The Great Indian Startups of 2012 [The Dabangg Edition]

Indian startups have come of age. Like every year, we bring together India’s most amazing startups that were spotted. This year was a big year for startups with lots of great moves- right from all the action around incubators to the rise of early stage funding.Superman!

This years list is about some of the best startups that have geared up to make it super big. We selected them based on certain parameters:

1. Execution (so far). That is, beyond the business plan, how is the business shaping up? Are these startups going beyond product/market fit? In some cases, startups have gone to different markets owing to the global nature of the product itself.

2. Market understanding: Some of the startups in this list have taken a very niche implementation to solve a complex problem. And that may not be acceptable by all (customers), but sticking to one’s guns also is a trait of an entrepreneur.

3. Is this cool in an unsexy way? Building an ecommerce site is very cool. But building something which is totally different from the regular run-of-the-mill idea isn’t that cool (think hardware). Very few startups tend to take a path less traveled. And we were amazed to see how sexy these uncool startups were.

In short, the Dabangg startups of 2012!

In no particular order, here goes our compilation of Amazing Indian startups, the 2012 edition.


Chargebee provides solutions to small and emerging businesses to automate their billing process. With added features like flexibility to change pricing, offer discounts and ability to run promotions without the needing a developer makes this an attractive proposition for startups looking for automation in subscription billing. [» Read: NextBigWhat’s coverage of Chargebee]


Programr is an online playground for programmers.Through  Programr you can code, run & share all type of apps – console programs, webapps, rich media apps and mobile apps – completely online. Programr makes it easy for its users to learn new technologies, sharpen their programming skills and showcase talent to the world. Nice piece of technology that has a wider reach among those who want to learn app development
» Read: NextBigWhat’s coverage of Programr


Instamojo aims to simplify the entire process of selling your stuff online. Currently, it allows users to set up their account by entering Facebook credentials and start giving away things for free. In the current model, there are two sections, either you “give away stuff”, which could be an old book, clothes or something else altogether, like a presentation or an e-book.

» Read: NextBigWhat’s coverage of Instamojo


SupportBee provides companies with a software solution to solve their customers’ problems in a manner that is effective. It provides small and medium enterprises efficient tools for problem solving. It does this is by the means of a software based system which heavily resembles Gmail, but which might have a hidden advantage considering the fact that the learning curve is smooth. Great offering.
» Read: NextBigWhat’s coverage of SupportBee


gazeMetrix allows media buyers and media monitoring companies to accurately identify, measure and analyze presence of brand logos in video streams coming off live TV streams and even internet videos/photos. Combining state of the art computer vision technology in the cloud and an amazingly simple UI, gazeMetrix lets you quickly get to the stats that matter to your brand.

» Read: NextBigWhat’s coverage of GazeMatrix
——- takes a very fundamental approach to content consumption on the web – i.e. the trust on social web.  Available as a browser plugin for Chrome (and bookmarklet for other browsers), Pugmarks lets you ‘pugmark’ an article making it discoverable to those who follow you. The company offers  4 main call to actions: Pugmarking, recommendation, suggestion and grow.
» Read: NextBigWhat’s coverage of Pugmarks

TheMediaAnt aims to democratize information related to media options for mid-sized companies including small enterprises, which don’t have access to media agencies. The company started in June this year helps advertisers and media owners in following ways: For advertisers, it offers detailed information regarding various media options and media planning for non-traditional media.” Bridging offline<->online results in a huge monetization opportunity.
» Read: NextBigWhat’s coverage of TheMediaAnt

Aaramshop, ZopNow, BigBasket

Grocery is often clubbed together, hence we have clubbed the players !

Aaramshop :is a Delhi based startup that is bringing grocery shopping online. The startup is bringing existing retailers online. A user can choose their nearby Kirana store from the listed stores along with a convenient time of the delivery. The local store would be informed about the order and it would be delivered to the address at the time mentioned with the payment of cash only on delivery.
ZopNow: Started by Bal Krishna Birla (ex-CTO of askLaila) and Mukesh Singh (ex-CTO of MakeMyTrip), Zopnow is an online grocery store that is now open for business in South Bangalore region (covers Jayanagar, JP Nagar, Bannergatta Road, Koramangala, HSR Layout, BTM Layout and Sarjapur road).
BigBasket: is an online grocery store in Bangalore, Mumbai and Hyderabad. With over 10,000 products and 1000 brands in its catalogue consumer can right from fresh fruits and vegetables, rice and dals, spices and seasonings to packaged bread, bakery and dairy products. All of these have done a great job in defining this market.

» Read: NextBigWhat’s coverage of Aaramshop | ZopNow and BigBasket


MadRat games is a venture started by a few IIT grads who are really taking a bottoms-up approach to changing the education system in India. The venture was started by Madhumita Halder, Manuj Dhariwal and Rajat Dhariwal. They all moved from the software world to teaching young children and now run the game startup. One of the few startups that understands the human psychology of learning and has implemented well.

