Meet the women behind some of India’s very successful startups

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Meet the women behind some of India’s very successful startups
  • This Women’s day, take a look at some of the most inspiring entrepreneurs of India.
  • From Falguni Nayar to Upasana Taku, they are the women behind India’s very successful companies.
  • According to a report by Bain & Company and Google, women entrepreneurs can generate 150–170 million job opportunities in India by 2030.
The Indian startup ecosystem is the third largest in the world, and while it may not have a majority of women leading startups, the number of female led companies is growing at a fast pace.

The Indian government too has made way for funds to boost female entrepreneurship, while VCs have been actively looking out to bridge the gender gap in the country's startup sector. The government’s Startup India runs a Women Entrepreneurship programme as well.

However, funding is still a challenge for female entrepreneurs in India. According to a report, the percentage of funded startups with at least one female co-founder went down from 17% in 2018 to a mere 12% in 2019.

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Yet, there is hope. According to a report by Bain & Company and Google, women entrepreneurs can generate 150–170 million job opportunities in India by 2030.

The women who lead many of India’s successful startups are role models to many. Here are some of the well known female led startups in India.

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Falguni Nayar, Nykaa

Falguni Nayar, Nykaa

Investment banker-turned-entrepreneur Falguni Nayar launched the e-commerce platform Nykaa in 2012. Today, the startup is the go-to platform for cosmetics, wellness products, fashion and more. Nayar was earlier the managing director of Kotak Investment Banking. Nykaa, which collaborates with Bollywood stars often for its marketing, is worth $743 million and is on its way to become a unicorn soon.

Upasana Taku, Mobikwik

Upasana Taku, Mobikwik

Upasana Taku launched Mobikwik in 2009 and today, the company is one of the leading digital payments platforms. Taku had worked with HSBC, Paypal before founding Mobikwik. In 2020, the company is aiming for ₹1.4 lakh crore annual payment volume for its payment gateway business. As a payment gateway, Mobikwik has clients like Uber, IRCTC, Dream11, Bajaj Finance, Zomato, Blue Dart, Dominos, Maruti Suzuki, among many others. Mobikwik is also planning to head for an IPO in the next three years.

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Sairee Chahal, Sheroes

Sairee Chahal, Sheroes

Sairee Chahal founded Sheroes in 2014. Sheroes is a women-only social network, which started off as a platform to help women find jobs. Sheroes has over 15 million women in its network. Chahal is also a board member of Paytm Payments Bank.

Suchi Mukherjee, Limeroad

Suchi Mukherjee, Limeroad

Limeroad – a fashion social commerce platform for women was founded by Mukherjee in 2012. A graduate from University of Cambridge, Mukherjee was also voted as one of 15 'Rising Talent - global leaders under 40' at the World Women's Forum.

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Richa Kar, Zivame

Richa Kar, Zivame

Kar founded the innerwear shopping platform Zivame. The popular shopping website has a valuation of $200 million and its revenue for FY19 stood at ₹140 crore. Kar worked with SAP and Spencer’s before founding Zivame.

Sabina Chopra, Yatra.com

Sabina Chopra, Yatra.com

Yatra.com, one of the most popular travel booking and aggregator platform was founded by Sabina Chopra along with Dhruv Shringi and Manish Amin. A Delhi university graduate, Chopra worked with Hewitt Associates before founding the travel agency. In 2019, Yatra was acquired by Ebix for ₹2323.6 crore.

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Neeru Sharma, Infibeam

Neeru Sharma, Infibeam

Sharma co-founded Infibeam, which develops integrated and synergistic e-commerce solutions including payments with CCAvenues. In the third quarter of the current financial year, Infibeam saw a 38% year-on-year growth. Sharma earlier worked with Amazon and Nokia.

Swati Bhargava, Cashkaro

Swati Bhargava, Cashkaro

Swati Bhargava and her husband Rohan founded Cashkaro in 2013. CashKaro helps users shop on e-commerce sites like Amazon, Flipkart, Myntra and others to receive cashbacks. It earns commission from the e-commerce players. Its revenues grew by 76% from ₹22.4 crore in FY18 to ₹38.6 crore in the financial year ending March 2019.

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Lizzie Chapman, Zestmoney

Lizzie Chapman, Zestmoney

Lizzie Chapman is the co-founder and CEO of Indian fintech company ZestMoney. A popular face in the Indian startup ecosystem, Chapman founded the consumer lending startup along with Priya Sharma and Ashish Anantharaman in 2015. ZestMoney is backed by leading investors such as Ribbit Capital, Xiaomi, Naspers Fintech, and Omidyar Networks.