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Building Opportunity In The Midst Of Crisis: Indian Startups Making Millions In The Pandemic

Business

Corona Virus is not only the killer of several innocent lives it has also victimized many businesses. Long-standing businesses in glass corridors to tiny corner retailers behind glass mirrors have shut their doors due to the wake of the pandemic. The year 2020 came out to be a disturbing time to be associated with any venture capital and brought ugly risks of investment, with the market in turmoil and plenty of businesses in distress trying to keep their heads above the water. People are concerned about the terrible impact of the pandemic on the startup scheme and the risk of capital finance as a group.

Startups with the belief of long-term vision are finding it difficult to survive and chose to focus on saving their current business plan by making very tough yet necessary decisions from layoffs to furloughs and hiring freezes, and are still making attempts to take things back to normal.

Despite the tragic incidents, some entrepreneurs have succeeded against the odds. The pandemic has offered many problems and people who were able to resolve them have found unlikely success through the crisis.

Here are the startups that shone brilliantly within the year 2020

curefit

  • CureFit

The HSR Layout of Bengaluru is not only famous for its planned locality and community but also for the number of startups that have emerged in the last five years. This is also the place where the journey of a startup called CureFit by Mukesh Bansal and Ankit Nagori started in 2016, before even launching they were able to raise significant capital too without any mobile application. Their goal was to curate CureFit not only for fitness but a solution for a complete healthcare ecosystem, that begins with fitness, food, mental well-being, and prevention.

In today’s time, CureFit has four main verticals,

  • CureFit fitness has shown notable prominence in the fitness world.
  • EatFit is a healthy food subscription platform.
  • MindFit that trains thought patterns to maintain healthy mental health and well-being.
  • CareFit is the newest that focuses on diagnostics.

 

In the last two years, the startup has managed to raise 294 million in eight funding rounds and has total funding of $404.6 Million. CureFit has more than 180 centres and 35 MindFit centres in India spread across Delhi NCR, Hyderabad, Chennai, Jaipur, Jammu Kashmir, and an International centre in Dubai. CureFit has approximately 5 lakhs users and EatFit sells thirty-five thousand meals daily, in year 2019, CureFit also acquired a famous juice brand Reejov. The founders understood the necessity to introduce a technology-driven strategy to people’s ever-changing health approaches.

pharmeasy

The pandemic has changed the lives of people around the globe, people are now more cautious about going out, buying items, meeting people and social distancing has become the new normal. Businesses like online delivery services came in demand and one such business that created a tremendous impact during the panic situation was online medicine delivery.

Dharmil Sheth and Dhaval Shah, the Founder of PharmEasy began their journey to thousand miles by launching a startup which was an e-commerce healthcare setup in Mumbai in the year 2014. The e-commerce website is a pharmacy aggregator delivering more than 1 lakh medicines, health care products, and health services from local pharmacy stores and diagnostic centres. In India they are delivering services in more than 98 per cent postal codes, the company is delivering goods to thousands of customers on a daily basis. PharmEasy has a growth rate of 300 per cent, in the financial year of 2020, they have acquired revenue of 637 crores in which had a loss of 100 crores. They have managed to gather funding of $220 million at Temasek Series D Round in November 2020 and their total funding is $328.5 Million with a valuation of $700 million.

lenskart

  • Lenskart

Lenskart is a retail and e-commerce company dedicated to eyeglasses, sunglasses, optical prescription eyewear, contact lenses, and more. Lenskart was started by Peyush Bansal in the year 2010 after successfully leading the USA eyewear market with Flyrr.com.

Businessmen like Ratan Tata, S Gopalakrishnan, Azim Premji have invested in the startup and within 9 years Lenskart’s valuation crossed $1.5 billion.

The startup was launched by selling contact lenses and later they started selling eyeglasses and eye wears. They operate in more than 500 stores offering more than 5000 frames and more than 45 lens qualities across India with 48-hour free home delivery and return policy.

Till November 2020 they have compiled funding of $459.8 million in nine rounds with an inventory-led business model.

policy bazaar

  • PolicyBazaar

Policy Bazaar is currently ruling the insurance policy market by becoming the fastest growing online aggregator with over 10 million customers started by Yashish Dahiya, Alok Bansal, and Avaneesh Nirjar in the year 2008.

The startup allows its customers to choose and compare health insurance, car insurance, two-wheeler insurance, travel insurance policies based on needs, price point, aspect, and main advantages together with solutions for financial security and competitive returns. After Paytm it became the second Unicorn Startup in Financial Technology with a valuation of more than $1 billion.

The idea behind the startup was to eliminate fraud, as prevention of fraud is easier than recovering from it. They develop their products based on customers’ fundamental requirements, that is death, disease, and disability. They have more than 250 insurance policies and tie-ups with more than 50 companies.

In seven rounds they have gathered funding of $346 million and total funding of $496.6 million. They are the biggest insurance company in India with half a billion calls going out every day which translates to 3 lakh transactions and more than 15,000 insurance policies every month. They are not only selling policies but also changing lives in many ways.

udaan

  • Udaan

Udaan is India’s first company to cross a valuation of $1 billion in 2 years. The company is based on a Business-to-Business service model, founded by Amod Malviya, Vaibhav Gupta, and Sujeet Kumar.

They identified the basic problems faced by retailers in purchasing and transporting products from manufacturers or wholesalers and manufactures ‘difficulty in selling products beyond their reach. So they curated their company in order to meet the requirements of retailers, wholesalers, and customers. The company’s major investors are Tencent, Altimeter Capital, Hillhouse Capital, GGV Capital, Citi Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and DST Global with a funding valuation of $2.8 billion and total funding of $899.9 billion since 2016.

They generate revenue of 5 million annually with a target of reaching 1000 cities starting with the small cities of India, which will allow farmers to sell their products in big cities through their platform. They also provide an on-credit facility to its retailers with an interest rate of ten per cent with equated monthly instalment which is the primary reason behind their 1,08,000 buyers and sellers.

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