The Dabangg Startups
The Dabangg Startups

» Read: NextBigWhat’s coverage of MadRatGames

Affine Analytics

Affine Analytics identified 40- 50 parameters affecting sales of an e-commerce company and created a tool which could help the company improve on its rate of conversion. The company has also developed a framework which can be applied to companies that want to bring down time taken go through data and come up with reports. Affine does similar work for companies in various segments like retail, banking and financial services and e-commerce.
» Read: NextBigWhat’s coverage of Affine Analytics


DelightCircle’s first product around which their whole business is built, is a simple app from the outside. Simply put, it tells people what discounts are running at nearby shops, runs loyalty programs by rewarding shoppers for performing small actions like checking out a product by scanning its barcode using the application and manages various loyalty cards owned by the user. In future, it will enable customers to make payments and buy products through the app.

So many players in this space, but they got the B2B sale going. After all, app businesses needs real connect with the brands and consumers.
» Read: NextBigWhat’s coverage of DelightCircle


BrizzTV enables the digital cable & satellite based TVs (the ones with CAS) to broadcast Internet content directly on TV as a channel (i.e. datacasting), without any need to have Internet connection. All that you need is a direct to home (DTH) TV & knowledge of how to press a remote key to be able to enjoy Internet content on TV. Technology meets the idiot box.
» Read: NextBigWhat’s coverage of BrizzTV

Musicfellas, OkListen

Musicfellas: Musicfellas, is a music discovery platform which provides a 360 degree listening experience to the melomaniacs. The inspiration for Musicfellas was a music blog which its founder Mayank Jain used to write after his full time job. The blog focused on the latest music gigs, events and new talent. Taking cue from fun he had writing the blog and his own passion for indie music, Mayank founded Musicfellas and launched it formally early this year.
OKListen: OKListen is a pro-musician digital platform that helps musicians to sell their music directly to their fans and enables music lovers to discover new content from indie artists and support them. Great consumer play on indie music.

Clubbing them together as they all need to work together to grow this market.
» Read: NextBigWhat’s coverage of Musicfellas and OkListen


Diabeto provides a modern day solution to keep a track of the blood sugar level. In the land of diabetes ( India has the world’s largest diabetic population ), Diabeto is first in the new phase of home grown personalized healthcare devices. Diabetes meets a sweet technology implementation.
» Read: NextBigWhat’s coverage of Diabeto


Giveter finds relevant gifts based on recipient’s age, relationship to the giver and occasion. The company, also helps you find gifts based on recipient’s personality and givers mood. Giveter has tied up with various online website/brands/physical stores with expertise in different product verticals. A promising play on discovering gifts (recommendation engine).
» Read: NextBigWhat’s coverage of Giveter


NCR based startup, Unicommerce has launched its SAAS based warehouse management product called Uniware to cater to the needs of ecommerce companies grappling with order fulfillment processes and looking for cost effective and speedy solution. Uniware assigns unique serial number to every unit that enables etailers to track various details such as vendor, purchase date, product expiry and unit specification. SAAS based order management product for eCommerce companies. Promising play.
» Read: NextBigWhat’s coverage of Unicommerce


Unmetric, the social media benchmarking company (Chennai based startup) aims to bring competitive benchmarking and intelligence on social (Facebook, Twitter) and other media. Besides comparing the performance of competing brands, Unmetric also benchmarks brands against their sector so they know if they are “on par”. The web application captures everything that matters, including fan and follower growth, fan profiles, response times, timing and insights into content strategies. Went global. More aggressive.
» Read: NextBigWhat’s coverage of UnMetric


EzeTap, a mobile POS company, is a merchant solution. Unlike some of the other similar solutions in this market, EZETap has a hardware accessory that actually reads the data of the Magnetic stripe of the consumers debit/credit card and securely transmits it to the server for processing. Launched. Raised funding from Peter Thiel and others.
» Read: NextBigWhat’s coverage of EZETap


Bangalore based MyParichay, which simply translates into ‘my introduction’ is a next generation e-recruitment solution based upon social hiring. MyParichay is an intra-network present on Facebook that makes the entire the experience of recruitment more transparent and engaging by tapping into people’s social connection by focusing on recommendations and referrals. Social hiring – they recently cracked a deal with HT Media’s
» Read: NextBigWhat’s coverage of MyParichay

Jai Heart

Jai Heart provides an overall estimate of an individual’s susceptibility to developing heart disease facilitating more targeted screening. Jai Heart analyses DNA from saliva/cheek cells to look for genetic variations associated with heart disease. This is integrated with client’s medical history and conventional risk factors provided online.
» Read: NextBigWhat’s coverage of Jai Heart


