Naaptol – Startup Story

Startup Stories Startups is an Indian shopping website founded by Manu Agarwal in 2008.

After graduating from IIT Kanpur in 1992, Manu Agarwal got his master’s degree in electrical engineering and computer science from the University of Minnesota, USA, in 1994. But after working at WSI in Silicon Valley, California, for four years, he wanted to return to India. So, in 1998, his company sent him back and he set up their office at Powai, Mumbai. However, he quit that job the same year and started a company called Design Expo Network Pvt Ltd, funding from his savings and with help from family and friends. The company designed websites and created massive scalable e-mail applications. He would carry laptops to show the clients that they could create an online presence and eventually offered e-solutions to and

Along with his IIT Kanpur batchmate, Amar Sinha, he decided to launch two web portals in 1999 as subsidiaries of Design Expo Network – was formed during the World Cup in April 1999 and, a travel portal was incepted in September the same year. When a year went by without making any profits, Manu decided to sell those portals. By 2000, Thomas Cook acquired in and was sold to Modi Entertainment Network. After the dotcom bust, those sites shut down. In 2001, he decided to sell Design Expo as well to a Canadian payment systems company called SLMsoft. Then, in 2003, he started another venture called ANMsoft technologies. However he decided to launch another e-venture,, in 2008, because by that time the Internet had come of age in India.

Originally was launched as the price comparison for electronic products and gadgets, but soon Manu believed that the big bucks lie not just in telling audiences where the best deals are, but bringing them onto the platform and helping them transact. So in June 2009, started offering goods to purchase online. Today a home shopping venture Naaptol connects buyers and sellers via its website, print and TV ads and even on the mobile.