Four startups that launched amidst COVID-19 shutdown


The business impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on industries across the world is undeniably profound. It has been almost a month we have stayed home with everything shut, from our nearby grocery shop to small and big enterprises. Despite this, some startups have positioned their launches during this pandemic. 

Hence, we present to you four of the recently launched startups in the midst of economic turbulence that the world including Nepal is going through.

While many businesses were cutting down operations and closing businesses for sales, there was one business that was gearing for launch. Gyapu, an online marketplace, hurried its way to launch its delivery service of daily groceries  and essentials free of cost. This was a strategic move they took when their initially planned vendors started  running  out  of  stock.  Gyapu has now  become a one stop market for everything, from groceries and fresh vegetables to household products and even books for all you book lovers. It has also been offering discounts on a number of products in its race to swiftly acquire customers. 

“Companies like Gyapu have really made things easier. The experience I had ordering from Gyapu was good. They quickly responded to my orders, and had an exceptionally good delivery system. The free delivery was  cherry on top.” mentioned Kedar Koirala who recently made his  purchase from Gyapu.

Gyapu was able to see the gap in the market. “ After a sudden lockdown, we saw  people facing problems  to get  groceries, so we targeted those customers  and launched focusing on that particular category”, mentioned Rahul Kumar, Business Development Executive of Gyapu. 

In a short span of time, Gyapu has been able to take the e-commerce market by storm, Rahul believes that crisis is never an excuse not to start a business, “All you have to do is be able  to come up with a solution that bridges the gap between the problems” he mentioned. 

infi_Nepal is another e-commerce business that was recently launched with a similar view.  Collaborating with Pathao, a well known ride sharing platform, infi_Nepal has been delivering daily essentials to the people at their doorstep, and is also being well received by the public. 

Siddhika Deoja, a first time user of infi_Nepal was quite impressed by their quick delivery. She added, “I am an active online buyer and often getting the order in time becomes an issue. But I was really impressed with the quick delivery that infi_Nepal offered that too at an affordable price. They did miss one item but considering the situation we are in, it is totally fine and I am happy with their service.”

It is not only these online marketplace that have seen the blessing in disguise but another Ed-tech is following suit. 

Education industry in Nepal has been waiting to be digitally disrupted for a long time now, and COVID-19 crisis has fast tracked it. Yeilearning an online tuition classes was  started amidst the lock down by  Sweta Pandey along with her friend. Conceptualized as Yeilocal – a market for local products Sweta sensed the anxiety among parents with respect to their children’s education due to the lockdown and tweaked her business to cater to the market segment of parents.  By offering free online demo session she has not only got the attention of the parents and also gave them a taste of how remote learning will work for their kids. 

Sweta said, ”Today we have different apps being developed for individual learning but Yeilearning is beyond that. We bring together students from big-small, private-public all mediums of school and work on introducing them to the real world, making them capable of taking informed decisions for themselves, their career and the nation.”

She strongly believes that learning is not only about academics but goes beyond that. Hence to ensure this and enhance the teaching learning process, she is actively working on bringing  industry experts onboard. 

Yeilearning is not the only one working to normalize remote learning.Note Naka, a note sharing platform by Suruchi Kushwaha and Uttara Athale, two young students themselves, recently launched the platform with notes of Computer Science Engineering. 

“Many engineering students in Nepal and India still live in areas where internet connectivity is scarce. And on top of that the current pandemic has resulted in many students leaving their books and notes in hostel rooms. Seeing the need for a good resource and information we decided to dive in and launch Note Naka,” mentioned Suruchi, one of the co-founders. 

She added, digitization of education and development of a culture of knowledge sharing among students is needed to benefit the community and that is where they are heading.

These startups have surely proven that waiting for the right time is never a solution, rather making the time right is a way out. So, it is all about strategic thinking and the ability to grasp the opportunity the market presents even in times of turmoil.

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Did you check out our article of how other startups are responding to Covid-19? Click here

Article by Trishna Shakya