One in four is an immigrant from 58 countries including India and nearly half self-identify as a person of color.
About 60 Indian Americans are featured in the 10th anniversary Forbes Under 30 class of entrepreneurs, innovators and entertainers that the business magazine says “is set to define the next decade — and beyond.”
One in four (24.4%) of the 600 honorees in the 2022 list is an immigrant, the highest percentage of immigrants who hail from 58 countries and nearly half (47.5%) of them self-identify as a person of color.
The vast majority of listmakers this year are founders or cofounders of companies who have collectively raised over $1 billion in funding. Many more are leading innovations that will seed companies down the line.
READ: Forbes features five Indian Americans in its list of 30 under 30 (November 24, 2017)
But all of them “have defied the odds: navigating a global pandemic, supply chain crunches and isolation to build ventures that are resilient and destined to change the world,” says Forbes.
Hall of Fame
Listed in the Hall of Fame 2022 is Apoorva Mehta, Indian American founder of Instacart, a San Francisco-based grocery delivery firm valued by investors at $39 billion. He has a personal net worth of $3.5 billion, according to Forbes.
India-born Mehta who started Instacart in 2012 was ranked 859 on Forbes Billionaires 2021 list and 31 on 30 Under 30 – All Star Alumni 2017 list.
Listed in Big Money is Akilesh Bapu, 24, cofounder of DeepScribe an AI-powered medical scribe that automates clinical documentation for physicians. More than 500 clinicians across 44 states currently use the software.
Marketing & Advertising
Trevor Sookraj, 24, founder, of Divisional, a “marketer-first” agency, is featured in Marketing & Advertising section. He hopes to provide startups a full growth team of Divisional employees at a fraction of the traditional cost.
Divisional’s outsourcing model saw its revenue growing 240% this year to $1.5 million.
Retail & Ecommerce
Four Indian Americans, Raunak Nirmal, Akshar Bonu, Tejas Konduru and Vinay Menda, are featured in the Retail & Ecommerce section.
Cofounded by Nirmal, Acquco, New York, is one of the largest and fastest-growing aggregators of companies that sell on Amazon. Nirmal has raised $160 million to acquire businesses that will generate some $250 million in revenue this year.
Nirmal, a Sikh who emigrated from India when he was seven years old, has given away Teslas for leads on deals in the white-hot space and is in the process of raising another $400 million, according to Forbes.
The Custom Movement, cofounded by Bonu runs an online sneaker marketplace, where customers can order custom shoes from thousands of independent artists around the world. The Custom Movement takes a 10% cut on each sale.
READ: Indian Americans figure prominently in Forbes 30 Under 30 2015 list (February 11, 2015)
The son of Silicon Valley engineers, Tejas Konduru started Via in Salt Lake City, Utah, to help retailers engage with customers on their mobile phone.
Konduru has raised $75 million from Tiger Global and others, and projects revenue will quadruple to $10 million in 2021.
Blank Street cofounded by Vinay Menda offers fast and affordable coffee that doesn’t sacrifice on taste, as well as eats from local vendors.
Blank Street has 15 locations in New York City, with plans to expand to 100 locations in other cities in 2022. It has raised $32 million from General Catalyst and Tiger Global.
Three Indian Americans Srijan Kumar, Pranav Rajpurkar and Shruti Rijhwani make it to the Science list.
Kumar an assistant professor at Georgia Institute of Technology, is working to make the internet a safer place.
Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, India, graduate develops data science and machine learning solutions to combat fraudsters and troll armies.
His research is used by Flipkart, India’s largest e-commerce platform, and has influenced Twitter’s Birdwatch platform.
Rajpurkar, an assistant professor at Harvard, leads a lab focused on artificial intelligence applications for health, including deep learning algorithms for reading chest X-rays and electrocardiograms that can make diagnoses on par with humans. His research has more than 10,000 citations and he also co-hosts the AI Health Podcast.
Rijhwani, a Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani, India, graduate and a PhD candidate at Carnegie Mellon University, is developing natural language processing technologies to help communities revitalize endangered languages.
UNESCO classifies at least 40% of the world’s 7,000 languages as endangered. Rijhwani’s algorithms help extract text from non-digitized books and handwritten documents and make them accessible online.
