Vernacular internet users in India are projected to reach half a billion, compared to the 200 million English-speaking users. The mobile broadband explosion triggered by Jio in 2015 is the primary driver of the non-English speaking population of India onto the internet. This ever-increasing demographic demanded platforms, solutions, and content in their native languages. This clarion call gave rise to entrepreneurs, eager to fill this gap. Here are 5 Indian Start-ups revolutionizing the Vernacular Internet space.
A combination of Twitter, Instagram and more, ShareChat is India’s largest native language social network. It enables users to share their opinions, record their lives and make new friends in 14 different Indian languages. Their ingenuity and agility let them code a TikTok style app called Moj, in 30 hours and was quickly embraced by their user base putting it on top of Google Play’s Most Popular App lists in July.
A Reddit-esqe cooking platform for the Indian cook, Betterbutter is India’s largest recipe platform with over 1 lakh recipes, 99% of them posted by its Pan-India User base. What makes them unique is their advanced search functionality, multilingual app and website in English, Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Tamil, Telegu & Gujarati that makes the process of discovery even easier.
It is the Quora for the 88% of India, that speaks an Indian language. Aiming at democratizing knowledge to vernacular users in order to reduce disparities at various levels, Vokal is India’s Largest Vernacular Question & Answers Platform It hosts discussions on 100s of topics related to love, life, career, politics, religion, sports, personal care in 11 Indian languages.
Founded by an IIT-Bombay Alum, Dailyhunt is India’s number 1 local language content application offering digital content in 14 languages. Its unique machine learning and deep learning technology which curates personalized content, has been a respite for thousands of Indians, especially during the pandemic. Dailyhunt has also been instrumental in stemming the spread of fake news in local languages by partnering with local bodies and health agencies to ensure accuracy.
It is an AI-First Software as a Service start-up, that has tapped the need for vernacular language Artificial Intelligence, through its products- VIVA & VASR. VIVA or Vernacular Intelligent Voice Assistant is a multilingual platform that aims at forging a deep understanding of Indian customers context and intent. VIVA is currently being used by its clients in different sectors such as banking and financial services, food and beverage, and travel and tourism to automate up to 80 per cent of their call centre operations. The other product- VASR or Voice Automated Speech Recognition enables enterprises to convert audio to text by using an Application Program Interface (API) that recognizes 10 Indian languages to support the enterprise’s entire user base.
These truly, authentically Indian ventures are just the beginning towards the creation of an all-encompassing Digital India Ecosystem.