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The Journey Of Wine Recommendation App Vivino Which Raised 155 Million Dollars In Funding

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Vivino, a startup and app provides recommendations for wine and also doubles as a marketplace for buying and selling wine.  Vivino is now the world’s largest online wine marketplace.  In their latest round of Series D funding, Vivino raised $ 155 million spurred by the rapid rise in their user base from 29 million in 2018 to 50 million currently.  The funding will be used to improve its core technology and personalized recommendation engine, while also expanding its presence in key growth markets globally.

How did a startup which began as a wine rating app end up becoming as big as it is now?  Read on to know about the incredible journey of Vivino.

Beginnings

Vivino was founded in 2010 by Danish entrepreneur Heini Zachariassen and Theis Søndergaard in Copenhagen, Denmark.  It all began when Heini was at a local supermarket to purchase wine and could not decide which wine was good and which was bad.  His only indication to make the choice was to go by looking at the labels on the bottles.  It was then Heini realised that there was an opportunity to build something which lets users rate the wines which was similar to how Amazon lets users rate books and IMDB lets users rate movies.  

ALSO READ: What Is Seed Funding And What Are The Sources For Seed Funding For Startups

Growth

When Vivino launched, there were hundreds if not thousands of apps available on the market which gave ratings for wines.  Most of these apps were owned by people who are experts on wines and knew the market from top to bottom.  Heini Zachariassen came from a software background and looked at the problem differently.  After talking to users and customers Heini realised the problem boiled down to ‘is this bottle of wine good or bad?’  

At the time of the launch, there was not much information available on the app.  Vivino needed to look at the label on the wine bottle before providing information about the wine.  Therefore, Vivino gathered as many labels as they could and added them to their database.  The first breakthrough came when they offered a corkscrew for free to whoever uploaded the most number of label images thereby gaining 50,000 pictures.  Vivino got as many wine labels as they could find and sent them to India.  There people were manually looking at wine labels, researching information about those wines and adding as much information as possible to the app.  Initially traction was slow, but when users saw the effort being put in adding the list of wines, organic growth slowly increased.  

Vivino focussed on building the best product and not the perfect product.  Considering that there would always be some wines missing, the goal was to go for the best product.  Today they have information on 200,000 producers, 10 million wines and 1.3 billion photos of different wine labels in the app.  Key priorities were based on three factors namely wine rating, price and the taste of the wine.  Vivino built a machine learning tool which reads all the reviews and puts together a structured description of the wine taste.  This feature turned out to be a huge hit.

Today Vivino established itself as a market leader in their space and has over 700 suppliers around the world.  Vivino now has 50 million downloads and is hundred times bigger than the number 2 wine app Delectable.

Let us know in the comments if you have ever used Vivino or will begin using it after reading this article!

Entrepreneur Stories

Inside T-Hub: India’s Launchpad for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

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Aerial view of T Hub Hyderabad

Imagine a building that’s not just a structure but a buzzing ecosystem. A space where startups, corporations, universities, and investors come together to create the future. This isn’t science fiction; it’s T-Hub, India’s largest innovation hub, and it’s rewriting the rules of entrepreneurship.

T-Hub isn’t just about workspaces. It’s a launchpad for ambitious dreams. They’ve empowered over 2,000 startups, turning ideas into thriving businesses. Think funding woes? T-Hub’s got your back, connecting entrepreneurs with angel investors and government grants. Need a mentor to guide you through the rough patches? T-Hub boasts a network of 2,000 mentors ready to share their wisdom.

T-Hub’s vision extends beyond startups. Here’s a glimpse into what makes T-Hub special:

  • From Seed to Scale: Whether you’re a budding entrepreneur with a bright idea or a scaling startup ready to take on the world, T-Hub has programs to support you. From the “seed-accelerator stage” Lab32 program to the “early-stage technology startups” RubriX program, T-Hub provides the tools and guidance needed to thrive.
  • Corporate Muscle: Innovation isn’t just for startups. T-Hub bridges the gap between startups and established corporations like Facebook, Uber, and Boeing. This collaboration allows startups to tap into corporate expertise and resources, while corporations benefit from the agility and fresh perspectives that startups bring.
  • Funding Powerhouse: T-Hub is more than just an idea incubator; it is also a reality maker. Through initiatives like T-Angel and the Digital India Scaleup Program, T-Hub connects startups with high-net-worth individuals, angel investors, and government funding sources.
  • Global Ambitions: Thinking Beyond Borders? T-Hub has you covered. With partnerships across the globe, from the UK government to La Trobe University, T-Hub helps Indian startups access international markets and provides foreign startups with a foothold in India.

And it doesn’t stop there. T-Hub 2.0, their new colossal campus, is a testament to their ambition. This behemoth is not just the world’s largest technology incubator; it’s a microcosm of innovation itself. Universities find a home here, churning out future tech leaders. Foreign partnerships open doors to international markets for Indian startups. It’s a melting pot of ideas, cultures, and expertise, all focused on creating a brighter tomorrow.

