Indian Startups

NoBroker becomes India’s maiden proptech unicorn

  • Real estate renting and buying platform, NoBroker, on Tuesday said it has raised $210 million as a part of its Series E funding round led by General Atlantic, Tiger Global Management, and Moore Strategic Ventures.
  • The round values NoBroker at $1.01 billion, making it the first property tech and real estate startup to achieve unicorn status.
  • Over the next two financial years, real estate buying is expected to account for almost 60% of NoBroker’s revenues due to higher ticket sizes.


PM modi asks banks to invest in ideas and start-ups to build nation’s wealth-sheet

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi today asked public and private sector banks to support wealth and job creators especially by investing in ideas thrown up by the start-up ecosystem.
  • He pointed out that banks were flush with liquidity and there should be all round effort to help corporates and MSMEs scale up.
  • Steps taken in the recent years have created a strong capital base for the banks.


Mensa Brands turned India’s fastest unicorn with $135-million funding

  • Mensa Brands, founded by former Myntra CEO Ananth Narayanan, has raised $135 million in fresh funding, which valued the six-month-old venture at over a billion dollars.
  • Mensa has acquired 12 brands so far in categories such as.
  • Mensa is among the best-funded players in the eCommerce rollup space in India, competing with GlobalBees, Upscalio, and GOAT Brand Labs.


4 Factors to Keep in Mind before Launching a Healthcare Start-Up

Launching a start-up is a great way of converting an innovative business idea into reality. Every day numerous minds are jumping on the start-up bandwagon. In the current scenario, when companies are eager to fund good start-ups, it may be the best time to give wings to great ideas. But, is a great idea enough to launch a start-up? Maybe. However, it definitely requires a lot more to sustain and transform a start-up into a successful business.
It is not for certain that every good product or service will overcome competition and achieve its true potential. The road to a successful start-up can be long, arduous, and unpredictable. Although the success ratio differs from industry to industry, the grim reality is that almost 50% of the start-ups close down within four years of their inception.
In the healthcare industry, start-ups have emerged in a big way and with the help of digitization, they’re reaching the smartphones of every consumer. From finding doctors and booking appointments to ordering medicines and counting calories, healthcare apps are mushrooming with the healthcare sector witnessing a dynamic change. The success stories of early player like Practo prove that the healthcare sector, through start-ups, has steered a change in the status quo by simplifying not only doctor-patient communication, but the entire functioning of the industry.
Here are some factors that must be considered before successfully launching a healthcare start-up.
1. A Practical Stand-Out Product
Simply put, your product should be the “voice of the customer”. The biggest need of any start-up is to achieve decent traction for their product and great products are capable of making traction from even a single customer for a big buy. Providing a simple solution to a big problem a customer regularly faces can turn you into an entrepreneur. All it requires is the feasibility to be executed. For example, the frequently encountered problems of finding details about doctors and getting medical records instantly when required were never looked upon as a business idea until Practo came and changed the scene. The app has over 1 lakh doctors’ information and more than 10 million electronic patient records.
The point is that every business idea need not be unique or path-breaking. The knack for identifying the problem and creating a solution that is technologically possible is what makes a product stand out.
2. Perseverance and Flexibility
Contrary to what it looks like on the resume, the tag of being an entrepreneur is far from fancy. In the U.S., over 65% of entrepreneurs are devoid of swanky offices and most of them start the business from their savings. It may take a while before a start-up receives the seed funding to be able to afford employees and an office setup. As a founder, you should be ready to do everything yourself, from talking to prospective customers to selling and even being on the receiving end of a customer’s anger.
The healthcare industry is complicated and the business cycle can be long with elongated regulations, market awareness, and product acceptance. As a start-up entrepreneur, it is essential to be persistent and ready to work in any condition. Be prepared to face the initial hiccups, sail through the hurdles with perseverance, and think long-term.
3. Come up with a Solid Execution Plan
It’s easy to find similar ideas, processes, and even products, but it is almost impossible to copy the way an idea is executed. Imagine if this were possible, the world would have multiple Twitters, Ubers, and Google.
Execution of a business idea in the healthcare industry depends on a number of factors such as its unique value proposition, completion, marketing efforts, and more. But at the core, the way a business plan is executed largely depends on how the product impacts the user’s mind-set (it must be able to solve their medical issues and facilitate better health opportunities). It, therefore, becomes imperative to validate your product prototype and understand the user’s reaction to it. Your product’s USP may not be a path-breaking new feature, but the way it solves the customer’s problems will determine your start-up’s success story.

