Startup news and updates: daily roundup (March 5, 2021)

YourStory presents this daily roundup of the latest startup news and updates from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Friday, March 5, 2021.
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YourStory MediaFounder makes the case for disruptive innovation as 4th edition kicks off today (Future of Work)

"One of the words that we use very regularly in the world of startups and tech is disruption. The world we were living in has been disrupted in the past few months, and it is going to be disrupted even more. Today, it's our own responsibility to make sure that disruption keeps on happening, be it in terms of technology, startups, or in our own lives." With these words, YourStory Founder and CEO Shradha Sharma kicked off the fourth edition of the two-day Future of Work 2021 summit.

PhonePeRahul Chari on building for the longer term, and why hustle could be a bad thing (Future of Work)

Entrepreneurship and hustling might be synonymous with each other, and might even be a good thing in the short term, especially for founders building from the ground up. But in the longer run, it could do more harm than good, believes Rahul Chari, Co-founder and chief technological officer at fintech giant PhonePe.

Pandemic lessons, govt intervention, and advice for young founders - everything PhonePe's Rahul Chari spoke about (Future of Work)

One of PhonePe’s biggest takeaways from the COVID-19 pandemic is that there is more to gain from rapidly investing across the urban and rural user base, than taking a serialised approach, starting from metropolitan areas, and then moving to lower-tier cities, which is the path most startups have followed till now, said Rahul Chari, Co-founder and chief technological officer at fintech giant PhonePe.

SnapdealPrashant Parashar on what startups must keep in mind when building tech for scale (Future of Work)

Hockey-stick growth can be an extremely exciting time for any startup, but it brings along multiple challenges. Building your company on a foundation of solid technology architecture that can scale up to meet increased workloads and demands is the only way to go. Speaking at YourStory’s Future of Work 2021 event on Day One, Prashant Parashar, VP and Head -Technology, Snapdeal, spoke on what ecommerce startups needed to keep in mind while “scaling for the big billions”.

Nabendu Das of Tally Solutions on how SMEs can operate and innovate in a connected world (Future of Work)

During a masterclass at YourStory's Future of Work 2021, Nabendu Das, Head of Engineering at Tally Solutions, explained that although there are multiple digital solutions to help SMEs, integration across processes is missing. He said simply adopting digital payments, accounting solutions, and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems do not ensure a seamless experience, explaining how SMEs can operate and innovate seamlessly in the connected world of the future.

BYJU'SCPO Ranjith Radhakrishnan outlines key areas of building an edtech playbook (Future of Work)

On Day 1 of Future of Work 2021, YourStory’s flagship product-tech-design conference, Ranjith Radhakrishnan, Chief Product Officer at BYJU'S — India's largest online education company — spoke about building edtech for billions. "Understanding the needs of a diverse set of students and age groups, from 4-year-olds to 18-year-olds, the huge changes they go through in cognitive development, the kind of messaging that works for them, and so on, is critical," Ranjith said.

BYJU'S CPO Ranjit Radhakrishnan during his masterclass at Future of Work 2021

How unleashing individual potential is the key to a brighter future within companies (Future of Work)

At the beginning of 2020, we were faced with a global pandemic, and our lives — both professional and personal — were changed forever. Organisations and employees struggled to come to terms with this new way of life, while work-life balance reached a whole new level. One year later, what we once called the ‘new normal’, has possibly become the norm and has laid the roadmap for the future. Vandana Abraham, Head of Design at Atlassian, on Day 1 of YourStory’s Future of Work, spoke on ‘Navigating the Future of Work,’ explaining how we can adapt to the new normal. 

Sandeep Krishnan of People Business on the recipe for a successful CEO (Future of Work)

What makes a good CEO? What are the characteristics that make them rise above the rest? How can founders transition to be successful CEOs? Sandeep K Krishnan, senior partner at People Business, decoded the answers to these, and more, at the Future of Work 2021. While there are numerous studies focussed on the makings of a CEO, one particular research, the ‘CEO Genome Project’, has always stood out for him, Sandeep said. This research by ghSMART, conducted over ten years ago, covered 17k+ C-suite executives and 2,000+ CEOs to assess the factors that led CEOs to perform the way they do.

