A Startup Scene Emerges in Kathmandu
A small city surrounded by hills on all sides, Kathmandu, Nepal, has always been popular for its rich cultural heritage and history. This ancient land, hidden away from the rest of the world through the centuries, is now opening up like never before and emerging as a rising business hub for startup entrepreneurs. Hundreds of IT companies, business incubators and other innovative ideas have mushroomed in Kathmandu Valley and beyond, giving a new and vibrant lifeline to an economy once heavily dependent solely on tourism and agriculture. Since 2013, Nepal has seen significant growth in number of startup companies. Popular startups like Abari, Young Innovations, Thread Paints, and Code Wing, have cemented their place in the Nepali market already. Since the major earthquake that occurred on April 25 2015, the entire nation has been shaken. On the optimistic side, many entrepreneurs believe that this natural phenomenon will open up the market.
Many young graduates now try to cash in on potentially profitable ideas, and are determined to start something on their own. The game-changing advantage for the country is that there is less of a brain drain than the city suffered in the recent past. The challenge today, however, is if the ideas are good enough to sustain in the market in the long run. Web portals, app developers, restaurateurs are a dime-a-dozen; every other person is replicating ideas. The latest and the hottest idea in the industry is co-working spaces. The initial investment needed in setting up your own office and creative space used to be a giant hurdle for anybody looking to set out on their own; often the impact was debilitating. But not anymore. With the fast-paced growth of co-working spaces around the Kathmandu Valley, it has become a whole lot easier to set up something on your own and get your venture off the ground.
Currently, there are five companies in the Kathmandu valley that are involved with providing space and giving extra beneficial facilities to their clients. The facilities include free WiFi, free tea and coffee, 24/7 security and lockers. The Platform Inc, Biruwa Ventures, Pasa Yard, Bac Coworking and Regus International are few organisations that facilitate spaces for businesses and add different twists to their packages. The primary focus of the majority is to build a community within their organisation and help one another.
Notable Startups of Nepal
- Yellow Nepal, a restaurant discovery and deal app. (yellownepal.co)
- FoodMandu, Nepal’s only food delivery company. (foodmandu.com)
- Sasto Deal, a Groupon-type deal website with 145k likes. (sastodeal.com)
- Vidinterest is video curation and discovery platform. (vidinterest.tv)
- AppsJhola, First and Only Apps Marketplace in Nepal. (appsjhola.com)
- 11Beep, it’s like Twitter, but anonymous. (11beep.com)
- Dublr is a video messaging app for dubbing your audio to popular videos for sharing on Social Media. (dublrapp.com)
Author: Alisha Sijapati is a freelance journalist. She has previously worked for The Himalayan Times and ECS Media. Books, newspapers and coffee are a part of her life.