Top 10 Startups in Chennai
Chennai is often known as the SaaS hub of India, where software as a service giants like Freshworks and Zoho began. There are plenty of other businesses being disrupted and revolutionized as well. Chennai attracts talent from all around Tamil Nadu and India as a result of the city’s startup culture. As a whole, it’s one of the key startup hubs in the country, competing with Bengaluru and Delhi NC
In this article, we’re going to be taking a look at the top 10 startups in Chennai.
At number one, we have the SaaS business ChargeBee. Krish Subramanian and Rajaraman Santhanam were regularly exploring new ideas on forums such as Hacker News and Joel on Software in 2010 to find an idea that they could turn into a saas product. They even formed a company called “Bubble Path” in 2010 before they’d even come up with an idea for the product they’d eventually build.
They simply knew they wanted to be business owners. Later on, when Thiyagarajan Thiyagu and Saravanan KP from Zoho joined them as co-founders, they were able to hone in on a problem worth solving: reoccurring billing and paid subscriptions for SaaS startups. They called this solution Chargebee and launched it in 2011.
The SaaS market in India was growing quite a bit at the time, and so the Chargebee platform aimed to allow SaaS companies to focus on building great products while not having to worry about one-time payments, recurring payments, discount trials, or building subscription models for different kinds of customers. chargebee was designed to handle all of that so that saas companies could focus on more important things.
Today, Chargebee has more than 3000 customers, a majority of which come from the United States and Europe. So far, the startup has raised 468.2 million dollars from its investors, valuing it at 3.5 billion dollars.
Debt marketplace startup credit avenue was founded by Gourav Kumar in 2020. CreditAvenue is offering a platform for businesses and enterprises to secure debt from banks and other financial institutions. He was able to build this company on his own as a single founder and with his previous work in the lending space, where he spent over 16 years. He co-founded fintech startups like Vivriti Capital and Vivrity Asset Management.
Learning from these experiences, Gourav and his team have managed to build CredAvenue into a trusted platform for companies to access multiple types of loans. They also facilitate investing for financial institutions, enabling them to keep track of their lending portfolio through a single platform with more than 2,300 corporates, 450 enterprises, and 750 lenders on their platform. CredAvenue has already facilitated loans worth 10.5 billion dollars. Their investors have poured 226.7 million dollars into the startup, making them a unicorn at a 1.3 billion dollar valuation in less than two years of operations.
3. M2P FinTech
M2P Fintech is a financial infrastructure provider founded by Madhusudanan and Prabhu Rangarajan in 2014. M2P fintech is building next-generation fintech and neo-banking products. The way their service works is that if a fintech company or bank wants to build a banking product in collaboration with multiple banks, they can simply access m2p fintech’s network and all of their APIs from a single platform, rather than going to different banks and starting the process from scratch.
Across Asia and Africa, more than 30 banks and over 500 fintech startups are collaborating with m2p fintech, including major Neobank startups such as Neosolutions, Jupiter, unique cards, slice, cred, and razor pay.
The best part is that M2P Fintech has been able to do this profitably, which is one of the reasons why they didn’t raise any external funding until 2020. In just the last two years, their investors have poured 107 million dollars into the startup, valuing them at 605 million dollars, and these funds have paved the way for m2p fintech to make an even larger impact in the global fintech market.
WayCool is a B2B agricommerce startup founded by Karthik Jayaraman and Sanjay in 2015. WayCool started its journey as a b2b food supply chain startup called SunnyBee, but after realizing that the margins for this business weren’t wide enough to build a sustainable company at scale, they decided to pivot to a farm to fork b2b business model in 2017.
WayCool now offers its customers end-to-end food supply chain solutions like farm inputs, food processing, branding, marketing, and last-mile distribution by controlling the entire supply chain. It has enabled more than a hundred thousand customers to gain access to fresh fruits and vegetables while also increasing the income of the 85,000 farmers. Their investors have poured 221.5 million dollars into the startup, valuing WayCool at around 460 million dollars, according to End Tracker.
5. Wiz Freight
Wiz Freight is a cross-border supply chain startup launched in 2020 by Ram Kumar Govindaraj and Ram Kumar Ramachandran. Wiz freight is simplifying the process of booking and managing cross-border shipments for importers and exporters by digitizing the entire process. Importers and exporters can book shipments online, track them in real-time, and make digital payments using a single platform that connects them to a network of over 2000 vendors and carriers.
Wiz Freight is helping more than 1 500 enterprises ship their products using Wiz Freight despite the fact that they started in the middle of the pandemic when global supply chains were heavily disrupted. Today, Wiz Freight is running a profitable business and has been growing at a rate of 20% month on month over the last year. Now they’re planning to expand internationally, starting with 15 countries in Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and Africa.
