The cloud computing model offers cost and flexibility advantages for startups. In the competitive technology world, time is money. Cloud and startups are a perfect fit because the cloud helps cut cost and improve flexibility for startups.
Cloud enables startups to battle head to head with established and mature IT companies, as well as with other startups. Today cloud computing has come everywhere and one of the major player in the game is Amazon Web Services (AWS).
AWS currently own the bulk of the market with over 1,20,000 active customers in India,also the usage appears to be growing dramatically and this we realized after encountering some startups in the recently concluded AWS Mumbai Summit.
AWS cloud services are being adopted by many of the startups in the market; to be precise, over 9089 percent of the top 100 Indian startups in India use AWS. Startups are now interested in cloud computing that is faster, easier and more secure which they believe that AWS is very much able to provide them.
In the encounter at the summit, we focused on startups to know more about the unusual and interesting technology approaches on which they are working using AWS as the biggest support.
Here’s our list of some startups to watch. Each is turning remark-able ideas into reality.
- Team Indus
Team Indus: Moon Mission, that's what they say. In the encounter with Teamindus at the AWS summit,we got to know that the team plans to be the first private company to land on the Moon.
In talking to PC Quest, Team Indus shared that it’s the only Indian team competing for the Google Lunar XPRIZE. The $30M Google Lunar XPRIZE is a global competition to challenge and inspire engineers and entrepreneurs to develop low-cost methods of robotic space exploration.
To win, a privately funded team must successfully place a robot on the Moon that explores at least 500 meters and transmits high-definition video and images back to Earth. What can be better than to use technology in such a project?
Team Indus came into existence because of the global competition, Google Lunar XPRIZE only. Team Indus was actually the last team to register in the competition which was in the year 2010. By the end of the year 2010, there were around 33 teams, who participated in this competition, from all over the world.
From 2017, the journey of Team Indus started when there were some qualifications set from Google Lunar XPRIZE, one of them was a dedicated launch contract, a launch from a rocket to the moon. It was by the end of December 2016. So out of the 33 teams, Team Indus was able to secure a launch contract. So they will be deploying "ek chhoti si asha" on the surface of moon.
The Team Indus Spacecraft will be launched aboard the Indian Space Research Organization’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, popularly known by its acronym, PSLV.
The Team Indus spacecraft is designed to nestle inside the nosecone of a PSLV and is slated to be launched from ISRO’s Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota in late 2017.
The PSLV, in just 12 minutes from launch, will inject the spacecraft into an orbit of 880 km x 70,000 km around the Earth.
The spacecraft will then orbit the earth two and half times, raising our apogee – the greatest distance from the Earth in an elliptical Earth orbit – by 10,000 km each time by firing its thrusters.
A manoeuvre called T rans lunar injection – TLI – follows, which will help the spacecraft escape the Earth’s gravity and set it in the direction of our closest celestial neighbor.
The spacecraft will reach a peak speed of 10.3 km/second and will take seven and half days after Trans lunar injection to reach a distance 100 km from the Moon.
The most critical part of Teamindus's mission is that they are taking a 'technology leap' as no Indian space agency has (private) done this earlier. If they will be able to do this, they will be the only private company to do the soft landing on the Moon. The technology part will be taken care of from the ground only.
The technology which will be used will be autonomous and automated. It’s just like artificial intelligence. The computer will take its self-decisions, as per what needs to be done, at what altitude and at what attitude. Altitudes is basically at what height and attitude is what how it’s oriented out there. It will be using the altitude and attitude information, so this is totally autonomous.
Fund raising is one the biggest challenge right now for Team Indus.
The team is looking to raise money from different platforms. One of the majorly used platforms is the usage of cloud fund raising strategy.
Here every Indian can contribute by registering at back.teamindus.in. People can register and actually can send their names for 500 INR.
Next Team Indus is planning to create communication satellites where satellite buses can be built.
Intangles(IOT :Connected Vehicle): An IOT company based out of Pune with its expertise in Advance Telemetry and Operations Automation.
Intangles has developed its own set of proprietary algorithms which allows fleet operators to monitor the performance of the vehicle in real time.
