Startup Sunday || Season 4 Episode 28 || LuggageHero

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You’re familiar with the predicament: You’ve got a few hours before you can check into your vacation rental, or before you leave for your flight, and you want to do some sightseeing — but that means slogging along crowded sidewalks with your luggage in tow.

Or does it?

LuggageHero comes to your rescue with their growing network of 38 luggage storage sites in: New York, London, Copenhagen, and many more major cities across Europe and North America. You no longer have to drag your luggage all over a city or hunt for the elusive storage locker, where you need exact change in the right currency. LuggageHero is a network of short-term luggage storage options in shops, cafes, hotels and more. LuggageHero offers online booking with a credit card, hence eliminating the need for users to have local currency on hand.

Luggage storage sites are located inside existing businesses, including retail outlets, hotels, cafes, and more. All of these sites are vetted by LuggageHero’s local representative, who perform regular quality checks.

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Jannik Lawaetz
Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder

Jannik Lawaetz, the founder of the company, had the original idea for LuggageHero in 2016 after dragging around his own luggage too many times. He created a peer-to-peer economy-sharing concept that is easy to use, trustworthy, and where customers pay only for the hours their luggage is stored. He started in his hometown of Copenhagen.

Kristian Loekkegaard reached out to Jannik after reading a newspaper article about Jannik’s idea and early traction in Copenhagen. Initially, he was interested in becoming an investor, but he ended up joining Jannik to head up the technology side of the business. Together they founded LuggageHero as it is today and expanded the service to London and New York City in 2017. In 2019, LuggageHero raised $2.25 million in funding and grew to more than 35 major cities in Europe and North America.

Jannik has become a sought-after speaker, including appearances at several tech startup and short-term rental conferences, including HOST 2019 | The New Business of Accommodation in London, Tech BBQ in Copenhagen and the Short Stay Summit in Barcelona. In March 2020, he’ll address the Guest Experience Show in London.

As for the funding, the company got funds on a crowdfunding platform, Seedrs, and within 28 hours, LuggageHero had fully funded its €1.23 million equity crowdfunding campaign. With more than 600 investors, it is overfunded and has closed its campaign on May 3, 2019.

Steps undertaken to avail the service

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Watch the following video to get a better understanding of how the whole process works:

LuggageHero concept video

Startup Sunday || Season 4 Episode 27 || Avail Finance

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A person may, at any point, need a personal loan for a variety of situations: It could be a marriage loan for a loved one’s wedding, a medical loan for an impending surgery or as an advance paycheck because they may have used up their monthly salary. And personal loans can quickly become a necessity when one’s income is low or unsteady. The sources of finance they immediately seek can be- Friends & Family, Local moneylenders or chit funds. All of which come with their own inherent shortcomings.

Asking friends and family for a loan can often be uncomfortable. Borrowing from a loan shark is quite expensive and sometimes unsafe too. Chit funds don’t allow people to withdraw money when they need fast cash. As a solution to this issue the Avail instant loan app was established by Bengaluru based start-up Avail Finance.

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The Avail instant online loan app aims to save customers from embarrassment, harassment or long-term investment when they need low-interest loans. Avail Finance provides Indians with an instant online loan app built for them to have access to fast cash anytime, anywhere. Avail provides unsecured online loans in a quick and easy manner with a hassle-free loan application that requires minimal paperwork. Not only that, but Avail’s low-interest personal loans also help one build a credit history through timely, simple repayment.
Started in 2017 by Ankush Aggarwal and Tushar Mehndiratta, Avail Finance focuses on the blue-collar segment by offering them easy credit solutions. Its multiple products like personal loans, salary advances, and savings are customized for the blue-collar segment. It also helps its customers in understanding the importance of being financially independent.

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The target group of this start-up, as mentioned earlier, is the blue-collar segment in India, which includes security guards, delivery executives, drivers, housekeeping staff, etc, who have a monthly income in the range of Rs 8,000 – Rs 25,000. Avail Finance has two main products. One is a short-term personal loan of Rs 20,000 for five months — the average ticket size and tenure. The other product is of an even smaller ticket size of Rs 5,000 for one month and is an interest-free one to assist them during their frequent cash flow problems. Borrowers have the flexibility to leave a tip if they are satisfied with the service and experience. And this is one of the ways of revenue generation apart from the interest payments.

In June 2019, the start-up raised its Series A funding round of $9 million led by Matrix Partners India. In March 2018, the company raised pre-Series A round of $17.2 million led by Matrix Partners. This round also saw participation from Co-founders of Ola Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati, Flipkart Co-founder Binny Bansal, Cred founder Kunal Shah, and Mswipe Founder Manish Patel.
The competitive advantage it has against its competitors is multifaceted. Some of these are-

  • Avail loan through a smartphone- A mobile app-only service that puts personal loans just a few swipes away
  • Flexible Repayment Plan- No rigorous repayment schedule. Repay according to your convenience
  • Quick Disbursal
  • Low-Interest Rates
  • Paperless Approval- Helps you out from the hassles of paperwork. Upload minimal documentation digitally.
  • The borrower can get up to 200% of your salary in advance

Considering Avail is operating in a high volume, low ticket size market, Ankush says he looks to sachetising his products like the FMCG companies. One big challenge they face is the missing credit history of the customer. In order to cater to this challenge, they look for alternatives like professional history and other information on the app. The start-up has a 150-member team that works closely with its customer segment. “Our culture is being customer-first and data-obsessed,” says Ankush.

