After China, India’s Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) is the largest in the world.This sector plays a vital role in the country’s economy, being engaged in the production of over 6,000 products – ranging from traditional to hi-end, technologically advanced items.
Given the government of India’s latest ‘Make In India’ push, along with a stunning growth in FDI flows, the Indian MSMEs sector is ready for rapid growth and integration with big global value chains.
Central Statistics Office (CSO), Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation (MOSPI) estimates that the share of MSME related products in total export from India during 2018-19 has been 48.10% so far.
It is no doubt then, that startups that are veered towards helping MSMEs ease into the digital world are receiving increasing investor interest.
Listed below, are 5 popular Indian startups helping MSMEs win in the digital age.
Instamojo was founded by Sampad Swain, Akash Gehani and Aditya Sengupta in 2012, with the sole motive to make the internet a better and more reliable platform.
They started with payment links – a simple URL that one can copy and paste anywhere on the internet and receive payments online via any payment mode. Currently they provide more than just an efficient payments solution. Instamojo makes custom-tailored business tools to support the growth of a business on the internet.
In June this year, Instamojo had launched mojoVersity, an MSME skilling platform in a bid to empower small business owners. It has also launched an API for startups and developers to leverage its platform in building integrated products.
By launching ‘Credit Book’ to help 1 million small businesses on its platform, it allows them to keep track of credit given to vendors, suppliers, and customers; monitor cash receivables from customers, vendors, and suppliers; and send due payment reminders.
Founded by by Sujeet Kumar, Amod Malviya, and Vaibhav Gupta, all ex-Flipkart employees, Udaan runs an eponymous B2B marketplace that helps in networking of small retailers with wholesalers and traders. The startup has gathered more than 3 million retailers and more than 25,000 sellers from 900 cities and towns in India.
Through Udaan, retailers can now have an approach to the widest selection of manufacturers along with credit facility. This on the other hand. enables in the expansion of their business.
Founded in 2016, the startup was operational by 2017 and achieved the coveted ‘unicorn’ status in September last year.
It has been one of the few startups to achieve a private valuation of $1 billion in the shortest possible time and is backed by the likes of Tencent, Altimeter, Footpath Ventures, Hillhouse, GGV Capital, and Citi Ventures among others. It had raised $585 million in funding just last month by these investors.
Founded in 2012 as Kartrocket by its founder and CEO Saahil Goel, Delhi-based Shiprocket is a logistic tech aggregation firm that makes logistics solutions easier for small businesses in the e-commerce sector.
Through deep technology such as data analytics and AI, this startup helps recommend the best shipping medium and partner to sellers.
They have been able to onboard 15 domestic and four international logistics providers, and aid sellers in integrating their processes with them, through the use of modern technology.
The platform integrates with several leading and specialised logistics partners such as Delhivery, Xpressbees, FedEx, Blue Dart, etc to serve perfect logistic services. It has one of the largest networks in India with 26,000 pin codes available for pickups, deliveries, and CoD.
Founded in October, 2018 by Ravish Naresh, Jaideep Poonia, Dhanesh Kumar, and Ashish Sonone, Khata Book is a ledger account book in pace of your traditional ‘bahi khata‘ by a new digital ledger cash book. This feature is free, and the states that it is safe for all types of businesses to maintain their customers’ accounts.
A traditional bahi khata (ledger book) requires consumers to spend hours tallying and recording transactions physically. On the other hand, Khatabook automatically looks after all accounting transactions.
With tools like payment reminders, where an automatic SMS is sent to your customers every time a transaction is recorded against them, Khatabook has helped users bring transparency to their business.
KhataBook is among 17 startups from the first cohort of Surge, Sequoia India’s rapid scale-up programme geared towards early-stage startups in India and Southeast Asia.
Y Combinator and Info Edge are other investors in Khatabook. It has so far raised $83 million over multiple rounds between June and September this year.
Founded by IIT Delhi students, Vidit Aatrey and Sanjeev Barnwal in December 2015, Meesho is an Indian social commerce startup that helps small businesses and individuals to start their own online stores via social media channels such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, among others.
It is headquartered in Bengaluru, India and is one of the three Indian companies to be selected for Y Combinator in 2016. Apart from this, it was also a part of the first batch of Google Launchpad – Solve for India programme.
Earlier this June, Meesho received Facebook’s maiden investment in an Indian startup and further went on to raise $125 million in Series D funding from Naspers, with participation from existing investors like SAIF Partners, Sequoia Capital, Shunwei Capital and Venture Highway. Facebook and former Vodafone Group CEO Arun Sarin had also participated in the round.