The biggest USP is the state of the art proprietary algorithms which allow fleet operators to take informed decisions.
Intangles has developed connected vehicles solution. It is being used by large fleet operators to track their vehicles and understand driver behavior.
a.) PREDICTIVE/ REALTIME VEHICLE HEALTH MONITORING
Improve the uptime of vehicles. Intangles proprietary predictive health monitoring system allows fleet operators to take action which helps in doing preventive maintenance thus increasing the up time of the vehicles.
This helps fleet operators to increase the life of the asset by significant margins.
Fleet owners get one click access to the health of the entire fleet and take informed decision on the maintenance scheduling of the vehicles.
b.) DRIVING BEHAVIOUR
Ensures a safe driving environment. Intangles scientific Driving Behavior Scorecard allows fleet operators to identify Good and Bad Drivers.
The fleet owners can create a reward and incentive program using Driving Scorecard.
It also allows Operators to take action on Bad Drivers. Fleet Operators can customize the rules based on their business needs.
c.) REAL TIME FUEL MONITORING
Monitor fuel consumption and pilferages. Fleet operators can monitor Diesel filled, consumed and pilferage/theft.
It shows liters of diesel in the vehicle at any given time. Fleet operators have access to the fuel in the vehicle at one click.
Real time fuel monitoring also gives summary of fuel consumed per trip and per month. This gives good handle of running cost of the vehicle per KM.
d.) MAINTENANCE AUTOMATION
Automate maintenance schedule and tyre replacement. Fleet supervisors can automate vehicle maintenance.
Ingenious gives alerts about the schedule maintenance to be done along with the issues identified by the Vehicle Health Monitoring System.
Fleet operators can set the alerts for Tire usage and replacement alerts.
They get summarized reports of Tire and Maintenance expenditure and thus giving accurate cost per KM of running operations.
e.) MANAGEMENT TOOLS AND REPORTS
Get reports that drive operational efficiency and help in making better business decisions.
Monthly reports for the management on Trips completed, Number of kilometers driven, Driving Exceptions, Maintenance Cost and Fuel consumption report.
This gives good insight to the management to take informed decisions on reducing the fleet running cost.
f.) ACTIONABLE ALERTS
Get real time alerts for critical events. With mobile app, fleet operators can get alerts for Delays, Route Deviation, Fuel Theft, Fuel Remaining,
Maintenance Alerts and Load Optimization details.
Intangles through its completely homegrown technology allows end users to monitor the performance of the Vehicles,
Automate scheduled maintenance, Track Tire’s wear, and tear and increase the life of tires.
It allows fleet operators to monitor the fleet performance.
Intangles as a smart hardware which is connected to the ODB port of the vehicle that continuously streams data to their backend on AWS Cloud. The customers get nice
Dashboards to track their vehicles, understand diver behavior and maintenance requirements. Intangles greatly benefits from high availability, security and flexibility offered by AWS Cloud.
Chaipoint has re-imagined the vending machine business. Their simple looking vending machines have advanced IoT technologies inside that allow them to track machines' usage and performance remotely. It allows them optimize their supply chain pipelines so that no vending machines runs dry ever. It allows them to understand if there are any issues with the machines and allows them to do preemptive maintenance.
Chaipoint is using technology to solve the issues of accessibility and convenience, while ensuring taste and excellent quality of the Chai it serves.
As a technology-based beverage pioneer, Chai Point is constantly innovating to improve the quality of the Chai experience for its customers.
They offer all the information to their clients through a very simple to use dashboard, so that they can track the usage of the machines themselves. This builds trust between vending machine providers and the client, by avoiding payment disputes.
A cloud-based platform, SHARK allows for fast and seamless integration of billing and tracking across all Chai Point outlets, through mobile payment and Wi-Fi based setups.
The software integrates warehouse and suppliers with the point of sales (POS) so that future demands can be predicted.
This also enables real-time monitoring of the performance of a retail outlet in any region or location. SHARK offers a delivery management platform that is integrated seamlessly with its POS and SCM service layers. SHARK also has a device management layer to manage IoT-enabled dispensers.
