Startup news and updates: daily roundup (April 23, 2021)
Consider converting vacant office buildings into temporary COVID care facilities: Government tells companies
Amid the worsening coronavirus situation in the country, the government on Thursday appealed to top corporates to consider converting their vacant office buildings into temporary COVID care facilities. Corporate affairs secretary Rajesh Verma has written to the heads of top 1,000 corporates in terms of market capitalisation. While appreciating the support of corporate India in combating COVID, he said the second COVID surge requires a more coordinated and focused approach so as to provide immediate relief to people.
C-CAMP InDx announces mass-scale availability of diagnostic kits and online MarketPlace for the same
The Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms or C-CAMP, on behalf of Bangalore Life Sciences Cluster, has enabled mass-scale availability of indigenously developed, ICMR/DCGI-approved COVID-19 diagnostic kits for government and private diagnostic labs that are facing any shortfall due to the increased number of cases across India. The initiative is supported by the Rockefeller Foundation, Indigenization of Diagnostics program or CCAMP-InDx in conjunction with the National Biomedical Resources Consortium (N-BRIC).
Pune-based molecular diagnostics company Mylab Discovery Solutions on Friday said it plans to deploy 50 ICMR-approved and NABL certified mobile testing labs across the country to meet the huge backlog in RT-PCR testing amid rising cases of COVID-19. These labs are "powered by automated Compact XL machines, which do testing three times faster than the conventional labs due to parallel processing and automated handling," Mylab said in a statement. Each mobile lab can process as many as 1,500 to 3,000 tests per day, it added.
BOB Financial — the credit card arm of Bank of Baroda — and Mastercard have jointly launched a small business-focussed, QR code-embedded credit card that will enable the cardholders to make and receive payments. ConQR is a Mastercard QR on-card solution that enables cardholders/SMEs to accept cashless payments using their cards, the global payments giant said in a release on Thursday.
The country needs over $400 billion in capital investment, which could save over 100 GW of energy and 1.1 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases between 2015 and 2030 if it goes ahead with the measures to control pollution under the Paris Climate Agreement, says a report. Since the country is set to far exceed most of its 2015 Paris Agreement targets on climate change, analysts are keenly watching whether India raises its pollution curtailment targets or signals a 'net carbon neutrality' deadline at the two-day climate summit that began on Thursday.
Unbox Robotics, a Bengaluru-based logistics automation startup, on Friday announced that it has raised $1.2 million as a part of its pre-Series A round from BEENEXT, Karthik Bhat (through his syndicate on AngelList India), Info Edge (India) Ltd-backed Redstart Labs (India) Ltd, and WEH Ventures. Existing investors Arali Ventures, SOSV and HAX, and Entrepreneur First also participated in the round along with angel investors. This investment will primarily be used for scaling early client pilots, team expansion, and product improvements.
Vaccinating all citizens above the age of 18 years against COVID-19 will cost Rs 67,193 crore, of which states together will incur Rs 46,323 crore, India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra) said on Thursday. As the second wave of COVID-19 sweeps the country with alarming speed and severity, the government has announced a liberalised and accelerated Phase III strategy of COVID-19 vaccination. Under this scheme, all persons above 18 years of age will be eligible to get COVID-19 vaccine doses from May 1.