• 8 May 2009
  • News
  • By Mehak Chawla

Profiles

The Circle of Life

  • Name: ApnaCircle
  • Type: Social Networking/Niche
  • Whats it about: Social networking and career based networking put together
  • Start-up Year: 2007
  • Founder/CEO: Yogesh Bansal
  • URL: www.apnacircle.com

The site, backed by web guru Sabeer Bhatia, aims to provide a parallel platform for both social and career networking. Upload pictures, send free SMS, search for profiles and jobs, and gain from the networking sites reward program. Users can gain points for various activities conducted on the website and these points can be redeemed later. This is a first of its kind model on an Indian social networking community that incentivizes your activities on the website.

More than PPT

  • Name: authorSTREAM
  • Type: User generated
  • Whats it About: Online PowerPoint presentations and slideshow sharing
  • Start-up Year: 2008
  • Founder/CEO: Harmen Singh
  • URL: http://www.authorstream.com/

It might not claim to be the largest community for sharing presentations like its close competitor SlideShare, but with an active user basemost from outside Indiaa number of integrated applications, and a strong privacy policy to protect uploaded PPTs, it is fast catching up. A set of developers and engineers at authorSTREAM understand your presentation, convert it into Flash and then upload, helping greatly in retaining its originality. Try its PresentLive application where innumerable people from remote locations can view a presentation as it is being made directly from the site.

Bharat Goes Global

  • Name: BharatStudent
  • Type: Social Networking/Niche
  • Whats it About: A platform for the young soul of India, across the globe
  • Start-up Year: 2007
  • Founder/CEO: Vishnu Vardhan Induri
  • URL: www.bharatstudent.com

Bharatstudent.com is a social utility that brings together all the young Indians living across the globe. It is for every young Indian who is a student or a non-student, fresh graduate, a working professional or an entrepreneur, and is focused on providing comprehensive solutions for any personal and professional issues. It has zones like Cafe Bharat, study zone etc. And according to ComScore World Matrixit it was the 3rd most visited social networking site in December 2008, with 3.3 million users!

The BIG Boss

  • Name: BigAdda
  • Type: Social Networking
  • Whats it About: Providing the Indian youth a networking platform loaded with various features
  • Start-up Year: 2007
  • Founder/CEO: Shivanandan Pare, COO
  • URL: www.bigadda.com

This is perhaps the closest desi answer we have to the biggies like Orkut and Facebook. BigAdda is actually the big brother of Web 2.0 social networking in India. On its agenda lies the effort to help the Indian youth in identity creation and self expression. It integrates social networking and blogging, which is a one of a kind initiative. The BigAdda blogging platform received a tremendous boost when Amitabh Bachchan chose it as his blogging platform.

BigAdda is owned by Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group

Well Digested

  • Name: Burrp TV
  • Type: Rating/UGC Platforms
  • Whats it About: Finding and rating local stuff, from restaurants to TV channels
  • Start-up Year: 2007
  • Founder/CEO: Deap Ubhi, co-founder & CEO
  • URL: www.burrp.com

Burrp TV is the local information portal for your city. It provides listings, reviews and details of whats hot and whats not in the city of your residence. Predictably enough, it covers only the prominent metros and caters to the audience who like to plan their life online. With a catchy name and an extremely snazzy and well loaded website, Burrp is fast catching attention and leveraging it too. Its blog also provides for an interesting read its jazzy and its young, and has this cool aura around it, which seems to be working for it.

Building a Neighborhood

  • Name: Commonfloor
  • Type: Community-based
  • Whats it About: Community of owners and residents of housing societies and apartments
  • Start-up Year: June 2007
  • Founder/CEO: Sumit Jain & Lalit Mangal
  • URL: http://www.commonfloor.com

The concept of RWA takes shape in the form of online virtual community mainly to connect neighbors and residents of the same locality, discuss issues related to their neighborhood, talk about facilities and amenities, join in activities, basically providing an easy tool for apartment management. Apart from information about the locality, basic processes like notification, maintenance and repair are discussed on the board. Popular housing societies from real estate biggiesBPTP, Rahejas, Omaxe, Shipra, Jaypee, TDIfind a community with active members on this site.

