Desi startups going International

Recent years have witnessed a number of young companies going international after setting firm roots in India. From craft beer maker Bira to online food delivery app Zomato, Indian startups have expanded their business overseas with great poise.

Let’s take a look at the top 5 home-grown startups that are making their mark globally.


The leading cab aggregator company Ola announced in January this year of going international by launching its operations in Australia.

Founded in 2010, Ola cabs ride in more than 110 cities in India giving a stiff competition to its rival Uber. Ola also recently announced its plans to launch in the UK. It seems that Ola’s moves on expanding speedily will only intensify its rivalry with Uber.

Ola started with Australian cities Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.

Ola’s offers like ‘Ola Play’ will certainly work for the company’s benefit making it a success globally as well.


Online food delivery giant Zomato initiated its international presence in Dubai back in 2012. Since then, the company has become a top player in over 23 countries.

The startup’s hunger to conquer the world has what made it one of the top food delivery and restaurant booking apps in India and abroad.

Zomato currently operates in Dubai, Lisbon, Melbourne, Auckland, Jakarta, Prague, Istanbul, Toronto and Cape Town among other cities. The startup came a long way since its discovery in India and in-spite of seeing ups and downs and experiencing hard competition from its peers, Zomato hasn’t been a disappointment.

The startup is greatly appreciated for its customer care team and its early global presence and on-going expansion makes it one of the top startups in India and eventually the world.


India’s second largest online travel agent, Cleartrip went international in 2012 starting its operations in the UAE.

The company came a long way since then and currently holds more than 60% market share in the ticketing sector of the UAE. Cleartrip’s expansion in the Middle East has become quite profitable, the company claims.

Cleartrip was founded back in 2006 by Stuart Crighton, Hrush Bhatt and Matthew Spacie. With a number of startups entering the travel ticketing sector, Cleartrip faces competition with other companies like MakeMyTrip, Yatra and now even Flipkart and PayTM.

The company recently acquired Saudi Arabia’s online travel aggregator Flyin which has direct access to over 3 lakh hotels and more than 450 airlines.


A much successful hotel room booking portal, Oyo went global with its entry in Nepal and Malaysia. The startup also launched its operations in China in June this year.

The company has claimed to have expanded to a thousand hotels across 28 provinces in China. China is a mjor market for hotels and Oyo’s tapping into it has given it further success. Oyo plans on becoming one of the top platforms in international markets after being a major success in India.

The Indian startup is now eyeing Indonesia, UK and European countries to expand into in next 12 to 18 months, reports have stated.

Oyo was founded in 2013 by Ritesh Agarwal and became a huge success after its $100 million funding from Softbank in 2015. The company also launched its own brand Townhouse in 2017, a budget hotel fully managed by Oyo’s staff.



Launched in 2015, Bira has become India’s favourite craft beer in no time. While already being present in the US, the company has also expanded to Singapore and Nepal with over $77 million funding raised so far.

Founder Ankur Jain started the business by importing craft beers to India from breweries in Brooklyn, New York. A modern beer brand, Bira91 became one of the fastest growing beers in the world in just a matter of 3 years.

Keeping consumer tastes and preferences in mind, founder Ankur wants to remain the world of beer and keep his customers happy.

Bira91 comes with the tagline of ‘Imagined in India’ and hopes to become a global leader like Apple, Google and Nike.

The positive expansion of these Indian startups give a huge boost of confidence to budding entrepreneurs and current startups on making the bold move of going global.

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