The year is coming to an end and we are looking back at the best startups of this year. If there is a sector that has benefited from the result of cash drought and demonetization in India, then it is FreeCharge, Paytm and MobiKwik. Here we look at all kinds of startups and naming the ones which have grown the most this year.
Paytm: The second the Prime Minister of India, Mr. Narendra Modi, announced the news about 500 and 1000 notes being equivalent to a zero value, the digital wallet companies stepped up to assist millions of people in India to make their payments. Paytm is one the largest mobile payments startups in India, which has more than eight crore monthly active users. The digital wallet even rolled out full page ads in newspapers and pasted its stickers on every other stall of vendors to promote the payment system of the company.
For Paytm, demonetization was a chance to bring new merchants and consumers on board and the money payments startup took that chance. Paytm, which is backed by Alibaba of China, said that it added 20 million new users between November 10 and December 20, taking its overall user base to 170 million. Vijay Shekhar Sharma, the founder of Paytm, has approved hiring of 20,000 employees to reach 600 districts. Currently, the startup has 11,000 employees. So far, the digital wallet has raised more than $700 million.
Citrus Pay: The app Citrus Pay stood out in this year whereas several startups closed down. Naspers’ PayU acquired the payment gateway company for $130 million. Around Rs. 43 crore of that money will be distributed among its 50 employees. Around 15 employees will be pocketing over 1 crore while the office boy is slated to get almost Rs. 50 lakhs. Satyen Kothari and Jitendra Gupta founded Citrus. A venture capitalist said, “One has to evaluate success in terms of exits rather than valuation or fund raising.”
Fintech: Another growing startup this year was Fintech. This year, fintech sector received only $485 million in funding while last year, it received $1,175 million. However, the government released unified payments interface (UPI) this April. UPI powers banking features, multiple bank accounts, and the merchant payments in a single mobile app, which was quite beneficial for Fintech.
Enterprise Tech: This year, the product companies as well as the Saas-based companies gained ground. The sector received around $517 million in 2016 in funding. For instance, in October, Druva, the enterprise software maker, raised $51 million in a funding round led by EDBI and Sequoia.
As for other food delivery startups, the big loss was to PepperTap and NearBuy which were competing with Grofers and BigBasket. Last year, PepperTap announced its decision to veer to an e-commerce logistics model and Flipkart recalled its app NearBuy in October.