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Plan for the future and be clear about your final product’s execution plan before plunging in the healthcare start-up world. Also, healthcare still remains an astonishingly innovative industry. It is important to keep yourself updated with the latest market trends and ensure your execution plan is flexible enough to adapt to any last-minute changes.
4. Cling to Stringent Healthcare Regulations
The safety requirements of the regulatory agencies in the healthcare field is extremely demanding. These healthcare regulations have the power to make or break even a revolutionary business idea. While having an antagonistic approach towards these regulations is quite common, it is imperative to understand that compliance is fundamental to a start-up’s survival in the healthcare industry. These regulatory bodies are responsible for protecting the interest of the patients and keep the industry organized.
It is vital to work in harmony with the system and adhere to the rules completely to stay away from unwanted troubles. Understanding and complying with the healthcare industry’s regulations is crucial to the long-term existence of a start-up.
Establishing a healthcare start-up takes prolonged emotional, financial, technical, and functional commitment. Potential entrepreneurs need to ensure that their idea and processes are well-thought-out before moving on to finding the core team and starting their start-up journey.
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The ABC..Z of Digital Marketing for Startups

In today’s era, it is very important for startups to be present where their audience are and engage with them. You can reach your tech-savvy audience through various channels of digital marketing. To get better results, I had written an easy guideline which will help to meet your business objective more smartly.
A – ALT Tags

  • A line of text used to describe the content associated with a non-text based file, typically an image. Use keywords in these attributes to get high rankings on your pages.

B – Brand Awareness Ads

  • Brand awareness should be the first thing in building advertising objectives. Try local awareness ads on facebook to reach out more audiences. Making people aware that you exist will help you to drive more traffic and thus create a buzz in the market!

C – Cost per Acquisition Ads

  • Try CPA ads and analyse the results from each ad. Keep your CPA less than Rs. 40.

D – Dynamic Retargeting Ads

  • Dynamic retargeting Ads are shown to those users who have already been to your site containing images and information about the exact item they viewed.

E – Email Marketing

  • Email marketing saves your budget & increase brand recognition. Email marketing helps you to stay in touch with your audience on a regular basis, keeping you top of mind and at the tip of their tongue.

F – Fun

  • To engage with the audience on social media don’t bore them. Did you know 97% of the content shared on facebook are entertaining?

G – Geo-targeting Ads

  • Use geo-targeting ads to reach your potential customers by their physical location. The major search engines now all offer the ability to geo-target searches in their Pay-Per-Click campaigns by viewing their IP addresses.

H – Header Tags

  • HTML heading tags are critical components of SEO, as often times both are graphical, thereby unreadable to search engine spiders. Page titles should be included to define the page’s purpose and theme. All of the header tags should be used according to their relevance, with more prominent titles utilising <h1>, subheaders using <h2>, and so on.

I – Instagram Ads

  • Instagram offers three different formats for advertising on the platform. Photo Ad, Video Ad & Carousel Ad where you will get a good number of reach in less budget as compared to facebook reach.

J – Javascript

  • AdWords scripts provide a way to programmatically control your AdWords data using simple JavaScript in a browser-based IDE. You can use scripts to automate common procedures or interact with external data—for one to many AdWords accounts.

K – Keyword Research

  • Be sure to play detective and research keywords for each platform you’re using because audiences can vary from platform to platform.

L – LinkedIn Ads

  • Advertising on LinkedIn is important because it targets a more professional realm than other social media sites. There are also different advertising formats that you can choose from. You can advertise with image ads, video ads, or with a simple text ad.

