List of 8 startups selected for Lightspeed’s Extreme Entrepreneurs 2018 program

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Lightspeed Venture Partners has selected 8 startups for Extreme Entrepreneurs 2018 program that started on 11th September.

Extreme Entrepreneurs 2018 is an eight-week intense learning and mentoring program that will be hosted every Tuesday in Bengaluru, India. It will provide Indian entrepreneurs with the opportunity to engage with and learn from the successful Indian business leaders.

Top business leaders participating in the program include Dheeraj Pandey, CEO of Nutanix, Jon Steinberg, Ex-BuzzFeed and now Cheddar CEO, Ritesh Agarwal, CEO of OYO Rooms, and John Thompson, Chairman of Microsoft.

Also, well-known investors like Anu Hariharan of Y Combinator, Jeremy Liew and Ravi Mhatre of Lightspeed will be participating in the program.

Here are the 8 startups selected for the Extreme Entrepreneurs 2018:

  • Culturegrade: Bengaluru-based Culturegrade was founded by Abhinav Chugh and Alagu M in 2018. It provides an AI-powered employee engagement and micro-learning platform that uses deep insights to help companies in employee retention and performance.
  • Dose FM: Mumbai-based Dose FM was founded by Abhishek Damodara, Akhil Appanna, and Rishabh Harit in 2017. It provides a vernacular audio platform that curates and streams uniquely Indian songs, new stories, and shows.
  • Kubrik: Kubrik was founded by Kausambi Manjita and Barada Sahu in 2017. It provides a SaaS-based marketing platform to help companies create personalized and optimized marketing campaigns to drive sales and customer engagement.
  • Kutuki: Bengaluru-based Kutuki was founded by Bharath Bevinahally and Sneha Sundaram in 2017. It specializes in pre-kindergarten learning through words, numbers, and pictures in an intuitive video-based learning experience.
  • Squadcast: Squadcast was founded by Sisir Koppaka and Amiya Adwitiya in 2017. It enables its clients to deliver outstanding customer experience using AI-first approach by recording escalations, notification rules, schedules, and run-books.
  • Trell: Bengaluru-based Trell was founded by Prashant Sachan, Pulkit Agrawal, Arun Lodhi, and Bimal Rebba in 2016. It is a mobile-first visual blogging platform for wanderers, foodies and travellers to share their experiences.
  • Waani: Bengaluru-based Waani was founded by Mohit Srivastava and Lakshay Thareja. It is an Indic voice assistant that uses English and Hindi to help users interact with their devices to facilitate various tasks like setting reminders, search, translate to local languages, and play songs, among many other features.
  • Yellow Messenger: Bengaluru-based Yellow Messenger was founded by Raghu Ravinutala, Rashid Khan, and Jaya Kishore Reddy in 2016. It provides a conversational AI channel for customer engagement to boost NPS, revenue growth, and customer experience.

The above startups will be participating in the three sessions every Tuesday for eight weeks, morning, afternoon, and evening.

During Morning Sessions, the leaders will share their experience, advice, stories and rules with the startups.

In Afternoon Sessions, a Lightspeed partner assigned to each startup will hold a brainstorming session with startups to help them with different business aspects during various stages of a startup.

In Evening Sessions, the startups will get an opportunity to gather and mingle with all the business leaders to discuss and hang out with each other through the evening.

According to Vaibhav Agrawal, a partner at Lightspeed India, the program received applications from over 49 cities.

He further added, “We met a DJ who is pursuing a music streaming startup, and we met a founder that was once abducted by Naxals and had to negotiate with them to get out,”

The venture capital firm received more than 450 applications and met or spoke to over 30 companies, to finally shortlist the eight startups, in what was a gruelling process.

In July, Lightspeed Venture Partners had raised $175 million for its second India-focused fund, further making bets on the strong Indian startup ecosystem.

Recently, Lightbox Ventures raised $178 million for its third fund and expects to close the fund at $200 million by the end of this year.


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