It wasn’t too long ago when India was considered mostly a service sector industry when it came to technological innovation, especially information technology. Deemed good only for backend and BPO jobs, India was yet to realise its potential in innovation. Then the startup revolution happened in India. Fast forward to today, we are not only at par, but also leading the world in many aspects due to the numerous startups whose innovations are improving aspects of your life and the world of technology – starting from Artificial Intelligence to Home automation.
The motivation behind this section is to bring such startups to the forefront and show you what they are made of. This month, we start off with some of the most technologically innovative startups in the country.
Data analytics and offline are two terms that you don’t often think of together. Realbox.in wants to change that by making data analytics, and its potential, available to brick and mortar stores as well. Their flagship product, Pulse, is an analytics dashboard that can be installed on most of the existing POS terminals in the market. Using this, the business can obtain real-time analytics and business summaries. For instance, a restaurant owner can keep track of the waiting time, the most popular F&B items, particular delays at particular tables and more such insights. The pricing starts off with a flat installation fee followed by a per-widget per month plan or a fixed amount per month.
|“Realbox is a data analytics company, driving sales for offline enterprises like PVR and Adidas by creating guest experiences.”
Founder & CEO, Realbox
Bringing VR into every Indian home, directly or otherwise, is what GreyKernel wants to achieve. Their VR solution is compatible with most leading platforms required by a VR project. Founded by a team of four IIT Kharagpur Alumni, their primary project right now is to bring VR/AR to the learning process. The main USP of their platform – IRA VR – is the level of intractability seen in the content. Alongside, content has been developed keeping in mind the user and their potential behaviour. Interestingly, GreyKernel also runs a VR community to bring VR developers and enthusiasts together. “We raised our seed fund (size and valuation can’t be disclosed right now) in Nov’16” says Abhishek, “and have been running operationally profitable since then. We are looking forward to scale operations and planning to go for a Pre-Series A round (around 4 Mil USD) for the same.”
|“We are a virtual reality and advance visualization start-up offering our VR/AR and Machine learning based products/solutions to organizations from different sectors.”
Co-Founder and CEO, GreyKernel
Home automation is no longer an outlying field of technology in India, and we have startups like Klar Systems to thank for that. Entirely bootstrapped, this startup believes that connected appliances, smart locks, voice control are just tip of the iceberg of home automation. Their main product is the zmote, a home automation hub that looks somewhat like a mini- fortune telling ball. This hub can connect with all smart appliances and control them through a browser-based interface. The USP of this hub lies in its compatibility and customisability in terms of usage – and it’s priced at $34.90 on their eBay store, which translates to roughly ₹2240/-. “There is tremendous innovation happening in the Home Automation segment,” says Urmil Parikh, Co-Founder, Klar, “which will transform the way we interact with our homes. Our vision is to build a robust platform for connected devices and create an ecosystem around it that makes it easy for new devices to enter and work seamlessly with others, fulfilling individual as well as social objectives.”
|“We will be front runners, building lifestyle products that are useful, affordable, easy to use and unobtrusive.”
Co-Founder, Klar Systems
Niki.ai is one of the startups behind the rise of chatbots and chat boxes on many service oriented websites today. Putting into use the power of AI and Machine learning, Niki, the chat assistant, can do a ton of things like food ordering, laundry ordering, bus booking with simple, chat-based interactions. Essentially, if you feel like you’re talking to a bot on an Indian website then it’s likely that the chat is powered by Niki’s SDK in India. Sachin believes that right now, AI cannot solve every problem and it has a longer learning curve than a normal human. “However”, he says, “once the system is perfected, machines have a much more error-free and efficient output than any human being.”
|“The algorithms behind Niki makes use of the most sophisticated of research in Artificial Intelligence, Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning.”
While connected cars often come at an additional premium, this Indian startup wants to bring connected features to every car out there – at least to all of the ones manufactured after 2008. Their offering comprises of a device, which you plug into the OBD-II port on your car, and pair it with the app to get a host of features in safety, car health and trip insights. For instance, apart from vehicle location, you can check fuel economy, battery health and more. Talking about their achievements, Urmil states, “We are looking to further our B2B tie-ups, beyond those with ICICI Lombard and Uber. We’re winners of Qualcomm’s Design in India challenge, as a part of which we’ve also developed a concept product for bikes.” This startup is entirely funded by Sandeep Shah and Kunal Tandon and you can buy their product right now on Amazon for ₹5999.
|Think of it a one-stop app for your car to track and manage its security, health and performance from a tap on your phone!”
This article was first published in the June 2017 issue of Digit magazine. To read Digit’s articles first, subscribe here or download the Digit app for Android and iOS. You could also buy Digit’s previous issues here.