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Ankush Aggarwal (on the right) and Tushar Mehndiratta Founders Avail Finance

 

 

Startup Sunday || Season 4 Episode 26 || Shop Nani

In the times when it is all about Technology, a young Entrepreneurial enthusiast comes up with an innovative idea.  A price comparison website for technologies, specializing in news and reviews, updates and specifications, analysis of trends in technology and almost everything related to trending hot topics about all the new tech in and around the world. But what’s more interesting is what it is called Shop Nani, “Nani of all Shops”.

So here we are presenting you the journey of a young entrepreneur Yugansh Chokra a Bachelor of Engineering Student through his initiative of Shop Nani.

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1) What is Shop Nani all about?

An AI (Artificial Intelligence) based search engine where you can get information for various technologies. All of which are global and updated.

A blog that will surely improve the user experience. Also, for better reach to the readers and for better user interaction & response, they have different categorized content like reviews, first impressions, tech tips, gadgets, news, comparisons, etc. So, a user can choose directly what he wants instead of searching for the content he wants amongst all the available content. A user-friendly blog sites.

Since June 2016 it has transitioned into India’s largest product-based search engine with over 30 million products across 20,000+ retailers.

2) How did Shop Nani start? What was the Eureka Moment?

The founder was an e-commerce shopper. But the catch was, he just used to add the items to the cart whatever he liked rather than buying them. And as it is said that night comes with silence and peacetime for thoughts, the same happened with him. One fine day, at 3:00 am in the morning it clicked him that why not come up with a platform where people can compare prices of E-Commerce websites before purchasing a product. So, after this thought and a lot of processing, this young mind started its journey in 2016.

“Every moment is the Eureka moment”, this is what they feel as they are doing something new every day. But beyond this one of the most special moments was getting acceptance from the University of Chicago Incubation Centre.

3) What exactly is the business model of Shop Nani? What are the sources of your revenue?

The business model is simple. We have 500+ clients on board, all the e-commerce sites from Alibaba to Amazon to Flipkart to Shop Clues and what not.  We monetize our website through affiliate commissions and advertisements. We get affiliate commissions from top online retailers like Amazon, Flipkart for sales generated through our leads. We run advertisement campaigns for our brand partners like Samsung, Google, Oppo, Vivo, Nokia, Huawei, Lenovo, HP, Dell, Voltas and many more.

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4)What are the challenges you faced while launching Shop Nani?

The biggest initial Challenge was Team Building. As there were many interested to work for a startup but losing motivation to work for it is a lot easier. Finding the real hustlers was the major challenge.

5) Please share something about your experience in making your own place in the market.

The journey so far has been amazing and the strategy which we followed for making our own place was through Social Campaigns. For instance, this Diwali campaign of the plant a tree started. In it, people just have to sign up and we would be planting a tree on their behalf. Our campaigns have been able to see an overwhelming response so far.

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6) How do you differentiate and compete with your competitors?

Not having direct competitors in the market, we have indirect ones like Cashkro. But they basically offer comparisons towards electronics majorly whereas we offer various products.

7) What are your plans for expansion and scaling up?

Our major plans are to expand in various places in Europe and Asia. Since I travel a lot so I could figure out that there is a lot of scope in these places for scaling up of our business. But our primary focus for scaling up is through social media. Recently we started on LinkedIn and we can see the growth of more than 124%.

8) How did you fund your start-up, to begin with? What difficulties you are facing for funding your start-up?

We have not raised any funding yet and we have done our work through bootstrapping. There was a time when we tried raising fund but the major challenge that we faced was that I am a student so how can an investor have faith in me. Since as a student I m not able to work full time so, this issue is there.

9) Is there any point in your life when you wished to give up? How did you overcome this challenge?

Yes definitely, there are so many situations that are going against you and makes you feel frustrated so in that case I take a small break rather than giving up. Life gives us two options that are either Do it or Don’t do it. And Do it a better option to choose.

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10)In this ever-changing global scenario, starting up a new business and launching an innovative start-up is a big challenge. Please share your key learnings for the benefit of budding entrepreneurs as a person who has been there done that.

There are a lot of people who try to think of a product or service, but they don’t get into the process and there is the second type of people who try to copy. Like I want to make a Facebook with some distinct features, it is not possible as they have a monopoly.

For starting up a start-up firstly you need to understand a problem, right after realizing it try to figure out a solution. Find the right prospects for it, especially the ones facing the same problem. Share your ideas rather than keeping it to yourself with the thought of it being copied. But if it so you deserve it as someone else is more passionate than you. You shouldn’t be insecure. You need to look at the bigger picture.

The next thing is people come to me to know how to get investments, even if they don’t have a product or else, they don’t tell me. Rather than focusing on investment first work on having a team, manufacturing a product, build your audience, if not at least get a minimum viable product.

I’ll advice you to first share your ideas, come up with a solution, create your own audience, work on personal branding especially digitally.

Try to build a community and rather than investing time for investors to try to invest in team, product, and timing.

