Always touted as a smart city story to watch out for, Pune is slowly but steadily rising to those expectations, bringing much hope for the city's startup sector. The government, as well as other bodies and agencies, are becoming much more alive to the task, infrastructure is steadily improving, and the entrepreneurial landscape is vibrant. These efforts now seem to be showing unmistakable signs of paying off. In a landscape of negative news flow around startups, some Pune startup stories offer an example of names attracting their share of the limelight for positive reasons.
Druva - Data storage and security is top of the agenda for everyone from midsize companies to multinationals. Protecting data is a key concern especially when it is stored on the cloud. Druva's product suite consists of cloud-based applications for data protection, real-time availability, and information governance. By building an integrated platform for securing information on the cloud, since its inception in 2008, Druva was able to build a strong clientele spanning across varied industries like life sciences, manufacturing, education, etc. A notable feature that proved useful to many recently, is the ransomware and anomaly detection tool. The company now have over 400 employees and over 4000 customers globally!
Icertis - Icertis has come to become one of the leading providers of contract lifecycle management using the cloud. Founded in 2009, it has built a state-of-the-art platform which is highly configurable, adaptive and provides best-of-the-breed contract management system. By helping companies around the globe by providing contractual insights, better governance, and risk reduction, Icertis has become a key vendor in the cloud-based contract management space. A sign of the attention Icertis is attracting from the right circles is the recent funding of almost $46 million it received in March 2017.
Townscript - This was a first-of-its-kind DIY event creation and ticketing platform in India. The startup now has to its credit almost 17,600 events and more than 21,800 registrations per month. Recently, Book My Show took a big position in this startup. With this move, Book My Show now has about 75% stake in Townscript. This investment has boosted Townscript's growth prospects and provided the company a clear way forward for penetrating the online booking and event management market.
Pubmatic - Pubmatic specialises in building advertising software for the media and publishing industry. Using automation, Pubmatic's software connects publishers and ad buyers by creating an easy-to-use seamless platform. A seasoned startup, in that it was established in 2006, Pubmatic has raised funds successfully, including $45 million round in 2012. PubMatic later went on to acquire mobile ad server Mocean Mobile, which helped Pubmatic expand its footprint in the mobile advertising industry. By positioning itself as a reliable programmatic partner, Pubmatic has helped publishers gain an added competitive advantage over others.
FirstCry - This is an e-commerce portal which specialises in baby products and toys. FirstCry has raised a significant investment of $50 million so far and has grown into one of Asia's largest online portal with an inventory of more than 20,000 items from 250 major Indian and international brands. In addition to its online portal, FirstCry has also increased its presence by building brick and mortar stores in more than 85 cities. This is an innovative reach tactic, especially in India where only about 5-7% of the transactions are done via online retail channels. The retail footprint of FirctCry was further bolstered when last year, they acquired BabyOye from the house of Mahindra’s for Rs 362.1 crore.
Faasos - Faasos, a quick service fast-food joint that specialises in serving wraps and hot meals, was initially set up in 2004 with a mere investment of Rs 8 lakh by its founders. The idea of taking orders through Twitter and receiving funds worth $5 million initially helped them to expand to almost 20 outlets. Later, by going down the franchise model route and building an integrated mobile app, Faasos now processes approximately 18,000 orders daily via their app. The company today has more than 90 outlets spanning across India.
The success of these startups lies not just in creative offerings but also the superior execution and delivery. They all have ambitious plans and to various degrees are making good on those plans. This makes them great contenders for the top, successful tech-based startups from Pune to inspire several others!