Three Indian Americans, Tulsee Doshi, Uttara Sivaram, and Sid Yadav have made it to the Consumer Technology list.
Doshi is responsible for AI and human centered technology at Google. A Stanford graduate, she’s spearheaded the launch of more than 30 products that help make Google’s AI-based initiatives safer and more inclusive.
Doshi now leads an internal organization of more than 100 AI researchers and engineers.
As Uber’s global head of privacy & security policy, Sivaram, guards the $73 billion ride-hailing company’s ever-moving trove of rider and driver information.
She also partners with local governments and law enforcement to safely manage data that influences traffic plans, infrastructure and public safety.
In January 2020, Sid Yadav, previously VP of Product at edtech Teachable, founded Circle to give creators a single place to manage their brands and fanbases.
Since then, Circle has signed up more than 2 million users and more than 4,000 businesses paying $39 to $399 for access.
Hollywood & Entertainment
Featured in Hollywood & Entertainment section are Karam Gill, Mohan Mandali and Naomi Shah.
In 2017, MGX Creative filmmaker Gill made his directorial debut with “G Funk”, a documentary about the untold story of Warren G, Snoop Dogg, Nate Dogg and the rise of hip-hop’s iconic sub-genre. More recently, Gill wrote and directed the “Supervillain” series for Showtime.
Mandali, producer, Fabel Entertainment, identifies genre and nerd culture content. He’s currently shepherding a series on the life and published work of famed neurologist Oliver Sacks with known showrunner Greg Berlanti and Fox.
Shah is the founder and CEO of Meet Cute, a venture-backed entertainment company that has created more than 350 original, scripted rom-com stories in podcast form.
Shah’s goal is for Meet Cute to tell inclusive stories about human connection that are relatable for every type of listener.
Backbone founder Maneet Khaira and Illumix founder Kirin Sinha are featured in the Games section.
Khaira founded Backbone in 2018, his senior year at Columbia University, raising $1 million in investment that included Ashton Kutcher’s Sound Ventures and gaming creators Nadeshot, MrBeast, and Preston.
An attachable gaming controller for iPhones that requires no charging, launched by the firm in 2020, is the top selling product in its category on Amazon.
Through her startup Illumix, Sinha is building the first dedicated game engine for augmented reality. Its debut game has been downloaded more than 18 million times, generating millions in revenue.
Sinha’s outfit is currently working with Disney to bring its AR technology to theme parks, retail and ecommerce, as well as luxury jewelry brands to improve the virtual “try on” experience. So far, Illumix has raised $13 million in funding.
Three Indian American venture capitalists making the list are Gaurav Ahuja, general partner at Thrive Capital, Maitree Mervana, investor at Acrew Capital and Vinny Pujji, managing partner at Left Lane Capital.
Ahuja, son of immigrants, is also founder and chairman of Imprint Payments. He has incubated a fintech company that powers rewards cards for ecommerce brands. Imprint now has 50 employees and has raised $50 million from Thrive, Kleiner Perkins, Stripe and Affirm in just 12 months.
An immigrant and woman of color, Mervana was the first hire on the investment team at Acrew Capital, a multi-stage venture capital firm with nearly $1 billion in assets under management. She now co-leads the consumer thesis area and seed program at Acrew, and has led, co-led or supported investments in 25-plus companies, deploying more than $130 million of capital.
Pujji led seven of the Left Lane Capital’s 28 investments from its $630 million debut fund, serving on the boards of Truebill and Copado.
Pujji previously worked at Insight Partners. He’s deployed about $1 billion in capital across his career in 22 deals.
Neal Khosla, cofounder, Curai, Charu Sharma, cofounder, Osana Salud, Kunaal Naik, Nisarg Patel and Manav Sevak, cofounders of AI startup Memora Health, and Shriya Srinivasan. researcher at Massachusetts Institute Of Technology are featured in Healthcare.
Neal Khosla’s startup Curai Health is using AI to help improve the scale and efficiency of virtual care delivery to make primary care accessible to the uninsured, gig and minimum-wage workers. Founded in 2017, the company has raised nearly $60 million from investors.