 

 

 

 

Startup Sunday || Season 4 Episode 25|| Astrotalk

The business world might appear buttoned-down from the outside – but in reality, it’s a lot more interesting than you might realize. Many entrepreneurs are known for their colorful characters, both at work and in personal lives and few just mesmerize you with their journey of starting up. After all, following rules and staying inside the lines doesn’t often make for business success, whether it is establishing a strong and influential presence in the field of astrology or any other field.

From being a non-believer in astrology to launching the biggest brand in this field, sharing all the ups and downs that came in his way and how he became a successful entrepreneur. Presenting the journey of Puneet Gupta, Founder & CEO of AstroTalk :

1) What is Astrotalk all about?
Astrotalk offers online Astrology consultation with an Astrologer on call or chat.

Customer has an option to choose between the list of 400+ Astrologers and talk to anyone they desire, based on their profile, price, and reviews. We have the World Famous Astrologers on the Best Astrology Website in India, practicing both Indian Astrology and Western Astrology for astrology today. They will provide the best free horoscope astrology to you by analyzing your birth chart and your astrology sign and will provide you with accurate future predictions online.

Current stats:

Total Installs: 900,000+

No of Astrologers: 300+

Daily Transactions: 1000+

Repeat Rate: 7+ (Higher than Swiggy)

Rating: 4.7/5.0 (Highest in this industry)

2) How did Astrotalk start? What was the Eureka moment?
A strange but true prediction made me believe in Astrology, which eventually became the reason behind pivoting my IT services business to a product in the line of astrology.

Story- Back in 2013, I quit my job with Nomura to pursue my dreams but things didn’t go as planned and I struggled for a year and exhausted my savings. To make ends meet, I went back to Mumbai and did some odd jobs as I was not getting shortlisted for any technology job interviews, sighting a gap of 1 year. After some networking, an old colleague referred me to BNP Paribas and I got the job at a pay cut.

After working there for a year, I got in touch with one of my school friends, who later went to IIT Delhi, and we both planned to start an IT services company. It was time to put down the papers yet again, and I typed the resignation letter with full enthusiasm (that time I didn’t have to look for email templates on google) but I got very anxious before sending it, as the old struggling days started haunting me.

As I was staring dead at the resignation email, one of my colleagues came over and inquired, “Is everything okay? You look lost.” I showed her my resignation letter and told her how my own negative thoughts are not letting me do what I really wanted to.

She looked at me with empathy and said, “I can see your birth chart and tell you what to do as per Astrology. What are your birth details?” and she opened one very badly designed app on her phone to input my details. I was shocked and amused at the same time. I promised myself to hire good UI/UX designers to develop better apps than that).

“Like seriously? Do you really think I believe in all this? Padhe likhe hoke aap andh vishwas faila rahe ho!” I scolded her but I wished I could get some help.

She waited for me to complete and demanded, “Are you done? Now tell me your birth details. I don’t care if you believe or not but let me try to help.” I shared the details as I would rather not mess with a senior. But knowing her coding skills, I could totally judge that she would screw up in Astrology as well.

As she was analyzing my chart, I waited curiously to know the outcome, the way I had waited for my 10th standard board results. There is something about Astrology, it doesn’t matter whether you believe in it or not, but it fascinates you like nothing else. However, as I didn’t trust her and would never have liked to take a biased decision based on Astrology, so I quickly sent the resignation letter and locked my screen. Meanwhile, she was done with her calculations and it was time for the results.

“You are Leo Ascendant and your Sun is exalted…” I interrupted her in between and asked, “I don’t understand all this. Tell me something about the past to make me believe you,” I was such a spoiler.

Beta, jitna tu bhaagta hai na isse, aage jake utna jaada believe karega (Dear, as much as you are mocking this today, you will believe in it much more, in future),” She mocked me this time but after hearing that I was convinced she knew Astrology as good as Database designing, as I would never do that.

You don’t choose Astrology, Astrology chooses you”

Then she told me many things about my past to make her point including the date of my accident in school days, which was shocking. And once she observed the change in my body language, she stopped telling about the past and came to the main question. She not only predicted the past correctly but was also such a nice observer of behavior. Oh God! Why the hell was she a MySQL developer?

“Yes, you can quit your job as the next 2 years are very promising for an IT business as per the placement of Saturn and Rahu,” she smiled as she made the prediction. I am still not sure if that smile was for a positive prediction or for the virtual win over me.

“Just 2 years?,” I exclaimed with a sheepish laugh as I had to pretend that I was not interested.

Like every other story, this story was also filled with some twists and turns. The twist was that my business partner might leave after 2 years from then and I would face some issues in resuming the business and it might take a year to pivot to a new venture, “But you will make it” she assured after observing my not-so-good body language.

“You can press the send button,” she finally said something with a real smile as she observed that I wasn’t mocking anymore and had surrendered myself, unlike a Leo.

After that, I served my notice period and came to Noida and started an IT services company named CodeYeti in April 2015. We managed to scale up very quickly to 45 employees, serving about 15-20 clients at a time and clocked a revenue of $0.5 million in the first year itself. We started working for big enterprises like Yamaha, GreenPly along with startups.

