Dubai: Startups in India continue to pitch to attract the attention of investors in the United Arab Emirates as part of the ‘Elevate’ sessions, where the latest group also includes the drone manufacturer. Some companies were looking to raise up to $500,000 to expand into new territories, including in the Gulf.
“Every unicorn who grew up here in the Middle East finds a place in Dubai or the UAE,” said Prashant Gulati, an early stage investor in start-ups. “The UAE is not the largest country in terms of population or market size, but it is definitely the best place to do business.”
“India has 82 rhinos, of which 44 have already joined (the billion dollar valuation club) in 2021. That should give you the speed at which this ecosystem is growing. India has a lot of talent and they are looking at startups as a way to spend their time.” .
Elevate Sessions began as a platform to showcase 500 startups from India at the innovation hub outside the Indian Pavilion at the expo. The plan was to showcase two startups every day to give them the exposure they needed in their growth phase. It was then that the idea of connecting them with B2B investors developed.
After that, promotional sessions were organized, where the Innovation Center connected the startups with potential investors.
India has emerged as the world’s third largest startup ecosystem and has seen a series of high-profile IPOs (initial public offerings) that have challenged the economic gloom of the pandemic.
Startups make the pitch
Namaste AI: The startup is using artificial intelligence (AI) technology to help market participants. “We help professionals create their resume – enter your job title and the system will help you create your resume,” said Brijendra Chaudhary, founder. “Once the resume is complete, the candidate can move forward and the system will tell them what jobs are available.”
Clmart: This is an activewear brand, which has teamed up with 45 Indian athletes, including Kabaddi player Mohit Chilar and Surya Bhanu Partap Singh Chib, a wushu advocate. Startup founder Manik Pandral said Olympic gold medalist Neeraj Chopra will soon be joining that list.
Kashmir Trout: This is a multi-channel procurement platform based on a comprehensive model from purchasing fresh trout to processing, storage and delivery. The company plans to open fast food outlets in Jammu and Delhi in 2022 with concession orders from other regions in Kashmir.
MeraPad: This Jaipur-based company is promoting sustainability by selling washable menstrual pads made from bamboo charcoal. “This is a sustainable solution designed for women facing reproductive health challenges,” said Bharti Singh Chauhan, founder of MeraPad.
Open Pathshala: This is a platform for learning Indian languages and culture through online courses. Starting with courses for learning Sanskrit, Open Pathshala also has classes for Hindi, English and Marathi.
Genetico: The startup has developed a specialized electronic health record system to reduce diagnostic time and enable new medical discoveries in the field of rare and genetic diseases.
“There are about 300 million people worldwide with rare genetic diseases and half of them are not yet diagnosed,” founder Arjun Gupta said. “The other half who received the diagnosis waited an average of 5-7 years in countries like the US and UK – we want to go short this time.”
Brutus: This company, which makes plant-based foods and ingredients, has their own range of dried buds. “In 2021, there is still a problem of finding healthy, tasty, easy-to-cook and serve food – Brutus has come up with a solution to that problem,” said Maqbool Saleem.
Cognicue: The startup aims to turn nonverbal cues into meaningful data. Cognicue can help companies capture movements such as facial expressions and facial movements to gain insight into customers’ emotions.
Number of Indian startups ranked unicorn in 2021