A dynamic reporting platform built into SHARK allows for a truly omni-channel view of the Chai Point business.
boxC.in is a cloud based beverages service platform. boxC.in is powered by IoT-enabled freshly brewed Chai and coffee dispensers.
This platform allows for superior service levels and a high degree of billing and consumption transparency to corporate customers.
Combining quality and taste, Chai Point’s boxC.in is intelligent, connected, and easy to use and guarantees a perfect cup of Chai designed to fuel a workday.
Each cup of Chai is freshly brewed with completely natural ingredients.
c.) AWS Cloud
They greatly benefit from high availability, flexibility of AWS cloud as well as its managed services such as DynamoDB. They have also decided to migrate their back end serverless technology stack based around Lambda.
AWS Greengrass to remotely push software changes to their IoT devices in the field.
Having got IoT to work perfectly, Chaipoint is now going for advanced features such as per user customization in beverages, advanced payment options and order placing before reaching the store so that one don't have to ever wait in line for your favorite coffee cup!
Bleetech, a startup created by two female entrepreneurs. They build wearable devices for deaf people that can communicate with them through vibrations.
Deaf people hear abilities are weak or non-existent, so hearing aids do not help much. As a solution to this problem, Bleetech has created a wrist wearable that can detect and understand various sounds e.g. house bell, car horn, crying child etc. and convey it to the user through various types of vibrations.
In talking to Bleetech team, we discoverd that the smartWatch designed especially for Deaf individuals can listen to the environment and notify the user about all the sound alerts with vibrations, colors and icons.
It can speak out words or sentences for the user and also helps the users to stay connected with their loved ones in case of emergency.
It’s a bluetooth connected to android. In talking to the co-founder of Bleetech, Janhavi Joshi, we discovered that currently they are running a pilot and are collecting all the data base using AWS cloud so if the user has to record any sound that has to be notified later so he/she can refer to it later on. To do this the bleetech team is collecting all the data base on cloud,so that later on the user would not have record anything again.
After this Bleetech plans to have speech recognition features as well in the band.
GupShup (AI Chatbots): GupShup has built a platform that allows companies to build chat bots with "Design once, and deploy everywhere" approach. For example, a single chat bot can serve Facebook Messenger users as well as Wechat users. GupShup not only provides highly available environment for these chat bots, but also provides detailed analytics on their performance.
GupShup has built its platform using "Serverless Technology Stack" from AWS(Amazon Web Services), what it means is that they do not have to manage servers, plus they pay by number of actual requests/messages processed by the system not by number of servers. This results in substantial cost reduction which GupShup can pass on to their customers. From the infrastructure point of view GupShup is built on java at the back end.
GupShup has normalized all the design principles followed by a particular channel without having the need to code those designs. GupShup converts the button's structure, looks based on where this button is going to be displayed. Also since GupShup is on AWS, the scaling is absolutely easy because of Lambda and developers now only need to create the logic, everything else of hosting, monitoring, analytics will be taken care of by the platform, GupShup.
GupShup is looking forward to develop bots that talk to each other. The team wants to be the first and largest channel where bots can talk to each other. It’s called inter bot communication.
AWS Cloud support:
In talking to the GupShup team, we observed that scaling was the biggest problem for GupShup which was solved by AWS.
GupShup always wanted to be a lean and highly productive company so to have physical services, but this was easy as more reasearch, more time and more space were needed. And this was greatly solved by going on cloud in 2013.
Arya.ai (Artificial Intelligence): a company started by a team of IITians. In 2013, they started with a vision to build ‘intelligence’ that can help humans in solving complex problems at a much faster pace. The team believes in true value of intellectual debate before execution of any plan. To do so, they have been gathering the best talent supported by extensive academic research in the respective domains.
Today, the core team is of researchers and scientists from Mathematics, and Computing with hands on academic research from various academic and private institutions.
The team's goal is to democratize Artificial Intelligence by building tools for enterprises to use it with ease. They have a web platform to design & train what known as Deep Neural Nets (DNN) - emulation of human brain.
They have seen great success with financial sector customers in the areas of Fraud Analytics.
Web based Platform:
The web based platform to design DNNs runs on AWS. They use a special type of server called GPU server available on AWS Cloud for DNN training. They offer option of training DNNs in customers' own data centers.
