Most of the small businesses and startups are struggling to find a way in these unprecedented times. Therefore, Google has decided to lend support to 20 Indian startups through the fourth edition of Google for Startups Accelerator program.
The Indian edition of this initiative started way back in 2015. Since its inception, it has given a constant boost to India’s startup ecosystem. The program has mentored over 600 startups, which has collectively raised $700 million in funding so far. Google backs ten startup companies every year to help them accelerate their business. This year, however, the number has doubled, a move which they say is crucial, especially in times of crisis like this.
GFS Accelerator’s mission is more important in the present times when this ecosystem faces unprecedented odds. Hence, we aim to focus single-mindedly on helping startups tide over the next 18-24 months, when the effects of the pandemic will be felt the strongest. – said Paul Ravindranath G, Programme Manager, GFS Accelerator, Google India
The Google for Startups Accelerator program is a three-month mentorship program. It includes mentorship and support for access to Google teams, tech guidance on projects, machine learning related support, UX and design mentorship, etc. from the company’s internal and external mentors, including network opportunities at industry events and PR support.
The tech giant has chosen these companies from various industries, including education, mental health and wellness, agritech, fintech, healthtech, and more. The fourth batch in Google for Startups Accelerator program was selected after careful screening of around 600 applications over the years.
The shortlisted names start from the edtech company Antwak, founded by Joybroto Ganguly in 2019. It provides a video platform for elearning. Math Buddy is another edtech company that made it to the GFS batch. Founded by Kanan Bharadwaj in 2009, it leverages experiential learning making Maths easy and fun.
To predict the job demand and deliver training, Virohan, another edtech company, was formed by Archit Jayasal, Kunal Dudeja, Nalin Saluja in 2018.
BharatAgri, an agritech company, qualified for the accelerator program, mainly due to its humble attempt to change farmers’ lives. Founded by Sai Gole and Siddharth Dialani in 2017, it focuses on providing end to end solutions that empower farmers to make better decisions.
Mera Cashier and Orowealth are the two fintech companies on this list. Mera Cashier was co-founded by Akhilesh Kumar, Gaurav Tomar, Sucharita Reddy, Suneel Kumar in 2019. This vernacular based app helps small businesses fastrack the process to get their due credit from customers. Orowealth, co-founded by Nitin Agrawal, Swati Aggarwal, Vijay Koppa, Yogesh Powar in 2017. It develops user-friendly apps that offer end to end solutions to all the finance management queries.
Mosaic Wellness introduces customer first products that can provide an all-encompassing solution to their beauty and wellness needs. Conceptualized by Dhyanesh Shah, Revant Bhate, in 2019, it features cruelty-free products to implement its cause. Foxy.in, founded by Nikhil Gilani in 2018, is an e-commerce platform for products related to grooming and beauty.
Google for startups has included a game-based app as well in their GFS program. BlackLight Games, a multiplayer gaming cross-platform app, was founded by Shruti Sarraf in 2011.
There are a couple of tech apps like Ankush Chugh’s Dcoder and Aravind Murthy’s Factors.ai. Founded in 2019 and 2018, respectively, both leverage different technologies. Dcoder focuses on providing a coding platform open for all smartphone users to code in 35 programming languages. Factors.ai uses artificial intelligence for an efficient market analysis of SMBs/enterprises.
Adding to the program’s diverse nature, Womaniya, a health tech startup that focuses on woman’s health, makes it to the list. The founders Avneesh Kumar, Kanak Waikar, Lakhan Suchdev, Siddharth Kothari provide a common platform for women to speak and discuss the health issues they face.
Other healthtech companies include InnerHour, Navia Life Care, and WellThy Therapeutics. All these three companies serve different purposes. Amit Malik and Shefali Batra’s InnerHour focuses on mental and psychological wellbeing. Kunal Kishore Dhawan and Shourjo Banerjee’ Navia life Care is a digital platform for the health care providers who want to improve patient care.
WellThy Therapeutics is a medicine platform in the digital world. Abhishek Shah, Aradh Pillai, Maaz Shaikh, and Prayat Shah conceptualized this idea of assisting patients with chronic diseases like diabetes, blood pressure, etc. in a digital environment.
Zeo Auto, a mobility-based app founded by Kshitij Dixit, Nimit Mehra, Ritesh Singh suggests the shortest routes to drivers. It specifically targets individuals and courier companies to reduce their transportation costs.
Other startups include Vikas Malpani’s Leher, a social networking app that focuses on live video sessions. Utkarsh Kawatra and Vinayak Agarawal’s my HQ provides flexible workspace solutions. Jani Pasha and Vipul Chaudhary’s Lokal is a local news publishing app.
Yashraj Khaitan and Jacob Dickinson’s Gram Power is the first Indian energy company to develop the industry’s lowest cost smart electricity metering system.
Google’s decision to move forward with its Google for Startups Accelerator program in these COVID-19 times brings a ray of hope for the Indian startups. With a two-fold increase in the batch size this year, Google for startup stays true to its motto “Started by you. Accelerated with Google.”