5 Exciting b2b startups in India

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Here’s a list of 5 exciting b2b startups that I’m following. I used the evaluation criteria used by Jason Ball in his blog. – People, Product, Potential and Traction.

1. UnicommerceUnicommerce

Cloud based Multi-Channel Order Fulfillment Platform which enables E-commerce merchants

People: Started in 2012 by a group of IIT / IIM graduates, they have proved that passion, talent and ability are more important than experience. Without any previous experience in warehouse/inventory management , they have build world class inventory management software and have over 4000 paid users! Ankit, Manish and Vibhu have relied upon their IIT connects for the first few deals and there after relied on the products strength and customer service.

Product: Their product, Unicommerce, is comprehensive enough for big e-commerce players to rely on and easy enough for smaller online merchants to use.  It provides end to end order fulfillment including procurement, vendors, inventory, warehouses, drop shipments and returns. Being hosted on Internet, it enables small and medium sized online sellers to tap power of technology without any technology knowledge.

Potential: One of the ways that small offline businesses can survive the onslaught of e-commerce is by joining the e-commerce marketplace. The millions of small offline retailers and suppliers willing to join the online marketplace in India are the potential market for inventory management software.

Traction: Within a short span of 2 years, they could help their 4000+ customers do Rs. 1000+ Cr business. Unicommerce comes pre-integrated with all the leading marketplaces like Jabong, Snapdeal and Lazada, carts, couriers/shipping companies, accounting software and have built high barriers with these alliances for new entrants and in 2013, they raised their first round from Nexus.

2. Power2sme

Power2SME

Group buying site for SMEs

People: The founder, R Narayanan is a seasoned entrepreneur with experience in diverse industries, he is also a cost accountant working on profitability from early stages. He has built a team of around 60 and is advised by a very capable board.

Product: The company is a group buying site for SMEs in India. It has also diversified into SaaS applets and employee retention and motivation for SME. The primary business of group buying can include several products (over a million products listed in amazonsupply.com) and serviced through the common infrastructure.

Potential: The Indian economy is poised to return to high growth and the new government will provide an impetus to manufacturing, the market for industrial supplies will only increase. It is a blue ocean out there and the market is in billions, even amazon has started catering to SMEs in the US through amazonsupply.com.

Traction: With $8m of funding from Inventus, Accel and Kalaari, there is enough capital to see the company through the venture phase. The company has its head quarters in Mumbai, which is the hub of commodity business in India.

3. INEDAIneda

Developing low power System on Chips (SoCs) for use in both consumer and enterprise applications. The products address the wearable platforms.

People: The founders are a group of semiconductor veterans from the United States and India. GD and Balaji have worked with ATI and AMD and are supported by a strong board comprising of global semiconductor leaders.

Product: Wearable and Internet of Things devices require need SoCs with low power consumption and higher integration with sensors. Ineda has launched industry’s first Wearable Processor Unit, WPU™ a low-power, high-performance SoC targeting at the wearable technology market

Potential: It is widely acknowledged that wearables and internet of things will be the next wave. The number of devices will be greater than the total number of mobile devices which is upward of 5bn devices. The company is developing IP and could be to wearables what Qualcomm is to mobile.

Traction: With $26mn of funds from Samsung, Qualcomm et al, the company has resources to fund high burn rate of R&D. The development team is in Hyderabad, but the company HQ is in the silicon valley, which is preferred as it is close to its customers and the US will be the its largest market, at least initially. 

4. ExotelExotel

Cloud telephony services such as virtual phone numbers and telephony applications for SMEs.

People: The founders Shivku and Ishwar have the pedigree (ex Yahoo). They have built a strong team of over 20 and have the network to influence the early adopters.

Product: A virtual business phone system with features like voice mail, dialer, SMS keyword responder. Businesses can create interactive & intelligent voice and SMS flows within minutes and is based on the prepaid model.

Potential: There is a growing focus on customer service and inside sales and are the differentiating factors for successful businesses. Since the product helps the businesses streamline their call handling and in turn decrease costs, the complete Indian SMEs and not just the startups are the target market.

Traction: The company received funding of $500k from Blume Ventures and Mumbai angels and already have over 600 paying customers, based in Bangalore the company is close to where the startup action is, however growing beyond the early adopters and competing with telecom companies with similar solutions will be among the challenges.

5. SkanraySkanray

Medical equipment manufacturing company in x-ray imaging systems and critical care devices. Not essentially a startup, but in the growth stage, the company recently acquired the medical division of L&T

People: The founding/leadership team is – V Alva, Entrepreneur with background in R&D and graduate from NITK, R Mehta, ex-head of L&T’s medical division, over 3 decades of industry experience and a graduate from IIT Kanpur, and A Kumar, founder and CEO of Strides Arcolab. The team has the credentials and skills, to build world class medical and diagnostic equipments company.

Product: High Frequency X-Ray Imaging Systems, Critical Care Devices and Primary Healthcare & Telemedicine compatible devices, these are products designed and manufactured in India for the world markets.

Potential: Global investments in Healthcare are only increasing and the need for diagnostic and healthcare products is set to grow. The company is well placed to exploit the market with their innovative products.

Traction: With funds from ascent capital group, offices in the Americas, Europe and APAC and the list of customers from the founder’s past ventures, Skanray is well suited to exploit the growing market.

The logos and trademarks of the companies are copyrighted and belong to them.

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