Stirred, Shaken and Shared

  • Name: DesiMartini
  • Type: Social Networking
  • Whats it About: Providing a social networking site for Indians all over the world
  • Start-up year: Dec 2006, operational in 2007
  • Founder/CEO: Dhruv Gupta, head, business intelligence
  • URL: www.desimartini.com

This is perhaps one of the most famous names to reckon with in the Indian social networking space. It is well known that DesiMartini is a social networking platform that helps Indians all over the world connect, discuss and share. DesiMartini is a venture of the Hindustan Times Group and has gained popularity with the urban youth. Of late, it has started talking about customization and demographical offerings. Sometime back it also launched the popular viral ad, Makkadman produced by WebChutney.

For a Good Date

  • Name: Fropper
  • Type: Social Networking
  • Whats it about: Social networking and dating
  • Start-up Year: 2007
  • Founder/CEO: Navin Mittal
  • URL: www.fropper.com

From the creators of Shaadi.com, Makaan.com, Mauj.com, etc, the perfect progression for the People Interactive group was a social networking site. Though it has what every other social networking site hasvideos, music, blogsit is a very popular Indian dating site. With around 4 mn members, the site introduces new features and applicatoins to keep the engagement level of users high. Froppers IPL T20 Zone is already a hit. Fropper has an integration with mobile as well other sites from the group. In 2008 it launched Fropper Music, a place to network through music.

No Ones a Balti Here

  • Name: Ibibo
  • Type: Social Networking
  • Whats it about: Promote your talent, connect with similar talent people
  • Start-up year: Jan 2007
  • Founder/CEO: Ashish Kashyap
  • URL: http://www.ibibo.com

The abundance of talent that India is known for is reflected through this site. Being a talent based social networking site, music, acting, sports, modeling or any talent that a youngster would want to be recognized for can be showcased through the site. Not to leave aside sharing music, video sharing, and much more. The easy recognition has appealed to the Indian youth as they promote their talent through options like Ibibo Portfolio (get your portfolio shot by a photographer), Ibibo Fresh Face, Ibibo Rocks, etc, as they unite with people across the country based on their talent also.

India 360

  • Name: Indiamarks
  • Type: User Generated
  • Whats it about: Guide to everything Indian
  • Start-up Year: April 2007
  • Founder/CEO: Vaibhav Domkundwar
  • URL: http://www.indiamarks.com

It is a user driven site on everything to do with Indiamovies, food, restaurants, people, debates on issues in India and much more. The website emphasizes on high quality content in a bid to create a one-stop destination to know everything about India. Recent posts by users include Mangos, Mumbai, a look into Indias slums, five places in India to escape the summer, etc. Check out their Dishoom Dishoom, a debate and discussions forum. Contributors to the website can even earn through the websites Share & Earn reward program.

The Peoples Tree

  • Name: Indipepal
  • Type: Social Networking
  • Whats it about: Commentaries from Indian thought leaders and social networking
  • Start-up Year: March 2008
  • Founder/CEO: Prashant Agarwal
  • URL: http://indipepal.com

Structured around three main categories of social networking, content, and commentary, come to Indipepal to known more people in politics, defense, NGOs, supermodels, etc; write entries in the Virgin Diaries, and in the process connect with people who share your views. Within a month of its launch, some prominent Indian thought leaders, models, writers, etc, have written commentaries on the website, sometimes as much as 4-5 times in a week. The no-nonsense feel to the website is what strikes you. Come here to not connect with your college friends but mingle with new, like-minded individuals serious about what is happening around them.

The Desi Connection

  • Name: IndyaRocks
  • Type: Social Networking
  • Whats it About: Connecting Indians across the globe
  • Start-up Year: March 2007
  • Founder/CEO: Kalyan Manyam
  • URL: http://www.indyarocks.com

It is your homegrown Facebook, MySpace, Orkut, all rolled into one. Find a Graffiti Wall, add someone to the Crush List, or use the blog this option, etc. Moving into the realm of a viral social network has been easy for the site because of its heavy focus on Bollywoodwhat Indians love the most. Its bid to popularize and differentiate the portal was seen in its partnership with FXLab to launch a social gaming community with more than 5,000 online casual gamesanother craze building up in India.

A Web 2.5 Experience

  • Name: Kreeo
  • Type: Tools
  • Whats it About: Tools to better web experience through collective human intelligence
  • Start-up Year: 2007
  • Founder/CEO: Sumeet Anand
  • URL: www.kreeo.com

Kreeo is trying to use collective human intelligence to make all aspects of knowledge management richer and better. In terms of business model, that translates into creating a mix of enterprise offering that it will sell organizations on a license/pay per use model and an open web of users where it will support the free offering through advertising model. In organizations, it will make knowledge management a more interactive process by capturing it from all employees more effectively; in open web, it will make research more relevant by adding collective human intelligence to add value to the search.