T-Hub’s story is far from over. They’re aiming to empower a staggering 20,000 startups in the next five years. With their focus on internationalization and capacity building, they’re poised to become a global hub for innovation. So, if you’re an entrepreneur with a dream, T-Hub might just be the launchpad that takes you to the stars.

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Emerging Startup Stories

Discover Kheyti, The Startup Changing The Lives of Farmers In India

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Farming has been an integral part of India’s history and culture for ages. It’s been the foundation of the Indian economy, supporting millions of people with food and jobs. Crops and agriculture hold immense importance in Indian society, not just in terms of money, but also in terms of culture, community, and spirituality.

Farming is a way of life for many people in India, but it can be a difficult and unpredictable business and farmers face a number of challenges, from erratic weather patterns to low market prices for their crops. Kheyti is a social enterprise founded in 2015 by Saumya, Kaushik Kappagantula, and Sathya Raghu. The organisation provides sustainable solutions to small farmers in India, helping them overcome challenges and improve their lives.

Kheyti’s flagship product is the “Greenhouse-in-a-Box,” a low-cost modular greenhouse that allows farmers to grow high-value crops year-round, even in unfavourable weather conditions. operates on a subscription-based model, where farmers can purchase a “Greenhouse-in-a-Box” kit or sign up for crop advisory services on a monthly or annual basis. Kheyti.com also earns revenue by connecting farmers with markets and buyers, taking a small commission on sales. They work to keep the costs low by partnering with local manufacturers to produce their products and leveraging tech to provide personalised crop advisory services at scale.

They also provide crop advisory services to farmers, offering personalised advice on crop selection, planting, and management. In total, The company has helped over 6,000 small farmers increase their incomes by an average of 300%. You call them small farmers, Kheyti calls them Smart farmers!

While there are other companies in India that offer similar solutions to small farmers, Kheyti stands out for its focus on sustainability, innovation, and community involvement. It works closely with farmers to develop tailored solutions that meet their needs while focusing on sustainable farming practices. Through its efforts, Kheyti has improved soil health, reduced water usage, and increased yields of various crops.

Looking ahead, Kheyti plans to expand its reach to more farmers in India and beyond and aims to continue developing new products and services that can help small farmers overcome the challenges they face. With its commitment to sustainability and innovation, The visionaries at Kheyti claim it has the potential to transform the agricultural sector and contribute to a more equitable future for all.

Imagine the joy and hope Kheyti brings to struggling farmers in India. With Kheyti’s help, over 6,000 small farmers have transformed their lives, becoming Smart farmers who handle challenges and succeed. With sustainable solutions, Kheyti is not only revolutionising agriculture but also spreading hope for a brighter future.

 

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Emerging Startup Stories

Suki: This Startup Wants To Transform Healthcare With Its Artificial Intelligence Tool

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Suki: This Startup Wants To Transform Healthcare With Its Artificial Intelligence Tool

We live in a rapidly transforming era where humanity is making exponential leaps in technology.  Thirty years ago, no one would have believed you could talk to an online voice assistant to create tasks and get things done.  Ten years ago, no one would have believed humanity would land robots on Mars.  Technology truly has improved the quality of living of every human who owns a smartphone and has access to an internet connection.  Voice assistants are slowly replacing manual tasks and making lives easier and efficient.  Siri, Alexa, Google Voice Assistant are just some of the widely used artificial intelligence based tools which are employed on a daily basis.  Artificial intelligence, which is hailed as the technology of the future is now slowly making its way into much more complex domains like self driving vehicles, quantum computing and also health care.

Suki, a United States of America based startup founded by Punit Soni, developed their own voice assistant which runs on artificial intelligence to simplify healthcare for doctors and other healthcare professionals.  In simple terms, Suki is akin to Siri for doctors.  While you could order a pizza or schedule an appointment on Siri, doctors could modify, edit and add health records of their patients.  Suki is a powerful tool to help doctors with documentation of health records which often take hours of their (doctors) time.  

Suki currently focuses on documentation but has the potential to expand its usage to data queries, ordering, prescribing and billing.  According to a white paper published by Suki, using its technology increases the time a doctor spends with a patient by 12% by cutting note taking time by 76%.  The time which is saved also brings in a financial benefit of $30,000 more in revenue a year on average for doctors.  

Suki raised a $ 20 million Series B round from Flare Capital Partners, First Round Capital, and Venrock, doubling its total funding to $ 40 million since its 2017 launch.  Suki is also looking to expand its reach in India and has decided to establish Bangalore as their base of operations.  India holds a lot of potential for Suki considering the amount of manual work which goes into almost any sector.  

It would be interesting to watch how Suki and other similar AI based startups would transform healthcare across the world.

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