Sharma’s Salud builds back-end infrastructure to digitize healthcare data for customers including healthcare providers, insurers and the pharmaceutical indUstry. It’s raised $26.5 million from investors and has a network of 6 million patients across Latin America, Spain and the US.
Naik, Patel and Sevak’s AI startup Memora Health has developed a patient engagement and workflow tool for healthcare providers with functions like automated scheduling, billing, two-way texting and remote patient monitoring. More than 50 healthcare organizations pay a monthly subscription fee to use the software.
Srinivasan is developing better ways for human limbs to interact with prostheses through the use of brain-computer interfaces and tissue engineering. Around 30 amputation patients are using her surgical designs.
Shray Bansal, Arjun Mehta and Krithika Varagur make the media list.
Bansal and Mehta launched livestream platform Moment House with Nigel Egrari to connect artists and their core fans for global, elevated ticketed experiences, such as concerts, interviews and poetry readings. Moment House has secured $13.5 million in funding from investors including Scooter Braun, Jared Leto and Halsey.
Varagur spent four years covering religion, politics, extremism and corruption in Southeast and South Asia. In 2020, she authored “The Call: Inside the Global Saudi ReligioUs Project,” a book about Saudi influence in the Muslim world. She now works as a senior speechwriter at Fenway, a leading communications firm.
Art & Style
Featured in Art & Style is Prasanna Lachagari, who came to Boston from native Hyderabad, India, to pursue a masters in architecture. She rose to become the design director of local firm SDI Architecture and founding partner of SDI Design India. She’s currently working on a nonprofit too that provides steady incomes and stable jobs to locals in Kakinada, India.
Manufacturing & Industry
India-born Rajat Bhageria is the lone Indian American featured in the Manufacturing & Industry list for starting San Francisco-based Chef Robotics to automate food service.
The nearly three-year-old firm has raised $7.7 million from Kleiner Perkins and others to bring robots to the kitchen with the goal of increasing production, enhancing consistency and minimizing food waste.
Devesh Bharadwaj, Rahul Gupta, and Anisha Gupta have been chosen for their firms’ social impact.
As cofounder, Pani Energy, Indian immigrant Devesh Bharadwaj is tackling the worldwide clean water crisis. Victoria, Canada based company optimizes water treatment plants to reduce costs, increase efficiency, and improve sustainability. It has raised over $7 million from a mix of investment firms, private investors, and government agencies.
Rahul Gupta, cofounder Every.org aims to build accessible giving infrastructure for every charity, donor, and developer. With grants from Camp.org and recently, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the company has helped over 1,600 nonprofits to raise over $4.5 million on its platform since launching in March 2020, with 46% of all donations being recurring.
Raised by India-born parents, Anisha Gupta aims to decarbonize the consumer products industry through her climate tech company Bluebird Climate.
Bluebird is building a software that is helping brands tackle 95% of emissions within their products and supply chains to minimize their impact on climate.
In social media, Varshini Satish has made it with her role in helping Snap grow its pool of creators, bringing in influencers like Wisdom Kaye and Batsheva Hart.
As senior associate at Snap, she also led the firm’s development of its new micro-monetization tool, Gifting. Prior to joining Snap in April, she was at TikTok, where, in 2020, she worked on TikTok’s presence at New York Fashion Week and its Black History Summit.
Aparna Dhinakaran, Manisha Sharma, Ganesh Datta, Anish Dhar and Nikhil Unni, Pulkit Jaiswal, Krish Ramineni, Nirman Dave and Ashwin Sreenivas have made it to the enterprise technology list.
India born Aparna Dhinakaran and Fiji born Manisha Sharma are part of the founding team of Arize AI. The startup which enables customers to monitor the performance of AI models has $24.5 million in funding from Battery Ventures.
Cofounded by Datta, Dhar and Unni, Cortex helps developers and engineers explore, understand, and operate the microservices used in building applications.
Its platform documents service architecture, audits service health and prevents outages. With $17.5 million in funding, the cofounders plan to use their platform to guide and help other founders.
