#Asia 3 rising startups in India – Dec. 21, 2016


rising startups, focus, aim

Photo credit: newhdwallpapers.

An app that offers vouchers for popular beer joints, a startup that takes education seriously, and one that makes it a point to connect people over skills and hobbies. That’s how diverse the startup scene is in India – and that’s how far outside the box investors and mentors are willing to bet.

The BlueBook


The BlueBook team. Photo credit: BlueBook.

Bangalore-based The BlueBook raised a $500,000 seed round lead by the Indian Angel Network. Founded in 2013, The Bluebook offers discounts from the city’s popular eateries, beer cafes, spas and other places. The vouchers – redeemed at the venue using a four-digit PIN – are valid throughout the week and do not require a prior booking.

“The capital raised will be deployed in consolidating the merchant and user base in Hyderabad, Bangalore, and Gurgaon,” CEO and co-founder Varun Kumar Akula said. The money will also be invested in technology to offer deep customer analytics, loyalty solution for merchants, and a unique payment solution.

“We aim to be present in all major metros in the next few quarters with our full stack solution,” he added.

The BlueBook operates a subscription model where users can pay a monthly fee of US$1.50 to grab discounts.


Facebook’s startup program has been bustling with energy in India, where the latest startup selected for FBStart is hobbies app Skillmate. It connects people over skills and hobbies – meaning if you are interested in running, it can help you find a fitness buddy.


Photo credit: Pepe Pont .

Launched in August, Skillmate says it has more than 15,000 user profiles. About 80 connections are made through the app daily.

Users have to feed in information like name, age, interests, photos, but don’t need to share emails or phone numbers. If someone wants to teach a craft, they put in their expected fees. Once a match is found, a user can chat in-app to connect directly.


India’ biggest edtech startup struck gold again. This happened yesterday, but we’re adding it in here. Some nine months after raising US$75 million, Byju’s got an undisclosed investment from IFC, a member of the World Bank Group.

Founder Byju Raveendran originally started to help students in India prepare for tests like the GMAT and GRE. Then he decided to take his services online, but this time with a focus on students between primary school and high school.


Photo credit: Patrick Savalle.

“Today, almost 70 percent of our users come from outside the top 10 cities. It is encouraging to see increased adoption from more than 1,700 towns and cities in the country, but there is still a long way to go before we call this a learning revolution,” he said.

“To further accelerate our reach in the deeper parts of India, we are planning to add channel partners across the country.”

The startup has 330,000 annual paid subscriptions, seeing 30,000 students added every month.

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