Starting Up!

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If you have not heard of startup craze in Asia, then the laymen cave that you are living in must be really deep, deprived of internet. It is not so surprising to know that 40 hyper-local start-ups in India alone have risen close to $150 billion in funding last year. Business jury says that Asia will remain a global start-up hotbed for years to come. Here’s a recap of start-ups that gained momentum in 2016.

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OYO (India): CEO Ritesh Agarwal launched OYO with one city and one hotel in Gurugram in January 2013. Within no time, their network of hotels spread across 174 cities with 6500+ hotels, becoming India’s largest hotel budget chain. One of its unique features that attracted a major chunk of people is the facility for unmarried couples to book a room using their local identity proofs. Ritesh says that OYO have delivered a 15x YoY growth with 2.3 million transactions in the first quarter of 2016. Apart from OYO, the major players in the domain are Stayzilla and Zip Rooms.

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Didi Kuaidi (China): Founded in 2012 by Cheng Wei, it is the world’s largest ride-sharing company providing mobility services to 300 million users spread across 400 cities in China. Kuaidi is one of the grievous co mpetitors of Uber and currently in midst of scoring $1 billion in additional fundraising. It also invested in OLA which is also a stiff competitor of Uber in India as it believes both China and India are rapidly developing countries with enormous market potentials.

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Coins.ph (Philippines): Coins.ph launched in 2014 gained hand in hand momentum in 2016 with digitalization. It is a bitcoin platform providing person-to-person wallet transfers, bill payments, mobile top-ups and online shopping. A go-to for payment processor In the Philippines that uses block-chain technology which is both fast and reliable is coins.ph. It has partnered with banks, last-mile logistics companies, and financial institutions to create a network of over 22,000 cash distribution centers across the Philippines.

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Zomato (India): It has almost become mandatory for the tech-savvy youth to check the ratings on Zomato before visiting a restaurant. In 2008, joint entrepreneurs, Deepinder Goyal and Pankaj Chaddah kick-started the restaurant search and discovery service which now operates in 23 countries. Its revenue surged 91.2% to Rs.184.96 crore in March’16 from Rs 96.73 crore in the previous year. It is expected to grow further and become one of the highest earning start-ups in FY17.

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iflix (Malaysia): With more viewers wanting video-on-demand services, iflix is emerging as one of the most happening start-ups. It has a lot in common with Netflix but CEO Mark Britt who established this in 2014 issued a statement earlier that the two companies are not competitiors and the strategy of iflix according to him is to take on pirated content. In 2016, it raised a successful round of funding with its latest partner being Indonesian state-owned Telcom.

 

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