A Look at TImes Internet’s TLabs’ Fourth Batch Startups [9 Startups, 4 Cities]

TLabs, a startup accelerator by Times Internet Ltd, has announced its fourth batch of startups.

Noida based two year old accelerator has selected nine startups for its fall 2013 batch. Selected startups include; JiffStore, Vozeal, News in Shorts, Labforth, BetaGlide, Sponsored Giveaways, GetMeAShop, VindowShop.tlabs

Healthcare, media and retail were some of the prominent domains in which the selected startups are working. Out of the selected ones, four companies are from Delhi, three from Bangalore, one from Hyderabad and one from Kharagpur. The accelerator program which was run for three months earlier now has been extended to four months.

Abhishek Gupta, Head TLabs says, initially we used to focus on technology and product front. Now, we advise startups more on distribution and online marketing along with sales.

Including this latest batch, TLabs has 23 portfolios in total. Out of these two have successfully raised funding from institutional investors, four to five has raised money from angels and few other are in advanced talks with the investors.

A quick look at the selected startups:

BetaGlide
Its a cloud based platform for mobile application developers and testers which enables them to test the apps in a real time environment.  Application can be tested using real devices among actual users. Read More

JiffStore
The mobile commerce startup helps supermarkets to sell groceries online, thus giving consumers the facility to shop on the move and helping grocery chains to leverage the power of mobile and ecommerce.

Vozeal
Its a platform for video advertisers and publishers. Brands can increase their reach through a network of publishers which helps in increasing page views. On the other hand publishers can monetize through an additional channel.

News in Shorts
Abbreviated as NIS, the startup aggregated and summarizes news in 60 words. Present on mobile and web it provides snippets of popular stories flowing across internet to give users a shorter version for being updated on the go.

Labforth
Its a solution for laboratory management and marketing. A cloud based system provides end to end lab and personal management.

Yippster
The company helps online publishers and digital content providers an additional payment method through telecom operator billing.

Sponsored Giveaways
Its a platform connecting advertisers and bloggers. Brands give non-cash prizes to users of the blogs, hence increasing user engagement on the blog and brand image.

GetMeAShop
On the lines of Zepo, the startups helps online businesses create virtual presence through ecommerce stores while supporting them on back end for marketing tools such as ERP and CRM.

VindowShop
Users can simply click on pictures of apparels shared online, and startups image recognition platform helps users to search and buy those clicked apparels.

Recommended Read : What do Startups Expect from Startup Accelerators

 

Cut Through The Clutter & Paid Bollywood Reviews With Social Review Platform Flixstreet

flixstreetArindam Mukherjee and his wife Tithee Mukhopadhyay went to watch Housefull 2 on the day of release. Almost all the critics had trashed the movie. “But our friends on Facebook and Twitter were raving about it. We went ahead and watched the movie and quite liked it,” says Mukherjee.

What was the lesson here? There are way too many reviews (paid, unpaid) out there. But social recommendations are a big and relatively correct factor when it comes to deciding which movie to watch. “We did a quick survey and confirmed our hypothesis. Started off with a blog as a proof of concept …Long story short, we started Flixstreet to solve our own problem!”

Flixstreet is a social discovery and recommendation engine for Indian movies. Their primary focus right now is on Bollywood but will be soon moving into regional films as well. They have just come out of a private beta a week back and has been seeing a good amount of traction.

The service aggregates all relevant movie content and present it to you through a clean interface. The startup seems to have given priority to user experience over SEO clutter and ads,  as seen on most movie portals.

flixstreet home

The portal offers a list of services like movie watch lists, release alert notifications, social recommendations and acces movie reviews. You can also invite other friends to watch a movie together. Once signed up you can create a My Activity page that captures all the your ratings, reviews, watchlists and friends on Flixstreet. Another feature called StreetPulse integrates user ratings, social buzz and critics’ ratings.

