Naina Sood ( )
The second episode of Starting Up with Shradha Sharma—a weekly live show hosted by the YourStory Founder and CEO, once again opened the stage for four notable startups, building distinctive products in their respective segments.
Talk about the latest product, pitch to investors or just a freewheeling chat with the host, the idea of the show is to appreciate and call attention to every early-and mid-stage startup that is building in silence, and hustling its way to success.
After hearing the journeys of Dr Vibha Tripathi (Founder, Boon), Ria Rustagi (Co-Founder & CEO, Pankh Technologies), Roli Gupta (Founder, babblebots.ai), and Vamsi Udayagiri (Founder & CEO, Hesa) in the last episode, lets talk about the four new names that took the centre stage this week
The winner of the latest Earthshot Prize 2022, also called the Eco Oscars, startupis making a buzz for its innovative ‘greenhouse-in-a-box’ concept that co-founders— Saumya Sharma, Ayush Sharma and Kaushik Kappagantulu—created for farmers to pump their incomes.
This modular greenhouse, which has been installed for about 1500 farmers in 14 states, of which 1200 were added last year, enables farmers to grow high-value crops year-round, leading to increased yields and profits.
It claims to be using 90% less water than standard greenhouses, grows seven times more food, and gives farmers a steady dependable income.
Kheyti also offers training, financing, and market linkages to support the success of their farmers.
After experimenting with various revenue models over the last 6 years, the startup managed to bring down the cost of the product and now offers a subsidised version to smaller farmers.
“We are a non-profit at present, and rely on philanthropic capital and grants. We struggle with having right talent. We are hoping to have passionate people join our cause,” said Saumya Sharma during the show.
This Bengaluru-based communication AI startup recently achieved a milestone of collecting debts worth $400 million for lenders like Bajaj Finserv, Kreditbee, CapriLoans, Cred and over 20 other BFSI leaders.
At the heart of this is their ready-to-hire multilingual call centre AI agent—MAIA—and conversational robocalling AI solutions—Pravid—pre-trained in the most frequent business processes such as lead qualification, payment reminders, debt collection, CSAT feedback survey and others to premier financial enterprises globally.
claims to recover more than 95% of the amount allocated, without human intervention, faster than all other channels of collection.
The company has raised about $3.5 million in the last 6 years in three rounds and is looking to breakeven in the next three months.
“We have over 3 dozen NBFCs and fintechs using our product. Our revenue grew 61% month-on-month from February to March and we are expecting the same in the future,” said founder Vishwa Nath Jha, who aims to offer an all-in-one communication platform across every possible language.
was founded by ex-Biocon President of R&D Shrikumar, alongside IIT Madras alumni Sailaja Nori, Nelson Vadasseri, and Sowmya Balendiran in 2010. The company was started to solve the existing manual cultivation process of seaweed.
Over the years, Sea6 Energy worked on patented technology to automate seaweed cultivation, and is now harvesting it in small amounts. The startup consumed 5,000 tonnes of seaweed last year, with a target of around 15,000 tonnes in 2023, for biofuels, play growth stimulants, plant defence products, animal feed ingredients, and other bio-renewable products to replace chemicals and plastics.
Compared to its stated goal of replacing India’s crude oil imports, these numbers are miniscule, says Sowmya.
According to a PTI report, India spent $119 billion to import 212.2 million tonnes of oil in FY2022-23 alone. To replace 212 million tonnes of crude oil, Sea6 would need 4X that amount of seaweed, or around 848 million tonnes.
Last year, the company raised $18.5 million in a Series B round from European investors BASF Venture Capital and Aqua-Spark. Sea6 said it plans to deploy that money towards the processing and business operations of making “sea vegetable fibres and jelly ingredients” that come under the food ingredients category.
The National Start-up Award 2021 winner in the ‘Access to Institutional Education’ Category, Thinkerbell Labs’s flagship braille literacy device—Annie—have been installed across hundreds of smart classes across states in the country.
It’s the world’s first Braille literacy device that helps visually impaired people learn to read, write, and type in Braille on their own in any medium of instruction.
Co-founders Aman Srivastava, Sanskriti Dawle, and Dilip Ramesh had conceptualisedon the campus of BITS Pilani Goa, and since then has helped hundreds of blind children learn Braille reading, writing, and typing on their own in any medium of instruction in schools across the world.
Braille is just a beginning, says Dawle, who talked about making education inclusive with the help of technology, during the show.
The startup, which is backed by investors like Anand Mahindra, has tied up with several district and state governments to provide self-learning, gamified, and interactive device for children with visual impairment.