Founded by Ashwin Damera and Chaitanya Kalipatnapu in 2010, executive education startup Eruditus started out with offline classes with faculty from Europe’s INSEAD and the Indian Institute of Management (Ahmedabad), teaching a 10-day classroom programme in a 5-star hotel for 10-15 people, mostly working professionals. From 2015 onwards, it started an online teaching model and raised venture capital from investors such as Bertelsmann and Sequoia Capital India. Today, Eruditus and Emeritus, its online wing, make Ivy League education accessible and affordable to those who seek it, having tied up with the likes of MIT, Harvard, Columbia, Berkeley and INSEAD. In this episode of Bits to Billions, second-time entrepreneur Ashwin Damera spoke about the state of ed tech in India, how the idea of Eruditus came about, the initial struggle and his plans to give back to the ecosystem through Damera Ventures.
Founded in 2015 by Niraj Singh, Ramanshu Mahaur and Mohit Gupta, unicorn Spinny helps buy and sell pre-owned cars online. Sellers can schedule an inspection and get an offer for their car. Buyers can browse the online inventory, view vehicle conditions, select a car of their choice, and schedule a test drive. But the road to building a unicorn wasn't easy... This is in fact the third startup Niraj has founded after the previous two folded. He says the experiences taught him to have a clear vision. Spinny last raised $283 million in November 2021 in a funding round led by Tiger Global at a valuation of $2.11 billion. It also counts Sachin Tendulkar as an investor. In this episode Spinny founder Niraj speaks about - The market for pre-owned cars amid a slowdown - His plans for the EV and luxury car space - Growing up in a small town in India - Building a startup for the third time Watch!
Shiprocket's journey began in 2012 as Bigfoot retail solutions, as an ecommerce marketplace like Shopify. It later pivoted based on demand to a logistics tech platform that wants to provide an Amazon Prime like experience for direct to consumer brands in India. It uses a data engine that recommends courier service for a business and chooses a courier company, prints shipping labels, and tracks orders from a single panel. With over 17 courier partners on board, the company enables pan-India as well as international shipping deliveries. Its shipping solutions are available across more than 29,000 pin codes in India and 220 destinations worldwide. Shiprocket, which counts Zomato as a strategic investor, became a unicorn earlier this month when it issued shares to existing investors at a valuation of $1.2 Billion. On this episode, the founders of Shiprocket sooke about - Its tale of pivots before it found a compelling product market fit - Raising funds amid a funding winter - Life after unicorn - Global ambitions
Groww was founded in 2016 by four former Flipkart executives – Lalit Keshre, Harsh Jain, Neeraj Singh, and Ishan Bansal. The platform helps users invest in stocks, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, IPOs, US stocks, futures and options, fixed deposits and gold. The startup counts Sequoia Capital, Tiger Global as well as Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella as its investors and is valued at $3 billion after raising $83 million in its Series E funding round in October 2021. On this episode of Bits to Billions, the founders spoke about How Groww came about, Lalit Keshre's humble origins, the size of the India opportunity, plans for neobanking and payments. #groww #bitstobillions #moneycontrol
PhysicsWallah’s comments on profitability and the company’s expansion plans come at a time when edtech companies in India have struggled with softening demand post the pandemic amid reopening of schools, colleges and physical tuition centers.
Meet the tuition teacher turned entrepreneur Alakh Pandey, the co-founder and CEO of PhysicsWallah, which became a unicorn in its first round. PhysicsWallah, which offers tutoring on subjects such as physics, math, biology, and economics, is hugely popular among JEE and NEET aspirants. Disruptive pricing and Alakh's unique approach to teaching has catapulted PhysicsWallah's popularity in recent years. On this episode of Bits to Billions, Pandey opens up on life after becoming a unicorn, his struggle and back story, why he is hatke as a founder and does not conform to stereotypes, the 75 crore offer that he refused, competition, what is next for Alakh Pandey and a motivating message for students
Founded in 2015 by Rajesh Yabaji, Chanakya Hridaya and Ramasubramaniam, BlackBuck is an online trucking logistics platform that was started with a mission to re-imagine and simplify trucking, by matching shippers with truckers. It helps shippers organise trucks, have real-time visibility and have end-to-end freight management. The company claims that one in three trucks in India uses its services. Its customers include Coca Cola, Asian Paints, HUL and Tata Group.
