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Startup news and updates: daily roundup (May 11, 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 Tuesday, May 11, 2021.

Startup news and updates: daily roundup (May 11, 2021)

Tuesday May 11, 2021 , 8 min Read

Startups fight COVID-19: Unofin launches Covid Corridor to assist patients find beds across Delhi NCR, Jaipur, and Chandigarh

Delhi-based healthcare and fintech startup Unofin, which offers instant digital and contactless pay later options for healthcare consumption, has announced a new initiative called Covid Corridor.

Through this, the startup aims to assist those looking for oxygen beds across its network of 550+ partner hospitals in Delhi-NCR, Jaipur, and Chandigarh. People can call at 8955 8955 89 to check hospital bed availability in the Uno partner network or to book free COVID teleconsultation.

Startups fight COVID-19: After Aarogya Setu, Vikalp Sahni is set to further digitise healthcare with Eka Care

Vikalp Sahni, founding member and former CTO of Goibibo, has announced the launch of his new startup – Eka Care. The startup is looking to build a digitally-enabled and connected healthcare ecosystem. To begin with, it has started with 24X7 free consultation for COVID-19 patients.

Pfizer COVID-19 shot expanded to US children as young as 12

US regulators on Monday expanded the use of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine to children as young as 12, sparking a race to protect middle and high school students before they head back to class in the fall.

Shots could begin as soon as a federal vaccine advisory committee issues recommendations for using the two-dose vaccine in 12- to 15-year-olds, expected Wednesday. Vaccinating children of all ages will be critical to a return to normalcy.


Image Source: Pixabay

Twitter donates $15M for COVID-19 relief in India

Microblogging giant Twitter has donated $15 million to help address the COVID-19 crisis in India, which is battling the unprecedented second wave of the deadly pandemic.

Twitter CEO Jack Patrick Dorsey on Monday tweeted that the amount has been donated to three non-governmental organisations Care, Aid India, and Sewa International USA. While CARE has been given $10 million, Aid India and Sewa International USA have received $2.5 million each.

Paytm to set up oxygen plant, provide concentrators in Gujarat

Fintech giant Paytm on Tuesday said it will provide 100 oxygen concentrators and set up an oxygen plant in Gujarat in an attempt to bolster its fight against the second wave of COVID-19.

The oxygen plant will be set up in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, Paytm Founder and Chief Executive Officer Vijay Shekhar Sharma said in a press conference, while the concentrators will be provided to government-run hospitals across cities.

OYO launches VaccinAid feature to show vaccination status of hotel staff on its on app

In the wake of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in India, hospitality major OYO has rolled out the VaccinAid feature to show the vaccination status of hotel staff across OYOs. In a tweet, Ritesh Agarwal, Founder, OYO, said, that it is an industry-first feature and that this feature will become a confidence builder for travel recovery.


NITI Aayog and Mastercard release report on creating roadmap for a digitally-inclusive nation

NITI Aayog and Mastercard on Monday released a report titled ‘Connected Commerce: Creating a Roadmap for a Digitally Inclusive Bharat’. The report identifies challenges in boosting digital and financial inclusion in the nation and recommends how digital services can be made accessible to all.

NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Rajiv Kumar; CEO Amitabh Kant; and Ajit Pai, Distinguished Expert and Head, Economics and Finance Cell; along with Ravi Aurora, Senior Vice President and Group Head, Global Community Relations, Mastercard, released the report.

Flipkart to add 8 lakh sq ft warehousing space to strengthen grocery infrastructure

Walmart-owned Flipkart on Tuesday said it plans to expand its fulfilment centre capacity for grocery by more than 8 lakh sq ft over the next three months across Delhi, Kolkata, and other cities. The additional fulfilment centre capacity will help Flipkart cater to over 73,000 grocery orders per day, a statement said.

SaaS platform Locobuzz raises Rs 9Cr in pre-Series A from SIDBI Venture (Funding)

Mumbai-based Locobuzz Solutions — a unified digital customer experience SaaS platform — on Tuesday, said it raised Rs 9 crore in a pre-Series A round from Maharashtra State Social Venture Fund of SIDBI Venture Capital Limited (SVCL).

The SaaS startup will utilise the funds to enhance its platform's technological capabilities, scale up its team across functions, and marketing and sales efforts.


Founders (L-R): Sahil Miglani and Ankit Maggu

We Founder Circle leads $200K Pre-Seed round in Gurugram-based Geekster (Funding)

Startup investment platform We Founder Circle (WFC) has led an investment in Geekster, a Gurugram-based integrated ed+hr tech platform for technology professionals. The Pre-Seed round worth $200,000 also witnessed participation from ah! Ventures.

The startup said it plans to utilise the freshly infused funds in launching skill development programs, accelerating the product development and offering its product to a wider client base.