So far, their investors have poured 42.5 million dollars into the startup so that it can continue to innovate in the highly fragmented $2.25 trillion global shipping industry.
6. Mad Street Den
Mad Street Den was founded in 2013 by husband-wife Chandrasekaran who is a neuroscientist and Ashwini Mad Street Den was founded in 2013 by husband and wife team, Chandrasekharan, who is a neuroscientist, and Ashwini Ashokan, who is a product designer, along with Costa Covert.
Mad Street Den was founded to take advantage of the e-commerce boom that was taking place at the time, as more and more businesses went online and eCommerce platforms struggled to keep track of hundreds, if not thousands, of product SKUs (stock-keeping units). That’s what you’re seeing. When someone scans a barcode on a product at a physical store’s checkout, they’re also scanning the SKU to register your transaction in the system and mark the unit as sold.
However, even before an item is sold via e-commerce, it must be correctly identified so that an SKU can be allocated to it, and this time-consuming job was previously completed manually. Employees would visually identify a product and assign it an SKU manually. After spending two years in India researching and developing their artificial intelligence and computer vision technologies from the ground up, the mad street den spotted an opportunity. Vue.ai, their flagship product, was introduced in the United States in 2016. Retailers now have access to technology that can automatically recognize products with the help of vue.ai. For example, if a t-shirt is red and has a round neck collar, then assign it an SKU.
Today they have a bunch of other features and products on their platform which are helping retailers to get online easily using Mad Street Den’s digitization and automation tools. So far, their investors have poured 21.2 million dollars into the startup to help them continue bringing AI to e-commerce.
7. Agnikul Cosmos – Space Tech Startup
Agnikul Cosmos was founded by Srinath Ravichandran in 2017. It’s on a mission to democratize space by building its own customizable rocket called the Agnikul. This rocket will be able to launch small satellites weighing up to 100 kilos into space, and the startup made headlines last year in 2021.
When they successfully test-fired the world’s first 3D printed rocket engine, which they fabricated in just 72 hours with these kinds of innovations. Agnikul Cosmos is trying to significantly reduce the time and complexity involved in building rockets, and the startup is expected to launch its first rocket into space sometime in 2022. So far, their investors have poured 14.5 million dollars into the company to further its mission of democratizing space.
8. Guardian Link
Guardian Link founded by arjun reddy kameshwaran ilangovan and ramkumar subramanyam in 2016. Guardian Link is enabling their customers to build their own NFT marketplaces using the startup’s APIs. They offer customized NFT marketplace solutions for artists gamers and celebrities and are already being used to support more than 40 branded NFT marketplaces globally. One of the most noteworthy of these marketplaces is beyond life which has featured popular NFTs like Asia’s first metaverse wedding NFT collection and NFT projects featuring Amitabh Bachchan Kalpana Chola and stan lee.
After bootstrapping the startup for five years, they raised $12 million from Kalaari Capital in 2021 to assist them to join the NFT gaming industry and construct the largest Qriket metaverse in the web 3 world.
9. Electric Flying Taxi Startup by E-Plane Company
Traffic is a major issue in Indian metro cities. In fact, cities like Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Delhi frequently appear on lists of the world’s most congested cities. In order to overcome this difficulty, IIT-Madras professor Satya Chakravarthy and his student Pranjal Mehta launched the e-plane company in 2019. They’re developing the e-200, an electric compact flying taxi.
It’s like a combination of a helicopter and an airplane. Once completed, the e-200 will be a two-seater vehicle with a 200-kilometer range controlled by a human pilot. The startup has already begun testing the scaled-down version of this e-plane, and they expect to launch a cargo carrier version of the E-plane as early as next year. To help them achieve their ambitious dreams, they’ve already raised 6 million dollars from their investors and are hoping to begin commercial operations in the not too distant future.
10. Marine Robotics Startup Planys Technologies
Founded by Rakesh Sirikonda, Tanuj Jhunjhunwala, and Vineet Upadhyay in 2015, Planys Technology provides its customers with underwater robotic inspections using their indigenously manufactured remotely operated vehicles, or ROVs. These underwater ROVs are capable of carrying different kinds of payloads and sensors to conduct these inspections.
So far, the company has developed and built a fleet of six ROVs which have been used by their clients to successfully execute over 125 commercial projects like the inspection of dams, bridges, ships, ports, and terminals. Planys Technology has raised 4.1 million dollars from its investors to continue doing this unique underwater robotic work.
This is our list of top 10 startups in Chennai. Any other startup that you believe should have qualified for this list may not have been included because it did not receive enough funds from investors or was not valued as highly as the other startups on the list. Because there were two criteria we looked at when determining which startups to include on this list.
Finally, there are a lot of other great Chennai-based startup companies that we wish could have made the list, but we simply don’t have enough time to include them all. So please leave a comment below and tell us which startups you think should have been included on this list instead of the ones that were.