Plivo provides basic building block APIs in the form of Plivo XML and HTTP API, to create telephony apps so developers can completely do away with learning the nitty-gritty of the telephony plumbing.
Plivo APIs provide functions like Outbound Calling, Fetching Number List, Checking Account Details etc and the company has launched its API platform for voice and SMS applications.” Niche implementation. Global product.
» Read: NextBigWhat’s coverage of Plivo


Healthify aims to simplify healthy living. The startup strives to create solutions on mobile and web that nudge people towards healthy behavior.
» Read: NextBigWhat’s coverage of Healthifyme


Vizury’s re-targeting solution Visitor Relationship Management (VRM) enables eCommerce and online travel companies to better target advertisements using digital data in a phased manner. The solution is used by companies such as Webjet, Virgin Airlines, Expedia, Zuji, Netshoes, Viajanet, Zozo, Kokuken, Ctrip, Yintai, Jabong, Jet Airways and MakeMyTrip.
» Read: NextBigWhat’s coverage of Vizury

Plustxt, Hike and Imsy

Messaging is hot and all of these players have taken a different approach to messaging.

Plustxt is initially targeting a niche (NRI) segment with its local language offering. Imsy has taken a platform approach and Bharti’s Hike is targeting a global audience.
» Read: NextBigWhat’s coverage of Plustxt, Imsy and Hike app.


Mettl is an online assessment platform that enables hiring managers in companies to measure and track skills of pre-hires and employees. Using the site, a company can create a standardized tests based on their own requirements in less than 5 mins. The company focuses on multidimensional testing instead of just testing one’s coding skills.
» Read: NextBigWhat’s coverage of Mettl


The Bangalore based startup, Dexetra has so far launched 2 successful products – Iris and Friday. The integration will enable you to ask questions about your life, yes, about your past moments and it will use Friday app to fetch you answers. Iris has served over 250 million answers through the platform and Friday boasts of over 100 million documents to the Friday cloud. One of the few kickass apps from India, Dexetra has integrated both offerings Friday and Iris in one app.
» Read: NextBigWhat’s coverage of Dexetra


Power2sme helps small and medium enterprises to cut purchase costs with the help of experienced professionals. The company aggregates the demand of hundreds of SMEs that enables the company to obtain the best possible pricing for their procurement needs.
» Read: NextBigWhat’s coverage of Power2SME


Innoz’s flagship product 55444 also known as SMSGyan is an offline search engine that allows its users to search the web by sending an SMS. Users will receive a specific answer of 480 characters within seconds with an option of retrieving further information on the query, if required. Consumers can choose to get charged a rupee an SMS or an avid user may opt for a monthly or daily subscription. Innoz recently served its billionth query on sms.
» Read: NextBigWhat’s coverage of Innoz


Helpshift addresses the growing need in mobile for customer service and has raised $3.2 mn in seed financing from a round led by True Ventures and Nexus Venture Partners. Helpshift’s mobile solution is offered as a SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) and is hosted in the cloud. The company currently provides support for Android, Apple devices (iOS) and HTML5; and is committed to being cross platform.
» Read: NextBigWhat’s coverage of Helpshift

Reverie’s product for text display for Hindi and Arabic languages have been pre-integrated into Qualcomm’s reference design (QRD) with Android Gingerbread OS and Qualcomm’s 7x2x series chipsets. Reverie’s text rendering engine and fonts for Hindi and Arabic languages are pre-built at the operating system level into the Qualcomm’s customized version of Android.
» Read: NextBigWhat’s coverage of Reverie

Ayojak enables users/small and medium businesses to organize conference event, ticketing event, membership/group event and social event. Features offered includes event registration, attendee management, payment processing, ticketing, reporting and promotion.
» Read: NextBigWhat’s coverage of Ayojak

iStream is a video aggregation service that provides an online content streaming platform, where users can discover content across multiple genres like news, TV shows and Movies. The digital media company founded by Radhakrishnan Ramachandran and Chellapa Dhanukodi offers video content across all major Indian languages.
» Read: NextBigWhat’s coverage of iStream

What’s your opinion of the list?
If you are wondering who are the ‘graduates‘ (i.e. not really a startup anymore), we will share that list on Wednesday (Dec 26th)!

[image credit:wikipedia/wikipedia]

[This article is part of our 2012 Recap series, and is supported by CCAvenue.]

2012 Recap/ 2013 Trends
CCAvenue is India’s largest payment gateway solution powering thousands of eMerchants with real time, multi-currency, multiple payment options online payment processing services. The solution is powered by proprietary technology that integrates transaction-processing, advance shopping cart, auction payment collection facility, mobile page, risk assessment and fraud control, smart analytical dashboards, financial reporting and order tracking and many more features.

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