Taking a leaf out of CREDplaybook on designing products ahead of the time (Future of Work)

"All users are not your customers. The users will download the app, and the customers will engage with the app. You do not design for all users. It has to work well for the targeted cohort of people," said Harish Sivaramakrishnan, Head of Design at CRED, in a masterclass at the fourth edition of YourStory’s Future of Work 2021 summit. Sharing his own guiding principles while busting a few myths on Day 1 of the summit, Harish — best known as the ”rockstar techie” — spoke about the elements for designing products ahead of their time.

Hire people who care because skills can be worked on but not attitude, says Pocket Aces' Viral Mehta (Future of Work)

It is important to hire people who care about the product and can develop their own craft, said Viral Mehta, Vice President of Engineering at Pocket Aces. “You want people who care. You get people who care about the product, excelling themselves, enhancing their craft. Knowing specific languages and skills does not matter as long as fundamentals are strong,” Mehta said during a fireside chat with YourStory's Priya Sheth, on Day 1 of the fourth edition of the Future of Work 2021 Summit.

Is the new normal of ‘Working from Home’ a boon for women? (Future of Work)

On Day 1 of Future of Work 2021, Shraddha Kandpal, Engineering Manager, PharmEasy; Jayalakshmi Manohar, Founder & CPO, Streak.AI; Aishwarya Kalakata, Head of Product Innovation, Flipkart; Gunjan Shukla, Global Head of Demand Operations, Thought Works; Anuradha Balasubramaniam, Vice President, Global BPS Delivery, DXC Technology; Pooja Patel, Vice President, Product Delivery, LogiNext discuss the new normal for women in tech in a roundtable session moderated by Vishakha Vaidya, Engineering Manager, Atlassian.

Urban Company’s Kanav Arora says business empathy helps developers become better coders (Future of Work)

In his masterclass session today, Urban Company's Kanav Arora deep dived into why business empathy is key to becoming a better developer, and what it takes to be one. Developer job profiles have changed over the years, and today the profile of a developer is not limited to just writing codes, he emphasised. According to him, the ability to understand business and leverage technology to align with business needs is an important skill set for developers to hone as they progress in their careers.

Making work places collaborative, immersive is an ongoing process for us, says Google Workspace's Kelly Waldher (Future of Work)

It's been nearly a year since the global pandemic changed the way the world works, and organisations across have seen tremendous workplace transformations. From SMBs to giant corporates, companies world over now follow a hybrid working model, and a fusion of remote and in-office working style has become the norm. 

At Future of Work 2021, India's largest product-tech-design virtual conference, Kelly Waldher, Vice President - Marketing - Google Workspace, and Ramarko Sengupta, Senior Editor, YourStory, talk about building the future of work and how Google Workspace is helping businesses adapt to the new work culture across geographical hemispheres.

Meet the 10 startups shortlisted for the Amazon Global Selling Propel Accelerator

Amazon India has announced 10 startups as finalists for their Amazon Global Selling Propel Accelerator programme launched in partnership with Startup India. The programme aims to give startups an opportunity to get mentorship from Amazon leaders, VCs, and leaders from Startup India. Amazon is looking to make exports simple and accessible to businesses of all sizes, and achieve the goal of enabling $10 billion in ecommerce exports from India by 2025.

PhonePe launches a Diversity & Inclusion charter to create a welcoming, safe workplace

Fintech unicorn PhonePe has today launched its Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) charter. The first phase will focus on gender, sexual orientation, and people with disability, identifying specific actions in each of these areas. The company has pledged to increase female representation in its top two leadership roles (Directors & Vice Presidents) from 16 percent to 25 percent by December 2021.