To build ‘tools’ that can simplify the complex tasks in building ‘AI’ and enable developers to build ‘Strong AI’ systems in a short time possible.
To simplify the process of building ‘Artificial Intelligence’ in a way that can help anyone use it to build Next Generation products for solving the most complex problems.
True value of technology is when it enables rich human values and simplifies the world around us.
Even though ‘AI’ can solve many of today’s complex problems, but the expertise of building reliable ‘AI’ is limited to few people.
The company believes, "everyone should participate in the ‘innovation’ as a frequent act but not just limited to few handful institutions.
This is possible when there is true democratization of ‘Intellectual’ knowledge supported with needed resources".
Finpay is a one year old company. They started their journey with HDFC digital innovation submits. The founders of the company were not happy with any of the predominant payment methods: Cash, Card, Wallets. Each carries its own risk and inconvenience. So they re-imagined payments. Now people can go to store and simply present their finger to enable automatic transfer of money from their account to the merchant's account.
Fingpay enabled merchants to digital payments and are already live with ICIC bank.
In such a system, while offering enormous convenience, have its own security risks. But, the team has taken great care to mitigate those risks.
Finpay is developed using AWS cloud technologies. They benefit greatly from Security of AWS cloud as well flexibility in managing scale. Also, a payments solution can never afford to go offline even for few minutes.
Finpay achieves this kind of high availability using Multiple Availabilty zones provided by AWS.
The company uses customers' fingerprints, make payments using Adhaar; no such other cards are needed.
It’s just the fingerprint of the customer which is required.
Java at the backend is used for the functioning. It’s mainly an android app which is used. On the other hand the data base is completely hosted on AWS cloud.
Figpay plans to introduce bill payments too through this app in future through which one can even make money by doing recharges etc. for people.
SmartVizX (Virtual Reality): a company which was started by Architect husband wife duo. It is difficult to imagine how a building will look and feel from inside before building it. For example, many developers realize after construction that design of their multi-million dollar mall was wrong.
And nothing can be done after such realization.To solve this equation the founders of the SmartVizX decided to use Virtual Reality to design Architectures.
Virtual Reality Designs:
Founders of the company decided to use Virtual Reality to design Architectures in 3D that can be experienced with VR hardware (such as Oculus or HTC Vive).
To the person wearing the VR goggles it feels as if he/she is present in that building or structure. This technology has many other applications such as for interiors design.
SmartVizX host the 3D designs on AWS so that developers can embed them in their site, so that their buyers to can see those designs in 3D.
The idea behind GetSimpl is really simple. GetSimpl enables the users to buy on their favorite app/site without having to make actual payment. For example, one can go to BookMyShow website and buy a movie ticket without having to pay.
The user just has to select GetSimpl as the paymeny option.
*Every 15 days, the users will get a consolidated bill for all the purchases.
Different from Credit Cards:
Simpl is greatly different from Credit Cards. Here rather than user applying for a card and getting it, the merchants offer their loyal/ returning users option to use GetSimpl.
GetSimpl pays the merchant and merchant delivers the service/ product to the user. Also, Credit cards are susceptible to fraud. With GetSimpl possibility of fraud is greatly eliminated, as there is no other way of using GetSimpl. Also, cancellations are a breeze, as customers don't have to wait for refunds.
Customers get very easy to interpret statements every two weeks. GetSimpl has made it very easy for merchants of integrate with GetSimpl through an easy to use SDK.
GetSimpl has been developed using advanced technologies such as AWS Lambda serverless computing, Amazon ECS for container management and Amazon Redshift for analytics.
10. Intuit things
Intuit Things develop home automation solutions. Intuit has developed their technology such that it can work with any home appliance. Imagine, you are able to turn your AC on
15 min before your reach home through an app. One can control appliances using an app or through voice. The company provides smart plugs and hub that one can use without much or any changes to electric installation in their houses.
Smart plugs and the hub talk to each other using ZigBee technology. The backend is AWS cloud.
Intuit is in the process of implementing advanced analytics to give usage reports to their customers along with smart advice to save money!