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Tinder Pledged free in-app inventory to women-led businesses: Meet PetKonnect and Civis.Vote and the women behind them

Reforming the pet-care industry in India and making citizens’ voices heard on laws and regulations, Devanshi Shah and Antaraa Vasudev are revolutionising the start-up ecosystem.

ET Spotlight
Tinder recognises encouragement is instrumental in driving self-confidence, and a little support can go a long way. These women have worked tirelessly to solve problems, go after their dreams and shake up the start-up industry along the way. Tinder is committed to using their platform to amplify and support female-led businesses and recognises that if we all lift each other up, we’re all better for it. These women have more than earned their seat at the table, and this is a celebration of their tenacity.

This article is part of Tinder’s $1 Million dollar pledge to offer free in-app ad inventory to female-founded start-ups. In each story, 2 of the 10 recipients have been interviewed to get a glimpse of their journey as women founders, their company’s goal and vision.

Meet Devanshi Shah of PetKonnect


Devanshi Shah
PetKonnect is an app that brings together animal lovers, irrespective of whether they have a pet or not. Founded with the intention of improving the pet-care available in India, Devanshi’s motivation behind this business stems from her own struggles with pet-care services, while tending to her pet dog, Hazel, who passed away. PetKonnect allows pet-parents in Mumbai to access doctors, services and even the BMC via their app, other animal lovers can reach out to NGOs if they see an estranged animal that needs medical help or foster care. The app has grown increasingly popular in the animal-loving community, and we picked Devanshi’s brain on this growth.


“At the beginning of last year, I conducted a market research exercise on pet services to identify gaps and design solutions to address these gaps. This research led to our first phase launch in September 2019. In the short span of 9 months, we have steadily grown our user base, introduced more services into our launch market of Mumbai and have also launched a PAN India 24 Hr vet-on-call service. I plan to use this PAN India service to introduce consumers to brand PetKonnect, as we work on a steady and concrete rollout of our complete range of services nationally,” she said.

Brushing upon the current lockdown and its effects on her businesses, Devanshi said, “The lockdown has had a mixed impact on my business. Some services have greatly suffered, others have boomed. The section of our app that allows users to access service providers in the pet sector as well as access emergency services has definitely taken a hit. However, we launched a 24 Hr Vet-on-call service in April, so users can access vets whilst socially distancing. We also launched an in-app BMC pet registration service so users can register their pets with local authorities from the comfort of their homes. The launch of these two services saw our user base jump by over 5000 just in the first two weeks of April. Like all brands right now, we have had to adapt.”

Talking about the impact that the Tinder ads can have on her business, Devanshi said, “We truly share our sincerest gratitude towards Tinder for creating such an amazing initiate to celebrate and support women entrepreneurs on Woman’s Day. Reaching out to Tinder’s extremely large user base, which I feel resonates deeply with our own, will help us take one big step closer to our dream.”
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Meet Antaraa Vasudev of Civis.Vote

Antaraa Vasudev
Civis.Vote is an online non-profit platform that enables people to share their thoughts and opinions on draft laws and policies with the Government before these laws get passed. Built on the ideology that everyone in a community is full of ideas that can add value to Indian law, Civis.Vote was founded by Antaraa Vasudev in 2018.

“At Civis, we simplify these draft laws and policies making it easier for people to comprehend and respond. We also conduct outreach to ensure representation of relevant stakeholders, along with presenting an in-depth analysis of citizens feedback to help the government have constructive inputs to build on. We’ve impacted the lives of 3,000+ people and have worked on over 80 draft laws since 2018 along with a few projects with governments to help them conduct effective consultations and understand citizens' feedback. In some of our projects, the acceptance rate of citizen’s feedback has been as high as 47%,” added Antaraa

Antaraa started Civis with a clear view of tapping into how technology interplays with the government and citizens and how it can be used to further increase interactions between them. With a background in Political Science, Antaraa worked in politics during the 2014 General Elections and got a key understanding of how citizen engagement actually impacts the functioning of the government.
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Talking about the challenges that she faced in launching Civis, Antaraa said, “In terms of challenges, despite being from a political background, understanding the complexities of the government functioning was difficult. Working through these complexities, it was difficult to maintain focus and zero in on the one problem that could have a transformative impact. Then there were challenges that other startups face like coming up with a proof of concept, getting access to funding and good talent.”

When asked about the impact of the current lockdown on her business, she said, “The lockdown has moved all in-person interactions to a digital-first approach. This has been interesting because it has opened doors for us to illustrate how digital technologies can bolster citizen’s engagement. We are gathering feedback from citizens on the laws currently impacting us like the Epidemic Diseases Act - to help improve these laws in the future, and learn from the situation we find ourselves in today.”
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Antaraa notes that as a non-profit, her company has always been eager for strategic and reliable business partnerships that help increase their reach. And she said that this is exactly what she expects from the Tinder partnership as well. “We were elated to be selected! As an all-women team, this opportunity is exciting to us on many levels. Research over the past few years has shown that younger populations are keen to engage more frequently with Governments and at Civis, we aim to enable that dialogue constructively. A collaboration with Tinder allows us to reach these citizen leaders and do what Tinder does best -connect people to each other.
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