By Tulasiram Jalli


10 startups

“Startup” has been the most familiar buzz word of this decade. A startup is a company that envisions a demand and develops a unique product or service to address it. Did you know there are around 9300 startups in India? With 21 unicorn startups, India emerged as the third-largest ecosystem for successful startups in the world.

Let’s go through 10 game-changing startups started in this decade. They have a valuation greater than $500 million. These startups brought a dramatic change in our lives with their innovative products/services.


1. Paytm

After spending 2 hours shopping, you reach the billing counter only to realize you forgot your wallet. You take a ride in an auto with not enough change and end up paying more than the actual charge. In the middle of a journey, you lose your wallet and are helpless. Or perhaps unable to find an ATM when you desperately need to withdraw cash. In these situations, you get frustrated, feel helpless and lose a lot of time.  Paytm has been a solution to these challenges every time.

“Paytm is” an acronym for Pay Through Mobile. Paytm was founded by Vijay Shekhar Sharma in August 2010. One 97 communications PVT.Ltd is the parent company of Paytm. Its headquarters is in Noida, Uttar Pradesh. It started as a website for prepaid online mobile and DTH recharges. Paytm wallet started in January 2014.

Paytm has been an e-commerce website and a mobile app. It offers the user to pay for various online services via mobile number. Paytm serves over 2000 towns and cities spanning across 650 districts. It has gained 400 million users in India and expanded to China. Over 20000 employees work for Paytm. The current Valuation of Paytm is $ 16 Billion.

Paytm has revolutionised Digital payments in India. It replaced the credit, debit cards and acts as a driving force for a cashless economy. It is a synonym for cashless payment.

 “Cash Nahi Paytm Karo”.



2. Oyo Rooms

What is the biggest challenge you face when you travel? The general answer is – ” booking a decent hotel in our budget”. It’s a challenge since we are not sure how the rooms would be and the cost of the hotel until we visit and check-in. Often our vacations are messed up because of the low standard of hotels and the high price we pay for them. Oyo solved the majority of these problems.

Oyo Rooms was founded by Ritesh Agarwal when he was 17. The parent company is Oravel stays Pvt Ltd. OYO stands for On Your Own. It’s the world’s 6th largest chain of operated hotels, homes, managed living and workspaces. Oyo properties include more than 23,000+ hotels in 800+ cities in 18 countries around the world.

Oyo is the fastest growing hotel chain in China and the U.K. Around 17000 employees work with Oyo globally, out of which 8000 are from India. The market valuation of Oyo is $ 10 Billion.

Successful startups

Oyo brought a sea change in the availability and bookings of hotel. It takes 5 secs and 3 steps to book a hotel in Oyo app. Within a short time, it became the world’s fastest-growing hotel supply chain.




Hailing an auto or taxi in a new city can burn a hole in your pocket. We worry about the distance, fare, late hours and safety while hiring a cab. We also don’t know about the driver or his record. All these shortcomings created an opportunity for a cab aggregator backed by technology. Hence came Ola.

Ola does not need an introduction. It is a synonym for a cab in India. The parent company of Ola is ANI Technologies Pvt. Ltd. Ola started in Dec 2010 by two IIT Bombay graduates Bhavish Agarwal and Ankit Bhati. Ola is present in 250+ cities across India, Australia, New Zealand & U.K.

Ola partnered with 1.5 million drivers on their platform. It has around 7000 employees working to manage the operations. It serves 1 billion-plus ride every year. Ola fleet comprises of city taxi, Outstation, and rentals. The current valuation of ola is around $ 6 Billion

Successful startups

India Rides with Ola. OLA  empowered the customers and partners with a convenient and intuitive experience. It also created employment for many.



4. Byjus

You often watched triangular love stories in the movies. But let me remind you of the unique triangular love story that was, is, and will happen in everyone’s life. It happens between parents, children and the mighty education.

To educate children is the most important task of the parents. Going to school every day and taking private tuitions is the most hectic task of students. Everything seems monotonous, cyclic, and boring. The majority of fights that happens between parents and children relate to education.  When we attend competitive exams, we have to compete with parents’ expectations. We have to find the best institutes nearby and be regular to classes.

What if you have a chance to learn from your home at your convenient time, on your favourite mobile or laptop? What if the content would be in the form of exciting videos, animations, & puzzles? How do you feel when engaging storyboard with visual content replaces traditional blackboard? Byjus brought this change through its e-learning app.

