Startup news and updates: daily roundup (Jan 28, 2022)

YourStory presents daily news roundups from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Friday, January 28, 2022.
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Zomato buys minority stake in AdOnMo and UrbanPiper, sets up an NBFC

Food delivery unicorn Zomato has agreed to acquire minority stakes in two companies — adtech firm Adonmo and business-to-business (B2B) software platform UrbanPiper.

Separately, the startup has announced setting up a Non-Banking Finance Company(NBFC) as its subsidiary. The proposed NBFC, whose name is yet to be finalised, will require RBI's (Reserve Bank of India) approval to carry out operations, the company said.

As for its latest investments, Zomato will buy a 19.48 percent stake in AdOnMo for $15 million in cash. AdOnMo, which claims to offer digital advertising beyond personal devices to outdoor digital screens, is expected to help Zomato "leverage new digital avenues for customer acquisition," the company said in a statement. Founded in 2016, AdOnMo saw a turnover of Rs 3.27 crore in the financial year 2021.

Games24x7 ropes in Hrithik Roshan as the brand ambassador of RummyCircle

Games 24x7 has announced actor Hrithik Roshan as the brand ambassador for India’s largest online skill gaming platform, RummyCircle. As part of the partnership, Hrithik will be seen in multimedia campaigns by RummyCircle, spanning across TV, digital and social media platforms.

Since its launch in 2009, the online skill gaming platform has partnered with talented personalities to further strengthen its engagement with millions of players across the country.

Announcing the association, Bhavin Pandya, Co-founder and CEO of Games 24x7, said, “We are very excited to partner with Hrithik, one of India’s biggest stars. Hrithik has had a remarkable career which is an epitome of versatility as he makes the right moves at the right time. His dynamism, talent, and widespread appeal have made him really stand out. This resonates well with Games24x7 as we are constantly differentiating ourselves by providing awesome game playing experiences.”

Hrithik Roshan, brand ambassador of RummyCircle

Teachmint acquires MyClassCampus to expand its offerings for schools & institutes globally

Teachmint, an education infrastructure startup, has announced the acquisition of MyClassCampus, an educational ERP player, which enables campuses with end-to-end digitisation of their operations, management and communication.

With this, Teachmint expands its offerings to schools and institutes by combining a deep ERP software with its own state-of-the-art Learning Management System. This deal marks Teachmint’s fourth acquisition, following Teachmore, Teachee India team, and Airlearn.

Co-founders of Teachmint

Founded in 2017 by Rachit Dave, Rutvij Vora, and Raj Kothari, MyClassCampus is a campus management solution that enables schools, colleges, and coaching centers to digitise all their operations from online admissions, HR and Payroll management, performance management to communication management among many other functions. Since its inception, the company has served over 1,500+ institutes and 2+ million students across 30+ countries.

Google to invest up to $1B in a partnership with Airtel as part of its Google for India Digitization Fund

Google and Bharti Airtel (“Airtel”) on Friday announced that they will partner on a long-term, multi-year agreement to accelerate the growth of India’s digital ecosystem.

As part of this partnership, Google intends to invest up to $1B, as part of its Google for India Digitization Fund, which includes equity investment as well as a corpus for potential commercial agreements, to be identified and agreed on mutually agreeable terms over the course of the next five years.

English language proficiency app ELSA releases availability of speech recognition and feedback engine API

ELSA, a company that uses speech recognition technology and artificial intelligence to help language learners improve their spoken English, on Friday announced the availability of its proprietary AI-enabled API.

This API technology integrates into any language learning solution to develop an English-speaking feature with automated speech recognition and interactive teaching. ELSA’s AI technology was built for the ELSA Speak App, which boasts 25+ million customers worldwide.

With the release of its API, ELSA is democratising the access to quality learning for users around the globe with new edtech partnerships with CNA Go in Brazil, Edulinx in Japan and Sahi.ai and UOLO in India to name a few.

Flipkart Samarth’s ‘Crafted by Bharat’ boosts the growth of India’s handicraft and handloom makers

As Flipkart Samarth’s first-ever dedicated ‘Republic Day’ sale event - ‘Crafted by Bharat’ comes to an end, it has reaffirmed the role ecommerce plays in empowering local businesses particularly MSMEs, artisans, weavers, etc.

The event, aimed at celebrating India’s rich culture and heritage by showcasing the traditional handicrafts and handlooms from across the country, was held on January 26, marking the occasion of India’s Republic Day.

The event saw a 1.4X increase in participation, compared to non-sale days, of artisans and weavers, and 25+ top Government and NGO brands associated with the Flipkart Samarth program.

Home furnishing, home décor, and grooming were the best performing categories during the sale, in terms of units sold. At the same time, large furniture, home furnishing, and home décor were best performing categories in terms of revenue.

