Founders Unfiltered

Unscripted conversations with Indian founders about their story and the process of building a company. Hosted by Mazin and Aviral.

Founders Unfiltered


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Last fortnight, Digit Insurance raised a $200 million round to make it one of the largest funding rounds in India’s general insurance industry, valuing the company at $3.5B.

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Ranjeet grew up in a small village with less than 1000 population. He used to go to the nearby city on weekdays to attend school and return to the village on the weekend. As a kid he was a voracious reader, starting with first his school textbooks, later devouring Hindi literature, comics, and novels. As he grew up, he slowly shifted to reading English as there was no regional content available online.

Coming from a humble background, getting a stable job was what his family wanted for him. After completing his MBA, he got a job at Vodafone. He liked the job but after a few years, he wanted to do something more challenging. So quit his job and decided to startup. As he started searching for business ideas, many of his friends advised him why doesn’t do something to solve online regional content - a problem Ranjeet often cribbed about.

As he started talking to people about this problem - he received many suggestions - Indians don’t read, People don’t read long-form content anymore, No one wants regional content. But he knew that wasn’t true and had a deep conviction that there was a space for an Indian regional content player.

Thus, Pratilipi was born. 

Today Pratilipi is India’s largest regional content platform with over 3 lac writers and more than 2.5 crore monthly active users

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Last fortnight, BrowserStack raised $200M, at a valuation of $4Bn, making it India’s most valuable SaaS startup. 

Join us for a behind-the-scenes peek at the A Junior VC piece - AJVC Unfiltered 28: Can BrowserStack be the World’s Software Tester?

For more details - https://ajuniorvc.com/browserstack-saas-unicorn-bootstrapped-testing-app-browser-india-startup/

Arjun Vaidya was brought up in a family with a rich culture in Ayurveda. His Grandfather had started an ayurvedic clinic about 150 years ago.
He went to study in the US, where he saw yoga repackaged and being sold all over the country. He pondered why India was lagging behind in it’s adoption, the land where it originated from.

He returned to India and started a brand to bring ayurvedic products to the Indian audience. His vision was to contribute to India’s renaissance, by making ayurvedic products for Indian consumers. He started by repackaging ayurvedic products for new use cases. Capsule Chawanprash and Hangover shield being 2 such items that received a great demand.

To build a D2C brand for Bharat, Arjun advises it’s crucial one should not consider their friends & themselves as the consumers. It’s important for the founders to talk to users every week at all times of the startup’s journey.

He mentions that constant feedback and suggestions from users gave birth to many of Dr. Vaidya’s products that are now very successful.

Today Dr. Vaidyas is trusted by over a million users from 1000+ cities.

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Last fortnight, Tata Digital acquired 1mg for $200M, hot on the heels of its acquisition of BigBasket and its investment in Cure.fit.

Join us for a behind-the-scenes peek at the A Junior VC piece - AJVC Unfiltered 27: Can Tata's 20-Year Tech Pivot Spin Up a SuperApp?

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Chinmay grew up in Bombay where he was surrounded by small businesses. His father had a textile factory and his mom ran a boutique tailor shop. They emphasized on Chinmay’s education so that he could get a stable job.

After graduating from college, Chinmay got a job in Singapore as a software engineer. He later became a product manager and worked in Southeast Asia for 6 years. While working he met his co-founder Abhinay and found some great mentors, who encouraged them to startup.

The two brainstormed over a lot of ideas and tried narrowing down one. Building for MSMEs was one that stood out. 

In Indonesia, SMEs’ contribution makes up 60% of the GDP, indicating a huge opportunity. And the majority of the business was still carried out using traditional ways.
Bukuwarung started out as a bookkeeping app for small shops, helping merchants maintain their cash flow.

In just 2 years after its start, Bukuwarung is now trusted by over 6.5 million+ users in Indonesia.

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Last fortnight, D2C brand acquirer Mensa raised $50M, hot on the heels of beauty brand SUGAR’s $21M fundraise. Join us for a behind-the-scenes peek at the A Junior VC piece - Can India Consume D2C Brands? 

Article Link: https://ajuniorvc.com/d2c-brands-startups-mamaearth-unicorn-nykaa-boat-influencer/

More info on: https://ajuniorvc.com/

After completing his MBA, Chaitanya started working as a management consultant in the US. There he learned about product management, user experience, and how large organizations function. He really enjoyed the work but didn’t like the travelling lifexstyle and decided to quit to do something better.

He came back to India and decided to startup in the consumer tech space. He ran the business profitably for some years and eventually exited the company and decide to remain in the startup ecosystem by working with Yourstory and LetsVenture. Finally while working at Tapzo he met his co-founder Ankit who shared a similar background - coming from a Middle-xlcass family, studying engineering, and later founding a startup.

While buying furniture for his new home, Ankit found out purchasing mattresses is a very costly affair. In search of a solution to buy a cheap mattress, eventually led them to Wakefit.

Wakefit has been profitable from the start and remained completely bootstrapped for the first 3 years.

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Last fortnight, Groww raised $83MM to become a unicorn, becoming the seventh fintech in India to do so. Join us for a behind-the-scenes peek at the A Junior VC piece "Can Groww Help Indian Investor Wealth Grow?"

Article Link: https://ajuniorvc.com/groww-fintech-unicorn-india-mutual-fund-stocks-startup/
More info on: ajuniorvc.com

Sai grew up in Hyderabad and developed an interest in building things right from his high school. Studying at IIT Kanpur, he tinkered around with different ideas that didn’t work at the time. But taught him the importance of overcoming failures to grow. After graduation, he got a job at Zynga, a company making video games for social networks. It was there he learned the Art of Product Management and Game Design.

His experience at Zynga had taught him that gaming works at scale only when Data, Device and Payments, All three are present. In 2016, UPI was launched and bridged that last gap. This insight gave birth to MPL, a mobile esports platform offering a plethora of games to users.

Today, MPL is India’s largest mobile gaming platform, with 50+ games and over 60 million users in India.

For more details visit: https://ajuniorvc.com/podcast/