicon valley in California, is now headed towards the $1 Billion club and its prospects look very promising under Radhika Aggarwal. ShopClues has a different strategy than others with focus on Tier 2 and 3 cities, where they get more than half of their revenues. This move may give them a significant edge in the long run.
Launched in 2011 by Sandeep Aggarwal, Radhika Aggarwal and Sanjay Sethi, ShopClues claims to be the first company to evangelise the managed ecommerce marketplace model in India. Radhika brings over 14 years of marketing experience in diverse industry segments like retail, ecommerce, fashion & lifestyle, advertising & public relations with best-of-breed global brands. Before co-founding ShopClues, Radhika worked with Nordstrom at its corporate headquarters in strategy planning in Seattle and with Goldman Sachs in its Wealth Management group in New York and Menlo Park, USA. Radhika has an MBA from Washington University in St. Louis and a postgraduate degree in Advertising and Public Relations.
With over 60 million monthly visits on their website, 2.5cr listed products and over 2,50,000 + merchants, shopclues has raised over $281M in 7 rounds of funding. Investors include Tiger Global Management, Nexus Venture Partners, LionBird, Helion Venture Partners, GIC, Sandeep Aggarwal.
Started in 2008, YourStory quickly elevated to become the top media platform dedicated to entrepreneurs and startup ecosystem in India, under the leadership of Shradha Sharma, who is also one of linkedin’s exclusive list of 500 influencers worldwide. The platform’s aim was to encourage and promote the entrepreneurial ecosystem and it has been able to do just that. The site is available in 12 Indian languages.
Over the years, Yourstory covered inspiring, motivating stories of entrepreneurs, innovators and change makers. Starting from 2008, Yourstory has covered over 20,000 stories of entrepreneurial journey, has reached more than 60 million readers, hosted over 220 events which had a direct impact on over 1.7 million people.
As quoted in yourstory website, every story is unique and every story matters. Shradha lives her life in stories. With degrees from St. Stephens College, Delhi and MICA, Ahmedabad, prior to founding YourStory Shradha worked with Times of India and CNBC TV18.
Having bootstrapped for over six years, Yourstory raised its first ever round of funding last year ($4M Series A) from Kalaari Capital, Ratan Tata, Qualcomm Ventures and T V Mohandas Pai.
Kaaryah offers customised western wear based on the needs of Indian women and makes the styles available in over 18 sizes. This makes the site best suited for women looking to find the perfect fit with the extensive customizing options. Nidhi Agarwal, the CEO of Kaaryah had to make over 100 investor pitches before getting a YES from Ratan Tata. This makes it a great story for women and all entrepreneurs in general.
Started in September 2013, Nidhi spent over 1.5 years on market and product related research focusing on challenges with the current set of options available. Nidhi Agarwal, a Chartered Accountant and MBA by qualification has previously worked in Bharti Airtel, KPMG, Bain Consulting and Honeywell, in the domains of audit, finance and strategy consulting before leaving it all to start her own venture.
Ratan Tata backed Kaaryah also raised pre-series A funding from investors, The Saha Fund and T V Mohandas Pai. The funds will be used to expand the current team from 7 and improve the technology with a view to expand to other geographies soon.