Everything was going well until my partner told me that he is not getting a kick from the services business and wanted to do a tech product. We spent the next 6 months on 2 products but ended up wasting capital as nothing seemed to work and he finally quit in March 2017 to do something else.

And that reminded me about the prediction, my ex-colleague had made about my partner’s exit. I called her after a gap of 2 years (Let’s just assume that I was busy and was not bad at keeping in touch) and told her about the prediction.

I could sense the happiness in her voice as her prediction came true but she showed concern as it was a loss for me. To my surprise, she knew everything about CodeYeti as she followed our social media channels and congratulated me for what we had achieved in such a short duration.

“Do you want me to check your chart again?” she inquired.

I paused for a moment and proposed an idea, “How about I start a product in the field of Astrology and I become your first customer?” She halted for a few seconds and said, “Hmmm…I had quit my job 4 months back for some personal reasons, and I can take out some time to work with you but I won’t be very active, so you will have to find more astrologers. I can connect you with a few in my network”

“Yes Yes !! You can work whenever you have time and you can interview and train other astrologers and we will keep hiring. You can become their mentor and take care of the department of Astrologers”, I said in excitement.

“Hmm…So, when are we going live?” she straight away asked for a deadline, the way she did at BNP. Some people never change.

And then, there was the ultimate turn – I worked on developing the product and launched an MVP (minimum viable product) of AstroTalk within a month and assigned a dedicated technology & operations team to it. I called her as a customer and asked, “How would AstroTalk do?”

3) What exactly is the business model of Astrotalk? What are the sources of your revenue?
Business model is pretty simple. Every astrologer has a different per minute price to connect with them on call/chat. Customer recharges their Astrotalk wallet and then initiate the session. Money is deducted from the wallet based on the duration of session.

4) What are the challenges you faced while launching Astrotalk ?

Challenges always have been to source quality astrologers. Unlike any other marketplace, we take a lot of interviews and do background checks before onboarding anyone on our platform. This helps us maintain a very good quality of service but it becomes difficult to source such quality astrologers as they are available in different parts of the country.

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5) Please share something about your experience in making your own place in the market.

The journey has been very fascinating. I think what I learned while running Codeyeti helped me a lot to run the business in a very mature way. Our focus has always been to serve the customer in the best possible way and we have grown majorly by word of mouth and our positive reviews over the web. People who were treated very well by our customer support and who genuinely got helped by astrology, write good things about us online and those articles and reviews have brought us most of our customers.

We still haven’t invested much into marketing. Although we want to spend a lot on marketing, we haven’t been able to do so, as we are still trying to work on our internal operations to an extent that none of our existing customers ever face an issue. We are very finicky about customer retention and a little casual about new customer acquisition for now.

6) How do you differentiate and compete with your competitors?

I think we have raised the bar very high in less than 2 years that we don’t see a lot of competition now. However, we still keep hustling and see a lot of gaps that need to be filled. So, we are continuously trying to iterate on our product. We have a team that talks to all our customers to take product gap feedback and our tech team reports to that team.

7) What are your plans for expansion and scaling up?

Our plan is to reach out to the masses and make Astrotalk a household name in India. In order to achieve this, we have recently started providing the first session free of cost and brought done the minimum recharge value to Rs 60 from Rs 200.

8) How did you fund your start-up, to begin with? What difficulties you are facing for funding your start-up?

We have been approached by a few investors but nothing materialized as our mindset did not match. We are bootstrapped and profitable at this stage and are making a profit of over 1 Million USD annually. Although, we are open to the idea of taking investment, but only when someone is aligned with our vision.

9) Is there any point in your life when you wished to give up? How did you overcome this challenge?

There were a lot of difficult and low moments in my life but more than giving up the dream, it has always been about pivoting the business.

While running Codeyeti, I had reached a stage where I couldn’t think of doing that for a long time and that’s when we pivoted it to AstroTalk.

10) In this ever-changing global scenario, starting up a new business and launching an innovative start-up is a big challenge. Please share your key learnings for the benefit of budding entrepreneurs as a person who has been there done that.

Patience and Perseverance is the key to success. Starting a new business is a very challenging lifestyle with no guarantee of results. Universe will test your patience at every step and if you keep hustling and do not give up, you will eventually find your way.

Startup Sunday || Season 4 Episode 24|| All Author

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A book is a Mitzvah for every author. Seldom do they become fruitful in helping the right set of readers to discover the book as a new title is released almost every day. As a solution, Brothers Naveen Joshi and Madhuker Joshi started AllAuthor in 2016 with an aim to simplify authors’ lives. Based in Noida, it is an online platform which provides services for book promotion including personal branding, creation of engaging content, and automation of social media promotion. For this, it creates and provides marketing tools such as graphics, banners, and videos that authors can share on their social media accounts to connect with readers.

In 2010, Naveen and Madhuker had started an edtech startup, M4maths, a mathematics learning website that helps prepare students for pre-placement tests at companies, college entrance exams, and government job exams. However, this free platform did not generate enough revenue to help the business thrive. Around this time, Naveen, who used to work in the website and mobile development industry, started to get few projects for website development. Most of his clients were authors, and he ended up creating a website where authors could connect with other authors and get help with book promotions. The realisation that, the requirement of almost all the authors were similar when it came to book listings, social media-links etc. led to the idea of building a platform where authors could have their own profiles and connect with readers. And AllAuthor was born.

