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Companies You Didn’t Know Were Owned By Women 

No matter which business vertical it is – whether it’s tech, meals, beauty, smart skin care, finance, or biotechnology – in the last 40 years, the number of Women-owned startups has skyrocketed! More and more women entrepreneurs are launching their companies, and breaking gender biases. Let us have a look at 4 startups owned by women.


India’s 1st Biotechnology company Biocon, was founded by Kiran Mazumdar Shaw. Kiran started Biocon India in her garage when she just had Rs. 10000 as the seed capital. Kiran Mazumdar Shaw faced a lot of challenges in the start of her career. Bankers won’t give her a credit line, and she would have a hard time finding employees who didn’t care about working under a woman leader. Sounds bizarre in the modern world no? Well, that’s what Kiran Shaw faced in her early days of struggle. Her first two employees were tractor mechanics who were in dire need of a job. Eventually, she was able to get funds from an Irish investor who gave her 10000 pounds and then took off Biocon! Academicians would source enzymes from her for experiments and often seek her career advice. Kiran encouraged them to join her, and slowly, she started growing her team. In 2023, Biocon reached a revenue of Rs. 11,550 crores! What a growth right?! In 1989, Kiran Shaw received Padma Shri.


Kalaari Capital:

Indian Venture Capitalist Vani Cola owns Bangalore-based venture capital firm ‘Kalaari Capital’, which has funded about 50 companies in healthcare, mobile services, and e-commerce. Vani Kola has raised $650 Million and holds stakes in 60 start-ups which include Myntra, Zivame, Snapdeal, and Flipkart. Forbes recognized Vani as one of the Most Powerful Women in India in 2014. After 4 years, she sold the company for a total of $743 Million to different parties. She then founded a Supply Chain Software firm in San Jose, where ‘Certus’ -an internal controls and assurance software, was launched. Pepsico purchased Certus in 2005. After 22 years of working in the USA, Vani came to India in 2006. She collaborated with Silicon Valley-based entrepreneurs to launch a Venture capital firm called ‘NEA Indo-US Venture Partners’. In 2011, Vani and Shiralagi (former chief of Intel Capital India) rebranded the firm as Kalaari Capital. Vani Kola is called the Mother of Venture Capital Investing in India.


Mobikwik is a Gurugram-based Mobile payment company founded by Upasana Taku and Bipin Preet Singh in 2009. Upasana has done her BTech in Industrial Engineering from NIT, and MS from Stanford. She worked at HSBC as a Business Analyst, and then as a Senior Product Manager at PayPal. Bipin, her co-founder, and Husband, is a Btech Electrical Engineering graduate from IIT Delhi. He worked in companies like Intel and Nvidia before starting his own company. Bipin also worked at PayPal as a senior product manager in Silicon Valley. In 2020, Mobikwik partnered with Google to launch a mobile recharge search feature for Indian users.

Yoga Bars:

Suhasini Sampath and Anindita Sampath

In August 2014, two sisters Suhasini and Anindita Sampat Kumar went for a tiresome grueling hike and came up with the idea of ‘Yoga Bars’. Both sisters were working in the United States at that point of time, where the market for energy bars was huge. They recognized the potential of the energy bars market in India, and thought of bringing this idea home! They wanted to launch bars devoid of artificial flavors and ingredients that were affordable and yummy. Yoga Bars has a target market of 25- to 35-year-olds looking for healthy and delicious snacking options.


So many smart skincare and beauty brands sell smart face toners, face moisturizers, and fashion brands and technology companies owned by women. Jet Set Go is an aviation-based startup owned by Kanika Tekriwal, Country Bean Coffee is owned by Aditi Somani, and Mobikwik is owned by Upasana Taku and Bipin Preet Singh. The number keeps growing yearly, a very bright sign for Women in business!

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