17 top startups selected for Lightspeed’s Extreme Entrepreneurs 2021 winter cohort
For the first time since its launch in 2018, over 1200 startups across India and Southeast Asia applied for Extreme Entrepreneurs program. Of 17 finalists, 6 have women co-founders and 4 are from Southeast Asia + 13 from India. Finalists are building across diverse sectors such as Health, Fintech, Agritech, Gaming, Social, SaaS, EV, Social Commerce and Content.
15th January 2020, India/Southeast Asia: Lightspeed today announced a line-up of 17 high potential startupsas part of the third edition of its Extreme Entrepreneurs (EE) program. EE is an intense learning program designed to inspire and help take the blinders off for high potential startups – even if they may have begun their journey as “outsiders” to the startup ecosystem.
Launched in 2018 with a mission to “bring outsiders in”, the program charges zero-equity and zero-fees for participation. The ONLY selection criteria for EE is whether the founders will benefit from, and make the most of the opportunity. This year, the program received an unprecedented 1200+ applications for the winter 2021 cohort. Over 200 of these applications came from Southeast Asia, which was opened up for EE program for the first time.
Over a grueling process including applications and 3 rounds of evaluation by the Lightspeed investment team, 17 startups were selected from the large pool of 1200+ startups who applied. These finalists include 4 startups from Southeast Asia and importantly, 6 of the finalists have women co-founders. The cohort is balanced between B2C and B2B startups, across sectors as diverse as Fintech, Agritech, Gaming, Healthtech, Social, SaaS, EV and Social. The selected startups are:
• Bukugaji - A lightweight mobile platform that modernizes traditional human capital workflows for MSMEs.
• BuzzBreak - A content network that rewards you for your time and attention.
• Nano - B2B2C Income Streaming solutions empowering employees to get paid on-demand while helping employers improve retention and employee engagement at work.
• Supermomos - A knowledge-based social network, enabling sharing of bite-sized knowledge about work and life via short videos, and allowing knowledge influencers (domain experts) to engage directly with their followers via various formats (e.g., Q&A, small group discussions, networking, 1-on-1 consultations).
• Aavaz/Enterpret: Analytics on natural language to help product teams learn from large scale customer feedback.
• Avalon Meta: A digital university for digital skills
• BharatX: Enabler of Credit-as-a-Service on Consumer-facing apps in a Plug-and-Play Fashion.
• BizzTM: Aneighbourhood one-stop store for home & personal need products.
• Doto: A live quiz game show app for new-gen Indians to connect and compete with friends
• Economize: Economize helps companies analyze, manage, and optimize cloud expenses.
• Electorq: A Turnkey Solution Provider to Businesses based on Mobility of Goods and People.
• Evo Foods: Recreating the foods we all love using plants and cutting edge food technology starting off with a 100% plant based liquid egg substitute which is people, palate and planet friendly.
• FarMart: A B2B agri-tech platform for SMEs.
• Fitbee: Design fun fitness & nutrition plans for young women who deal with PCOS/PCOD and other homormal imbalances.
• Let’sDressUp: Building India's version of Stitch Fix.
• Vavepay: Contactless Payments App For The Next Billion.
• OxfordCaps: Professionally managed & serviced student housing for university students in India and Singapore.
Vaibhav Agrawal, Partner at Lightspeed, shared, "1200+ teams applied from across India, Singapore, Vietnam, Philippines and Indonesia and the finalists were chosen across 4 gruelling rounds by our investment team. In particular, we are delighted that 6 teams have at-least one woman co-founder. EE 2021 is bigger and better. It is 100% online, which eliminates geo boundaries completely and allows the program to expand to founders anywhere; and packs more one to one clinics on functional areas like product, engineering that 'take the blinders off' for EE founders. I was a doctor-turned-founder in 2008, and I wish something like this existed back then!"
Tony Fadell (iPod inventor, iPhone co-inventor, founder of Nest – acquired by Google), Ming Maa (President, Grab), Ryan Roslansky (CEO, LinkedIn) and Balaji Srinivasan (ex-CTO, Coinbase) are the top global tech leaders who will share their journeys and learning with the EE batch. Among top Indian leaders - AshwiniAsokan (Founder & CEO, Vue.ai), ByjuRaveendran (Founder, Byju’s), Sujeet Kumar (Co-Founder, Udaan and ex-President, Flipkart), Rajesh Yabaji (Co-Founder & CEO, Blackbuck), AbhirajBhal (Co-Founder & CEO, Urban Company) and AbhinavShashank (Co-Founder & CEO, InnovAccer) will help unlock vision and possibilities for the selected EE teams.
In past EE editions,leaders like Max Levchin (co-founder PayPal, co-founder Affirm), Alex Chung (co-founder Giphy), Vaibhav Gupta (co-founder Udaan) and John Thompson (Chairman, Microsoft) have been mentors at EE. In addition, industry experts will host Clinicswhere EE founders get to sharpen their chops on areas such as product-market fit, growth marketing, sales, hiring, product design and fundraising.
Lightspeed is a multi-stage venture capital firm focused on accelerating disruptive innovations and trends in the Enterprise and Consumer sectors. Since 2000, Lightspeed has backed entrepreneurs and helped build companies of tomorrow, including Snap, OYO, Nutanix, Byju’s, Udaan and Sharechat. Lightspeed and its affiliates currently manage more than $10 Billion across the global Lightspeed platform, with investment professionals and advisors in India, Southeast Asia, Silicon Valley, Israel, China, and Europe.
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