India has become a favourite destination for startups and have Women Empowerment and also for globe investors across a wide array of businesses, ranging from technology to fashion and often an amalgamation of both Women Empowerment.
In modern day India, women still face a large number of struggles and challenges whether it be pursuing higher education and chasing their dreams or even at the workplace but still, women entrepreneurs are competing on par with everyone and reaching great heights in their respective fields.
The following is a list of the top 10 women startup founders in India.
India’s ranking fell terribly, owing to the unequal inheritance rights and career limitations that restrict women from accessing startup capital.
India is one of the best destinations to establish a startup and global investors across a range of businesses. However, women still find it exasperating to chase their dreams.
The small fraction of women entrepreneurs in the country are struggling to be on par with others and reach new heights in their corresponding fields.
Before we head into the top startups led by women, let’s have a look at current situation for women in India.
Top 10 startups led by women (Women Empowerment)
1. Radhika Aggarwal, Founder of ShopClues
ShopClues is an online portal which sells a wide array of products ranging from technology to fashion. Radhika holds an MBA from Washington University and has studied Web 2.0 and Creative Writing from Stanford University.
Before founding ShopClues, Radhika worked for Goldman Sachs and Nordstrom.
ShopClues started operations in 2011 via Facebook with a team size of 5 members. The plan was to provide the best deals to buyers, knowing quite well that people in India are always looking for the best bargains.
The company launched its app and the country’s first Wholesale Marketplace (TVC) in 2014. In 2016, ShopClues came to be listed amongst the top e-commerce companies in India Women Empowerment, as it crossed 100 million visits per month.
In the same year, ShopClues increased its merchant base to more than half million.
ShopClues has received funding worth $139 million (approx.) from various sources. Top investors include GIC, Helion Venture Partners, InnoVen Capital, LionBird, Nexus Venture Partners, and Tiger Global Management.
The company is now a ‘Unicorn’, which is the title given to a company whose valuation crosses $1 billion. ShopClues is also planning to launch its Initial Public Offering (IPO) soon.
2. Neeru Sharma, Founder of Infibeam
Neeru Sharma founded Infibeam in 2007 which is a company involved in online retailing, e-commerce, software and internet services. Neeru holds a management degree from Carnegie Mellon and an engineering degree in computer science.
Infibeam, which started as a consumer facing e-commerce marketplace in 2007, has over the last one year acquired CCAvenue a multi-channel payment processing services, online digital payment processing company – Vavian International for $1.2 million, and picked up 48% stake in Mumbai-based Go Payments in a bid to further strengthen its fintech play.
Mehta said Infibeam will focus on building infrastructure and service computers for secure data storage.
Its infrastructure will have Cloud-based Tier-3 Datacenter, thus able to provide real-time high-speed data computing & storage, with no downtime Women Empowerment.
The fund drew from the proceeds of its IPO.With the data localization law coming in, it has an opportunity to provide to others our facilities as demand surges.
In 2016, Infibeam invested Rs 250 crore to purchase — 16 floors of GIFT city tower at Gandhinagar, to build a cloud data centre and technologies capabilities for captive use.
Recently, Infibeam and IBM India collaborated to develop blockchain capabilities on LinuxONE for the first time in India.
3. Anisha Singh, MyDala
Anisha Singh holds a masters degree in political communication and an MBA in information systems from American University. Prior to founding MyDala, she worked for the Clinton administration and helped raise funds for women entrepreneurs.
MyDala was founded in 2009 and is currently amongst the largest online coupon and discount platforms in India. It handles close to 2, 00, 00 transactions in a day.
Set up in 2009 and based out of Delhi, mydala is a merchant marketing platform that helps businesses, especially service businesses Women Empowerment, reach the right set of consumers. Holding the reins of the company is Founder Anisha Singh.
This is the second company started by Anisha, but her first in India.
Anisha calls herself a stereotypical sardarni who was born into a big joint family in Delhi. Her dad is ex-forces and runs a business and her mother is a dentist. Courtesy a slew of cousins, her growing up years were like being in a boarding school.
She studied in the US and worked for the Clinton Administration in helping women entrepreneurs raise funding for innovative women-led businesses.
4. Upasana Taku, Founder of Mobikwik
Upasana Taku did her B. Tech from NIIT in 2001 and MS in Management Science and Engineering from Stanford University. She worked at Paypal in San Jose, California before returning to India in 2008.
In 2009 she co-founded Mobikwik which is a semi-closed mobile wallet and online payment system.
The business & revenue models currently come from thin spreads between deposit rates and investments in government paper below one year, and fee-based incomes by cross-selling insurance and mutual fund products.
In 2014, MobiKwik won the mBillionth Award South Asia in the category of Mobile Business Women Empowerment, for socially valuable contributions to South Asia’s digital infrastructure.
MobiKwik has raised around $118.4 million in funding till date. In the latest round, MobiKwik raised Rs 8.67 crore from NDTV Limited and Trifecta Capital in July 2019.
5. Richa Singh, Founder of YourDost
YourDOST is a technology startup of a unique kind- it aims to establish a unique platform for mental wellbeing and emotional support. The startup connects experts to people who look to discuss any kind of emotional issues, while providing them required anonymity.
Founded by Richa Singh, an IIT Guwahati alumnus, in partnership with Puneet Manuja and Prakhar Verma. The startup aims to create awareness and reduce the stigma associated with mental wellness in our society.