M – Meta-Tags

  • Also called meta-data, this information found in HTML page headers used to be the bread and butter of SEO marketing tactics.

N – Natural Listing

  • Natural Listings also called “organic results” is the non-advertised listings in Search Engines. Some search engines may charge a fee to be included in their natural listings, but most of them are free. Website ranking depends on many factors and natural listing is one of them.

O – Outbound Links

  • Links on any Web page leading to another Web page, whether they are within the same site or another website. Outbound links are important as they will help you to reach wider audiences.

P – Pop-up Ads

  • Pop-up ads are forms of online advertising on the World Wide Web intended to attract web traffic or capture email addresses. It will help you to capture more email addresses, which will be important for generating good contact lists and customer data.

Q- Quality Score

  • Quality Score in Google Adwords used to calculate ratings of your keywords. If your Quality score is less than 5 then change your keyword or bidding accordingly.

R – Retargeting Ads

  • Google Adwords and Facebook Ads both will provide you with the option of retargeting, retarget your user using these two channels. You will always have competitors when it comes to startups, but retargeting can help you be one step above everybody.


  • Search engine optimisation or SEO, in short, is a set of rules that can be followed by website (or blog) owners to optimise their websites for search engines and thus improve their search engine rankings. It will lead you to increase your organic conversions.

T – Twitter Ads

  • Twitter now offers a lot of advertising ads, including Promoted Tweets, Promoted Accounts, Promoted Trends, and Keyword Targeting in Timelines. Twitter is very different as compared to facebook when it comes to targeting.

U – UAC Campaigns

  • If you are new to Google Adwords try running UAC campaigns. Universal app campaigns run ads across the Google Search Network and the Display Network, including Google Play, within other apps, and on YouTube. These campaigns generate your ads based on your app listing in the Google Play Store, a few independent lines of text, and an optional YouTube video link.

V – Viral Ads

  • Every founder or co-founder has a dream to make startup going viral. But the truth is you never know what could go viral these days, the internet is weird like that.

W- Website

  • To list your startup at #1 in Search ranking, it very important to optimize your website properly. The majority of search engines users are more likely to choose one of the top 5 suggestions in the results page so to take advantage of this and gain visitors to your website or customers to your on-line store you need to rank as higher as possible.

X – XML Sitemap

  • XML Sitemaps are important to crawl your website and indexed by search engines. Based on your website data, search engines include pages in their search index, which means that page can be found by users. Website crawlability is its accessibility for search bots. You have to be sure that search bots will be able to find your website pages, obtain access and then “read” them.

Y – Youtube Ads

  • YouTube has become an extremely important component of digital marketing.YouTube has an important role to play in terms of discovery as well as in the final stages of a buying decision.

Z – z- Index

  • Using the z-index property of CSS allows you to better control the positioning of overlapping elements. This element is sometimes used for black hat SEO purposes.

Entrepreneurial Lessons From Your ‘PanditJi’