Byju’s, the leading educational technology company was founded by Byju Raveendran in 2011. The legal name is Think and Learn Pvt Ltd. Its headquarters is in Bangalore. Its primary product BYJU’S Learning app launched in 2015. It provides learning content for students up to 12.

Byju’s concentrates on video content, animations, game-based learning. This enables students with an engaging platform to learn. It provides study material and support to all competitive exams CAT, IAS, NEET, GMAT, JEE, GRE bank exams, etc.

The Byju’s app had over 40 million+ downloads. The app had over  3.5 million free users and 2.5 million paid users. The average time spent by a student on this app is 72 min. It has app downloads in 1700+ cities. 3000 plus employees are working with Byju’s. The present market valuation is around $ 5.7Bllion

Byju’s streamlined learning through easy, interesting and convenient methods compared with traditional ones. It made children love learning.



5. Swiggy

What strikes our mind when we picture Mumbai? Apart from stock markets, Bollywood celebrities, Mumbai Indians, it would be dabbawala. Everyone wants someone to deliver their hot lunch or delicious dinner at the table. We wish to have our own dabbawala to escape from unpredictable traffic and climate. This is what Swiggy addressed. Apart from delivering delicious food at our doorsteps, it made us gain their trust and weight of our own.

Swiggy was founded by Sri Harsha Majety, Nandan Reddy and Rahul Jaimini in August 2014. They built the supply networks with their own fleet of delivery guys. Swiggy, the leader in the food delivery market for on-time delivery and customer experience. Features like Swiggy pop, Swiggy access, Swiggy super helped them in customer retention. Its headquarters is in Bangalore.

Currently, Swiggy operates in 290 plus cities. Their delivery network was so vast that 2,00,000 Delivery partners are working with them. Swiggy stores have started delivering fruits, vegetables, and groceries from February 2019. Swiggy Daily launched in May 2019 taps the unorganized market of home chefs.  It delivers affordable homestyle meals. The current market valuation of Swiggy is $ 4 Billion.

Successful startup company

Swiggy lives to its tagline, “The hungry saviour”, by delivering food at our doorsteps at any point of time. It had empowered college dropouts with employment and helped to achieve their goals.



6. Delhivery.

One of the major shifts that revolutionized this decade is e-commerce. It opened the doors for doing business to any part of India. It had created a sea of opportunities for business development. We have the marketplace to sell a product. But the challenge to provide warehouses and logistics still exists.

Whether it is an e-commerce giant or a new vendor, customers expect faster and safe delivery of products. There was a huge gap in the last-mile logistics. Delhivery provided the solution to all these challenges.

Delivery was initially founded by Sahil Barua, Mohit Tandon in 2011. Later Suraj Saharan, Bhavesh Manglani and Kapil Bharati joined and became co-founders. Its headquarter is in Gurgaon and the legal name is Delhivery Pvt. Ltd. Delhivery has become India’s leading supply chain company. Their mission was to shrink time and distance, to make the world a smaller place for its customers. They brought unparalleled cost efficiency and pan India reach to its customers.

Delhivery had an incredible journey throughout this decade. They started their journey with 2 cities, 5 customers, 20 sellers, 500 products per day. Now they are serving over 2500 cities, 10000 customers, 300000 sellers, and 10,00,000 products a day. They have an employee strength of more than 40000.

Delhivery was the first startup to get unicorn status in 2019 with a valuation of $1.5 Billion. Delhivery has become “the pioneer ” company when it comes to logistics. They reinvented every time they had a roadblock.

Successful startup company

They paved the way for the fastest and safe delivery, sorry “DELHIVERY” system.



7. Big basket.

Sometimes we have to lure people to go with us. There is no other word better than “shopping” that serves the purpose. It creates excitement which turns south when you say its grocery shopping. No one wants to spend their free time stuck in traffic, shop for hours, clear long queues of billing. But grocery shopping is unavoidable. So to bring a balance between these we have Big Basket.

 “Big Basket” is the brainchild of five big brains whose diverse experience basketed. The five founders are Hari Menon, V.S.Sudhakar, Vipul Parekh, Abinay Choudhari and V.S.Ramesh. It started in October 2011. It made grocery shopping easy and convenient. Customers can shop anything like fruits, vegetables, pulses, meat, etc. from their house. They get delivered at a convenient time.

Big Basket has its presence in more than 25 cities in India. 20000 products among 1000 brands listed in Big basket. Till now it has served 4 million happy customers. The current valuation of Big Basket is $ 1.2 Billion. The employee strength is around 4000.

Successful startup company

Big basket made grocery shopping convenient, and time-saving. It broke the myth that FMCG products cannot sell online.