Social enterprise startup Haqdarshak closes Rs 6.65 Cr in pre-Series A round (Funding)

Pune-based social enterprise startup Haqdarshak Empowerment Solutions Private Limited (HESPL) has closed its pre-Series A round at Rs 6.65 crore.

Investors, including The Deepak Group, Impact India Investment Partners, Beyond Capital Fund, Shalini Chhabra, and 3i Partners were part of the round, which closed this month. The round was kicked off in July 2020, led by Acumen Fund and supported by Upaya Social Ventures.

KFintech acquires 17 pc stake in insurtech startup

KFin Technologies, a General Atlantic-backed registrar and transfer agency and a market leader in the financial sector providing investor servicing, has announced that it has bought 17 percent stake for an undisclosed amount in insurtech startup,

Elon Musk

Elon Musk, Founder of Tesla and SpaceX

Elon Musk's SpaceX to launch Dogecoin-funded DOGE-1 satellite to the Moon

Dogecoin, which started as a joke and then became a high-yield cryptocurrency thanks to Elon Musk, is now going to the Moon — literally.

SpaceX has announced that it will launch "DOGE-1 Mission to the Moon" in the first quarter of next year. The entrepreneur tweeted that the company’s new satellite will be called Doge-1, and that the mission will be funded by Dogecoin.

All about the Shiba Inu coin and how to buy it in India

With cryptocurrencies like Ethereum and Dogecoin reaching new all-time highs, investors are always on the lookout for the next big thing. The latest in the crypto universe is the Shiba Inu coin, which has been garnering attention ever since the recent dip in Dogecoin.

Jack Ma, China's iconic billionaire, makes a rare public appearance in Hangzhou

China's most iconic and outspoken business tycoon, Jack Ma, made a rare public appearance on Monday celebrating Alibaba's "Ali Day"- an event for staff and family members- in the Hangzhou campus, according to company sources.

On Monday, Ma was seen in an open-air campus shuttle bus with a number of Alibaba executives, according to a photograph taken by an employee at the event, viewed by Reuters. Wearing a blue T-shirt, white trousers and a pair of Chinese-style cloth shoes, Ma was smiling. "It's so exciting to see Jack," said the employee, declining to be named.

Jack Ma

100X.VC launches not-for-profit initiative for entrepreneurs to learn startup strategies

In a bid to support the Indian startup ecosystem, 100X.VC on Tuesday announced the launch of its not-for-profit initiative – Entrepreneurship Gurukul. Through the initiative, 100X.VC will provide an education platform to aspiring entrepreneurs with no cost, no equity, and no fee.

Groww to buy Indiabulls AMC's mutual funds business for Rs 175Cr

Online investment platform Groww on Tuesday said it will buy Indiabulls AMC's mutual funds business from Indiabulls Housing Finance in a cash and cash equivalent deal valued at Rs 175 crore — a move that will help the Bengaluru-based startup break into the asset management space.

Medi Assist Healthcare Services files IPO papers with Sebi

Medi Assist Healthcare Services has filed preliminary papers with capital markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) to float an initial share sale.

The initial public offer (IPO) is entirely an offer of sale of up to 28,028,168 equity shares of Medi Assist by promoters and existing shareholders, according to the draft red herring prospectus.

K R Gowri

Image Source: Twitter handle

Remembering Kerala's 'Iron Lady' K R Gowri Amma, the lone woman in the state's first cabinet

Legendary Marxist firebrand and former minister K R Gowri, one of the founding leaders of the Communist movement in Kerala and the lone woman member in the state's first cabinet, died at a private hospital on Tuesday. She was 102 and had been suffering from various age-related ailments for some time, party sources said.

Telangana announces 10-day lockdown from May 12

The Telangana government on Tuesday decided to impose a 10-day lockdown in the state starting May 12, to prevent further spread of coronavirus. According to an official release, the state cabinet decided to clamp a lockdown from 10 am on May 12 (Wednesday) for 10 days.

PM Modi hails scientists, innovators for contribution to combating COVID-19

On National Technology Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said that in any challenging situation, the country's scientists and innovators have always risen to the occasion, and over the last year, have worked industriously to fight COVID-19. The National Technology Day marks the anniversary of the underground nuclear tests conducted in Rajasthan's Pokhran in 1998.

India celebrates National Technology Day; to create a sustainable future with technology

National Technology Day is observed on May 11 across India to celebrate the achievements of our scientists and engineers. It also serves as a reminder of the advancement India has made in the field of science and technology.

The day highlights an increase in entrepreneurship spirit to develop cost-effective indigenous solutions. Technology Development Board — a part of the Government of India’s Department of Science and Technology — commemorates National Technology Day by honouring several innovators and entrepreneurs.