If you are an Indian citizen living in any of the urban cities of the Country, you might not have heard of this application until recently when the Indian Cricket Team Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, invested in a startup called KhataBook. The question that was on many minds when Dhoni invested in this startup was what is KhataBook doing that has made Dhoni, one of the most popular celebrities in India, invest in this finance technology. However in order to answer this question, we need to understand how KhataBook came into being and what it is today.
KhataBook was founded by Ravish Naresh, Dhanesh Kumar, Vaibhav Kalpe and Ashish Sonone in 2018. The idea for KhataBook however has been on the minds of the founders for a long time before 2018. It all began when Ravish Naresh along with his friends began a digital spending manager app called Kyte.ai in 2016. The app lets a user understand their spending patterns by making use of the transactional SMS alerts. The initial traction for Kyte was good but the growth was not reaching the scale the founders had in mind. After researching the user data they realized that most of their users are based out of metro cities. Upon digging deeper the data revealed that first time online users did not deal in digital transactions. They were still relying on traditional ‘khata,’ or ledger books. That is when the idea for KhataBook materialised for the Kyte team in 2018. ‘Khata’ simply stands for account in Hindi.
In 2018, the Kyte team decided to work on a simple cash management application called KhataBook on the premise that a real life ‘Khata’ can be replaced by a digital ‘Khata.’ The idea was to shift the focus of small time traders and businesses to move their accounts to digital platforms. The team also included Kyte’s SMS checking mechanism to track data and provide free SMS updates on a user’s customer transactions. This feature has ensured a three times faster return on credits for their users. The app has recorded $ 5 billion+ cash transactions by November 2018. What makes this app attractive is that it employs artificial intelligence to track SMS alerts for transactions and use that to keep a track of accounts and spending. With the internet penetration Reliance Jio offered, it was easier for KhataBook founders to target users in smaller cities and towns. KhataBook is unique in the finance technology sector and has no major competitors. However, OkCredit and Vyapaar app are the closest competition KhataBook has in the market currently.
Kyte is still an ongoing process for the founders of KhataBook, but KhataBook has managed to record 100x of Kyte’s users. KhataBook currently has 5.5 million active users per month and the startup aims to reach 20 million active users by the end of 2020.
Upon reaching a quick growth KhataBook got its first big publicity push when Dhoni invested an undisclosed amount in the startup and also became its brand ambassador. KhataBook is now being used in more than 5000 cities and the users range from kirana shops, merchants, recharge shops. The app currently supports eleven languages and even has users in Nepal, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
Wallmantra: This Indian Startup Is Upping The Home Interior Decor Game With Their Modern Designs
India was always home to some of the oldest and most diverse art forms which have received a lot of international attention over the years. The advent of internet technology and smartphones meant these art forms have found a new lease of life. Wallmantra, an Indian startup is at the forefront of bringing these artforms to homes all over the world and India with their humongous modern variety of home and interior decor designs. Ever since designing and selling affordable wall and interior decor out of their own online marketplace WallMantra has come a long way.
WallMantra was founded in 2013 focusing solely on an online presence. Wallmantra has more than a thousand unique products which are listed on their website which means customers are simply spoilt for choice. But what sets Wallmantra apart from their competitors is they have ownership of end-end processes right from design and procurement to sales and shipping and therefore have complete control over quality and timely delivery. This Make In India startup focuses on design which brings out the best in interior spaces while every product is designed keeping in mind its utility and space requirement.
Wallmantra has a very unique range of products like Wall Aquariums- a new and easy way to keep fishes in house, 3D Frames-layers design with LED, Garden Shelves-a short of portal Garden in your house, Wall Shelves-designs inspired from real life characters, Wooden Wall Hangings, designer clocks, and many more and all of which can be accessed through their website. The website is quite responsive on mobile and desktop with clear division of products in defined categories. Some of their best selling products include a Planter Shelf Wall Hanging, Mandala Designer Wall Clock, a Golden Buddha Canvas Painting and a Deer Do It Yourself (DIY) Painting Kit.
Although the entire world has been coming to terms with the COVID-19 pandemic, Wallmantra have shown no signs of stopping and in fact have used this crisis as an opportunity to expand their operations as well as generating a whole lot of employment responding to Govt’s call for #VocalForLocal and #AtmanirbharBharat. Wallmantra has trained a workforce consisting of restaurant workers, contract teachers, factory workers giving them an opportunity to learn new skills. Wallmantra has expanded, hired and trained a workforce of more than 100 people and is still continuing to expand steadily. This is due to several factors but the most important one being its complete online marketplace. Wallmantra has also expanded its presence into the social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram which contributed largely to their growth.
