Cleantech financier Metafin, healthtech startup Karkinos, EV OEMs Baaz Bikes and Revamp Moto, dairytech startup MeraPashu 360 are among the third cohort pitching on the DDay
All five offer tech-driven solutions to solve Bharat specific problems thereby impacting socio-economic growth
The 20-strong cohort will pitch its businesses to global VCs and angels on DDay 3, a startup funding event to be held and streamed on April 18, 2023
Cleantech, green mobility (electric vehicles) startups and healthtech startups have transformed the Tier 1 cities in India in the past few years. But the country’s fast-evolving startup ecosystem has not stopped there. Many such startups are now looking to penetrate towns and cities beyond the metros and into rural India too. Meanwhile, agritech startups have been pivotal in driving the rural economy with their tech. The third cohort of Mumbai-based 9Unicorns, India’s first accelerator VC and Venture Catalysts, India’s first integrated incubator, has been hand-picked, keeping these fast-emerging market segments in mind.
Out of the 20 early and growth stage startups, we have featured a group of five startups contributing to and speeding up the Indian dream by addressing critical issues on the ground and creating value for a larger audience across Bharat.
Solar and cleantech financier Metafin, cancer care-focussed healthtech startup Karkinos, EV OEMs Baaz Bikes and Revamp Moto, which have designed affordable options for gig riders, and dairy tech startup MeraPashu 360 have leveraged best-in-class technology to drive rural growth and break the socio-economic barriers that hinder a nation’s overall development. Additionally, all five are funded by leading investors, as their core concepts have caught the attention of VCs and angel investors, by coupling sustainable business models with strong impact driven theses.
The one-day DDay event by 9Unicorns and Venture Catalysts will culminate on April 18, 2023, when startups from the third cohort pitch their business models to 1.5K global VCs and angels.
Stay tuned for more updates and read on to know more about our ‘Big Five’.
With the world moving towards a green energy revolution, India is betting big on solar power to make its energy supply sustainable. But in spite of its vast potential, solar energy accounts for just 4% of the country’s power generation, as businesses and individuals are deterred by the high costs associated with purchasing and installing solar PVs.
Aware of the adoption lag, Sandeep Chopra and Aditya Shah launched Metafin in 2018 to make solar installations affordable and accessible to individual buyers, SMEs, schools and sports academies, housing societies, hotels, hospitals and other utilities from Tier 2 and 3 cities and rural India. The Mumbai-based fintech platform offers collateral-free financing for 1-150 KW rooftop solar projects, as well as solar panel insurance services. It has also partnered with 250+ cleantech solution providers to cater to its users’ requirements.
Metafin works with approved partners and installers pan-India to support installation of solar projects to source and execute projects.
Those seeking solar loans can visit Metafin’s site to submit the necessary documents and fill in application forms. The startup takes 48 hours to process the same but may speed up the procedure in case of an urgent requirement.
Once the loan is approved and the purchase is made, a Metafin partner is sent to ensure a hassle-free installation.
The startup claims to be the largest solar financier in Uttar Pradesh and has disbursed 500+ loans across 11 states since its inception.
From diagnostics and research to treatment and constant support, India’s fight against cancer remains challenging as resources are less than adequate and specialised care is too expensive. According to medical estimates, the country may see more than 15 Lakh new cancer cases by 2025, while it has a poor cancer detection rate of 29%. Things tend to worsen in rural India and remote areas lacking specialist doctors and dedicated medical units.
To bridge this glaring gap through a distributed cancer care model, Deepak Babulal Kharwad, a chartered accountant by profession, set up Karkinos in 2020. The managed healthcare platform has built a comprehensive network of oncologists, medical experts, healthcare providers and skilled researchers, connecting patients with the nearest cancer care providers so that the former need not travel long distances for treatment.
To enable this at the earliest, the startup geo-tags care centres, and as soon as a nearby care centre is identified, a patient can book an appointment through the website. The mission is to ensure early diagnosis, effective treatment and end-to-end care management (care continuum) to improve the treatment journey at every step.
In addition, Karkinos is developing innovative solutions, including molecular and genomic specimen analyses for targeted treatment, predicting treatment responses and evaluating the same so that cancer care becomes readily accessible and affordable for all.