Consumers from across the country showed an appetite for Flipkart Samarth products, with cities such as Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai, New Delhi, Patna and Pune driving the sales for products ‘Crafted by Bharat.’ 60 percent of the consumers were also from Tier II and III cities.

Safe Security and Infosys announce strategic collaboration to bring cutting edge risk quantification solutions to the market

Safe Security, a cyber risk quantification solutions, announced a strategic collaboration with Infosys, a global leader in next-generation digital services and consulting.

Safe Security’s SaaS platform SAFE, combined with Infosys’s capabilities in quantitative cyber risk management will enable organisations to get an enterprise-wide view of overall cyber risks, predict breaches using SAFE’s proprietary algorithm and know the potential financial impact of each cyberattack before it occurs.

PhonePe Pulse unveils digital payment trends for Q4 2021

Fintech platform PhonePe announced key digital payment trends from PhonePe Pulse Q4 (October - December) 2021. The latest report shows the tremendous pace at which the country is adopting digital payments.

The key highlights of this quarter were:

  • The PhonePe platform drove a cumulative 6.63 billion transactions in Q4, a 26 percent QoQ jump.
  • The Total Payments Value (TPV) of transactions processed grew 26 percent QoQ to $155 billion, mirroring the growth in the number of transactions.
  • Money transfers with UPI and merchant payments continued to register massive growth reaching 2.72 billion and 3.15 billion, respectively.
  • 25 million merchants were digitised across 15,700 towns and villages in India, which continued to help offline merchant payments register tremendous growth
According to the press statement, the trend of digital payments becoming a Pan-India habit which was observed in Q3, continued in Q4 as well with 722 out of 726 districts in the country clocking positive growth in the number of registered users and digital transactions.

Geographically, Goa (71 percent), Andaman (41 percent), Assam (37 percent) were the top three states and union territories in terms of QoQ transaction growth. Maharashtra registered 27 percent growth and became the first state to cross a billion transactions in a quarter (1.01 billion txns). Karnataka was a close second showing 24 percent QoQ growth and driving 932 million transactions.

Launched in September 2021, PhonePe Pulse is India’s first interactive website with data, insights and trends on digital payments in the country. The PhonePe Pulse website showcases more than 2000+ crore transactions by consumers on an interactive map of India.

Myntra Beauty launches coveted French natural skincare brand, Caudalie, on its platform

Myntra announces the launch of ‘Caudalie’, one of the leading global skincare brands from France that creates ultra-effective, clean, and chic cosmetics. Founded in 1995, Caudalie specializes in Vinotherapie and is well-known for its unique skincare products that harness extracts from grape and grapevine, and also for its Vinotherapie spas.

Today, the brand is one of the world’s foremost anti-aging and anti-dark spot brands, with a firm footing in 45 countries, the release states.

Myntra launches Caudalie brand on its' platform

Caudalie’s launch on Myntra comes at a crucial phase of growth in the Indian skincare sector, which was valued at $2,478.4 million in 2017, and is projected to reach $5,033.7 million by 2027, registering a CAGR of 9.5 percent from 2021 to 2027, according to industry reports. With the addition of Caudalie, Myntra, currently houses 850+ brands and 38,000 products under Myntra Beauty.

WRMS appoints Satheesh Arjilli as VP – Business Development

Weather Risk Management Services (WRMS) appoints Satheesh Arjilli as Vice President – Business Development. In his new role, Satheesh will head the overall business development strategies of WRMS.

Using his wheelhouse, he will provide strategic direction to the company’s growth agenda and operations to amplify WRMS’ core idea to promote sustainable agriculture. In addition to his responsibilities, he will be upgrading the WRMS processes to cope up with the business challenges, training the units on the process-related issues, business negotiations, and building sustainable corporate relationships.

Meta partners with FICCI to enable 5 lakh women-led SMBs across India

Meta, under its #SheMeansBusiness program has partnered with FICCI’s ‘Empowering the Greater 50%’ to enable and support 5 lakh women-led small businesses across India. The announcement was made during Meta’s inaugural National Women Entrepreneurship Summit to encourage industry dialogue and steps to support the MSMEs across sectors.

Access to capital and relevant digital tools remain the leading issues faced by women led businesses. Out of over 63 million small businesses in India, approximately 20 percent are owned by women highlighting the need to bring more gender equality.

Research and studies show that bringing girls and women online can spur economic progress, expand markets, and improve health and education outcomes for everyone. In today’s ever evolving digital economy, it is important to have access to information and tools that are relevant for business and entrepreneurs across different stages of growth.

In India, 52 percent of small businesses using Facebook made at least 25% of their sales digitally in the past month.

Together with FICCI, Meta will address the barrier to access right digital tools and resources by offering easy access to tools, programs and resources by Meta to women entrepreneurs in India.

Edited by Megha Reddy

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