Trendspotting: BYJU’S billion-dollar deal and Zerodha’s climate change focus
It's just two weeks into the new year but we’re already seeing exciting new milestones play out in the Indian startup ecosystem.
Two such recent developments to note are: Zerodha’s focus on fighting climate change and creating green jobs in India with the launch of Rainmatter Climate and edtech decacorn BYJU’S plans to buy Aakash Educational Services for $1 billion.
Both signal how successful Indian startups will pave the way in giving back -- whether it is to strengthen the Indian entrepreneurial ecosystem; enable the growth of younger businesses and entrepreneurs; lead the charge to ensure digital inclusion; and find avenues to give back (beyond their startup’s areas of focus) to solve for more large-scale problems such as climate change and job creation.
Byju Raveendran, Founder and CEO, BYJU'S
If you recall, BYJU'S last year led the largest acquisition ever in the edtech space with its $300 million WhiteHat Jr buy. But BYJU’S Founder Byju Raveendran hinted there would be more such deals to come when he spoke with YourStory Founder and CEO Shradha Sharma at TechSparks 2020, YourStory’s annual flagship startup-tech conference.
Like Byju, Zerodha Founder and CEO Nithin Kamath also spoke to YourStory about the responsibility that successful Indian businesses have to give back -- something the company was already doing with Rainmatter Foundation, through which it invests in early stage fintech startups.
Nithin Kamath, Co-founder and CEO, Zerodha
This year though, Zerodha’s focus on giving back is expanding to fighting climate change -- a goal that Nithin Kamath listed as top priority for him in 2021 on YourStory’s Drive into the New Year series.
Nithin Kamath said Zerodha has set aside $100 million for the Rainmatter Foundation to support grassroots individuals and organisations, and companies working on solutions for climate change.
As Nithin aptly puts it, “What’s the point of fintech, without a planet to live on?”
It has been a rollercoaster ride for Fasoos operator Rebel Foods, which has expanded from just 190 kitchens in 2017 to 325 in 2019. But no stranger to innovation and reinvention, the cloud kitchen startup was quick to reimagine food delivery in the new normal as the coronavirus pandemic and the nationwide lockdown upended life as we know it. For more on this and on how Rebel Foods is enhancing customer experience, watch Co-founder and CEO Raghav Joshi’s interview on Build & Grow: Money Matters series powered by HSBC.
Here are some key takeaways from the interview:
- COVID-19 pandemic impact
- Reimagining food delivery and customer service
- Creating a foodtech brand at a national scale
- Diving deep into multi-brand cloud kitchen model
- What worked for Rebel Foods
Upon his return to India in 2016, Siddhant Wangdi was concerned to see the lack of hygiene and safety standards in the way meat was procured, stored, and sold in the country. This led him to start Meatigo, an on-demand meat and seafood delivery platform that ensures quality, variety, safety, and hygiene from farm to fork. Read more.
Infographic: YS Design
News & Updates
- Bharat Biotech successfully air-shipped its COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin to 11 cities in India and has donated 16.5 lakh doses to the Indian government. In fact, it has signed an agreement with Brazil’s Precisa Medicamentos to supply Covaxin.
- Indian startups have created a new body called Atmanirbhar Digital India Foundation (ADIF) to protect the freedom of choice in the internet ecosystem. It will interact with the Centre and regulators on policy issues to ensure the creation of a sustainable digital economy in India.
- India becomes the first Amazon Prime country to offer customers a mobile-only Prime Video plan at an introductory price of Rs 89. The plan is rolled out in collaboration with Bharti Airtel.
- Chennai-based spacetech startup Agnikul Cosmos has developed a Made in India single piece, fully 3D printed rocket engine, Agnilet, and its cryogenic pump.
Before you go, stay inspired with…
Sameer Nigam, CEO of PhonePe
“Focus on repeat, focus on a great experience, but then make sure you are set up to scale.”