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The offshoots: 12 startups founded by former Flipkart employees

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From fitness to fintech, here are 12 diverse startup businesses founded by individuals who were once part of the Flipkart team

Bengaluru: Flipkart is the model success story of an Indian e-commerce startup. The homegrown e-commerce platform Flipkart was founded by Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal, both former Amazon employees who crossed paths for the first time at IIT-Delhi in 2005. Started as an online bookstore in 2007 that promised to deliver anywhere in India, Flipkart became India’s second Unicorn startup in 2012.

Today, Flipkart is part of Walmart, which acquired the homegrown marketplace for $16 billion in 2018. It lists over 150 million products across 80 categories and has a registered customer base of more than 450 million.

While Flipkart created history by inking the world’s biggest e-commerce deal with Walmart, it also created a whole breed of budding entrepreneurs, who left the marketplace to pursue their own entrepreneurial dreams.

From fitness to fintech, we present 12 diverse start-ups established by former employees of Flipkart in alphabetical order.

  1. Cult.Fit

Health and wellness start-up Cult.fit was co-founded by Mukesh Bansal (former head of commerce and advertising at Flipkart) and Ankit Nagori (former chief business officer at Flipkart) in 2016. The company started with the name Cure.fit and in May 2021 it rebranded to Cult.fit.

The Bengaluru-based health-tech company offers digital and offline experiences across fitness, nutrition, and mental well-being under a single app-based platform. In 2019, the start-up launched its sportswear brand Cult.sport which offers activewear apparel, accessories and sporting goods.

Cult.fit started its first centre in South Bengaluru and now is present in over 130 locations across Bengaluru, Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad, as per the company’s website.

  1. Flash

Founded in 2022 by Ranjith Boyanapalli (former senior vice president of Flipkart), Flash is an e-commerce-specific inbox built for power shoppers which collates all shopping emails.

With the platform, users can replace their current email account, used for registration on an e-commerce platform, with their @flash.co email address.

The startup has collaborated with over 40 brands including Puma, MyGlamm, Furlenco, Sleepy Owl, HealthifyMe, Bombay Shaving Company and WOW Skin Science providing rewards and cashback incentives within the platform.

The Bengaluru-based startup has already achieved over 10,000 downloads from various app stores.

  1. Groww

Financial services platform Groww was co-founded in 2016 by Lalit Keshre, (former senior product manager at Flipkart) Harsh Jain (former product manager at Flipkart) Neeraj Singh (former engineering manager at Flipkart) and Ishan Bansal (former corporate development engineer at Flipkart).

Groww enables users to invest in stocks, mutual funds, ETFs (exchange-traded funds), IPOs (initial public offerings), and gold.

Today, the Bengaluru-based investment firm has over 40 million customers as per its website. In July 2023, the company also started offering a payment feature to users on its broking app based on the UPI platform.

  1. JumboTail

Online B2B (business-to-business) marketplace Jumbotail was founded Karthik Venkateswaran (former director of product at Flipkart) and Ashish Jhina in November 2015.

Jumbotail is a wholesale food and grocery platform that provides full-stack services for kirana stores. It also helps traditional unorganised kirana stores into branded modern convenience grocery stores through J24, JumboTail’s retail-as-a-service platform.

The company currently serves over 2,50,000 mom-and-pop stores (kiranas) across over 50 cities in India. 

  1. Navi Technologies 

Indian financial services company Navi Technologies was co-founded by Sachin Bansal (co-founder of Flipkart) and Ankit Agarwal in 2018. Utilizing the BFSI (banking, financial services, and insurance) domain, the Bengaluru-based company operates in the area of digital loans, home loans, mutual funds, health insurance, digital gold and micro-loans.

Navi Technologies runs Navi AMC (asset management company), which offers investments like mutual funds, and Navi General Insurance which sells health and motor insurance and Navi Finserv, a non-banking financial company.

Navi Finserv reported an increase in its revenue from operations to Rs 439 crore during the first quarter of FY (fiscal year) 2024 as compared with Rs 220 crore it reported during the same quarter of last year, according to Money Control.

