#Asia 7 rising startups in India

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A range of startups that promise to make life easier for India’s millions got funding today – from a home services provider to a medtech startup to a cab search platform. And then there was one which just rechristened itself after a good injection of funding from top investors. Here are the seven that stole the limelight:

Springboard

Edtech company SlideRule has rebranded itself as Springboard. The company also announced US$1.7 million in seed funding today.

Investors in the round include Allen Blue, co-founder of LinkedIn; John Katzman, founder of the Princeton Review, 2U and The Noodle Companies; Naveen Tewari, founder and CEO of InMobi; Kartik Hosanagar, a Wharton School professor; 500 Startups, Blue Fog Capital, and others.

The funding will be used to increase capacity in existing courses, provide additional student services and support, and launch courses in new fields, the company said.

The company hopes the new name, Springboard, will more accurately reflect its mission to help aspirants advance their careers through self-paced, mentored courses.

“As the tech industry grows, employers can’t hire talent fast enough,” said Gautam Tambay, co-founder and CEO of Springboard. “There is incredible demand for trained data scientists and UX designers, even as 45 percent of college grads are underemployed and struggle to find affordable, effective ways to learn career-related skills.”

The company has provided a network of mentors to over 110 data science and design professionals over the past 12 months.

Housejoy

Home services provider Housejoy today announced INR 1.5 billion (US$23 million) in series B funding. The round was led by Amazon along with a consortium of new investors, including Vertex Ventures, Qualcomm, and Ru-Net Technology Partners. Existing investor Matrix Partners India also participated.

“Our new investment partners open up new possibilities for market expansion, new partnerships, and best practices in running a sustainable business. We look forward to the next stage of growth,” Sunil Goel, co-founder of Housejoy, said in a statement.

Housejoy has grown at breakneck pace since its launch in January this year. It has joined hands with more than 10,000 service providers across 11 cities.

See: Will $23m in funding help Housejoy resolve its home services mess?

Blubirch

Blubirch, which helps businesses manage their technology assets, today announced it has secured angel funding of US$2 million from Chicago Capital ventures, seasoned investor Sanjay Mehta, and others.

The Bangalore-based company operates in the reverse logistics space and helps businesses maximize value from unused inventory. It will use these funds to expand their services in India and other countries and strengthen its team to complement their capabilities.

It was founded by Sapan Jain, Jeby Cherian, Amit Goel, and Jayathirtha P. Katti last year.

“While technology is at the forefront of what we do, our main focus is to assist our clients in managing their complete range of technology assets. The fund raised will be used to enhance the technology platform and expand operations across six more cities,” said its CEO and co-founder Sapan.

The market size for reverse logistics is estimated to be US$20 billion. Blubirch plans to launch its consumer services and expects to reach INR600 million (US$8.9 million) in revenue by early next year.

MeraDoctor

MeraDoctor, an online platform for virtual consultations between doctors and patients, today said it had raised INR 70 million (US$1 million) in a pre-series A round led by Ronnie Screwvala’s Unilazer Ventures.

The round also saw participation from existing investor IndiaQuotient. The fresh funds will help the company extend its technology platform, scale up its doctor base, and add to its technology and management teams.

MeraDoctor was launched earlier this year and has helped over 300,000 people connect with doctors across India through a simple chat interface. It claims to connect patients with reputed physicians.

“We make it easy for everyone in India to have high quality health conversations on their phone. In just a few months after launching our app for live messaging with doctors, we’ve helped over 300,000 people connect with quality care,” says its CEO and co-founder Ajay Nair.

Cabsguru

Cabsguru, a cab search, comparison, and booking platform, has raised US$3.5 million in an angel round led by Prashanth Ranganathan, founder and CEO of Paysense.

The New Delhi-based startup is owned by Nohup Technologies. It was founded by Vikash Singh and Pulkit Ahuja last year.

Earlier this week, Cabsguru had announced the launch of a multiple cab operator search and booking facility called Robocab. “It has been programmed to solve the most common pain point of today’s cab users – the pain of seeing ‘No Cabs Available’ on the cab app screen during the peak morning and evening hours when you need your cabs the most,” Vikash says.

Cabsguru is present in 75 cities. As of date, Cabsguru has more than 120,000 organic users and handles more than 100,000 cab search, comparison, and booking queries on a monthly basis.

IBS Software

US private equity firm Blackstone Group has picked up a minority stake in IT solutions firm IBS Software for US$170 million from General Atlantic and other shareholders, according to a Reuters report.

IBS provides IT solutions for travel, transportation and logistics businesses. The deal is expected to close within a month, the report said.

Rubique

Bestdealfinance, an online marketplace for financial products, has undergone a brand revamp and changed its name to Rubique, which the company believes will help it connect better with customers.

Launched in October 2014, the Mumbai-based financial ecommerce portal provides end-to-end solutions for individual and small and medium enterprises. It offers home loans, auto loans, business loans, loans against property, apart from credit cards, healthcare, and construction equipment financing.

“We would like to bring transparency in the loan eco-system and make finance simple and accessible. To establish a greater connect with our brand, we started to rethink the brand strategy and positioning, including the name change,” company founder and CEO Manavjeet Singh said in a statement.

The company has signed up with 41 financial institutions for over 200 products. They have received almost 10,000 applications, of which 2,000 applications have been processed. Rubique closed its series A funding led by Kalaari Capital recently.

We’ve been bringing you cool Indian startups regularly. Check them out here.

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