Startup news and updates: daily roundup (Dec 15, 2021)

YourStory presents this daily roundup of the latest news and updates from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Wednesday, December 15, 2021.
0 crosses 10 lakh sellers milestone

Amazon India announced that over 10 lakh sellers are now selling on from across India. It claimed that more than 90 percent of the sellers on are small and medium local businesses (SMBs) and over half of these sellers on the marketplace come from Tier II and III cities. 

The company says that since January 2020, more than 4.5 lakh new sellers have joined and over one lakh of these new sellers are local offline retailers and neighbourhood stores that have onboarded the Amazon marketplace through the Local Shops on Amazon programme.

ANRA and Swiggy successfully conduct over 300 drone-led food and medicine delivery trials

ANRA Technologies Private Limited and Swiggy conducted India's first end-to-end drone delivery trials in support of a project awarded by the Directorate General of Aviation (DGCA), and Ministry of Civil Aviation (MOCA) to prepare the next set of drone rules for commercial Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) operations.

A total of 352 drone trials were conducted for 100 plus flight hours covering 1,100 kilometres of incident-free operations. The flights consisted of multirotor drones operating on ANRA’s SmartSkies CTR and SmartSkies DELIVERY software platforms, delivering products from Swiggy. ANRA’s flight team conducted these tests in the campus of the Indian Institute of Technology Ropar, Punjab and in Etah district, Uttar Pradesh.

Signzy enlists former PayPal India enterprise business head as Chief Growth Officer

Banking infrastructure enabler Signzy, announced the joining of Siddharth Dhamija as their Chief Growth Officer (CGO) to strengthen their global expansion across Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA). and Asia-Pacific (APAC) regions. The announcement follows Signzy’s recent entry into UAE and continued expansion of its C-suite leaders in the region.

Siddharth brings more than 25 years of experience in growing the payment and enterprise business of leading fintech brands including PayPal and Razorpay. He has also spent considerable time in handling emerging markets during his tenure at Subex UAE.

Tarun Katial’s EVE WORLD acquires ‘Femcy’, a personalised menstrual wellness solution

Eve World — launched in October 2021 by Tarun Katial, Aparna Acharekar, and Rajneel Kumar and backed by Jungle Ventures — announced that it has acquired Femcy, a femtech brand focused on personalised menstrual wellness solutions. 

This move is in keeping with Eve World’s commitment to enabling meaningful conversations, top quality content, and curated services to its users. Founded by Nandhini Gopal, Femcy has built a comprehensive solution for menstrual health and nutrition and has an involved community which is extremely relevant to Eve World, the women-only platform built on the pillars of sisterhood and empowerment.

Eve World will use this acquisition to move closer to presenting its users with a comprehensive experience across entertainment, infotainment, knowledge series, and much more, on its tech enabled utility platform.

Stellapps enters into a 5 year partnership with Nutreco for improving animal nutrition

Stellapps announced a five -year partnership with Trouw Nutrition, the animal nutrition division of Nutreco. With this partnership, the Trouw Nutrition products will impact the entire customer base of Stellaps of 2.8 million farmers in 36,000 villages.

The partnership follows a successful 10-month pilot with 5,500 farmers across Uttar Pradesh and Kolar, Karnataka, which saw the use of Trouw Nutrition products, alongside mentoring and training, and resulted in an improvement on farm outputs such as milk yield and profitability.

Plum partners with Razorpay Rize to sponsor health insurance for early-stage startup founders

Employee health insurance startup, Plum has partnered with Razorpay Rize, the recently announced launchpad for first-time entrepreneurs, to offer exclusive group health benefits to early-startup founders. Plum aims to cover over 1,00,000 new businesses and entrepreneurs. This partnership with Razorpay Rize fructifies Plum's vision to help startups create a culture of ‘health insurance and employee wellbeing from day-one’.

Through this association, Plum aims to take an industry-first approach of helping startups with under 10 employees get insured and provide them with best-in-class health benefits.

Fisdom Stock Broking acquires one lakh customers within 45 days of its launch

Fisdom, a wealth-tech platform, through its newly launched stock broking services has acquired one lakh customers in its initial 45 days and aims to become one of the top five digital stock broking platforms in India by end of 2022. 

Fisdom aspires to become one of the top players in the country cemented on its unique proposition of cheapest, widest, and fastest digital broking solutions. This will be achieved through unlimited trades for subscription, products across asset classes and best-in-class technology solutions to handle volume growth with superior customer interface.