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Naveen says getting authors to sign up with them was a challenge initially, but they relied on word of mouth. The team got in touch with authors through social media channels and influenced them to come on to their platform. At present, AllAuthor claims to have 20 authors who are listed in the Amazon Top 100 ranking, including JS Scott, Carolyn Brown, and others. The startup now has a total of 5,000 authors and around 60,000 readers on its platform as of now, with maximum authors from the US (78 percent), followed by the UK, Canada, Australia, and India.

The team has grown to seven members now, with Madhuker managing the ground work and team while Naveen manages the tech and marketing areas. Both brothers are clear that their focus is now AllAuthor, and M4maths is “currently on auto-pilot mode”.

AllAuthor can be used by two sets of people: Authors and Readers. Memberships for readers are free while authors can choose between the free and paid memberships. Every author who signs up gets a dedicated page where s/he can include their bio, books (with buy links), and social media handles and website/blog. The website offers a free sample – two chapters – of every book to readers; they are redirected to ecommerce websites if they wish to buy the book.It also has a section for readers where they can interact with authors, discuss books with other readers, and list their favorite quotes and books.

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AllAuthor provides authors with three marketing tools on its platform. These include:

  1. Author branding: AllAuthor creates an author profile that is customisable with themes.
    Authors can include their social media handles, biographies, and information about their books here. The profile also offers a contact form so readers can connect with them.The authors and their books are also listed on the author and book directory on the website. The directory is divided into different categories, based on a reader’s preference such as genre, country, reviews etc.
  2. Utility tools: These help authors to create engaging graphics, banners, and videos that they can use while promoting their books. The easy-to-use platform lets them DIY book teasers, promotional GIF banners, book promotional banners, and weekly mock-up banners.
  3. Automation tools: AllAuthor provides tools to schedule tweets, monitor piracy, and give the author control over promotional content The AllAuthor platform offers two programmes: Pro and free. The Pro authors get top priority in the directory and can make use of all utility and marketing tools.

Pro authors  are also featured in an author interview on the website. The Free version limits the author; s/he can only use some of the tools and can to add up to four books to the website. Free users can only sample most of the tools above. The Pro subscription model is priced at $99 per year. In addition to the featured listing option for one book provided for free under this membership, authors can also feature their books separately at the rate of $34 per book for six months without being a Pro member.

According to Nielsen, the book sales sector in India is estimated to be worth $6.76 billion now and is set to grow at an average compound annual growth rate of 19.3 percent until 2020. While there are similar startups like Delhi-based Vowelor and Chennai-based Notion Press that help authors, Naveen says the others focus only on branding and do not help with book promotions.

The founders of AllAuthor, which was bootstrapped with Rs 10 lakh as initial investment, say funding was a challenge initially. Today, AllAuthor generates its revenue from the Pro premium feature on its platform, through book listings, and referral commission from other ecommerce book platforms. It claims to have a current annual revenue of $90,000, and is looking to grow this in the near future.

Startup Sunday || Season 4 Episode 23 ||NAVIA- SIRI FOR DOCTORS

‘Turn on the lights.’

‘Dim the lights.’

‘Play the next song.’

These are only few of the many commands that we give our home and phone assistants. What if we could use the same technology to empower medical service providers and make hospital visits more efficient? Delhi-based Navia Life Care aims to do just that with its voice-powered digital assistant for doctors and queue management system for clinics and hospitals.

Navia was founded by ISB graduate Gaurav Gupta and his friends Kunal Kishore Dhawan, and Shourjo Banerjee in 2016.

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Empowering healthcare providers

Navia is a B2B SaaS startup. Their key customers include individual doctors and hospitals; all they need to do is sign up on their website. The first month of usage is free. However, after that, doctors and hospitals “can buy an annual licence”, Kunal says.

Navia’s flagship product NAVI is an artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled voice assistant for doctors. NAVI is used to create shareable and printable digital prescriptions in less than 30 seconds, which helps doctors and patients to keep records safe in one place.

Navia QM, on the other hand, is an OPD efficiency tool to optimise patient wait time and increase the efficiency of the front office staff. It not only helps in improving patient experience but also enables the doctor/hospital to see more patients by managing the queue.

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Their last product, Navia SMART, helps improve clinical and financial outcomes. It is a modular and network-enabled suite that helps care provides leverage technology to build, maintain, and improve relationships with their patients. Navia SMART can be plugged into the existing IT architecture to use data analytics and provide insights to customers. It implements AI, machine learning (ML), and predictive analytics.

Navia sells annual licences of its products to customers. It partners with pharmaceutical, diagnostic, and technology companies to acquire customers.

Focussing on the main points

Creating these products was, however, not easy. Team Navia spent two years understanding the user’s pain points.

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Their in-house tech team designed the products. Navia at present works with about 75 hospitals and clinics, and over 300 doctors currently use their solutions.

The Numbers Game

Navia has so far raised about Rs 1.1 crore across two rounds.

Their key investor is Benori Ventures, led by Ashish Gupta, ex-COO of Evaluserve. Other notable investors include Sorabh Agarwal, a finance professional; Dr Rahul Verma, a seasoned senior executive; and Mayank Mamtani, a healthcare-focused investment banking professional.

