Indian-origin entrepreneurs’ firms among America’s most promising
Eight companies co-founded and headed by Indian-origin entrepreneurs are among Forbes magazine’s 100 most promising companies in America, according to an annual ranking of high-growth, privately held companies with under $250 million in annual revenues.
Forbes said “rocketship growth” is not the only factor that describes the 100 companies in its third annual ‘America’s Most Promising Companies’ list.
“To watch a management team crack open a ripe new market and hang on for dear life as top line explodes is still good fun,” it said.
Among the 100 companies on the list, eight are co-founded or headed by young entrepreneurs of Indian origin.
The list is topped by Fuhu, a California-based company that sells the Nabi, an Android-based tablet for kids. It has revenues of $175 million and raised $55 million from backers like computer-maker Acer and animation studio DreamWork.
On the 27th spot is Maryland-based WeddingWire, a technology company serving the over $100-billion wedding, corporate, and social events industry. One of the co-founders of the $34-million revenue firm is Sonny Ganguly, an MBA from Harvard Business School where he also served as president of the marketing club. Ganguly is also the chief marketing officer of WeddingWire, which was founded in 2007.
On the 52nd position is Prepay Nation, a global provider of value-added mobile services specialising in international mobile top-up and cross-border micropayments. Headquartered in Pennsylvania, the company was co-founded in 2010 by Anurag Jain and Ajay Vikas Goyal, and has revenues of $110 million. The company helps “immigrants and expats transfer small amounts of money across international borders via mobile phones”.
Goyal and Jain, who is also Prepay Nation’s CEO, emigrated from India 10 years ago and started the business after difficulties sending money to family back home.
Ranked 61 on the list is H Bloom, a flower delivery service for corporate subscriptions and one-time gifts. Among the co-founders of the New York-based company is Sonu Panda, who is also the chief operating officer. The company was founded in 2009 and has revenues of $7 million.
Coming in on the 63rd spot is Gainsight, an information technology firm which sells software that helps clients retain and upsell customers. The California-based company is headed by Nick Mehta, a master’s in computer science from Harvard. It was co-founded by Sreedhar Peddineni in 2009 and has revenues of $2 million. Gainsight raised $20 million in venture funding from Bain Capital Ventures in November 2013.
On the 73rd spot is CourseHorse, co-founded by Nihal Parthasarathi, which provides an online marketplace to find, compare and enroll in local classes, including cooking, fitness, music and language courses.
Ranked 85th is New York-based PublicStuff, headed by Surya Yalamanchili. The company runs an online forum for residents to report problems like potholes or broken playgrounds, to local governments. The company was founded in 2009 and has raised $6.5 million from venture capital firms Lerer Ventures and Knight Foundation. It has revenues of $400,000.
On the 93rd spot is Mixpo, which runs online software that converts and distributes video across mobile, tablet and desktop formats. The company was co-founded by Anupam Gupta, an alumnus of Birla Institute of Technology & Science and Cornell University. Mixpo’s vice-president for software development is Salim Hemdani, an MBA from the University of Washington Foster School of Business and alumnus of Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology in India. The Seattle-based company, founded in 2007, has revenues of $14 million and counts giants like Comcast, NBC and Ford as its clients.
Occupying the 100th spot is PernixData, a San Jose-based company that sells software which helps companies store data more effectively. It was co-founded in 2012 by Stanford and IIT Bombay alumnus Poojan Kumar and Satyam Vaghani, a Stanford and BITS Pilani graduate. Chief executive Kumar previously co-founded Oracle Exadata. PernixData has raised $27 million in venture funding from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. It has revenues of $2 million.