Mumbai, September 18, 2018: LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network, has announced the 2018 LinkedIn Top Startups List for India.
The annual ranking is based on the billions of actions taken by more than 50 million professionals on LinkedIn in India, revealing the 25 most-wanted startups by professionals. It is fuelled by proprietary LinkedIn data including employment growth, engagement, job interest, and attraction of top talent combined with an editorial lens.
Topping the first edition of this list is five-year-old hospitality startup OYO (#1) followed by health and wellness startup Cure.Fit (#2), and on-demand delivery service dunzo.in (#3). From consumer tech to health tech, and logistics to hospitality, these 25 companies, through their unique offerings and bold leadership, represent the thriving startup landscape in India, the third largest startup ecosystem in the world. The debut list sees B2B companies make up 50% of the list whereas 20% of the companies, Nineleaps (#10), Zapr Media Labs (#17), BrowsterStack (#18), SigTuple (#20) and Exadatum (#25), are deep technology companies.
Says Adith Charlie, India Editor, LinkedIn: “Professionals turn to LinkedIn for news, views, and insights to stay informed, to hire, or to get hired. LinkedIn’s unique data helps us identify the top trends that drive India’s young economy – why these are the most preferred places to work for professionals today and how their innovative business ideas are changing the way we live. The Top Startups List, an extension of the Top Companies franchise, brings to light how these young companies are disrupting industries and attracting talent in India. The debut edition of the India list sees a diverse mix of consumer-driven businesses and B2B startups across industries such as health and wellness, hospitality, fin-tech, and e-commerce.”
Here’s how some of these startups are cutting through the noise:
Disruption in Consumer Fin-Tech and Consumer Internet space: Innovative and specialty business ideas are at the core of some of the consumer-driven startups across sectors such as fintech, wellness, hospitality, and e-learning. Emerging insurance players Digit Insurance (#5), a digital-first company is re-imagining products, solutions, and building insurance solutions that matter to people. The biggest draw of Acko General Insurance (#13) is its personalized policy based on user behaviour. Online educators like UpGrad.com (#21) and InterviewBit (#22) are disrupting the way professionals prepare for or empower their careers. Cure.Fit (#2), with its no-equipment gyms offering, is a refreshing departure from the traditional wellness environment. Hotel chain OYO (#1), 45000-rides-a-day Shuttl (#23), and concierge services venture dunzo.in (#3) have redefined affordability and convenience for the Indian consumer.
Near Unicorn status: On an aggressive expansion mode are firms such as OYO and Rivigo that are headed towards becoming members of the coveted Unicorn club. Over the last nine months, OYO (#1) has ventured into Malaysia, China and the UK. It is currently in talks to raise $1BN, pushing up its valuation to over $4BN. With investors betting big on Rivigo (#4), the logistics startup attained a near-unicorn status recently when it raised $50 million at a valuation of $945 million. Leading this pack is Udaan.com (#19), reported as being valued at over $1 billion in its September fundraise.
Startups boosting the startup ecosystem: Product development accelerator Nineleaps (#10) helps Bay Area startups transform ideas to high-performing products across industries such as ed-tech, health-tech, and retail. It is now expanding into new markets such as Singapore and Indonesia and diversifying into data science, blockchain and other emerging fields. BrowserStack’s (#18) mobile app and web-testing platform is currently in use by as many as two million developers across 135 countries and more than 25,000 paying customers. The growth of co-working venture Innov8 Coworking (#11) with 13 centres across India and a steady rise in employee count, is also a reflection of how the workplace is transforming to accommodate startups, freelancers, and rising entrepreneurs.
Rise of the B2B E-Marketplace: The rapid growth of B2B online marketplaces such as Udaan.com and Jumbotail signify the rise of a new trend: the use of technology to scale businesses and build a B2B marketplace that connects buyers with sellers and wholesalers with retailers. Founded by three former Flipkart executives, Udaan.com (#19), an online B2B marketplace for food, clothing and electronics, raised $50 million and expanded its reach to more than 500 cities in two years. LinkedIn data shows that the company’s headcount grew by nearly 100% in the last 12 months. The Nexus Venture Partners-backed startup Jumbotail (#16) is a B2B e-marketplace that connects neighbourhood stores with their suppliers. It also provides shopfront delivery of groceries and arranges working capital credit for store owners through its lending partners. Reseller marketplace Meesho (#24) uses social media platforms like WhatsApp and Facebook to connect sellers directly with suppliers. The social commerce startup plans to launch an interface in Indian regional languages in a few months.
Employee is king: In an increasingly competitive landscape, the top startups recognize the value of imbibing a sense of belonging in their workforce. All new hires at OYO (#1), or “OYOpreneurs”, are exposed to actual business problems on their first day so they acquire a sense of ownership. All team members at Razorpay (#9) regardless of role or seniority, take customer support calls for four hours every month. Another emerging trend is the adoption of unique employee engagement models. Cure.Fit (#2) offers its employees unlimited leave, fixed increments every six months, weekly cricket matches and a concierge service for personal tasks, while the appraisal process at Jumbotail (#16) gives 80% weightage to peers’ feedback and just 20% to the manager’s rating.
Here are the Top 25 Startups in India, in order of ranking:
5. Digit Insurance
6. Little Black Book
7. Republic World
8. The Minimalist
11. Innov8 Coworking
13. Acko General Insurance
14. Treebo Hotels
17. Zapr Media Labs
25. Exadatum Software Services