India is a country renowned for its bustling tech start-up scene. But it’s the hospitality industry that’s making waves with workers, according to LinkedIn’s list of top start-ups in India to work for in 2018.
Five-year-old hospitality company OYO Rooms stole pole position in the rankings this year after building a team of loyal staff in India and beyond. Dubbed “OYOpreneurs,” employees are encouraged from day one to embrace a sense of ownership in the business and help shape the firm as it rapidly expands.
Elsewhere, transportation, fitness and insurance proved they were among the industries ripe for disruption in the fast-evolving country. CNBC Make Ittakes a look at the full list of the 25 most attractive start-ups in India right now.
Global headcount: 70
Product development company Exadatum helps businesses make sense of large volumes of data by providing them with analytics tools. Since launching in Pune in 2016, the team has developed particular expertise in artificial intelligence and machine learning. The business also has a base in New York and is actively looking for new recruits with Java, Python and C++ skills.
Global headcount: Bengaluru
Meesho is a social commerce platform that helps small businesses and individuals start online stores via social sites such as Instagram and Facebook. Shortly after launching in late 2015, the young start-up became one of three Indian companies to be given a place on the highly-coveted Y Combinator program – a start-up accelerator that helps fund new entrepreneurial ventures.
The program has helped shape the likes of Airbnb and Coinbase.
Global headcount: 300
Shuttl is an app-based transport service for commuters. The business launched in 2015 to improve the country’s often disorganized public transport system by allowing users to pre-book journeys on affordable, air-conditioned buses. It currently supports over 45,000 rides daily in seven cities including Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata, but plans to grow that number tenfold in the coming year, doubling its number of employees in the process.
Global headcount: 45
InterviewBit helps jobseekers prepare for tech interviews, particularly in the software engineering space. The company provides users with a plan on how to prepare for their interviews, practice coding problems, as well as access to mentors and feedback. It plans to hire 50 employees within the next 12 months.
Global headcount: 390
Education site UpGrad.com offers industry-relevant courses in subjects such as digital marketing, data science and product management. The business claims to have helped more than 300 users upskill and shift careers in the past year, and now plans to expand its service to Southeast Asia and the Middle East.
Global headcount: 120
SigTuple aims to make medical screening tests more accurate by applying insights from robotics and artificial intelligence. Around 70 percent of the company’s 120 employees are new to healthcare but have expertise in data science, software and intellectual property.
Global headcount: 400
Founded by three former Flipkart executives, Udaan.com is an online marketplace for businesses to buy and sell food, clothing and electronics. The start-up reached unicorn status — the term for a company with a valuation of $1 billion — just two years after launch. In the last 12 months, the firm has almost doubled its headcount.
Global headcount: 165
As many as two million developers and more than 25,000 paying customers — including Disney, Tesco and Facebook — use BrowserStack’s mobile app and website-testing platform. After several years of bootstrapping, the Mumbai-headquartered start-up recently won $50 million in investment, in the largest series A funding round in India’s tech history.
17. Zapr Media Labs
Global headcount: 110
Media analytics company Zapr provides insights on TV viewership for broadcasters, advertisers and media agencies. Within the next year, the company plans to open up 70 new positions in data analytics, audio processing and other non-engineering functions.
Global headcount: 125
Bengaluru-based Jumbotail is an online grocery marketplace for small businesses. The young start-up, which launched in 2015, has also started providing credit for shop-owners via partnerships with third-party lenders.
Global headcount: 1,000
InCred provides personal, education and home loans as well as credit to small and medium-sized businesses. The company’s high profile backers include former Deutsche Bank co-CEO Anshu Jain.
14. Treebo Hotels
Global headcount: 795
With a name that stems from the “Bo Tree” under which Buddha is said to have attained enlightenment, budget accommodation chain Treebo Hotel says it offers shelter at its simplest – just like trees do. In just three years, the start-up has amassed a portfolio of 9,000 rooms, but cost-saving measures meant it had to cut its headcount by 10 percent, according to media reports in July.