As far as competition is concerned there will always be Google and other search engines, but the informations available on them is cluttered. This is where websites like Flixstreet can come and help users with sorted out and organised information, adding to the movie experience in whole. As far as peer competition is concerned, there a quite a few players that cater to both a national and regional audience like Filmfare, Nowrunning etc and also most news channels have movie reviews on their portal like TOI, IBNLive etc.

The startup is currently focusing on growth and engagement. In the future they are looking at a revenue model that combines social planning to watch movies along with a targeted marketing platform for production houses.

Question for the team: WHY should one rate movies on this site? Isn’t sentimental analysis of social feeds a better way to judge a movie? What’s social about this product?

Sign up at Flixstreet and let us know about the experience.

India Get Independent, Startup!


This Startup Coverage is part of NextBigWhat’s ‘India. Get Independent. #StartupCampaign’, supported by Canaan Partners and Shopify India. During this campaign, NextBigWhat will profile upcoming Indian startups. If you want to have your startup featured, please submit details here.]

Delhi Based Startup SahVidya makes File Storage and Sharing Easy for Academics

A frequent wish heard in academic circles: We should collaborate more often. Delhi based startup SahVidya wants to make that happen. The company has built an online application for academics and institutions to store data, share applications and computing facility with peers and others on the network.

The application can work for any university or institute, says its founder Bhanu Gupta, an alum of IIT- Delhi. “There is no platform at present where academicians can meet and collaborate and SahVidya becomes one stop shop for that,” says Gupta.

The freemium product gives 3GB of free space to a user. Additional space costs $.3 per GB/ Month. Since launch in December last year, the company has registered 500 users from IITs, IIMs and few from NIFT Delhi, Gupta said.

The site has two primary kinds of users– students & faculty. Students can use the site to store data, create course directories, organise lab work, assignments and share files between peers in other institutes.

Faculty can use the storage facility to upload course work, assign it to student groups, maintain office, research and consultancy related work.Sahvidya

The startup will have to compete with larger rivals such as Dropbox, if the proposition is storage. While the service also competes with the collaboration tools like Google Drive, Microsoft Online Office, SahVidya has a winner in making if they have a clear workflow for use-cases in academics.

For research and publications, Jstor and the likes already have a stronghold among academicians. (ReadDropbox smartly finds a space in Indian colleges)

The Indian government is also working on various cloud computing initiatives (pdf) and academic institutions are their primary targets. Government is likely to use state owned infrastructure. So that will probably rule out government institutions. E-mail, productivity, ERP, CRM and other things are already on the Government’s road map. Microsoft has already made inroads into academic institutions by partnering with the All India Council for Technical Education.

What this also means that the government is open to the idea of cloud computing and there will be opportunities to partner with them on various aspects related to cloud computing.

Recommended Read

Meet Examinater, a Thesis Submission Software That’s Saving Real Money for Universities


This Startup Coverage is part of NextBigWhat’s ‘India. Get Independent. #StartupCampaign’, supported by Canaan Partners and Shopify India. During this campaign, NextBigWhat will profile upcoming Indian startups. If you want to have your startup featured, please submit details here.]

India Get Independent, Startup!

Reduce Data Launches Programmatic Advertising Platform

reduce dataReduce Data has launched its programmatic advertising platform in India. Using this platform advertisers can buy advertising space via an auction over advertising exchanges. The auctions are conducted over an industry standard protocol called Real-Time Bidding (RTB).

As per Reduce Data, audiences bought over auctions are turning out to be more effective than traditional network media buying. This is mainly because advertisers only buy audiences which meet their targeting needs, price needs.

Using the platform advertisers buy each impression instead of a placement which means each user / impression is priced differently. The company tracks the full campaign funnel in real-time. Real-time machine learning delivers instant predictions on probability of the ad that is being bid on the industry standard Real Time Bidding (RTB) protocol.

Reduced Data Platform

Apart from measuring the clicked or rendered ads, apprehending and analyzing rough data, the service also provide users with metrics on the effectiveness of brand lift campaigns. Advertisers can also use the platform’s analytics to measure advertising spends.