Richa is confident that technology combined with empathy and the right kind of experts will go a long way in helping people going through various emotional and mental challenges and equipping them to better deal with it.
No wonder, YourDOST has close to 70,000 users which is growing at about 40% month-on-month basis.
With 10,000 registered users, currently, a team of 75+ experts service around 300 one to one interactions on a daily basis. Recently, it raised close to $400K in an angel round of funding from angel investors.
6. Swati Bhargava, Founder of Pouring Pounds
At a young age of 16, Swati obtained a scholarship to study in Singapore, and had pursued her graduation from London School of Economics Women Empowerment.
After working with Goldman Sachs in London, Swati founded Pouring Pounds with her husband Rohan Bhargava in July 2010. Later, the duo launched a cashback website, Cashkaro.com, in November 2012.
Headquartered in Gurgaon, the company raised $3.7 Mn in November from Kalaari Capital. Prior to that, Cashkaro had received a funding of $750,000 from angel investors.
Associated with various startup and tech initiatives, such as the Nasscom 10,000 girls in tech, Sheroes and TiE, Swati is also well known for her social media activities.
7. Richa Kar, Founder of Zivame
Richa, an engineering graduate from BITS Pilani, before founding Zivame.com, had worked with several global retailers.
Kar borrowed Rs 30 lakh from friends and family to finance her new endeavor. She started out in a small office space on August 25th, 2011, and received her first order 5 hours later.
As the business grew, the company sought funding and raised $9 million in two rounds from investors like IDG Ventures, Kalaari Capital and Unilazer Ventures. Within three years of its launch, Zivame had grown to a 200 member strong team.
Bangalore-based Zivame online store for lingerie products, which Richa founded in 2011. In 2015, Zivame garnered a lot of attention when it raised $40 Mn led by Zodius Technology Fund and Khazanah Nasional Berhad.
It also saw participation from Unilazer, IDG Ventures and Kalaari Capital. The cherry on top came later when Ratan Tata had invested in the company before it was out to raise its series C round.
8. Priya Maheshwari, Founder of Properji
A master degree holder from University of Pennsylvania.She had worked as a policy expert in New York and later moved to Bangalore. She co-founded Properji.com along with IIT Alumni Guruprasad Bangle, Umesh Rangasamy and Naveen Galithoti in August 2013.
The startup aims to introduce transparency and professionalism in the property market. With features like Fraud Protection Scheme and Buy-back Guarantee, the startup claims to provide research based facts to guide the buyer to buy the perfect house of their dreams.
As early as in 2014, the startup had close to 800 users, and had helped its users to buy properties worth over INR 20 Cr.
In order to expand its reach, Magicbricks has stepped forward and acquired property analysis firm Properji.com in an undisclosed amount deal.
With this acquisition, the company is also planning to come up with a detailed report of around 10, 000 projects in six metros that might help the prospective buyers on taking their final call on property Women Empowerment.
Properji currently operates from its office located in Bangalore. The start-up provides detailed research to buyers and has prepared reports for about 100 projects.
9. Manisha Raisinghani, Founder of LogiNext Solutions
After studying Big Data and Analytics in 2009 from Carnegie Mellon University, Manisha Raisinghani, worked in the logistics space while working as a consultant for IBM Consulting.
Interested by the ORION (On-Road Integrated Optimization and Navigation) software used by trucks in the UPS for logistics, she along with Dhruvil Sanghvi, who had attended Women Empowerment the course with her, got thinking how they could replicate the UPS technology in other countries.
In January 2014, the duo quit their jobs and invested over $70K into building a product from ground up in about six-seven months.
Thus, LogiNext Solutions was born in August 2014. A year later, about 60 companies have started using its services including the likes of Flipkart and Paytm. In its latest round, it has snapped $10 Mn funding from Paytm.
10. Naya Seggi, Founder of BabyChakra
Naiyya Saggi is a graduate from the Harvard Business School (MBA 2012), where she was a Fulbright and J.N. Tata scholar, and worked for more than four years at McKinsey & The Bridgespan Group in Boston.
When a lot of her friends became parents and were baffled with the new experience looking for answers, she noticed multiple Facebook groups that were strewn with questions ranging from parenting to paediatrics Women Empowerment.
This Harvard scholar was then inspired to launch BabyChakra – a platform that helps parents discover and connect with local services relevant for maternity and childcare.
BabyChakra was launched in November 2014 and is the fastest growing platform for Indian parents today. BabyChakra helps parents discover and connect with local services relevant for Women Empowerment maternity and childcare.
It has quickly scaled to cover three cities in India – Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi, and has raised an angel round of funding led by Mumbai Angels this June.
In a world full of gender-based landmines, female entrepreneurs are said to encompass about one-third of the total entrepreneurs worldwide.
Women today have overcome every possible negative notion about them, proving themselves beyond doubt in every sphere of life, including the intricate world of entrepreneurship.
As per a recent study, the last 10 years saw female-led companies perform 63 percent better than male-led companies in terms of return on investment, with women showing an unparalleled willingness and capacity to organise, develop, and manage a business venture.
In India too, women entrepreneurs have changed the startup landscape with their determination, grit, and strength of purpose. Despite the exponential growth in female participation and leadership in the business world, only one of the unicorns of India is co-founded by a woman.