Once known as the home of the automobile industry, Chennai is now emerging as a home for information technology startups. Chennai is becoming a hub for SaaS (Software as a Service) and other technology businesses in the Internet world.
The city has changed itself from being known for its idli-sambar to being known for its IT companies as it is also called the SaaS capital of India.
Further, surprisingly, the widespread marketing startups are now becoming a new identity for the city. With a huge literate population, Chennai is an attractive entrepreneur hub for young talents who want to build their startups in a hustling yet hassle-free startup ecosystem.
The startups in Chennai are growing consistently in number as well as in sustenance and popularity.
The city is witnessing a paramount increase in food businesses at the same time in the IT sector and deep tech sectors like health tech, Edu-tech, Fintech, and marketing.
We have covered an extensive list of top startups in Chennai from SAAS companies to food and health-related companies that are consistent in the startup market space.
- Tender cuts
- Go Colors
Zoho is the top-tech startup in India with over 70 million users across the globe. It is a unicorn SaaS company that provides products for businesses and apps for email and collaboration, sales and marketing, customer service, finance management, project management, IT and help desk, business intelligence, and so on. Zoho Corporation was founded by Sridhar Vembu and Tony Thomas in 1996. The company has expanded its operation and has offices in Singapore, Japan, China, Tenkasi, Pleasanton, and California.
BankBazaar is a fintech startup that got popular in India in a few years. The company helps customers to make payments and provides services such as getting loans online. BankBazaar exactly operates like a bank but in an online medium. This Chennai-based startup was started by Rati Shetty in 2008.
Sulekha is an E-commerce, Retail, and shopping platform that helps to connect customers and businesses. The company has more than 1,300 employees and has operations across the globe with 14 offices and a presence in the United States, Canada, the UK, and UAE. This Chennai-based startup was founded by Satya Prabhakar in 2007.
Freshworks is a cloud-based business management application provider company that has a wide range of services in terms of apps such as Freshdesk, Freshservice, Freshcaller, Freshchat, Freshsales, Freshmarketer, Freshconnect, Freshping, Freshteam, Freshrelease, Freshstatus, and so on. The company also has a subscription-based pricing model and Freshworks was founded by Girish Mathrubootham in 2012.
Tender Cuts is an omnichannel meat retailer company that was founded by Nishanth Chandran in 2016. The company will open its 50th store in Bangalore in 2021. Tender Cuts provides farm-fresh meats, and fresh seafood, and offers direct-from-store purchases as well as online orders. In 2021, the company raised USD 15 million in funds.
CaratLane is a Chennai-based jewelry retail store that offers wide jewelry products such as rings, earrings, bracelets, pendants, etc. The company has physical as well as online stores. CaratLane was founded by Mithun Sacheti and Srinivasan Gopalan in 2008 with the aim of making beautiful jewelry accessible. The company joined hands with Tanishq in 2016 and has more than 123 retail stores across 40 cities in India.
NetMeds is a Health Tech company that works as an online pharmacy. The startup delivers medicine on-demand, it allows the customers to choose medicines like vitamins, supplements, beauty products, and medical kits as well as allows the customers to upload the prescriptions through their website and app which will be validated by certified medical professionals and the items will be delivered. The company was founded by Pradeep Dadha in 2010.
Go Colors is a Chennai-based women’s underwear business that now has various clothing varieties. The company is famous for its soft and comfortable leggings with a wide range of color options. Go Colors has a funding amount of USD 15,655,577. The company was founded by Gautam Saraogi in 2010.
Specsmakers is an optical retail business that was launched with the aim to provide high-quality eyewear and is one of the fast-growing startups in South India. The company was founded by Pratik Shah and Sonal Shah in 2011. Specsmakers has secured a funding amount of USD 18,200,965 in 4 rounds.
To solve the problem of television and mobile addiction among kids, Flintobox was started. It is a Chennai-based startup that offers an education box which is a combination of different activity toys and the box will be sent every month to your houses based on the subscription. The company provides activity-based learning materials for kids of age 2 to 12. Flintobox was founded by Arunprasad Durairaj, Vijaybabu Gandhi, and Shreenidhi Srirangam in 2013.
The Startups in Chennai have been one of the most recent topics existing for a couple of years after the Tamil Nadu government’s ‘Startup and Innovation Policy 2018-2023’.
The policy aims to establish at least 5,000 tech startups and also focuses on collaborating with educational institutions to promote the business spirit, to reduce taxes and regulations on startups.
Being the 4th largest city in India population-wise and the second-largest IT development center in India, Chennai has more than 500 startups.
Further to substantiate the fact that Chennai is a blooming startup hub in India, out of 55 Special Economic Zones operating in Tamil Nadu, Chennai has 18 operational SEZs. This itself shows that the city is a preferred destination as well as an easy-peasy ambitious startup location in India.
Is Chennai good for startups?
Yes, Chennai is the fastest-growing startup hub in India. The SaaS capital of India has a rising amount of funding and also attained the 6th position among the eight tier-1 cities in terms of acquiring deals.
What is the best business to start in Chennai?
Simply starting a tea stall or coffee shop also would be a great idea for a business in Chennai, though the city has a buzzing number of food-related businesses like cafes, hotels, and restaurants as food never goes out of trend in Chennai. Apart from that, clothing stores, e-commerce, franchise models, internet cafes, digital marketing services, electronics repair stores, and most importantly Information Technology Services Businesses would be the best startup options for Chennai.
Why is Chennai the best?
Chennai has the highest literate population and the city has a higher affordability rate as well. Chennai is an icon for making good food available to all and the city is also known for its welcoming gesture and providing a living for whoever may depend on the city for livelihood. The city provides quality education with great schools and colleges that attract students from across India as well as the world.
Is Chennai a developed city?
Yes, according to the world GDP, Chennai is ranked as the 93rd city among the most developed cities in the world.