  1. PhonePe

Digital payments platform PhonePe was founded in December 2015, by Sameer Nigam (former vice president-marketing at Flipkart), Rahul Chari (former vice president- engineering at Flipkart) and Burzin Engineer (former director- engineering at Flipkart).

The Walmart-backed company enables users to make secure payments, money transfers, and avail various financial services.

The platform is based on the unified payments interface (UPI), a real-time payment system developed by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and supports over 11 Indian languages. In 2016, the company partnered with Yes Bank to launch its UPI-based mobile payment app,

Bengaluru-based PhonePe currently has over 46.5 crore registered users with a network of over 3.5 crore merchants nationwide covering 99% pin codes in the country as of July 2023 as per a previous filing.

  1. PocketFM

Online audio series platform PocketFM was co-founded in 2018 by Nishanth S (part of analytics and operations at Flipkart), Prateek Dixit (former software development engineer at Flipkart) and Rohan Nayak.

The Gurgaon-based platform offers audiobooks and podcasts across English and Indian native languages such as Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Bengali, Kannada, and Marathi. It has a library of more than 100,000 hours of content.

With over 80 million listeners community, spending an average of over 150 minutes every day, the platform has witnessed over 45 billion minutes of streaming in 2022, as per the company’s official website.

  1. Rapido

Logistics service provider Rapido was co-founded by Aravind Sanka (former supply chain finance business partner at Flipkart), Pavan Guntupalli, and SR Rishikesh in 2015.

Rapido connects users with nearby motorcycle and autorickshaw riders who are registered as ‘captains’ on the platform. This service is particularly convenient for short distances or navigating through traffic-congested areas.

Headquartered in Bengaluru, the ride aggregator currently has a presence in more than 100 cities throughout the country and over 50 million app downloads.

  1. Slice

Fintech startup Slice was founded in 2016 by Rajan Bajaj (former product manager at Flipkart). The payment solution app is designed exclusively for the younger generation (millennials and GenZ), providing them with credit through a Slice-VISA card.

The Bengaluru-based digital lending and payments platform clocked an operating income of Rs 182.53 crore in FY22, significantly higher than the Rs 37 crore it reported the year before, according to YourStory.

  1. Spinny 

Online used-car retailing platform Spinny was founded in 2015 by Niraj Singh, Ramanshu Mahaur, and Mohit Gupta (former associate director-delivery operations at Flipkart).

Tigar Global-backed Spinny’s quality process begins with sellers putting in a request to sell their car on the site. A Spinny inspection team inspects the car and sets a price if the car passes the 200-point inspection test. Once the inspection is successfully complete, the car is featured on the website and the responsibility for selling the car is taken over by Spinny.

Today, the Delhi-based company runs over 58 car hubs in more than 22 cities across the country as per the company website.

  1. Udaan

Bengaluru-based business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce platform Udaan was founded in 2016 by Amod Malviya (former chief technology officer at Flipkart), Sujeet Kumar (former president of operations at Flipkart) and Vaibhav Gupta (former senior vice president-finance at Flipkart).

The company helps traders, wholesalers, retailers, and manufacturers to connect directly on a single platform, as well as facilitates buying and selling with secure payments and logistics.

It also enables businesses to discover customers, suppliers, and products across categories such as electronics, lifestyle, FMCG, pharma, home and kitchen, staples, fruits and vegetables, toys, and general merchandise.

Today, Udaan has over 3 million users, 1.7 million retailers, chemists, kirana shops, farmers and 30,000 sellers on the platform across the country, according to the company’s LinkedIn profile.

  1. Vogo

The two-wheeler rental service app Vogo was established in 2016 by Anand Ayyadurai (former associate director at Flipkart), Padmanabhan Balakrishnan (former senior manager- business development at Flipkart), and Sanchit Mittal.

The Bengaluru-based tech-enabled mobility solution provider offers two options for customers: Vogo Now which operates on a per-kilometre charging model and is suitable for short durations and VOGO Keep which facilitates extended rentals allowing individuals to lease scooters for up to two months.

Today, Vogo is operational in Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Mysore, Udupi and Mangalore with a 20,000-strong fleet spread across over 500 dock stations. It caters to over 3.5 million customers who have completed over 12 million rides so far according to the company’s official LinkedIn page.

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