In the pink of health

According to IBEF, the Indian healthcare sector is “growing at a brisk pace due to its strengthening coverage, services and increasing expenditure by public as well private players”. The healthcare market is expected to reach $372 billion by 2022, driven by “rising incomes, greater health awareness, lifestyle diseases, and increasing access to insurance”.

Navia competes with the likes of My Healthcare, Consure Medical, Doctalk, Lybrate, and Mfine. What differentiates this healthtech startup from the rest? The simplicity of its products – doctors create prescription within a minute using a voice assistant.

Moreover, Navia has an innovative business model – instead of being feet-on-street heavy, it is looking at the expansion of business through partnerships, which help in creating credibility in the industry.

Expansion Plan

Navia now has plans to launch its operations overseas. “We are working hard in making our product compliant for other countries and are currently exploring the Middle East and Southeast Asian markets,” Kunal says. “We will also raise pre-Series A funding in the next three-months.”

Startup Sunday || Season 4 Episode 22 || Talentiro

What is Talentiro all about?

We are creating a SaaS based model which is the first of its kind web application which will allow an employee to take their review and rating from one organization to another organization This application depends on the employer-employee relationship. Here the main vision of Talentiro is to bring the concept of performance score and initiate open culture for review and feedback.

You can’t judge a person in a 15-20 minute interview.” So you need some tool which can provide you information about the knowledge, skill, performance, etc. of the candidate.

While sharing your CV, the candidate will share a link to the recruiter on which all their previous ratings will be visible to the recruiter. This is a B2B model, it’s a 360-degree performance review system where employees can take reviews from their manager, peers, clients, and subordinate.

Once you get the review you come to know employee’s performance score, the areas that need improvement, where employees are lacking, they should work to overcome, for this Talentiro has an online corporate training portal where training companies, the domain experts share their expertise and knowledge.

How did you get the idea of this startup?

Nowadays, people think every business is a startup but they don’t know the true meaning of a startup. Every startup is a business but every business is not a Startup. We started with the vision to bring some positive changes in the industry. Change is never easy for anyone but positive change is required for improvement and enhancing the standard and those who are working for change can make it large.

What is your business model?

Our Business model is very simple, we have developed a product that can be used by the organization for their process improvement, performance management, linking performance with organization branding and at the same time linking your performance for individual branding.

We have the following features in our beta version and we will live in the market by the end of December 2019

  1. 360 Degree modern employee review tool
  2. Organization review tool
  3. Corporate training.
  4. Employee recognition and engagement.
  5. Project management and task management tool and many other features as well are in the beta version.

How do you generate revenues?

We have three revenue model

  1. MRR base: From organization
  2. Event base: From Employee
  3. Commission base: From Training tie-ups.

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Have you gone for any funding?

We haven’t gone for any funding from a specific angel investor or any VC yet. However, we do have funding from our core advisors, one is from Switzerland and another one is from South Africa. so I can say that we are not a funded startup from any angel investor or a VC but yeah, we have our funds from our associates who believe in this innovative concept.

Did you face any challenges in your journey?

Every day we faced different kinds of issues, different kinds of challenges but in the end, entrepreneurs are known for solving the problems and we also love to do the same as every problem comes up with an opportunity for learning.

 

Do you have any specific competitors?

There are two kinds of competitor i.e. Direct and Indirect.

All the review systems which provide 360-degree performance review tool an organization are our direct competitors as even we have an employee-based system and there are some indirect competitor as well who can have an interest in our business.

Do you have any suggestions for people trying to build their own startups?

Listen to everyone but do not apply everything as opinion can be different from person to person.

Do not waste time in various irrelevant events where one or two senior people come and just give you lecture on taking risks even though they have never taken any risk in their own lives, so better to take some guidance from those who actually have some experience.

Startup Sunday || Season 4 Episode 21 || Doctor Insta

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 ABOUT THE STARTUP

Doctor Insta is India’s first “Video-Medicine” platform that provides the best-in-class Medical Consultation Instantly: Anytime. Anywhere.

Doctor Insta strives to bridge the gap between doctors and patients through a digital channel of primary healthcare delivery. Doctor Insta endeavors to provide the best-in-class telemedicine experience to empower people to lead healthy lifestyles, enhance productivity and reduce infection rates.

Doctor Insta also aims at improving the operational efficiency of doctors. Doctor Insta’s Video, Phone, and Chat Visits allow our Doctors, Paediatricians, Sexologists, Psychologists, Gynaecologists, Nutritionists and other specialists to audio-visually engage with patients for smart diagnosis and effective treatment consultation.

Doctor Insta brings the best medical care to the comfort of your home. Our practitioners are educated and trained at the finest medical colleges and hospitals in the country. They go through rigorous selection processes, have in-depth experiential knowledge and are highly rated by peers and patients alike.

 

Q) Could you briefly tell us about Doctor Insta and the solution it offers?

 Doctor Insta was started three years back and is today India’s largest virtual healthcare platform. It’s a curated platform where people can come and get online consultation by phone, video and chat as and when they want i.e. 24×7, 365 days. We have two business models; one is business to business to consumers (b2b2c) and the other one is called business to consumers (b2c). In the former, large Indian companies avail the Doctor Insta solution for their employees and dependents. So there are like 1.2 million b2b2c lives covered and around 600,000 lives cover through the b2c programme.