Reduce Data Features

RTB spends are increasing in India every year. While solutions are available in India, it is estimated that the uptake is not very high due to various reasons while in markets like US, the uptake is about 20% of all digital spends.

US RTB Spending

Reduce Data says that it plans to leverage big data technologies in order to deliver highly optimized ad spends. The company claims to have access to about 6 billion daily impressions in partnerships through various exchanges.

Started by ZestAdz cofounder, Reduce Data raised angel funding last year.

 Recommended Read:  Demystified : Programmatic Buying and Real Time Bidding (RTB).

Networkplay Acquires yoCAPTCHA

Networkplay has announced the acquisition of yoCAPTCHA, the advertising platform by Innovese. This new move will bring Innovese co-founders, Ankit Gupta and Dhruv Sogani, on board Networkplay. Dhruv Sogani will be heading Business Development at Networkplay and Ankit Gupta will join as Head of Technology.yocaptcha

Innovese launched their product yoCAPTCHA back in 2011, as a CAPTCHA advertising platform. The service helps in transforming difficult to read CAPTCHAs into ad units. In a years time the company had over 100 publishers on board and over a billion CAPTCHA impressions.

The service offers a range of CAPTCHA units based on various formats like interactive game/activity, video, Animations etc.

Back in March 2102, the publishing division of European media conglomerate Bertelsmann AG, Gruner + Jahr, had acquired a majority stake in Networkplay. Gruner + Jahr made this investment as a move to build its digital business in India.

Recommended Read:

Dial2verify Brings Missed Call Based Alternative to Captcha & OTP

Minteye= Captcha + Advertisements! Site owners can now monetize Captcha

5 Indian Startups Make It To The 8th Batch Of Start-Up Chile

startupchileFive Indian startups have made it to Start-Up Chile, the startup accelerator run by the Chilean government.

This new  batch of  85 startups, come from 28 different countries and will take part in a 6 month long accelerator programme.

Startups from countries such as Lithuania, the Netherlands, Russia and Romania are a part of this new batch.

Here’s a quick look at the Indian startups that made it to batch 8 of the Start-Up Chile program.

Profoundis Labs

The startup, which began its journey at the Startup Village in Kerala, has developed iTestify, a product that helps users collect and manage testimonials and feedbacks from various channels and display them on your website.

i7 Networks

The Bangalore based enterprise security startup has launched PeregrineGuard, an agent-less security solution for enterprises.  The solution gives IT managers a way of securing the enterprise network by providing controls that help in discovering devices being used by employees, maintaining inventory of devices in use in a network and applying granular access control. i7 Networks demoed at bigMobilityConf recently.

Brainwave Education

The e-learning startup has developed an application that helps children between 5th and 9th standards learn science and math, through Do-It-Yourself experiments and video games.

Croak.it

The startup has a product that allows users to talk, discover and convey thoughts over the internet, using their mobile app, in 30 second audio snippets called ‘croaks’.

Cubicle

The Mumbai based startup, provides users with an ERP application tailor made for project intensive engineering design companies. The product helps companies with resource management, progress tracking, performance monitoring and other such processes.

You can see the entire list of startups here.

Recommended Read:  Startup Chile announces its 7th batch. India Drives 10% of Representation

Note Taking Service Classmint Launches Image Annotations For Better Notes

cmint-logoClassmint, the interactive study notes tool, has recently launched an image annotations service with embed ability to add annotations to an image and embed it on blogs and websites etc.

Using the Classmint note taking service, students can create annotable, audible notes that can be folded like a paper. With this launched feature, students can also import an image, add some annotations and copy the HTML embed code as publish it on their website or blog.

This feature can come in handy when you need to provide annotated information pertaining to particular images published online. For example e-commerce portals can annotate images on them explaining the product better. Technology blogs and services like real estate services can annotate the image to provide users with better description. This can also be handy for e-learning portals.

The idea behind the service is to help retailers/ and other website owners to better describe their products.

Classmint Image Annotations

You can view a sample post here. Currently the feature is offered totally free, but displays a Classmint logo at the bottom right.

