Anshul Agarwal and Meet Singhal are two IIT Delhi graduates who struggled with stuttering throughout their childhood and teens. This not only controlled their day-to-day life but also started to impact their professional aspirations and emotional state. Rather than be controlled by their speech impediment, they decided to apply their engineering skills to find a solution. In 2019, they teamed up with Harsh Tyagi to build Stamurai, an app that would offer everyone – accessible, affordable, and high-quality speech therapy, helping them improve their fluency, but more importantly, lead a better life.
This is just one example of how our spirited and resilient ecosystem of startups and developers is driving powerful solutions for very real obstacles.
India is increasingly becoming an app-first country. During the pandemic, we saw many people across the country turn to homegrown digital solutions for their daily and unique needs. Last year, Indian apps and games saw a 200% increase in active monthly users on Google Play compared to 2019.
But that’s not all. Apps and games built by Indian companies are also finding global audiences. In 2021, time spent by users outside India on apps and games created by Indian companies grew by 150% compared to 2019 on Google Play, a sign of the potential and opportunity Indian startups and developers today have to drive global app and game innovations.
Introducing the Appscale Academy Class of 2022
Aiming to help India’s next generation of innovators unlock this growth opportunity, with MeitY Startup Hub, we are excited to welcome the inaugural Appscale Academy class - 100 promising app-preneurs who have inspired us by their creativity, resilience, and desire to build high-quality apps that serve people across the country, and the world.
Check out the unveiling of this enterprising cohort of startups, and hear from leaders across Google, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), MeitY Startup Hub, and our Appscale Academy mentors as they talk about the selected startups and the future of India’s thriving app ecosystem.
A growth and development program by MeitY Startup Hub and Google, the goal of the Appscale Academy is to identify and support promising Indian startups, and help them grow into successful global businesses. The 100 startups were chosen from over 400 applications following an in-depth selection process that took into account their creative ideas and innovation, product quality, product scalability, and talent diversity.
And it’s heartening to see the range of India’s critical needs that the selected startups are solving for, through creative homegrown solutions, including BitClass (a live learning platform), Farmyng Club (a social platform for farmers to improve their livelihood), Kutuki (preschool learning app), Sunita’s Makerspace (a community to foster innovation), Stamurai (a platform offering affordable and high-quality speech therapy), LearnVern (a job-oriented skilling app offering courses in vernacular languages), Vivasayam (an app promoting organic farming), and many more.
The cohort spans many key sectors including Education, Health, Finance, Social, E-commerce, Gaming and others. It also includes startups supporting core communities in India through creative apps across agriculture, B2B, parenting, and more.
Innovation today is no longer limited to select pockets of the country – it can emerge from any part of our nation. We see this emerging talent diversity mirrored in our Appscale Academy cohort, with 35% coming from Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities, including Surat, Vadodara, Kanpur, Lucknow, Meerut, Morbi, and many others. And it is great to see that 58% of the cohort have a woman in a leadership role.
There is a tremendous opportunity for Indian startups across the country, regardless of size and location, to thrive in the global app ecosystem. We at Google are both humbled and excited to be part of this journey.
We thank MeitY Startup Hub for their partnership and vision, and remain committed to nurturing a diverse app ecosystem in India and fostering companies that will win on the global stage. We would also like to thank our jury members across Meity Startup Hub, and NASSCOM for helping us shortlist these 100 inventive startups that represent India’s rising homegrown talent.
Congratulations to all the startups - and welcome to Appscale Academy! For more details on the Class of 2022 and program, check out g.co/play/asa.