Office Library

  • Name: Kwench
  • Type: Community-based
  • Whats it About: Online corporate library
  • Start-up Year: 2007
  • Founder/CEO: Sunder Nookala
  • URL: www.kwench.in

Created to fulfill the need of a library in a corporate setup, constraints of resource, funds and space, barring companies from doing thatthe four founders, all IIM-A alumni, claim the idea to be a paradigm shift to the concept of corporate libraries by enabling companies to provide its employees access to hundred of titles through online membership. Web based booking, no late charges, and unlimited borrowal time make the service very popular among the subscribed corporate users. WNS, YesBank, Wipro, Tata AIG Life, Nexus India Capital, etc, are some of its clients.

Preserving Status Quo

  • Name: Kwippy
  • Type: UGC/Niche Social Networking
  • Whats it About: Sharing status messages and having discussions over them
  • Start-up Year: 2008
  • Founder/CEO: Mayank Dhingra, co-founder
  • URL: www.kwippy.com

Simply put, Kwippy stores your status messages, that you see across your messengers like Yahoo, Gtalk, Facebook, etc. It also enables you to have discussions on your status messages and in that way becomes a platform for user conversations. The ideology behind Kwippy is that at any point in time, status messages reflect individual thought process and are capable of starting stimulating discussions with like minded people. Kwippy was started by three enthusiasts who after quitting Slideshare came up with the innovative idea of storing status messages and quipping on them.

Life as It Is

  • Name: Lifeblob
  • Type: User Generated
  • Whats it About: Virtual diary/timeline
  • Start-up Year: June 2008
  • Founder/CEO: Pranav Bhasin, Rakesh Rajan & Vishnu GS
  • URL: http://www.lifeblob.com/

Lifeblob is a digital diary based on your timeline. Add events and landmarks in your life, share it with friends who can then tag the part of the timeline where they feature, adjust the scale of your timeline and fragment your online life, etc. Each entry on your timeline is like a blob which viewers click to expand. Integrated with other social networking and photo-sharing sites, the digital diary site received $1 mn from Google backed SeedFund in August 2008.

Betting against Odds

  • Name: LordofOdds
  • Type: Ratings/Feedback
  • Whats it About: Prediction and money-less betting
  • Start-up Year: March 2008
  • Founder/CEO: Hariharan K
  • URL: http://www.lordsofodds.com

The desi jua takes a clean, fun, money-less and sophisticated name and shape in the form of LordofOdds. Predict the IPL team that would win the match, or which celebrity contestant would be thrown out of the reality show, or is the star couple headed for a breakup? Once a user floats an event, others make a prediction, offer their wager for the outcome (virtual money called Loots), and like the way traditional betting is done, the bars are raised when support for an outcome increases. The ongoing IPL matches steel the show on this virtual betting arena right now.

Check out the Mermaid

  • Name: Metaaso Mermaid
  • Type: Tools
  • Whats it About: Providing large scale videoconferencing, exchange live wire information, etc, with basic infrastructure
  • Start-up Year: 2007
  • Founder/CEO: Aditya Yadav (CTO)
  • URL: www.metaaso.com

Mermaid is a line of products based on peer-to-peer technology, which allows users to do large scale videoconferencing, exchange live-wire information, create online radio stations and broadcast movies and live audio-video feeds to millions of people around the world, with nothing more than a home computer and an home network.

It provides a host of innovative features like Mermaid Movie, Mermaid News, Mermaid Multisource, etc. It can also boast of a vibrant website, but there is a problem with some links and leads, making it apparent that the company is still in its nascent stages.

Mingle all the Way

  • Name: Minglebox
  • Type: Social Networking
  • Whats it About: An attempt to divulge all there is about education and careers
  • Start-up Year: 2007
  • Founder/CEO: Kavita Iyer, CEO
  • URL: www.minglebox.com

Minglebox is a niche social networking site with its focus on careers and education. It brings news and events in the education field under one umbrella and initiates discussions on various topics. Its aim is to capture the imagination of the youth and become a household name across educational institutes and hiring firms. It offers advice on career, aptitude tests, best colleges and the hottest courses, etc. It also profiles institutes and creates campus networks. It was started by an IIM Ahmedabad alumnus.

