These are entrepreneurs you are going to hear about a lot in 2016. Be it their disruptive ideas or innovative technology, these people kick-started in 2015 and will only be growing bigger and better in 2016. Watch out for these entrepreneurs in 2016 !
ABHIRAJ BHAL, Urbanclap
At the age of 29, Abhiraj Bhal is the CEO of India’s fastest-growing services marketplace UrbanClap. In just one year, Bhal has raised more than $45 million (Rs. 299 crore) in venture funding from marquee investors and funds including Accel Partners, SAIF Partners, Bessemer Ventures, Ratan Tata and Snapdeal’s cofounder Kunal Bahl. UrbanClap, which has scaled to six cities in India and built a network of 30,000 service professionals, expects its technology and execution to be the differentiator. In 2016, the company plans to extend its offering to 25 cities and 100 categories.
ABHINAV ASTHANA, Postman
28 year old Abhinav Asthana, is the CEO of Postman. The company creates tools that help in creating, collaborating and managing APIs, or application program interfaces. The current team size is 15-members. Used by over two million developers across the world, the company’s tool are proving very useful in the technology world. Cofounded by Asthana, Abhijit Kane and Ankit Sobti, Postman became cash-flow positive even before it was formally registered last year. Several top Silicon Valley firms are vouching for Postman’s tools, be it Box.com, Microsoft, Cisco, Verizon, 23andme or Freshdesk. A lot of others firms as well have listed Postman as partners for API creation and management. In 2016, the company plans to take its new product to over 10,000 enterprises across the world.
SAHIL BARUA, Delhivery
Sahil Barua, the CEO of logistics startup Delhivery, which started as a warehousing and delivery company, expanded the company’s portfolio in last one year in an unprecedented manner. Tiger Global-backed Delhivery will now also offer cloud solutions for its sellers, assist merchants and provide POS technology. The company has raised over $126 million (Rs 837 crore) so far and aggressively bought stakes in tech-focused logistics players including Parcelled and Opinio. The company delivers around 204,000 shipments daily, servicing more than 4,000 pin codes.
NALIN GUPTA, Auro Robotics
26 year old Nalin Gupta’s Y Combinator-backed startup, has been operating golf carts that shuttle students across Santa Clara University in California for the past three months. The seven month old Indian startup, Auro Robotics has showed up with the likes of Uber and Google in the driver-less car category. The company retrofits its solution into cars and sells it as a subscription, a solution which was a result of four years of research at IIT Kharagpur along with cofounders Jit Ray Chowdhury and Srinivas Reddy. In 2016, Auro plans to make a few prototypes of the shuttle, and pilot them on private campuses including colleges, retirement homes and resorts. But in future it wants to design a custom vehicle by striking partnerships with auto-makers.
BYJU RAVEENDRAN, Byju’s
The last year saw a transition of an education company to an online model, when Byju’s Classes turned into Byju’s – the Learning App. The new year has much more in store for Think & Learn. Post its launch in August, the app got got 2.3 million downloads in just three months. The online model comprises of over 90% of the business and the volume. While one-third of the business was offline in FY15, by FY17 the company expects it to be close to zero. Byju’s provides coaching for students across subjects from Class VI till exams like CAT and GRE. Byju’s is now adding close to 15,000 annual subscribers every month. Revenues are expected to increase from Rs 48 crore in FY15 to Rs 125 crore in FY16. Byju’s raised Rs 225 crore from Sequoia Capital and Aarin Capital. And on the cards in 2016 is international expansion, to be financed by by much bigger rounds of funding. Thirty five years old Byju still takes time out to make new video lectures.