There are many other free services like Annotorious and Pixtick and many others, that provide similar annotations services.

Before You Shop, Compare Details (Not Just Price) With BuyingIQ

BuyingiqWith hundreds of e-commerce sites, shopping online has become really tricky. Besides pricing, fine details like delivery time, quality, discounts and deals tend to be different on different portals. This is where comparison shopping comes into play. Ironically, there are dozens of comparison shopping sites as well.

Delhi based BuyingIQ wants to take on the space by helping users make smart decisions when it comes to shopping online. BuyingIQ is an intelligence based comparison and shopping engine. It helps you find the best deals across many ecommerce portals in the electronics category.

Currently, it gives price comparison options mainly in electronics with major categories including “Mobile & Accessories, Computer & Accessories, T.V, Video & Audio, Digital Cameras, Home & Kitchen appliances and Personal care”. In total it has 60 sub categories.

Piyush Taneja, Founder and Director, BuyingIQ says

We are not just a price comparison site. Instead we provide comprehensive deal to deal comparison for user. Necessary details like additional freebies/offer and discount coupons made available by the seller all put together in one place.

There are quite a few price comparison websites out there. Sites like Reviews 42, PriceDekho, Junglee.com, MysmartPrice, FindYogi and many others, offers product comparison and discovery options. The main focus is on personalization, which essentially means the more a service can be customised to a buyer’s requirement, the more attractive it becomes.

Online services like PriceBaba and Purplista also offers product discovery and comparison features, unlike pure online services, these provide information on brick & mortar stores based on user’s location.

BuyingIQ uses a “Personalized Competition Analysis Tool” which is basically an alternative recommendation feature. Customers are given alternative options of a product they are searching, based on product specifications, user response and popularity of the product on the Internet.

The startup which started in November 2012 currently has more than 4 lakh visitors a month which are growing by 50% month on month. That’s a good number the site has managed to pull within 9 months of the launch.

Nearly half of its traffic comes from metros and the rest from Tier-2 and tier-3 cities, indicating the demand of such service in the smaller cities.

A  mobile app is in the making and will soon be launched, as the startup gets over 25% of the traffic from mobile based web browsers (Not through a mobile site). This means close to 1 lakh visitors use mobile to compare products, a sign of increasing mobile usage.

In next phase the company will be launching “Gamification” features to engage users in order to build a community of loyal and genuine users. The site offers an option of writing reviews and engaging users using gamification methods will help it to cut out unreal users writing fake reviews. Community engagement serves well especially when you want your customers to give genuine ratings and reviews. For instance, online marketplace Snapdeal, has launched Snapboard, a gamification platform for reviews. The etailer give virtual rewards (badges, points) and physical goodies to genuine users participating in discussions and reviews.

The startup analyses trends using more than 10 months of pricing and inventory data of major online ecommerce players, and has developed a  crawling algorithm which includes factors like deal’s historical pricing information, how hot the product is, and frequency with which sellers update their price to provide the users with accurate pricing information. They claim 98% price data accuracy.

Major revenue comes from affiliate networks and display ads. The firm has tied up with merchants on CPC and CPA basis. Remarketing of consumer data, data analytics and physical retail listing are some other monetization avenues the startup is looking at in near future.

Comparison shopping is surely an alluring segment and will grow with increasing ecommerce though it is hard to say who will become the undisputed choice among users.


India Get Independent, Startup!

This Startup Coverage is part of NextBigWhat’s ‘India. Get Independent. #StartupCampaign’, supported by Canaan Partners and Shopify India. During this campaign, NextBigWhat will profile upcoming Indian startups. If you want to have your startup featured, please submit details here.]

SoCXO : Content Curation Meets the CXOs.

A whole lot of content is being (re)produced on the web every day. To give you an idea, every minute 278,000 tweets are added to the web and that precisely means a deep struggle between signal and noise.socxo

And more so, if you are a business user who is keen to grab insights beyond the mainstream publications.

Enters SoCXO.