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Q) What was the idea behind starting doctor insta?

A sprained ankle forced Mr Amit Munjal to use a telemedicine app in the US. He was quite impressed by the experience. “It helped me access a doctor from the convenience of my residence—saving time and money,” says the 41-year-old.

The incident inspired me to start something similar in India too. “Telemedicine is a very popular concept in the West. The exponential growth in India’s digital economy offered a promising opportunity for on-demand.

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Q) How does one avail of the services through your telemedicine platform?

Under b2c you can download the app and choose to do the consultation on pay as you go basis or pay an annual subscription. In b2b2c employees don’t pay anything, it is the employer paying retainer ship, per employee per month fee. We also have a separate model called consult your own doctor. So let’s say you have been going to doctor Kumar for your medical consultation then you can now consult with the same doctor on Doctor Insta platform from your phone, video or chat through the Doctor Insta app. All the prescriptions come to you electronically in five to 10 minutes post your consultation by email as well as inside the app in your ‘my health’ records.

Q) How significant is this opportunity in India?

About the size of the market, as a concept it is relatively new for India and Doctor Insta is definitely the market maker. The market for online consultation theoretically speaking is 70% of 50 million per day which is like 35 million consultations that could happen on the platform every single day. The other way to gauge is by adjusting the market for what we have seen in China; because that’s the closest precedent we have in the developing world. We can’t compare it to the US because the healthcare system is very different there versus in India. But India has a lot of similarity between the Chinese healthcare system, so in China, around 900,000 consultations are happening every single day and they are growing in double digits month over month. So, if nine lakh consultations are happening between four players, India has probably 90% of the same population so you can apply the factor of 90% and say almost 800,000 consultations could happen in India every single day through the organised platforms.

Q) How do you identify doctors for your platform?

With Doctor Insta we have a curated platform. What we do is selection, screening, and training of the doctors before putting them on the platform. First of all, the Doctor Insta itself has cherry-picked doctors and owing to crowdsourcing of the ratings and reviews if a certain doctor rating drops below a certain threshold, then they get decommissioned. So, the platform is a huge success and survival-ship biased because only those who are continuously making their patients, happier, stronger and healthier would survive. That’s why we are the company of first choice for almost all of the large companies in the Indian market.  As I was saying earlier, we have 1.2 million employees covered through Doctor Insta across 107 large companies.

Q) Is there a rural service model too?

Doctor Insta is more prevalent in urban India than in rural. But we do have rural India presence and it works differently through ‘Doctor Insta Inclusion’. In this service offering, the paying capacity is not much and a good MD doctor would expect good compensation for the time spent. Hence the ‘Doctor Insta Inclusion’ plan works through third-party assisted e-commerce companies.  We offer the services through MBBS doctors because the math doesn’t work out for an MD doctor. The way it works is that we have village-level entrepreneurs (VLE) who can be reached out for facilitating the consultations. Here the VLE would enable the consultation between the MBBS doctor and patient. While the VLE would collect the money from the patient, the payment would get deducted from the VLE’s wallet and then the parent company would settle it with Doctor Insta every month. The consultation charge, in this case, is around Rs 120. We offer only MBBS level consultation.

Q) How much have you invested in the business and what kind of revenue is the platform doing annually? Is the business profitable?

We invested a few million dollars and we are also backed by some leading healthcare-specific venture capital funds. One of them is Round Glass Partners based in Seattle and the second one is BrahmaX Ventures in Los Angeles. Collectively investors have put $3 million and in Doctor Insta and they own around 30% of the company.

We are growing in double-digit month over month and our revenue this past year i.e. March 2018 would be under $2 million. We are profitable on operating profit level clearly. But if you take into account all the indirect costs, we are still in the growth phase. So, we are in the red but at the operating level, we are profitable.

Q) Do you also have associations with the pharmacies and the test laboratories?

Yes, we have tie-ups with all the leading pharmacies of the country from Apollo Pharmacy with 3,000 stores to all the leading online pharmacy stores like 1mg, Net Meds, Pharm Easy.  The pharmacy partners offer between 35% and 40% discounts on medicines. We also have aligned with all the leading diagnostics labs like SRL, Dr. Lal, Metropolis and Thyrocare. Discounts offered by laboratories are in the 45% to 50% range. This apart, we have tie-ups with all the leading insurance brokers of the country.

Startup Sunday || Season 4 Episode 20 || DonateKart

“It’s hard to make things right for everyone.”
“But if everybody helped just one person, lots of people would get helped.”

-Linwood Barclay

Despite being motivated by quotes like these which glorify the act of charity, how many times have you backed out of the giving due to lack of convenience?

How many times have you come across an NGO and wanted to help them out, but hesitated due to the lack of transparency of the process?

the reasons which affected your confidence in trusting the organization might be any one of the following-

1) Strong distrust in the organization due to lack of transparency & accountability

2) Lack of convenience in carrying out the deliverance of charity

3) Inability in the determination of how the funds are utilized

4) Inefficient impact resulting in only 60-70% of funds reaching the end beneficiary

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The plausible solution to this issue is Donatekart, which is a return to the traditional Indian way of giving, using the marvels of technology. Where they have started making people ‘donate in-kind’ again, with the help of concepts like crowdfunding and e-commerce.

