It took Niketh Sabbineni a little over two years to build the endurance to complete a 13-mile run. But it took him just half that time to build and sell his tech startup to Yahoo.
Last month, the US internet company bought the 24-year-old’s startup Bookpad for about Rs 50 crore. The deal came some eight months after Facebook snapped up Little Eye Labs.
Bookpad and Little Eye Labs, both based in Bangalore, are among hundreds of product startups to mushroom in the Indian entrepreneurial landscape over the past couple of years. This trend signals the ability of Indian startups to quickly build and innovate at the global level.
“India’s software products industry is at an inflection point,” said Ravi Gururaj, chairman of the Nasscom Product Council.
Capital is also available easily. It just took an hour for Avlesh Singh, cofounder of ecommerce tech startup WebEngage, to convince Rajan Anandan to back his company. Anandan, Google India’s managing director and an angel investor, soon flew down to Mumbai to meet Singh to seal the deal.
“He (Anandan) asked me to drive him to the airport. We spent an hour chatting about WebEngage. The moment he got down at the airport, he said ‘raise the money, I’ll lead this round for you. Congratulations’,” said Singh, 32, whose firm helps big ecommerce players such as Flipkart, Snapdeal, eBay and MakeMyTrip engage with customers in real time. Entrepreneurs in their 20s are surfing the product startup wave. And one factor making this possible is the easy access to mentors, incubators and accelerators.
Take the case of Toshendra Sharma, 26. While studying at IIT Bombay, he met Yahoo director Gaurav Sharma who helped him pivot the business to the mobile space. That advice and help gave the much-needed boost for his startup Wegilant Net Solutions, which provides mobile security to organisations.
“There are already billion-dollar product companies like Zoho and InMobi,” said Anandan of Google. “And India will create many more billion-dollar product companies and hundreds will be in the $10 million (Rs 60 crore) to $100 million (Rs 600 crore) valuation range.”
To identify and encourage the emerging companies in this segment, Nasscom comes out with Emerge 50, a list of top 50 companies with innovative solutions. Peerzada Abrar and Krithika Krishnamurthy take a look at the top 10, of the 50, that will be showcased this year at Nasscom’s product conclave.
Dhruv Khanna, Data Resolve Technologies
WHAT IT DOES: Securing enterprise data
BRIEF HISTORY: Founded in 2008. Founding team members include Devesh Mittal, 31, Nagarjun Kota, 27, Dipanjan Biswas, 30, Dhruv Khanna, 37
FUNDING: IIT Kharagpur financed the seed round
USP: Helps enterprise reduce cost by addressing data leak, employee productivity, BYOD security from a single cloud platform
WATERSHED MOMENT: When they signed up their first large enterprise client last year CUSTOMERS: Enterprises across India, Europe and US.
FOUNDERS’ UNWIND ZONE: Singing, reading, mentoring, playing cricket
TARGET REVENUE for FY 2015: Rs 2 crore