SoCXO simplifies sharing of curated content for business users and help them derive maximum value out of their social networks. SoCXO is different from the existing apps in the market for two reasons.

1) Apart from standard RSS feeds, SoCXO offesr “Blurbs” – an exclusive offering in which the team manually curates content based on user interests, create a custom four liner capturing the essence of the article.

2) The sharing of content is much more intuitive. The user can edit the title and description to add her views before publishing into social networks.

SoCXO attempts to solve a hidden incentive of CXOs – be in the know of recent developments/news and use that to impress the world around!

blurb_example_socxo

But isn’t it competing with social papers like Paper.li or the big daddy, i.e. Flipboard? Here is a QnA with SoCXO team:

1. Given that Flipboard is now also available on web, a lot of users will prefer an app like that. How do you differentiate from that?

Flipboard has a lot of users (56 million +) already and is an excellent tool for consuming content. For curating it, you need to put in significant time and effort. In the case of SoCXO, we do the manual curation on your behalf while leaving some room for customization. SoCXO is platform independent; you can curate your content and publish to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for now (and other networks later) in the simplest way possible, whereas Flipboard helps you curate content in the form of magazines or channels for others to subscribe to.

SoCXO also offers users the option to subscribe for custom content (blurbs today and blogs / ghost posts tomorrow) Considering the differing value propositions, we bank on a lot of users not automatically preferring an app such as Flipboard. And, have you tried signing up for Flipboard on the web? They have messed that part up! (at least, for now!)

2. Plus, how do you differentiate SoCXO from a social newspaper (like paper.li)?

SoCXO focuses on a niche market. It is meant for a Business executive, with channels such as Industries, Professional Development and Personal Development (the scope will widen in the days to come, with the focus on TG intact).

Paper.li is complex. The user has to first create a paper, has to know what to subscribe to and what not to – an aspect that is generally painful for both the not-so-savvy users and the ones who can’t afford to spend the time. What is the tradeoff then? Customization, to an extent. People have other work to do (save for the social media agencies / ones whose primary task is to handle social media) and curating content shouldn’t suck too much time and effort. We are betting on users foregoing customization (to an extent) to save time and effort.

You need 3 clicks to share and 4 to schedule (via Buffer) in Paper.li. It takes 2 clicks to do it in SoCXO. As of now, we don’t offer complex scheduling options and we realized through our research that for individuals, most of the scheduling happens for the active day.

2. What’s your TG? Geography focus (from product adoption point of view)?

Business Executives – Individuals. USA and India.

3. How do you manually curate content (blurbs)?

We have built a backend system that helps in the process of the production of blurbs and the information flow. We work with online content experts (not domain experts,yet) (inhouse & freelance) to write and edit custom content.

The startup has more than 100 users using the product. In terms of future plans, the company will integrate with other social networks (Facebook, LinkedIn) and wants to enable users to strategize their online persona in an intuitive way.

Given the niche audience that SoCXO is targeting, the app should be a premium one and be seen as an extended magazine that CXOs can use.

Podcasting App Aurality Pivots. Founders Launch Gifting Service Giftery

Cofounded by Aurality team that launched (and eventually shutdown) a podcasting app last year, Giftery enables visitors to select gifts from 70+ merchants and send the gifts to recipients.

Giftery is an online gifting website that has partnered with premium brands around Mumbai. These brands range across different categories like Restaurants, Accessories, Health & Wellness, Adventure, Workshops etc.

Giftery
Giftery

The recipient can receive the gift cards either via email of in physical form. What’s also nice about Giftery is that if the recipient does not like the gifted brand, then s/he can exchange the same with any of the other brands for the same denomination. Gifters can also pool in money and send gifts (a feature some of its competitors like Badhaai has had for quite sometime).

The Mumbai based startup has raised funding from Rajan Anandan and Blume Ventures (in 2012, they raised $300K).

To start off, Giftery is currently active in Mumbai (stores) and one of the key features of Giftery is the gifting recommendation part. One can select gifts based on gender/experience etc (Zomato’s Ex-CTO launched Giveter which takes a deeper shot into gift recommendation).

