Indian Mobile Startups Hit The Million Dollar Revenue Mark Fast

BANGALORE: Indian entrepreneurs have worked out that innovative mobile-based technologies race the fastest to the one-million dollar revenue mark with little capital.

These entrepreneurs develop the products--including mobile applications--within a month's time and then push for international acceptance. Once validated globally, the products lead to soaring revenues in quick time.

Take the case of Nischal Shetty, for instance. It took just four weeks for the 29 year old to build JustUnfollow. Through this, enterprises (and others) can find out their inactive followers on Twitter and also how many have unfollowed them.


This allows companies to give their undivided attention on potential customers. The Mumbai based company has already crossed Rs 6 crore in revenue by providing this technology to eight million users worldwide.

Shetty, who worked at review site Burrp, launched the firm with a seed capital of Rs 30,000. JustUnfollow charges clients between $10 (Rs 600) and $200 (Rs 12,000) a month based on requirements.

The startup expects to touch a topline of Rs 60 crore in a year. And industry leaders like Sabeer Bhatia are bullish.


“With Indian mobile-first companies, I am bullish on their prospects to make a mark globally ,“ said Bhatia who sold Hotmail to Microsoft for $400 million (Rs 2,400 crore) in 1997. “The categories where I believe mobile-first Indian startups will do well are communication and enterprise."

Last December Bhatia, along with mobile advertising firm InMobi cofounder Amit Gupta and Qualcomm Ventures invested $600,000 (Rs 3.6 crore) in Deck. The Bangalore-based firm enables users to make smart PowerPoint presentations through their mobile device.

Sumanth Raghavendra, 40, founder, said Deck's technology also adjusts automatically with available lighting. The firm, which built its first product in four months, has gained one million users globally and is profitable. It expects to cross Rs 6 crore in revenue by next year.


“These startups showcase the blend of proof of traction, superior product thinking and capital efficiency," said Rahul Chandra, managing director of venture capital fund Helion Advisors.

About 88% of Indian entrepreneurs in the mobility space are building solutions that are ‘mobile first’ and not mere transitions from the web world.

This was evident in a survey of 100 entrepreneurs, building solutions focused on both enterprises and consumers, done by Helion.


“India has domestic market advantage due to mobile, unlike services market, they had no domestic market,” said Amit Gupta, cofounder of mobile advertising firm InMobi.

Similarly, Pune-based Scandid founded by former Microsoft engineers Sushil Choudhari and Madhur Khandelwal enables shoppers do price comparison in real time by scanning barcodes with their mobile phones.

“Our revenue has more than doubled after going mobile," said Choudhari, 33, who expects to achieve revenue of Rs 6 crore by next year.


The company pivoted to the mobile platform last August.

InMobi’s Gupta said products that took two years to develop, now takes just six months due to advances in technology and rising demand within the country.

The domestic market is what Bangalore-based local discovery and commerce platform Wooplr is betting on. It helps shoppers discover new products from local offline stores around them based on interest, location and through recommendations from friends.

“Now you can know a particular local store on Richmond Road (in Bangalore) that sells a particular keychain,” said Arjun Abraham Zacharia, 32-year-old Wooplr chief executive, who cofounded the firm in 2012 along with his three colleagues at security firm McAfee. Wooplr now helps over half a million users across Bangalore, Mumbai and Delhi make shopping decisions.

“The fact that there is now a large local market for mobile first companies in India itself opens up a new vector to achieve scale domestically before expanding globally,” Bhatia said.