The topic may sound very abstruse, but then this is how we (humans) perceive things at first go. Many young age entrepreneurs are often ardent about learning key entrepreneurial skills. In their odyssey, they try extracting lessons from almost everything, which inspires them. From books to successful individuals, they dive deep into every probable source of entrepreneurial ‘Gyan’.
In my quest to find another ‘true’ source of inspiration,  one fine day I encountered my family ‘PanditJi’. After greeting him, I quickly indulged him into a conversation before my parents get a hand on him. My curiosity led interaction with him gave me a ‘handful’ of lessons on an entrepreneurial journey as a ‘prasad’. Below are the extracts from my interaction:-
It’s pure ‘Busy-Ness’ – Yes, that is how he defined it. He isn’t the first age entrepreneur, he is just leading his family’s tradition. His business requires a sheer expertise into ‘Time Management’. Appointments are given and managed with precision. One home after another, worshiping and paying tribute to god & goddesses never ends.
You go and meet your clients (Yajman in Sanskrit) and explore opportunities in any of the possible associations. And yes the appointment entirely depends on the astronomical calculations; they often (very often) have the alternative dates in place. I asked, ‘What if you still miss onto ‘timings’? He replied “Bhagwaansamajhletehain”.
Lesson: Time Management
Old (in) School– He has been on and off adding academic degrees in Astrology, Sanskrit and others to his qualification. I asked him, “Why is it still important for you to study? He responded, “Padhaai se jo gyaan milta hai us se log impress hote hain” (The knowledge I get through study impresses people).
His degrees are not just the value additions, but it also helps him generating more business. From being a simple ‘Pandit’, he now gives tuitions to kids who are willing to learn ‘Sanskrit’. He also has pupils, who are keen to learn more about the Hindu Mythology and Astrology.
Lesson: Learning Never Ends
Gone Digital – Since my childhood days, I have seen him carrying a lot of books (ancient) in decrepit condition. The condition of the books only worsened with time. But guess what? He has now gone digital! Yes, he now carries a tablet, which has been gifted to him by one of his clients (yajman).
The tablet contains all the necessary chapters, slokas, mantras, stories, etc. in audio or video formats. Usually, he used to sing ‘Aarti’ in his grating voice. But this time, I was amused to see him playing the ‘Aarti’ on his tablet. He also told me about him being listed on a couple of online portals that provide him leads for more clients.
While everyone was so pleased with the pooja, I kept on thinking about the change technology can bring to anyone’s life. But you have got to play with it first!
Lesson: Adopt Technology And Acquire Marketing Skills
The Team Game- I almost fell unconscious when I heard this from him. Yes, he has a team now. With an increase in the flow of business opportunities, he saw many of them slipping from his hands because he was a lone warrior.
What he did to tackle this situation was inspirational. He became an employer! He brought a few amateur pandits from his small village in U.P. and brushed their skills through training. He now sends his teammates to lesser valuable or new clients. By this, he ensures maximum business generation. This has also given his business model a nip in the form of ‘exclusivity’.
He has now become ‘Guru Ji’ who attends occasions, which are more auspicious and has more revenue generation opportunities.
Lesson: Build a team. Believe in it. & Grow.
Net (WORK) ing- Although he has built a team now, but he got stuck to his roots. He gives all necessary personalized attention to his clientele. He personally meets his clients on a regular basis. His team provides him ‘feedback’ from the new clients and he focuses on those who can become a ‘follower’.
Amid of his busy schedule, he precisely pays attention upon ‘client retention’ while maintaining a good rate of new business acquisition. He further affirmed,

“ Poorane yajman hi logon ko refer karte hain unhe main mana nai karta”. (Older clients give more referential business and thus, I don’t say no to them).

While being on a growth track, he realized the importance of ‘Word of Mouth’ marketing and counts heavily on it.
Lesson: Networking is important, but don’t lose focus from getting positive ‘Word of Mouth’.
Atul Pratap Singh
Co-Founder & Director
V Spark Communications
India’s leading Reputation Management Company for Brands & Individuals

MobiKwik Moves Offline; Ventures Into Hyperlocal space with the launch of ‘Explore Nearby’

With more than 10,000 MobiKwik partner retail stores, which includes merchants such as Big Bazaar, Barista, Domino’s Pizza, Archies and several restaurants, would now be visible to the users on the ‘Explore Nearby’ tab- a feature on MobiKwik mobile app that will enable discovery of neighborhood stores, restaurants, cafes, etc. that accept wallet payments from MobiKwik.

In a first move towards implementation of online-to-offline (O2O) strategy by any mobile wallet, MobiKwik is implementing this map-based ‘Explore Nearby’ interface which would allow users to locate the nearest cash-loading point for topping up their wallet balance.


Users can also view existing offers at these outlets and pay via MobiKwik to redeem it.

“Be it for purchasing grocery at your corner store or a family dinner at your local restaurant, the wallet now makes it easier for you to discover, shop & dine at MobiKwik supported merchants in your vicinity. Offline stores can now attract MobiKwik users depending on their location and preferences resulting in higher sales,” said Bipin Preet Singh, Founder-CEO of MobiKwik.

Currently the facility is available only on Android phones and will soon be introduced on iOS and Windows platforms.