Asish Mohapatra and Ruchi Kalra, alums of IIT and McKinsey, created history by becoming India's first husband and wife team to build their startups into unicorns - OfBusiness and Oxyzo. While Mohapatra is the CEO of OfBusiness, Kalra is the CEO of Oxyzo. What's more - Both their startups are profitable. But what do their startups do? How did they go from bits to billions? When will their companies go IPO? Watch them in conversation on Bits to Billions.
Founded in 2016 by husband-wife duo Varun and Ghazal Alagh, Mamaearth has emerged as one of the hottest new-age consumer brands in India, riding the direct-to-consumer wave, where brands sell to consumers directly from their website or via e-commerce platforms. It offers more than toxin-free, natural products, including bamboo-based baby wipes, face masks, lotions, and hair care products.While it started out with as a skincare startup focussed on baby care, it has expanded to adult categories in recent years, also stepping up its offline presence via distribution and dedicated stores. On the Bits to Billions show, Varun and Ghazal Alagh spoke about how their infant's skin condition inspired them to start up, how Mamaearth is coping with inflation, how every product is tested and plans for an India IPO
Most of the founders of unicorn Zetwerk have two things in common: they studied at IIT or worked at ITC. Founded in 2018 by Amrit Acharya, Srinath Ramakkrushnan, Rahul Sharma and Vishal Chaudhary, Zetwerk is a manufacturing platform connecting original equipment manufacturers and engineering procurement construction customers across India, North America and Southeast Asia with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). It is present in categories such as fabrication, machining, casting and forging and helps customers in procuring custom products (which are not available off-the-shelf), real-time tracking and project management all the way till delivery. On this episode of Bits to Billions, the founders weighed in on How Zetwerk started, why manufacturing is broken in India, how they plan to fix it, the currency macro environment and why Zetwerk is insulated.
Founded by Ronnie Screwvala, Mayank Kumar and Phalgun Kompalli, upGrad is one of India's leading unicorns in the higher education and upskilling space. Screwvala says he is building a company that will outlast several of its peers as startup “winter” deepens. On this episode of Bits to Billions, Screwvala and Kumar also speak about why upGrad will weather the edtech storm and how upskilling and higher education thrive in a bleak job market
If the COVID-19 pandemic changed how people consume content, it also transformed how media and broadcast firms delivered content to their customers across the world with the rapid adoption of cloud-based software solutions. Bengaluru-based unicorn Amagi has been one of the biggest beneficiaries of this transformation. The startup enables content owners to launch, distribute and monetise live linear channels on free-ad-supported television and video services platforms through a suite of solutions. The demand for these software solutions has increased with growing consumption of online video content. Founded in 2008 by college mates Baskar Subramanian, Srinivasan KA and Srividhya Srinivasan, Amagi is also a rare unicorn that is profitable. On this episode of Bits to Billions, its founders Subramanian and Srividhya Srinivasan spoke to Moneycontrol's Chandra R Srikanth on why it is hiring at a time when many startups are firing and why it wants to list in India
On this episode of Bits to Billions: The Unicorn Story, Moneycontrol's Chandra R Srikanth catches up with edtech unicorn LEAD’s founders Sumeet Mehta and Smita Deorah. LEAD helps school classrooms use online learning tools and works with thousands of affordable private schools in Tier 2 and 3 cities, providing tech-based solutions to schools and teachers to improve learning outcomes for children. LEAD recently raised $100 million at a valuation of $1.1 billion, catapulting it to the coveted unicorn status
It's been quite a startup marathon for Naveen Tewari who grew up in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh in a family that was steeped in academia. While his father was a professor at IIT Kanpur, his grandmother was the first woman professor in the same institution. Tewari, himself a graduate of IIT Kanpur and Harvard Business School, had a professional stint at McKinsey before starting up. Naveen Tewari in fact is the founder of two unicorns- InMobi and Glance, a subsidiary of InMobi group that also owns the app Roposo. InMobi is the first unicorn to come out of India. In this episode of Bits to Billions, Tewari spoke to Moneycontrol's Chandra R Srikanth on why many Indian unicorns face an existential crisis, the funding winter, why back to office is crucial and the future of live commerce.
Founded in 2017 by former PayU and Citrus Pay executives and serial entrepreneurs Anish Achuthan, Mabel Chacko, and Ajeesh Achuthan, along with Deena Jacob, Open focuses on small and medium-sized businesses by offering them a business current account. Their next big bets include revenue-based financing early settlement, working capital loans, and business credit cards to SMEs on its platform. Open is aiming to disburse $1 billion in loans through the new suite of products on the platform in the next 12 months. In this episode of Bits to Billions, the founders opened up to Moneycontrol's Chandra R Srikanth on the early years, why Open is relevant, and the criticism that family dominates the leadership.
