Though Bihar struggles to compete with other major startup hubs and state ecosystems in India, startups from the state have shown no signs of slowing down or giving up. In fact, in the face of inadequate accelerator and investor support in the state, the startups in Bihar are showing great resilience and managing to create innovation even with fewer resources. That’s because startups stick with each other in Bihar, helping each other out in tough times, according to Sanjay Goenka, who runs the VenturePark Incubator in Bihar’s capital Patna.
“If you are from Bihar, starting your own venture becomes extremely easy as you have all the right connections and resources with you. The ecosystem in that context is very close-knit and connected. However, one cannot deny that even to those who come from a different state, Bihar has the necessary tools,” – Sanjay Goenka, former vice president and secretary, VenturePark Incubator
Goenka told Inc42 that with over 200 startups in the state under various incubation centres, Bihar is seeing a rising tide of innovations.
Bihar Startups Swimming Against The Current
Acting as a testimony to Goenka’s statement are the many startups from Bihar that are taking this growth story forward.
Founded in 2012 by and Shashank Kumar and Manish Kumar, DeHaat is owned by Green AgRevolution Pvt. Ltd. An agritech startup, it offers end-to-end services to farmers such as the distribution of high-quality agri inputs, customised farm advisory, access to financial services, and market linkages for selling their produce. The startup has till date raised over $7.84 Mn funding from leading funds such as Omnivore and Trifecta Capital.
Founded in 2018 by Sachin Kumar and Richa Kumari, Sattuz offers a much-needed alternative to the carbonated and caffeinated beverages in the market. For this goal, the startup is using sattu, a superfood, which is also known as ‘poor man’s protein’. Last year in October, the startup scored an undisclosed amount of funding from the Indian Angles Network.
3. Medishala Healthcare
Founded in 2017 by Suman Sourav, Ritu Raj, Mohd. Amanullah, Prince Kumar, and Gaurav Kumar, this is an online platform providing medical assistance to its users in Patna. Medishala aims to offer an efficient, convenient, and affordable way to book an appointment with a doctor while also providing them with the benefit of comparing the fees, experience and ratings.
4. Road Express
An on-demand mini-vehicle and truck service in India, Road Express was founded by Sunny Singh in 2017. Providing reliable and easy booking to the users with a pricing model that is based on the distance covered and the time spent on the road, Road Express claims to be present in six cities and has over 350K clients.
TechproLabz was founded by Vivekanand Prasad and Manish Gaur in 2016 with the aim of making kids more tech-savvy. It provides school kids with a platform to work on industry-oriented projects. The startup not only acts as a robotics club for school goers but also a lab where kids are the R&D engineers. The startup claims to have hosted over 223 workshops, more than 12 events and has a user base of more than 1,123 students till date.
Founded in 2016, iMithila is using the age-old artform of Madhubani or Mithila to give a unique design to everyday products such as sarees, bags, clocks, coasters and more. The startup was founded by women entrepreneurs Ruchi Jha and Renuka Kumari to provide Madhubani artisans, especially women, a platform to showcase their talent and skills and earn income from it.
Operating a network of egg poultry farms across Bihar and Madhya Pradesh, Eggoz was founded in 2017 by Abhishek Negi, Uttam Kumar, Aditya Singh and Pankaj Pandey.
With its focus on high-quality and nutrition-rich eggs, its partner farms run on automated high-efficiency processes. In 2018, the startup raised an angel investment of $176K.
Specialising in creating elegant outdoor living spaces, EcoVentures was founded in 2018 by Rahul Kumar and Baleshwar Singh. The startup provides clients with design consultation services to not only understand their expectations but also help them fulfil their design vision.
Founded in by Praveen Chauhan, MATR works with the aim of reviving the khadi culture and lifting up the local weaver communities. It also helps the weavers understand market trends and needs.
In 2018, to counter the issues related to floral waste management, it partnered with Australia-based sustainable clothing label, Because Of Nature, to launch an initiative titled ‘Happy Hands Project’. Through this initiative, it used discarded and unused flowers from temples to create natural dyes.
10. Cymatic EduTech
An edtech startup incorporated in 2017, Cymatic EduTech offers advanced tech solutions to improve the education system for students, for which it claims to collaborate with various educational institutions, government officials and more. Among its offerings is an interactive virtual classroom and peer-learning system using synchronisation, which supports not only quality education but also promotes interaction among students.