Another startup creating a social and green impact is the Delhi-based Baaz Bikes, an EV manufacturer offering electric bikes, energy pods (swappable batteries) and an automated swapping network, called Baaz Swap, for dispensing a fully charged battery. More importantly, its target customers are gig riders (delivery personnel working for platforms like Zomato, Swiggy, BigBasket and more) who can rent these bikes from the startup’s small-scale dealerships on a pay-as-you-use basis.
Baaz sells its bikes to dealers/rental partners at INR 35K per unit (ex-showroom, Delhi) without the battery to keep the pricing low. Riders can register on the Baazigar Platform to book a bike to buy/rent the EV. They can also book and buy batteries on this platform. To ensure constant mobility for gig workers, the startup has battery swapping stations in two zones of Delhi and aims to expand to more clusters.
Additionally, the startup has a platform called Baaz VU, a cloud-based fleet management platform, that enables its vehicle rental partners to oversee their fleet operations like battery usage, efficient route planning, driver safety and EV maintenance.
Launched by IIT-Delhi alumni Anubhav Sharma, Shubham Srivastava, Karan Singla, Sahil Malik and Abhijeet Saxena, the smart mobility company claims that its e-scooters can handle harsh road conditions and cover a distance of 60 km on a single charge. All its EV products are designed and developed in-house.
It further claims that gig workers can save up to INR 70K annually using Baaz bikes. The startup said that more than 300 gig workers have rented these e-scooters and travelled more than 100K km to make 20K deliveries.
The dairy industry and the overall livestock sector are undergoing a sea change, thanks to woke consumers who insist on the best quality produce and healthy and humane practices to make things more sustainable. The evolving market calls for a steady supply of good quality animal feed, round-the-clock veterinary care and online trading to ensure ease of doing business. However, few Indian farmers enjoy all these privileges even though the country is the world’s highest livestock owner, as per the IBEF report.
The task of bringing the segment up to speed was challenging due to multi-pronged issues. But angel investors Divyanshu Tambe, Varun Verma and Niket Agrawal joined hands to launch Gurugram-based MeraPashu 360 to counter these issues. The startup has built a tech-driven marketplace and an app for dairy farmers to buy and sell cattle online, besides ensuring animal nutrition, veterinary services and health advisory to keep the bovine population healthy.
The startup sells premium quality animal feed under four categories – high quality protein, high protein and good fats, a balanced mix containing all macronutrients and the feed to nourish reproductive health. In addition, it has an in-house team to run regular quality checks on the animal feed.
Farmers can buy cattle feed via the website/app and call and get it home-delivered. They can also access medical advice via the app 24×7 and book appointments with veterinarians.
The startup claims 5 Lakh+ app downloads, while 1.5 Lakh cattle have been sold on its marketplace. Overall, it has served more than 15K farmers from 2.1K villages pan-India.
EV startups in India are transforming the mobility landscape for good, innovating in multiple ways to overcome tough challenges like battery charging, safety measures and coping with overloads and road conditions.
Before launching Revamp Moto in 2020 along with two others, engineer Jayesh Tope observed that farmers, delivery executives and micro-entrepreneurs like roadside vendors/food sellers often used regular bikes to carry out their daily business, an expensive practice, to say the least. Moreover, they are compelled to carry excessive loads on their bikes that may hamper safety and smooth running.
Realising the pain points that could harm businesses and riders’ safety, Tope and his college peers, Pushkaraj Salunke and Pritesh Mahajan, have developed two purpose-built ‘business’ e-bikes with various attachments like a base rack, a carrier, a child seat, insulated box and a saddle stay and bag offering multiple functions. The modular EVs, called RM Buddie 25 and RM Mitra, will be commercially launched in June and August of 2023, respectively.
RM Buddie, promoted as ‘India’s first transformable EV’, has a maximum speed of 25 km an hour, can cover 70 km on a single charge and has been designed to navigate through narrow spaces during traffic. Meanwhile, RM Mitra is geared towards fulfilling the micro-entrepreneurial requirements for heavy-duty tasks, boasting a top speed of 75 km/hour. It is piloting with Swiggy, Zomato and others to test its capacity.
In addition, Revamp Moto also provides microloans to entrepreneurs to start their businesses and financial assistance to riders to purchase bikes.
The EV startup has a charging ecosystem for riders with two options, to swap batteries when it dies on road and can charge it at home. It will also provide an app to B2B partners like Swiggy, Zomato and Zepto to help manage their fleets, including keeping a speed check, controlling the locking and unlocking system and monitoring vehicle temperature to ensure safety.