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New Indian businesses come to DMZ

By Noella Ovid

Five Indian startups will be joining Ryerson’s DMZ from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11 as a part of its accelerator program.

The contest winners are selected by Zone Startups India, a joint venture of Ryerson Futures Inc. and the Bombay Stock Exchange Institute. LightMetrics and Plackal from Bangalore, Neuron and Swift File Transfer from Delhi and Survelytics from Thane are participating in the program.

These startups were chosen among 300 business applicants on the “potential of their business to go global.”


Krishna Govandarao, co-founder of LightMetrics, said that their startup is the evolution of telematics (telecommunications and infomatics).

“We believe that the North American market is ready for the next big thing in telematics which is something that is focused on driver behaviour alone,” said Govandarao.

Founded by six people from the Nokia Research Center, LightMetrics is a smartphone-based monitor that builds driver profiles online by gathering data on driving behaviour.

The monitor detects maneuvers such as harsh braking, acceleration, bad cornering and speed breakers by uploading metadata around events on the cloud. This provides the feed manager with a bird’s eye view of the accident through a small video clip.

“The larger context around why the events happened is missing,” said Govandarao. “At LightMetrics, we plan to focus on this under-solved problem of driver behaviour monitoring in a very comprehensive way.”

Govandarao said LightMetrics is open to potentially setting up a centre in Toronto to service the North American market through helping enterprises with large fleets of vehicles to ensure safety.

“Whatever we are doing is perfectly complementary to what others have done,” he said. “We are trying to partner with existing telematics companies.”


This company is behind an app called LoveCycles. The app helps women track their reproductive health by tracking menstrual cycles and mapping out different phases to increase accuracy of contraception and consumption.

“As the app evolves, we are looking to get into adjacent areas like tracking pregnancy or sharing this data with your partner [or] a doctor,” said John Paul, founder and CEO of Plackal. “Also, perhaps a community angle wherein women can connect with their peers and discuss issues around reproductive health.”

Plackal has gained traction worldwide and grown to about six million downloads.


A data analytics firm of only 15 people, Neuron is hoping to offer their platform as a service for developers of sentiment analysis and language processing.

“I think coming to Canada will open up a lot of doors for us,” said Veer Mishra, founder and CEO. “Partnering with companies that are actually operating into e-commerce or maybe primarily the companies that have a lot of data and they don’t know what to do about it. I think we have the answers [for] that.”

Mishra said the company is looking to explore the possible business expansion opportunities and has a plan to set up a branch in Canada.

“The idea is we may start off with establishing a small sales team there and then maybe ship a research base as well,” he said.


Survelytics is a digital market research platform for anyone that wants to conduct surveys or collect data. The app is available on both iOS and Android and consists of image, audio, video and location features.

“The difference here is you don’t need connectivity. So even if you don’t have any data, you can collect data on these apps and later synchronize that data. And the person who has designed the survey can start looking at the results online in real time,” said Mandar Vaidya, founder and CEO.

Through the DMZ, Survelytics is looking to use Canada as a base to sell their product in the North-American market. The company sees Canada as a good launch pad and a great opportunity to take the startup to new heights of sales and market penetration, Vaidya said.

“Since we access the U.S. market remotely, it is an impediment in getting new customers. So we look at Canada as a base so that we can easily go to approach the U.S. market and the Canadian market, and be more acceptable in that because we will be a local entity,” said Vaidya.

Swift File Transfer did not respond to our interview request.

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