8. Urban clap

Life is full of surprises. Some surprises are exciting and some are annoying. The situation when your geyser surprises you with a malfunction. Water tap annoys you with leakage, your door lock says “Not Today”. We get frustrated and lose patience. Definitely, it’s not the way we want to start our day. The first challenge was to find the source that can suggest the personnel. The next challenge was to expect a professional. Apart from this, it takes a lot of time to get the whole process done. Urban clap solves all these problems in one go.

Urban clap is a mobile marketplace for local services. It was founded in 2014 by Abhiraj Bhal, Varun Khaitan and Raghav Chandra. Its headquarters is in Gurgaon. They cater to housekeeping services. It consists of Plumbers, Electricians, Carpenters, cleaning and pest control.  They render all the local services from painting to the pedicure. They also administer yoga trainers & wedding photographers. They help us to book the service at a convenient time and at affordable prices.

Urban clap has around 25000 trained professionals to service the needs of customers. They served around 30 million customers to date. They have spread their business to 15 cities in India, Sydney, Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The employee strength is 1500. Their current market valuation is $ 844 Million.

Successful startup company

UrbanClap delivers reliable services at the push of a button. They are the” Wikipedia” to professional services. They bring you the right professionals for every project on your list.



9. Cure fit.

Can you guess the most common New Year Resolution? Yes, exactly, “I should be fit this year” and the next step is to spill out the gym fees. After two months we hardly find it interesting to go. The routine heavy workouts, busy work schedules, lazy mornings try most to keep us out of the gym. Lack of encouragement and awareness of a healthy diet demotivates us to hit the gym. All these problems cured in the form of Cure fit.

Cure fit founded by Mukesh Bansal and Ankit Nagori in 2016. Bansal and Nagori worked at Flipkart after the company bought Myntra in 2014. There are four verticals of cure fit – cult fit, eat fit, mind fit and care fit.

CureFit owns gyms under the CultFit brand. The workout formats are organized by professional trainers and these happen in groups. Customers have the option to choose their preferred form of workout, be it yoga, boxing, S & C, dance fitness, Prowl, Hrx. CureFit offers a range of healthy food options under EatFit. It offers Mental wellness programmes through MindFit and diagnostic centres through CareFit.

On a monthly basis, Cure fit has about half a million active users. Out of which 1.5 lakh would be gym users and 3-4 lakh would be unique Eat fit users. Cure fit is present in 16 cities in India and its employee strength is 1500. Its current market valuation is $ 575 million

Successful startup company

Cure fit broke the traditional way of doing workouts.  It provided alternatives to choose to stay fit. It helps you to maintain a healthy diet. It provides customized diet plans and food through Eat Fit.



You know everyone living in a metro city is in a complicated relationship with this one thing. We can’t leave it even if we wanted to. All we do is adjust to it. It’s nothing but the mighty traffic. Railway metros help us avoid this traffic. But to reach the metro station we have to swim through it. Cab and auto services are not always affordable, and everyone does not own a bike. So there is a clear gap in the first and last-mile commuting. Bounce share fills these gaps and solves traffic woes.

Bounce Share, the bike-sharing company founded by Vivekananda Hallekere, Anil Giri and Varun Agni.  It started in 2014 with headquarters at Bengaluru. The parent company was WickedRide Adventure Services Pvt. Ltd. Bounce allows users to rent a bike, pick it and drop at any location. You can find a bike within a 5-minute walking distance. Its fueled, keyless and equipped with a helmet. All you need to do is scan the code and jump off to a ride. It’s so affordable that it charges 5 Rs km and 0.5rs/min which is lesser than auto.

The majority of the Bounce Share users were metro users, IT Employees, Students. Also self-employed and homemakers use it for their daily activities. Bounce had around 7000 bikes and approximately does 60000 rides per day. To date, they have crossed 5 million rides and are operating in more than 10 cities. The current market valuation is $ 500 million.

Successful startup company

Bounce provides the much needed, “First and last-mile connectivity”. It saves from surge pricing and the non-availability of cab services at crucial times.


The Indian startup ecosystem has been growing at a rapid pace. These startups reformed the way we carry our day. The challenges we face about transport, food, fitness, learning, stays, payments addressed. Thereby brought comfort and satisfaction to our lives.

The other startups that are worth mentioning are Pine labs, CarDekho, Grofers, Lendingkart, Blackbuck, Dream11. The next decade is sure to be more promising with a good number of startups eyeing to be UNICORNS.

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