Using machine learning and human metadata to identify global shifts early and throughout the trend lifecycle, nwo.ai founded by Jaiswal enables corporations and governments to get insights on sectors ranging from consumer products to global war.
Jaiswal, a drone pioneer and serial entrepreneur, developed geopolitical trading signals for hedge funds. The company has $3.5 million in seed funding.
Ramineni cofounded Fireflies.ai to make virtual meetings easy for participants. Its cloud-based technology automatically transcribes and takes bullet notes from user calls and meetings, identifying key takeways.
Fireflies.ai has key partnerships with top providers including Zoom, Slack, Salesforce, Dropbox and Asana and has raised $19 million from Khosla Ventures and Canaan Partners, among others.
Growing from 10 employees to 70 in less than a year, Fireflies.ai has provided AI-generated meeting notes to over 300,000 organizations and 2.5 million people.
Dave from India cofounded Obviously AI in 2019 to enable people without technical knowledge to build AI models that can be integrated into existing cloud services and databases. The company has $4.7 million in funding and more than 3,000 users.
Sreenivas, who won two gold medals for India in the International Junior Science Olympiad, built Campfire during the Covid-19 pandemic to keep online communities strongly connected. The platform allows clients to broadcast messages to relevant community members while storing all member responses centrally.
Amrutha Vasan, Aditya Vishwanath, Manu Meel, Rohan Gupta, Anil Jason, David Silin, Simran Singh have been chosen for their work in the field of education.
Vishwanath and Vasan created Inspirit to provide a user-generated collection of K-12 science coursework and supplements such as virtual labs and VR simulations, using video to hold the attention of young users.
Palo Alto, California based company has raised $3.6 million with 32 full-timers working in the US, India, Russia, Israel and the Philippines.
As freshman at the University of California, Berkeley, Manu Meel established in 2017 BridgeCal, the third chapter of a nationwide movement on college campuses that aims to promote democracy, not partisanship.
After graduation, Meel became the CEO of San Francisco-based BridgeUSA as it expanded to 43 chapters in 19 states. Meel launched Bridge national summit in April 2018.
Rohan Gupta, Anil Jason and David Silin started their Chicago-based AI writing startup Quillbot in 2017 after posting a preliminary tool on Reddit to rave reviews. Gupta sold it to Course Hero in August, a year after raising $4.25 million in a seed funding round.
When users paste in text, Quillbot’s AI can paraphrase writing to improve syntax and style, summarize long papers and articles to pull out the main ideas, check spelling and grammar or create citations. It has 10 million monthly active users.
Simran Singh cofounded Zogo Finance to help credit unions and banks to engage, educate and earn the trust of young adults, teaching financial literacy using a gamified smartphone app in 2019.
The company projects $3 million in revenue for 2022, charging a licensing fee to financial institutions to co-brand, white-label or integrate with the platform.
Food & Drink
Miriam Cruz makes the Food & Drink list with Agni that she cofounded in Sept. 2019 to create foods that support women’s health needs–from better periods and fertility to postpartum and menopause support.
Working with a team of medical advisors and chefs, Agni currently caters to more than 10,000 customers. It has raised $5 million from investors.
Ambika Acharya, Sahana Athreya, Akash Magoon, Rahul Raina make it to the Finance list.
Acharya cofounded Weav, a fintech startup that aggregates sales data for small businesses and makes it accessible through an API, letting lenders see it in seconds to assess borrower risk, in early 2020.
Brex was Weav’s first customer, using it to power its instant payouts feature. In August 2021, Brex bought Weav for $50 million.
India-born Athreya, data scientist at Millennium Management researches alternative datasets to provide investment insights. When joining Millennium as an analyst, Sahana was instrumental in designing and implementing a platform that centralized trading data.
Akash Magoon, cofounded insurtech startup Nayya in 2019 to help consumers pick the most cost-effective health insurance plan, find lower-cost pharmacies and use tax-efficient healthcare savings accounts.
With over 400 customers, Nayya is on track to reach $7 million in revenue in 2021 and is valued at $230 million.
Born in New Delhi, India, Rahul Raina cofounded, TRM Labs in April 2018 as a game to drive cryptocurrency adoption. Today it provides forensic analysis for the IRS and dozens of others.