13. Acko General Insurance
Global headcount: 115
Digital insurance firm Acko General Insurance offers personalized policies based on user behavior. Based in Mumbai, the start-up has received tens of millions of dollars in funding, including from major companies like Amazon.
Global headcount: 240
Digital marketing and advertising agency Schbang has run campaigns for the likes of Hot Wheels, Amazon Fashion and RAW Pressery. With 240 staff between its Mumbai and Bangaluru offices, the three-year-old company hopes to expand internationally in the coming year.
11. Innov8 Coworking
Global headcount: 75
Headquarters: New Delhi
Coworking office network Innov8 has grown quickly since receiving backing from Y-Combinator. It now boasts 13 centers across the country. The firm also aspires to add another 100 employees this year and treble its seat count to 12,000 in the same period.
Global headcount: 200
Nineleaps helps other start-ups with their product development by providing web and mobile app services. Having doubled its headcount since July 2017, the ambitious business has now set its sights on hiring a further 300 staff and expanding to Singapore and Indonesia in the coming year.
Global headcount: 230
Four-year-old Razorpay provides payment solutions for more than 100,000 businesses. In a bid to ensure employees are aware of client needs, all staff are required to take customer support calls for four hours every month, regardless of seniority.
8. The Minimalist
Global headcount: 60
Design agency Minimalist started as a Facebook page for witty content, but now works with clients including Coca Cola and Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway. For staff who feel they don’t get enough of their colleagues while at work, there are weekly team building activities arranged by the human resource department every Saturday.
7. Republic World
Global headcount: 400
Republic TV, part of the Republic World group, is an English-language news television channel set up by Indian journalist and anchor Arnab Goswami and politician Rajeev Chandrasekhar in 2016. The channel is often accused of having a pro-establishment stance. It plans to set up a Hindi news channel ahead of India’s 2019 general elections.
6. LBB – Little Black Book
Global headcount: 80
Little Black Book started as a Tumblr blog, but has since morphed into a digital platform for cultural news and events. Its coverage ranges from food and fashion to theater and shopping across eight major Indian cities. The business has offices across Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai.
5. Digit Insurance
Global headcount: 630
Online insurer Digit Insurance aims to simplify policy processes and claims to approve 87 percent of claims within 24 hours. It also provides customers with mobile notifications when they are entitled to a claim, for instance if their flight is delayed by more than 75 minutes.
Global headcount: 3,700
Logistics business Rivigo uses a driver relay model to speed up delivery services for clients including Marks & Spencer, ITC and Maruti Suzuki. The four-year-old start-up plans to hire 5,000 people over the next year and scale up its fleet, warehouses and technology.
Global headcount: 160
Google’s first start-up investment in India, Dunzo, is a services app which allows users to hire staff to complete tasks for them. The firm has quickly become a verb in the country, with customers “dunzoing” everything from grocery shopping to laundry.
Global headcount: 120
Wellness start-up Cure.Fit has four offerings: no-equipment gyms, health food, primary care, plus yoga and meditation centers. The company raised $120 million from existing investors and acquired premium gym chain Fitness First in a deal worth $30 million to $35 million.
1. OYO Rooms
Global headcount: 4,700
Topping this year’s list is hospitality start-up OYO Rooms. In five short years, it has become India’s largest hotel network boasting 100,000 rooms in 230 cities. Over the last nine months, the budget hotel has also expanded internationally, launching in Malaysia, China and the U.K.
To be considered for this year’s list, companies needed to be privately held, be seven years old or younger, and have 50 or more employees. LinkedIn then looked at the activity of its own users – which exceed more than 500 million – in order to factor in employee growth, job seeker interest and engagement with the company on the platform. It also assessed how well the upstarts were able to attract talent away from the established players on LinkedIn’s Top Companies list.