Plant-based meat startup GoodDot signs Neeraj Chopra as its Brand Ambassador

GoodDot, a plant-based meat startup in India, has signed up Olympic gold medallist Neeraj Chopra as its brand ambassador. Neeraj will be a key part of GoodDot’s mission of creating awareness about the new category of plant-based meats and enabling people to make healthier and more compassionate food choices. 

The association will also aim to propagate the message that small changes in lifestyle and food choices can go a long way in making the world a better place. 

Image Source: Shutterstock

WhatsApp enables financial inclusion across 500 villages of India with ‘Digital Payments Utsav’

To accelerate financial inclusion in India, WhatsApp announced its pilot programme of adopting 500 villages across Karnataka and Maharashtra aiming to empower villagers with access to digital payments through ‘payments on WhatsApp’. 

The announcement was made at Fuel For India 2021 - Meta’s annual event in India, that showcases positive impact and socio-economic transformation delivered by its family of apps.

The pilot called ‘Digital Payments Utsav’, started on the Oct 15, 2021, in Kyathanahalli village in Mandya district of Karnataka, where on-ground facilitators familiarised villagers with various aspects of digital payments including signing up for UPI, setting up a UPI account and safety best practices of using digital payments.

Teachmint acquires course-selling platform Teachmore to expand its offerings for educators and creators

Edtech startup Teachmint has acquired Teachmore, a course-selling platform which enables teachers to sell educational products like online courses, live classes, quizzes, and more. This cash plus stock deal marks Teachmint’s first acquisition, coming at the heels of its Series B fundraise of $78 million. 

Post the acquisition, Teachmore will continue to operate independently while also integrating on the Teachmint platform to deepen the company’s business support layer for their teachers.

The acquisition is in line with Teachmint’s goal of empowering educators across the globe with world-class infrastructure, which helps them digitise its classrooms and become future-ready. With Teachmore onboard, Teachmint will further expand its ed-infra offerings to enable teachers, freelancers and creators to build a global teaching business by sharing their knowledge and passion with ease.

Paytm launches Paytm Wealth Academy, a tech-powered educational platform for traders and investors

Fintech giant Paytm, owned by One97 Communications Limited, announced the launch of Paytm Wealth Academy, a tech-powered educational platform. The launch of the wealth academy is initially on the Paytm Money app, the wealth management app owned by Paytm’s wholly-owned subsidiary Paytm Money. 

Paytm Wealth Academy will allow users to learn trading and financial concepts at their own pace at their level of comfort. The platform offers a wide catalog of courses and webinars along with personalized recommendations for users, curated to complement their existing knowledge.

It has more than 70 courses and webinars available across multiple topics and languages, with new courses being added every week. These will be available via one-year subscriptions or paid individual webinars.

Flipkart partners with Sony Entertainment Television’s Shark Tank India, extends its commitment to encourage entrepreneurship in the country

Flipkart has announced its partnership with Sony Entertainment’s upcoming show Shark Tank India, a globally renowned business reality show. Shark Tank India will give a platform to business ideas, business prototypes, or active businesses to be evaluated by experienced investors and business experts (aka the Sharks) for investment. 

Produced by StudioNEXT, Shark Tank India will premiere on December 20, and air every Mon-Fri at 9:00 pm on Sony Entertainment Television.

As part of this partnership, several Flipkart sellers will also get to pitch their business ideas to the Sharks, giving them an opportunity to seek potential investments. Furthermore, many participants (entrepreneurs) of Shark Tank India will have their products featured on Flipkart, India’s homegrown ecommerce marketplace, that will provide them access to millions of consumers across India.

Team CollegeDekho forays into ed-fintech

CollegeDekho, India’s largest college admissions and higher education services platform, has recently forayed into the ed-fintech vertical to offer end-to-end financial solutions at zero percent EMI for students studying either within India or abroad.

This is a single digital journey for students who have their documentation available online as the web-based loan marketplace covers the entire loan sanction process and helps them get instant approval and disbursal within one day.

The company will look to cater to the financial needs of students and parents across India to help them achieve their educational goals. Initially launched as a pilot, CollegeDekho worked closely with colleges and students to make the solution inclusive and easy to apply for. This service today covers almost 1,000 partner colleges and is aiming to extend to 2,500+ colleges by the coming academic year.


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