The service is also taking an offline route to marketing (like participation in college fests etc) and for sure, the launch is well timed given that the gifting season has just started in India (Diwali is considered the biggest revenue season for gifting services in India). Even Snapdeal launched its gifting category couple of days back.

Do you think that there is a potential for some of these niche category players to provide their backend to existing ecommerce marketplaces (as a SAAS)? After all, even gifting is a (sort of) marketplace model to a certain extent with no physical inventory, but most of ecommerce marketplaces tend to ignore the social part of gifting. For ecommerce companies, the focus is more on providing deals than using (Facebook) social infrastructure, which actually is the backbone of a great gifting service.

What are your thoughts? Do give Giftery a spin, if you are looking for gifts in Mumbai.

Funding in this space (so far):

– Gifting Company Giftxoxo Raises Angel Funding; To Expand in Mumbai, Delhi

Badhai secures $200K from investors.

– Other startups in this space include Giveter,  Wishpicker and BuddyGifting.


This Startup Coverage is part of NextBigWhat’s ‘India. Get Independent. #StartupCampaign’, supported by Canaan Partners and Shopify India. During this campaign, NextBigWhat will profile upcoming Indian startups. If you want to have your startup featured, please submit details here.]

India Get Independent, Startup!

Startup Mekuchi Wants to Bring the Much Needed DIY Revolution in India

(Urban) Indians are not known as a DIY (Do It Yourself) friendly population. With the advent of software industry (salary) and consumption oriented habits, the DIY culture got lost somewhere.mekuchi

Bangalore based startup, Mekuchi is an open web initiative with a vision to make a billion makers- that is aimed at being the destination for makers, crafters, innovators and tinkerers to discover, learn and engage with each other.

Their first offering- the Mekuchi Makers magazine that comes out every month will introduce you to host of topics ranging from baking to stargazing, from wine making to building furniture – shared by the Mekuchi experts and passionate makers from the community. The Mekuchi Mini Makers emagazine, especially designed for children allows them to learn by getting their hands dirty and making fun and meaningful projects.

Started by Kaushal Sarda (who is also the CEO of Kuliza India) and Payal Shah, the team brings along a strong focus on niche segment – baking to start off and soon plans to expand to others (especially for kids).

While the current version of the product is mag oriented (i.e. editorially driven), I’d strongly urge the team to launch a platform product around this. In fact, you’d be surprised when a whole lot of people around you (whom you thought are hard core software industry islanders) come up with great DIY ideas and are ready to execute them. For instance, though the current concept topic is centered around food, I am sure there are enough hackers who are playing with Raspberry Pi and are willing to share their learnings. The team will eventually bring focus on Interesting DIY projects across a host of topics, from food to home and living,  fashion to geeky (science and technology).

So while we only profile product startups at NextBigWhat, a concept like Mekuchi definitely gets us excited (given that the product platform is under development).  If you are a maker, do connect with Mekuchi team and share your DIY ideas.

This Startup Coverage is part of NextBigWhat’s ‘India. Get Independent. #StartupCampaign’, supported by Canaan Partners and Shopify IndiaDuring this campaign, NextBigWhat will profile upcoming startups. If you want to have your startup featured, please submit details here.]

 

India Get Independent, Startup!

About to Become A Father, Entrepreneur Starts Venture for Kid Friendly Furniture

Shopping for the right cradle is one of the top priorities for expecting parents. Last November Rahul Bhatt was a month away from becoming a father and started searching for the perfect cradle for babies. During the search he came across a report based on a study conducted by the University of Minnesota, which said that side-to-side motion, as in most cradles motion, induces dizziness and discomfort. He then took a dive into designing a forward motion cradle, which the study said was perceived as linear and soothing motion. He ended up producing the first product of his startup OCradle, Lulla- the forward motion cradle.

OcradleDuring his research he found out that, with an exception to a few imported ones, very few Indian brands retail good kid friendly furniture. This was one of the main reasons to start his bootstrapped company OCradle. The startup designs and develops multi-functional furniture for kids and Lulla is their first product. Currently the company is developing a range of baby cribs, multi-functional study tables, chairs and wooden educational toys along with ranges of cribs and beds.