Donatekart is a social enterprise that allows individuals to donate supplies needed to a charity instead of donating money. The organization was established in 2016 by Anil Kumar Reddy and Sandeep Sharma. Donatekart is primarily an online crowdsourcing platform that assists non-governmental organizations to create campaigns and collect products they require from donors instead of traditional monetary donations. Donatekart is the first of its kind in the world that enables donors and philanthropists to directly donate required products to charitable organizations online instead of money.

Donatekart is incubated by Zone Start-ups India, an accelerator program run by Bombay Stock Exchange, Mumbai and T-Hub, Hyderabad. They focus on catering to the needs of both donors and NGOs, for the former, it is transparency and convenience.

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The amazing story of Donatekart

The birth of this online crowdsourcing platform dates back to 2015 when Mr. Anil Reddy, one of the founders was volunteering for a Goonj relief camp during the Chennai floods. The finding that there is a mismatch between the victims’ requirement and what they received from donors became the trigger point of this organisations’ inception. He also noticed how people were using e-commerce sites like Amazon and Flipkart to buy rice and groceries and were sending them to the NGO’s collection centres.

Anil, then an undergrad student at NIT Nagpur, was entrusted with the delivery and distribution of relief packages to the flood victims. There was no dearth of donors, who would generously give food, water, and clothing, but the victims were in desperate need of things like tarpaulins, mosquito repellents, blankets, bleaching powder, medicines, and so on. Anil realised that NGOs (like Goonj and several others) that organised these relief camps did not get the desired products because donors were largely unaware of the specific needs of an area or a calamity. The founders discovered this was one of the pain-points that need to be addressed to ensure the intended success. They created Donatekart to serve as a bridge connecting the needs of the beneficiary and the benefactor while ensuring transparency in transactions.

The idea of Donatekart, rooted in Nagpur but soon shifted its base to Mumbai, where several large and small NGOs are headquartered.

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What is Donatekart all about?

At Donatekart, they are on a mission to provide a transparent online donation platform for Indians to give. They primarily focussed on building a platform where Donors can donate in-kind to charities instead of money thus bringing transparency. Consider an orphanage launching a campaign on Donatekart where they list items like notebooks, school bags, uniforms, etc. Donors who wish to contribute can easily browse this list, and similar to online shopping, they can shop for the NGO by paying for these products. Donatekart will then deliver these items to the NGO, who can then send updates with photos and videos of distribution.

With leveraging technology and people’s acquaintance using eCommerce sites, Donatekart brings an Indian way of giving to social causes online. The start-up updates the donors on product utilization and keeps them engaged with the organization.

How is Donatekart impacting lives?

Since inception, Donatekart has worked with 800+ NGOs from all over India, across various sectors and hosted nearly 350 campaigns on its platform. 75000 unique donors channelized 10 lakhs products worth Rs 10 Crores across major Indian cities, and even difficult areas like tribal Maharashtra, Jammu and Kashmir, and the northeast. One of the biggest and commendable projects of the firm includes its service during the devastating Kerala floods of 2018 where they raised two crores worth of products.

Many organisations have done multiple campaigns on a monthly or quarterly basis, which clearly shows the value this company brings to them as a platform.

What is the revenue model of Donatekart?

Hundred percent of the products donated via Donatekart go to the NGOs. They generate their revenue from the vendors from whom they buy the products. Since they purchase in bulk, they always leverage on the wholesale value of the purchase, thus sustaining the business without taking fees to run a campaign or make a donation.

Accolades

The influence this organization bestowed on the chiefly unorganized philanthropy sector is evident from the awards they received. Donatekart was awarded NASSCOM Social Innovation Award 2018 by K. T. Rama Rao, Minister for Information Technology, during World Conference on Information Technology held in 2019, in Hyderabad. They were even invited to the United States by Bill Gates and Melinda Gates Foundation to be part of the Greater Giving Summit as a recognition of the good work they have done. They won the best social Enterprise award from action for India.

What’s the future plan for Donatekart?

The vision for Donatekart is to see every Indian contributing at least 2% of their income for social causes. Currently, only 28% of people contribute to charities in India, which is quite less when compared to other countries. Bain India Philanthropy report states that the lack of transparency is hindering the growth of giving population and we at Donatekart are trying to solve the same issue to achieve its vision. To make this happen there is a requirement to promote a lot of individual campaigns i.e. mobilizing individuals to launch campaigns on their special days like birthdays, anniversaries to support charities/social causes. Also, Many NRIs/PIOs would love to give back to the community or village they are from, which can be done using crowdfunding.

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The world would be a better place if more of us can join the path of sharing and caring. Being a facilitator in this deed is no less than the benefactor. In this world where everything is driven by the thought of “What’s in it for me?”, we need more and more people to willingly share a part of the favors bestowed upon them. Only this can make us truly humane and hence build a better tomorrow.

 

Written By-

Priyabrata Saha (PGDM C) & Ajmi Fathima (PGDM BFS)
Batch: 2019-2021

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