Indian Institue of Technology (IITs) have been an active part in producing startup unicorns. Five of the eight startup unicorns have been founded by IIT alumni, valued at over ₹6,768 crore ($1 billion). While there is always a buzz about IITs, the truth is that non-IITians are also performing well in the startup ecosystem. However, being an IITian ensures one thing, you can get media coverage easily.
Birla Institute of Technology, Pilani, commonly known as BITS Pilani has been a gem in producing analytical minds. From startups like BigBasket to Zivame have their roots attached to this 50-year-old institution. I have compiled a list of 10 startups from BITS Pilani, reading whose stories will definitely inspire you.
Here are 10 Startups from BITS Pilani
Four BITS Pilani alumni Rakesh Vaddadi (CEO), Harrsha Chaittanya (CMO), Kumud Kumar (CTO), and Srikanth Nelakuditi (COO) laid the foundation of this Bengaluru-based online bike service and repair platform in November 2015. Just after three months of operations, they raised $500K from Ninestarter Services.
Gear6.in aims to simplify end-to-end bike maintenance and bring the entire sector online and help consumers save effort and make bike maintenance more economical and viable. The startup provides services like servicing, repair and insurance renewal.
Sahil Chalana, a BITS Pilani graduate founded Collegedunia in 2014. Initially, Sahil with his co-founder started an education forms startup – getmyform.in which consequently failed and both of them parted. He realized hat there was a huge gap in the data collated and the quality of information being sought by college aspirants in the pre-admission sessions.
This led to the foundation of Collegedunia. He bootstrapped it for 6 months when he raised Rs 1 crore in angel funding from Gaadi.com CEO Umang Kumar and other undisclosed investors in November 2014.
Anupam Garg, Ankit Agarwal, and Narendhiran S, all three being BITS Pilani graduate had analytical minds. They worked in corporate setups at Ola, Mywash, and Capgemini. While working they realized that they spend most of their time in front of screens eating unhealthy food.
And then, they launched FitGo which works on a revenue-sharing marketplace model on the supply side. Any certified expert can register on the website and propose to extend their services. On the customer front, their executive meals are offered on demand, while fixed-duration nutrition plans need to be subscribed a day in advance.
4. Attune Technologies
Arvind Kumar laid the foundation of the health software startup which is backed by Qualcomm Ventures and Norwest Partners. Arvind is a BITS Pilani alumni and under his leadership, the startup now handles over 10 million patient records.
Attune Technologies builds software for hospitals, clinics, and labs around the country. At present, the company uses its cloud-based platform to power devices in over 200 hospitals, labs, and clinics.
5. Grey Orange Robotics
Samay Kohli and Akash Gupta founded the venture in 2009, both being a BITS Pilani alumni. The Singapore and Gurgaon-based robotics firm specialize in warehouse robotics space. The eight-year-old company will strengthen its base in China this year.
Besides e-commerce, the warehouse automation company, that caters to a number of India’s big online retailers and fast-moving consumer goods conglomerates, is looking to enter new segments such as pharmaceuticals and auto spare parts and has either signed up or is in talks with potential customers for the same.
B Anjaneyulu Reddy and Swathi Reddy met for the first time while working on a startup when they fell in love and got married. Mr. Reddy is a graduate from BITS Pilani and had three experience of working in startups before he founded eVibe with his wife.
eVibe was born when the two saw their friends experiencing trouble while organizing a birthday party for their kids. eVibe lets you discover the best vendors to create a good birthday experience for your kids — be it a small party at home or a big first birthday bash.
Co-founded by Hari Menon, a BITS Pilani graduate, the startup remained in the headlines for being one of the most funded startups in 2016. The startup grew from ₹30 crore to ₹1,800 crore in 5 years breaking the myth that e-commerce will not work for FMCG.
BigBasket today boasts of over four million registered customers, 2.5 million transacting customers and sales of ₹150 crore per month. BigBasket is today present in over 25 cities and is shifting focus from further expansion to deeper penetration.
Shivakumar Ganesan of BITS Pilani created a cloud-based mobile solution when call volume went through the roof at his first venture, a consumer-to-consumer marketplace, Roopit. He soon realized that other entrepreneurs needed a solution like this and so founded Exotel with Ishwar Sridharan, Siddharth Ramesh, and Vijay Sharma in February 2010 and launched the solution in June 2011.
Exotel provides a single mobile number that can be linked to a number of mobile phones. The system includes features for sales, marketing and customer support teams making it an integrated solution, especially for small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
Zivame claims to sell a bra every minute. The idea of Zivame came to Richa Kar, a BITS Pilani alumni when she realized that women aren’t aware of the fact that the kind of lingerie they wear can change the way they look and carry themselves.
Backed by investors like Khazanah Nasional Berhad, Zodius Technology Fund, Unilazer Ventures, IDG Ventures India and Kalaari Capital, Zivame launched private labels Pen.ny and Cou Cou which contribute to around 60 percent of the company’s current revenues.
Phanindra Sama was 25 when he founded the pioneering venture together with his BITS Pilani batchmates Charan Padmaraju and Sudhakar Pasupunuri. In June 2013, they sold redBus to the Ibibo Group for an estimated ₹600-700 crore, the biggest overseas strategic acquisition of an Indian internet asset.
RedBus now sells over a million tickets a month, and the gross value of transactions on the site last year was about ₹600 crore, up from ₹350 crore the year before. To their utter surprise, it was a phenomenal success!