For their flagship product, Lulla, they have tied up with speciality birthing centers like Apollo Cradle and others to display the product in their premise.

In the forward motion cradle segment, it doesn’t look like the company will be facing too much of a competition. This might not be the case in the kids furniture segment, which is the companies core segment. International players like Fisher Price and others who import of source their products from China are big competition.

lulla

The company hopes that its creative designs and locally manufactured tag will give it an advantage amongst parents looking to buy kids furniture. Domestic players like Vividha and WudPlay who also offer similar products for kids will offer considerable competition in the local market.

The startup soon plans to introduce customised options of its products to play-schools, once the new line is launched. They also plan to intensify their presence both online and offline, also setting up their own distribution network across India is in the books.

Ocradle furniture

Currently most children’s toys and other products are mainly manufactured in China, this is also a major concern as in the past Chinese products have been deemed unsafe or in some cases even manufactured with toxic substances. In such a situations indigenously manufactured products will surely be on top of the priority list of most parents shopping for their kids, especially if they are able to push out products that are as functional and creative as their imported counterparts.

The founder Rahul Bhatt is an IITian and was previously running an e-commerce portal called furniturestreet.in, he was also the CEO of utile software solutions.

Recommended Read: Analysis: Evolution of baby-care business in Indian Ecommerce Space

The Startup Coverage is part of NextBigWhat’s ‘India. Get Independent. #StartupCampaign’, supported by Canaan Partners and Shopify IndiaDuring this campaign, NextBigWhat will profile upcoming startups under this campaign. If you want to have your startup featured under this campaign, please submit the startup details here.]

India Get Independent, Startup!

Hand-drawn Caricatures Meets Digital Cousin at Graphicurry, an Online Shop for Art Lovers

A classic John Travolta poster or a portrait of characters from a favourite sitcom, like Big Bang Theory, is not less than an asset for a diehard fan. Try Graphicurrystore.com, it features the latest wall hangings and fridge magnets of the famous movies, T.V shows and music bands.graphiccurry

In early 2011, Prasad Bhat started an art & design studio by the name of “Graphicurry Digital Art” for a niche cult of Indian users. What differentiated this artist and his venture among the crowd was his DIGITAL style of drawing, the characters and the theme, and the detailed thoughts that goes in each of his work. Graphicurry sells hand-drawn digital caricatures by Prasad. Now that’s a bit strange, hand drawn and digital at the same time?

Prasad has specialized in this vector style of art where he uses Adobe Illustrator to draw the designs, which are then printed on Sun board, Vinyl and Magnets. The company has gained popularity among the youth and working class of Indian population. Currently, the startup has designs in three categories i.e., Movies, T.V Shows and Music. Caricatures of famous characters from sitcoms like Games of Thrones, of movies like Hangover and of music bands like The Beatles, all which has a fan following is made by Prasad.

Recently, the Bangalore based startup went online. The website features close to 44 artworks and 9 magnets and is witnessing close to 300 visitors daily. On an average it is doing 10 to 15 transactions a day with the average price ticket of Rs 575. That number of transactions in less than a month of going online is pretty cool. The reason for such high user engagement on the portal is the fan following that the design studio has built over the course of past three years (Facebook page has more than 13,000 likes).

johnydepp_graphicscurry

Until now, the art studios was using Facebook page as a platform for providing latest info about the upcoming pop up stores, new art designs and stuff like that, no wonder if it is one of the key reasons to drive traffic on the portal.

George Alex who takes care of Business Development & Digital Marketing says, “We spend quite a lot on social media and it is working well with us”. On the first day of launch of the website we saw more than 20 transactions, the reason is lot of our fans want us to sell online, he said.

Interestingly, Prasad is the only artist in the company, hence all editions are limited and exclusive. Sun board paintings and fridge magnets are of low cost, starting from Rs 500 and Rs 200 respectively while the vinyl ones goes up to Rs 10,000.