So head over to their Facebook, Instagram and their website to browse their huge collection of various interior and wall decor products to brighten up your house. Wallmantra is committed to providing an artistic touch and elevating the interiors of your home.
Pickkup – This Hyper-Local On Demand Service Startup Delivers Anything Anytime Anywhere
India has witnessed a shift in consumer dynamics with the introduction of startups which provide hyper local and on demand services. These startups are able to provide users with the option to purchase anything and everything, except for prohibited items in and around their homes. This eliminated the need for the user to venture out of their homes and instead get whatever they need delivered to their doorstep.
Hyper local delivery startups have seen a huge surge in demand in the last few months with most of the demand coming from tier 1 metropolitan cities. Pickkup is one such hyper local delivery startup which operates in Hyderabad. Pickkup takes pride in their motto that they can deliver anything, anytime and anywhere in the city. The unique selling proposition (USP) of Pickkup is they are the only hyper local service providers to offer long range delivery services in Hyderabad which can range up to 40 kilometers.
Pickkup offers a host of services all under one roof which can be accessed on their mobile application. A user can choose to get groceries delivered to their home, or order meat, or send packages across the city from one location to another and also access pet stores. All these services are taken care of by a fleet of reliable delivery partners. Pickkup assures all orders are treated with utmost priority and safety and their delivery partners will move the orders quickly. The simple user interface on the Pickkup mobile application ensures a hassle free order placing process.
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However one of the most appealing features Pickkup provides is the facility to book a personal assistant. The personal assistant feature allows a user to book an assistant who would help you assist in doing chores. For example,if you are moving to a new home, a personal assistant will assist you with rearranging your furniture and goods. If you need to send out 3 couriers to different locations in the city, the personal assistant will deliver them for you instead of you placing three different orders for each courier delivery with a logistic service provider. Other features include using the assistant to drive you around in their vehicle, or using them for banking works. The personal assistant feature cannot however be used to do manual labour. The billing is done according to the number of hours the personal assistant service used.
Pickkup has already managed to satisfy their clients and has an average delivery time of 45 minutes. With many companies declaring work from home for the foreseeable future, Pickkup will no doubt see a surge in demand in the coming days.
BoAt – An Audio Device Startup Wooing The Indian Millennial
With the advent of smartphones, people all over the world prefer to consume information on their devices. Music, news, movies, series, sports—anything and everything is being customised for the smartphone user. This makes the use of audio devices like earphones, headphones and portable speakers an essential lifestyle choice to go with the smartphone.
An Indian audio electronics startup, boAt, forced international players like JBL, Apple and Sennheiser to rethink their prices and products by offering highly competitive, durable and high quality products at prices which are a steal. The brand achieved this over the years by building themselves a reputation as sticklers for quality.
boAt was founded by Aman Gupta and Sameer Mehta in the year 2016. While working as a Director of Sales at Harman International, a company which makes speakers, Aman Gupta met Sameer Mehta, with whom he shared a passion for music. Aman Gupta realised the Indian millennial is increasingly oriented towards affordable high quality products which can also be used as lifestyle accessories or make a fashion statement.
Establishing itself as a serious market player
Prior to the introduction of boAt products, the market was flooded with highly priced products by JBL, Sennheiser and their likes and extremely low priced but average quality products by Mivi, iBall and Intex, apart from Chinese products. The startup focused itself on branding itself to the millenial youth of India. They made products which were trendy, durable, had a metal finish and came at a cost which was at least half of what the international players were offering.
Initially, sales by boAt were limited to e commerce platforms like Flipkart and Amazon and the sales were slow. However, this changed over time with glowing positive reviews from users, which prompted others to buy these products as well. The earphones and Bluetooth speakers, especially, are a huge hit amongst their customers. The term ‘boAthead’ was given to a person who makes a product purchase, adding them to a fraternity of boAt users.
The popularity of cricket and films was used as an advantage when boAt partnered with sports and film stars to endorse their products as brand ambassadors. Jacqueline Fernandez, Kiara Advani, Kartik Aaryan and Neha Kakkar are Bollywood stars who endorse boAt products. From the cricketing fraternity, there is Shikhar Dhawan, Jasprit Bumrah, Rishab Pant, K.L. Rahul and Hardik Pandya. These partnerships helped boAt in establishing themselves as a key market player in India.
The startup is also partnering with fashion events like those held by Lakmé, where the models only have boAt products as their accessories when they walk down the ramp. This is to establish boAt products can be a part of everyday fashion.
Bluetooth speakers which are waterproof and shockproof and earphones which are sweat resistant are some of the unique innovations which are a part of the brand. The popularity of boAt is surging, thanks to their marketing and product quality. The startup will try to shift its manufacturing to India to cut down on import duties, which would make their products even cheaper.
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