Blume Ventures raises Rs 350 Cr secondary vehicle fund in partnership with Avendus

Blume Ventures, the homegrown and early-stage venture capital firm has successfully closed a differentiated secondary vehicle fund at Rs 350 crore in partnership with Avendus, a leading investment banking firm. Called the Blume Ventures Fund IX, the VC firm says it is designed to allow interested new investors, existing Blume Fund I, and allied entities’ investors to hold the top performers in Fund I for an additional four to five years. 

Agritech-focused VC Omnivore makes it to 'IA 50 Impact Fund' list

Agritech-focused VC Omnivore has made it to ImpactAssets' 'IA 50 Impact Fund' that curates a global database of private debt and equity impact investing funds. The list includes VCs, family offices, financial advisors, and institutional investors that deliver social and environmental impact as well as financial returns.

Photo: YourStory

A one-stop-shop for real estate is the future of proptech, says NoBroker's Akhil Gupta (Future of Work)

NoBroker, which handles $2 billion worth of transactions on its platform every year, claims to have helped save brokerage worth Rs 1,100 crore last year. At Future of Work 2021, Akhil Gupta, Founder and CTO, NoBroker, spoke about how proptech has evolved over the years and what the future looks like.

Trifecta Capital announces final close of Trifecta Venture Debt Fund II at Rs 1,025 Cr

Trifecta Capital has announced its second venture debt fund, Trifecta Venture Debt Fund. The fund was launched in March 2019 and has been oversubscribed in its final closing. The fund, with an initial target of Rs 1,000 crore ($137 million), including a greenshoe option of Rs 250 crore, received investor commitments of Rs 1,025 crore ($ 140 million). Trifecta Venture Debt Fund II has already invested Rs 900 crore across 38 companies and, with a provision to recycle capital, will have an investible corpus of up to Rs 2,560 crore. 

Webscale raises $26M in Series C round (Funding)

Digital commerce solutions provider Webscale on Thursday said it has closed $26 million (about Rs 189 crore) in growth capital financing from investors and Silicon Valley Bank. The Series C round was led by BGV, STCAP Ventures and Mohr Davidow Ventures, with participation from Grotech Ventures, a statement said. The company has raised $53.6 million in funding to date.

FarEye acqui-hires logistics technology startup PY Technology

Delhi-based logistics SaaS platform FarEye said it has acqui-hired the logistics technology startup PY Technologies in a bid to scale customer implementations, as well as incubate new ideas. PY Technologies, earlier known as PRTouch, was founded by Jignesh Vasani in 2012. He will be joining FarEye as VP, professional services.

(L to R) - Gautam Kumar, Jignesh Vasani, Kushal Nahata

Chhattisgarh police recruit 13 transgenders as constables

Chhattisgarh Police has recruited 13 transgender persons as constables, in an effort to boost the confidence of people from the community and change society's perception towards them. This is the first time that transgender persons have been inducted into the state police force, a senior government official claimed.

Sania Mirza’s comeback cut short with semi-final defeat at Qatar Open

Sania Mirza has been knocked out of the Qatar Open in the semi-finals after she and her Slovenian partner Andreja Klepac went down fighting to second seeds Nicole Melichar (US) and Demi Schuurs (The Netherlands). The hard-fought match, spanning one hour and 28 minutes, saw the scoreboard end at 5-7, 6-2, and 5-10. Nicole and Demi are ranked 11th and 12th, respectively.

KoineArth raises $1.8M in Pre-Series A round led by YourNest (Funding)

KoineArth, a Bengaluru-headquartered blockchain startup, has raised $1.8 million in a Pre-Series A round, led by YourNest Venture Capital. Existing investor Inventus India also participated in the round, along with Lumis Partners.

These companies will bear cost of COVID-19 vaccine for their employees

India’s second phase of the COVID-19 vaccination drive has now begun under which citizens between the age of 45 and 59 with comorbidities will be allowed to take the vaccine. With this, several big-sized companies and IT giants have announced that they will be covering the vaccine costs of their employees.