The Perfect Parent

  • Name: Parentree
  • Type: Social Networking, Niche
  • Whats it About: Community about parenting konw-how
  • Start-up Year: August, 2008
  • Founder/CEO: Shobha Durairajan, Sathya Narayanaswamy
  • URL: www.parentree.in

Parentree is an Indian parenting community. It was founded in 2008 with the aim of providing the perfect guidance on the practical aspects of Indian parenting. The site includes school reviews, details of pre-schools,good books for children and to-be mothers to read, and local happenings in the various cities. It also has information on fostering intelligence, confidence and creativity in children, reliable classes for arts and sports, safe products children, good nutrition, parenting tips, pregnancy, child development, emotional development and behavior etc. Parentree also boasts of a medical advisory board for answering specific issues. Whats more, joining is free!

For and of Friends

  • Name: Mobshare
  • Type: Mobile
  • Whats it About: Sharing your mobile phone photos and videos with friends
  • Start-up Year: 2007
  • Founder/CEO: Sony Hoy, COO and co-founder
  • URL: www.mobshare.in

Mobshare helps users to share their mobile photos and videos with their friends and social groups. They have tie-ups with various operators and can carry your pictures, videos, etc, across all networks. The best part of it is that the user has to pay for just one MMS and send multiple. The viewers can also comment on the photos and the sender gets SMS alerts when a comment is posted.

Mobshare happens to be an early starter in the mobile arena of web 2.0.

You are Tagged

  • Name: Tagz.in
  • Type: Rating/UGC
  • Whats it About: Tries to combine social news and bookmarking
  • Start-up Year: NA
  • Founder/CEO: Jeethu Rao/Thilak Raj Rao
  • URL: tagz.in

As it unequivocally says, Tagz.in is inspired by delicious and reddit, and as the name shows, is a lot about India. It allows users to tag and save links, browse links posted by them and by others, vote and discuss on links posted by everyone, and allows to save some links privately. It has, as the company admits, some rudimentary, smarts built into its offering. It is one of the many social bookmarking sites but is pretty professional considering it is so new.

The Perfect Twist

  1. Name: Tell-a-Friend/SocialTwist
  2. Type: Collaboration Tool
  3. Whats it About: Email, IM, blog, social media, and bookmark sharing
  4. Start-up Year: September 2008
  5. Founder/CEO: Jay Pullur, CEO, Pramati Technologies
  6. URL: http://tellafriend.socialtwist.com/index.jsp

The USP of Tell-a-Friend, a social technology by Hyderabad based Pramati Technologies, is one-to-one and not one-to-many when compared to others like Share It or Add It, some known bookmarking and sharing tools on the Net. In a short span of time the tool, along with the catchy Te!! logo has indeed left a mark on users. It has grown from a sharing tool to a full-blown marketing tool with options of customizing widgets according to your community of users.

For Budding Singers

  • Name: Uhooroo
  • Type: Community (music)
  • Whats it About: A musical platform for music enthusiasts in India
  • Start-up Year: 2007
  • Founder/CEO: Bharath Madhusudan, Vinay Mahadik
  • URL: www.uhooroo.com

This one is for the music lovers. It doesnt boast of catering to anyone else and is happy with its niche set of audience. Uhooroo is designed to encourage musicians to completely free themselves and lose themselves into their artshowcase their talent, promote their music, network with other musicians, offer their services for hire and take up music as a serious career and business. Uhooroo is designed to allow musicians to reach out to and get noticed by a growing music community. On Uhooroo, musicians can upload their tracks, review music and also create a portfolio page for themselves.

Its not Psycho Babbling

  • Name: Zahdoo
  • Type: Social Networking/niche
  • Whats it About: A socio-cognitive utility, with the aim of making social networking useful
  • Start-up Year: 2007
  • Founder/CEO: Srinath Nagabhirava, CEO and founder
  • URL: www.zahdoo.com

What Zahdoo is trying to achieve sounds complicated, but at a simpler level its a social networking site. According to their site, Zahdoo.com is a socio-cognitive utility that helps individuals and families manage the daily juggle of activities, information and relationships. Dont fret if you dont completely understand that. Even we dont. However, the main aim of Zahdoo seems to be making social networking productive and meaningful. Zahdoo was started by nLeague, a Hyderabad-based IT products and services company.

Mehak Chawla & Shikha Das
mehakc@cybermedia.co.in
shikhad@cybermedia.co.in

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