Cash on Delivery is available only in Bangalore with additional shipping fee of Rs 25, for elsewhere in India, Rs 50 are charged as shipping fee.

Gilmour
Gilmour

Graphicurry is a classic example of multichannel retailing, evolving online after creating its presence through non digital mediums. Earlier, the brand used to sell through retail outlets, Pop up shops and by exhibiting in related events like Kitsch Mandi (Bangalore), NH7 Weekender, Comic Con India. Though, startup in online now, it will keep its omnichannel presence, says George.

The website will introduce mugs and exclusive section in weeks to come, to expand the product line. Another Indian startup which has products on the similar lines is Chumbak, It started with fridge magnets and now has items such as T-shirts, coin cases, mobile covers, laptop bags and many others, which comes with a printed text or design.

[The Startup Coverage is part of NextBigWhat’s ‘India. Get Independent. #StartupCampaign’, supported by Canaan Partners and Shopify India. During this campaign, NextBigWhat will profile upcoming startups under this campaign. If you want to have your startup featured under this campaign, please submit the startup details here.]

India Get Independent, Startup!

Startups Come Together to Rebuild Uttarakhand. From Aerial Drones To Online Delivery.

A group of startups from Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi are coming together to try and help the relief and rehabilitation efforts for the victims of the Uttarakhand floods that happened a couple of months ago.

Project UttarakhandIn June this year a cloudburst over the state of Uttarakhand caused devastating floods and landslides that ravaged the state and brought everything to a stand still. The current situations, even though better than back in June, is still not good, and as time passes people also tend to slowly forget about the incident and relief funds also start reducing.

Today there is an chance that an epidemic that could break loose, and authorities have begun to suspect that water contamination by decaying and uncovered dead bodies might be major factor for this.

Inspite of the availability of relief medicine, food and other relief items for the victims, flood rampaged roads destroyed further by landslides and inaccessibility have made it very difficult to reach the victims.

Even relief and rescue work by helicopter are hampered due to the bad weather in the region, currently aid teams need to trek for days together to reach remote villages for distributing relief supplies.

The try and help with a lot of these issues Rebuild Uttarakhand project has brought together a group of startups from across the country to help with the efforts. The projects plans to setup a base cam in Uttarkashi, liaison with local authorities to identify and prioritize areas depending on the urgency for relief support and then sent out a team of 20-30 people to trek with relief supplies and rations to the villages. The project hopes that they will be able to maintain an effective supply chain for atleast 60 days.

ReliefUttarakhan Startups

Startups like airpix.in are involved in offering drones for aerial surveillance and aerial delivery of medicines to disaster areas. Startups with an online delivery platform are helping channel in-kind donations from across the country for the relief operations. A hackathon to encourage developing web and telecom applications for disaster management and relief cam is also being planned.

You can find details about the project and how you can help the effort here.

In the past we have seen Google launch a People Finder and a Crisis Map to help victims of the flash floods. The government of Uttarakhand had also launched a search engine to help you track victims admitted in various hospitals during the floods.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hm9SSfVMzk4

Announcing: India. Get Independent. #Startup Program!

August 15th is a special day for Indians. For most, it’s a loong weekend 🙂 and for few, it’s a way to announce your independence and importantly, respect what we have!India-Get-Independent-(Two)

So for those who are ready to announce independence and startup, this is it!

India. Get Independent. #Startup

As part of this program, we will profile a L0T of startups. We anyways profile great number of Indian product startups on NextBigWhat, but under this program, we aim to profile great number of startups during the entire month; and also share a lot of useful resources for them.

We are also glad to announce our partners for this program – Canaan Partners and Shopify.

Selected startups get to interact with Canaan Partners team and meet the team on an individual basis to collect feedback/pitch.

So go ahead and submit your details in the ‘Submit Your Startup‘ form (also embedded below). Let’s celebrate our independence in a more meaningful way!


[gravityform id=”39″ name=”SUBMIT YOUR STARTUP”]