Colorado-based startup accelerator Techstars said that it has concluded the training of its second batch in its Bengaluru cohort, and has invested a total of $1.2 million in the 10 startups that were part of the class.
The startups that received the funding operate in various sectors and industries, including floriculture, media, sports-tech, cloud computing, payments, tax compliance, financial wellness, and warehousing-logistics.
During the 13-week long mentorship-driven programme at the accelerator, several companies pivoted from their business ideas to focus on solutions that could help address the impacts of the global COVID-19 pandemic, specifically in emerging markets. The startups all had a common goal of "making positive impacts on society through improvements in resource efficiency and digital inclusivity", Techstars said in a press statement.
The 10 teams met in Bengaluru, and worked side-by-side for the first six weeks, but then had to return to their homes after the coronavirus pandemic cast its net. Techstars shifted the programme to a virtual format to continue supporting the startups, drawing on its expertise running virtual programs, and made the experience as seamless as possible.
“This year, the Techstars Bangalore Accelerator brought together ambitious and enthusiastic founders, experienced mentors, investors and alumni for over 800 meetings, to fuel needed innovation and make powerful connections,” said Ray Newal, Managing Director of Techstars Bengaluru Accelerator.
Here is a quick line on what these ten startups do:
ChintaMoney: An intelligent spending solution that improves financial wellness by helping people make informed purchase decisions based on savings goals.
FinKraft: An invoice and data reconciliation service which helps Indian companies obtain GST credits quickly and easily.
Fliqpay: A cross-border payment system which makes it seamless and affordable for Africans to digitally transact with the rest of the world.
Game Theory: A fitness experience that makes casual sports convenient, addictive, and exciting.
Lancify: Uses 60-day training modules to build a young workforce of experts on trending SaaS tools.
Lightwing: An intelligent control system that dynamically optimizes cloud resources to reduce cloud costs by up to 90 percent.
Odwen: Fully integrated on-demand warehouse network.
Picxy: Solving the relatability problem in Indian digital content through highly contextual stock photos.
Q Blocks: Secure and affordable supercomputing applications on demand, powered by idle crypto-mining and gaming machines.
Rose Bazaar: Bringing efficiency to the $1.2 billion unorganized traditional flower supply chain through innovations in packaging and distribution.
The COVID-19 related pivots include:
Lightwing - With companies increasingly relying on cloud computing as a major component of virtual operations, due to lockdown restrictions, Lightwing launched a free cloud audit tool called the 'Lightwing Smart Advisor' to help companies assess cloud compute costs and implement compute optimizations in under 60 mins.
Fliqplay - Fliqpay is helping raise donations through cryptocurrencies to feed members from the most vulnerable communities in Nigeria.
Picxy - Picxy has rolled out a campaign to allow companies and journalists to access COVID-19 related images, at no cost. Picxy is also helping Give India (a charity supported by Omidyar, Xiaomi, Walmart, and others) by providing images for their campaign, which has already raised $5 million for frontline healthcare workers, and poor families.
ODWEN - Measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 have added strain to the local supply chains that provide food and other essential goods to businesses and consumers. Through a national pharma partner, ODWEN is providing local warehousing options to store PPE for medical workers across several large Indian cities.
(Edited by Aparajita Saxena)