Samidha graduated with a bachelor’s in mass media from Sophia College, Mumbai, right before joining Forbes India, where she writes about various startups across industries, and also works on News by Numbers–a way of news story-telling through infographics. She is also part of the web team which oversees social media and organizes various annual events for the publication. Samidha is a film buff and enjoys all kinds of cinema–all the way from cringy bollywood films to those of Tarkovsky.
(L to R), Sucharita Mukherjee, CEO, Kaleidofin; Shruti, CEO, ApnaKlub; Arun Vinayak, CEO, Exponent Energy. Image: P Ravikumar; SELVAPRAKASH LAKSHMANAN
Forbes Asia today unveiled its third annual 100 to Watch list, which highlights rapidly growing small companies and startups making waves across the Asia-Pacific region. The companies on the list include those that are either targeting untapped markets or harnessing state-of-the-art technologies. Singapore leads the pack with 20 of its companies on the list.
This year, six Indian companies have secured spots on the list. In 2022, the list had 11 Indian companies, while in 2021 it boasted 22 Indian companies, the highest number among all the countries highlighted that year.
Category: E-commerce & Retail
Founded in: 2019
ApnaKlub is a wholesale distributor catering to small local stores that provide groceries and dry goods throughout rural India. According to the startup, store owners can access a selection of over 1,000 products on the ApnaKlub app, sourced from 300 brands. The company is backed by investors such as Blume Ventures, Flourish Ventures, Google for Startups, ICMG Partners, Peak XV's Surge, Tiger Global Management, TrueScale Capital, and Whiteboard Capital.
Category: Construction & Energy
Founded in: 2020
CEO: Arun Vinayak
Exponent Energy, a manufacturer of components for electric vehicles (EVs), says its battery packs can achieve complete charging within a quarter of an hour using its exclusive charging stations and connectors. Headquartered in Bengaluru, this startup has collaborated with domestic automaker Altigreen Propulsion Labs to integrate its batteries into three-wheeler cargo vehicles. The key backers of the company include 3one4 Capital, AdvantEdge Founders, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and YourNest Venture Capital.
IDfy, a startup specialising in identity verification, creates software solutions designed to assist enterprises in conducting background checks and exercising due diligence. These tools can extract data from uploaded documents or verify the authenticity of a user's IP address, among various other applications. Mumbai-based IDfy claims to carry out more than 60 million verifications every month, serving clients that include Amazon, Uber and Zomato. The company is backed by Blume Ventures, Beenext, Dream Incubator, MegaDelta Capital Advisors, NB Ventures, and TransUnion International.
Founded in: 2017
CEO: Sucharita Mukherjee
Backed by investors such as Bharat Fund, Blume Ventures, Flourish Ventures, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, Oikocredit, and Omidyar Network, Kaleidofin delivers digital wealth solutions tailored to India's underbanked and unbanked demographics. Users can request services such as online bank accounts, debit cards, and credit health assessments through Kaleidofin, or use the KaleidoPay app for peer-to-peer payments. The startup has so far raised a total of $23 million in funding.
Category: Biotechnology & Health care
Founded in: 2016
CEO: Prabhdeep Singh
RED Health tries to address deficiencies in India's emergency response infrastructure by deploying its fleet of ambulances and paramedics. When patients reach out to RED Health's hotline, they can expect help from one such ambulance within 8 minutes. With a fleet of over 5,000 ambulances across 550 Indian cities, the startup claims it has managed more than 2.6 lakh cases since its inception. RED Health also operates the RED Academy, providing training in emergency response. Previously known as StanPlus, the startup rebranded earlier this year and is in the process of broadening its health care offerings, which includes preventative health assessments and other services. The company is backed by HealthQuad, Jungle Ventures, and Kalaari Capital.
Founded in: 2011
CEO: Ranjith Mukundan
Stellapps Technologies aims to modernise India's dairy supply chain by using Internet of Things (IoT) devices to enhance milk collection and manage cold chain storage. It has introduced MooOn, a wearable device labelled as a ‘Fitbit for cows’, designed to monitor the activity and reproductive cycles of livestock. Stellapps claims it collaborates with 3 million farmers, and is backed by 500 Global, ABB Technology Ventures, Beenext, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Blume Ventures, Celesta, IDH Farmfit, Nutreco, Omnivore, Qualcomm Ventures, and VH Capital.