PhonePe, India's largest player when it comes to digital payments, was founded in December 2015. It has had a very different journey compared to rivals who raised big VC money. Instead it chose to work as an independent unit backed by Flipkart, and now Walmart. Today, PhonePe has more than 360 million registered users, with one in four Indians now using it. It has digitised over 27 million offline merchants spread across Tier II, III, and IV cities and beyond. In this episode of Bits to Billions, PhonePe founders Sameer Nigam and Rahul Chari spoke to Moneycontrol's Chandra R Srikanth on the PhonePe culture, why they will only list in India, why they have never fired an employee and the road ahead as they look to become a financial services super app.
India is currently the largest market for game downloads across the world with over 840 million installs. This has triggered a boom that helped startups like Mobile Premier League or MPL. Founded by Sai Srinivas and Shubh Malhotra in 2018, it joined India's startup unicorn club in September last year, with its valuation zooming to $2.3 billion and counts Virat Kohli as an investor and brand ambassador. The Bengaluru-based unicorn’s platform hosts virtual tournaments across more than 70 games and claims to have over 85 million users across India, Indonesia, and the United States. Sai Srinivas, a second-time entrepreneur tells Moneycontrol's Chandra R Srikanth that he aims to make MPL the underlying platform for people to play competitive tournaments in any game, with ambitions to also design world-class games from India.
Preparing for tough times is something Vedantu is used to by now, as it has seen boom and bust cycles in the past. But it survived, and went on to become a unicorn in 2021, and now competes with Byjus and Unacademy. Founded by Vamsi Krishna, Pulkit Jain, Anand Prakash, and Saurabh Saxena in 2014, Vedantu currently provides live coaching classes for K12 students, including for entrance exams such as IIT JEE Main and Advanced for engineering and NEET for medical colleges. It also provides classes for CBSE, ICSE and various state boards. In this interview with Moneycontrol's Chandra R Srikanth, the founders spoke about the slowdown in edtech post pandemic, tough calls that need to be taken and growth.
CoinSwitch, which helps retail investors invest in cryptocurrencies via an app, was founded in 2017 by Ashish Singhal, Govind Soni and Vimal Sagar Tiwari as a global aggregator of cryptocurrency exchanges. Today, CoinSwitch lets users invest in dozens of other currencies. It became a unicorn in October last year when it raised over $260 million led by new investors Coinbase Ventures and top Silicon Valley fund Andreessen Horowitz. While cryptocurrency has had a tumultuous time in India because of uncertainty over regulation, it is gaining increasing traction as an investment avenue. Coinswitch's registered user base is 18 million, making it one of the largest crypto platforms in the country. The founders of Coinswitch spoke to Moneycontrol's Chandra R Srikanth about their journey, the early days, the volatility of crypto and their plans to become a full-fledged wealth-tech platform.
Harshil Mathur and Shashank Kumar – 2 widely respected founders of the startup world – met as students in IIT Roorkee. After graduating, Kumar, who was Mathur’s senior, floated the idea of the two starting something of their own at some point. A year and several rejections later, Razorpay kickstarted its journey with a seed funding of $9 million, led by leading investment firm Tiger Global. Today, the company enables payments and banking solutions for over 8 million businesses and has added a host of marquee investors to its captable. Razorpay’s valuation jumped from $1 billion to $7.5 billion in just 14 months and it is now the most valued among unlisted fintechs.
Welcome to the second episode of our brand new show, Bits to Billions: The Unicorn Story, where we take you through the journey of some of India’s most prominent and successful entrepreneurs. In this episode, online commerce firm Meesho’s founders Vidit Aatrey and Sanjeev Barnwal speak to Moneycontrol’s Chandra R Srikanth about Meesho’s journey from a social commerce channel to a mainstream e-commerce player, where a majority of its sale comes from direct channels, pitting it against Flipkart and Amazon
Welcome to the first episode of our brand new show, Bits to Billions: The Unicorn Story, where we take you through the journey of some of India’s most prominent and successful entrepreneurs. In this episode, Zerodha founder and CEO Nithin Kamath spoke to Moneycontrol’s Chandra R Srikanth on why he chose to build Zerodha differently – with zero debt, zero funding, and zero loss. We also spoke to his A team: Nikhil Kamath and Dr Kailash Nadh He spoke to us about - Why his office is in South Bengaluru - Why does he hate taking money from people - His personal philosophy - His vision for Zerodha - His life guru, Dr Kailash Nadh - What money means to him - What he tells his son about wealth