Startup news and updates: daily roundup (Jan 31, 2022)

YourStory presents daily news roundups from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Monday, January 31, 2022.
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Ecommerce supply chain veteran Sachith Varma joins Arzooo

Ex-Flipkart and Amazon veteran Sachith Varma has joined the Arzooo team as the Vice President of supply chain operations

Founded in 2018, Arzooo.com is a B2B commerce platform that aims to empower physical stores with its retail technology. 

The startup’s 'Go Store' technology allows stores to buy electronics at the best price, and equips them with a 10x bigger range of products, without having to invest in inventory. This is backed by attractive payments solutions to drive up sales conversion in-store.

Prior to joining Arzooo, Sachith was working with SKF Group as Vice President of supply chain and customer experience. He has previously worked with Flipkart for almost five years in various positions. He also worked with Amazon as the Senior Programme Manager for a year. 

“I am excited to be here at Arzooo and look forward to working on building the greatest growth potential by strengthening logistics and supply chain for a long term impact on the service to our customers,” said Sachith.

Arzooo.com serves over 27,000 retail stores in 21 major cities including Bengaluru, Delhi-NCR, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, and Vijayawada. 

NHA approves DRiefcase as India’s first personal health records app

India’s first Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM) integrated health locker Driefcase has been approved as the Personal Health Records (PHR) app for Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM) roll-out.

First announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in August 2020, ABDM is a digital framework that will connect patients, doctors and other healthcare stakeholders nationwide to facilitate the safe and secure movement of health information.  

DRiefcase will enable users to share health information under the ABDM framework with doctors and healthcare service providers.

“Digital technology will be the springboard for India’s leap into an integrated healthcare ecosystem that delivers better quality care, superior patient experience, faster insurance processing, and ultimately universal health coverage. As India’s first app to be approved for ABDM roll-out, we are cognizant of the trust placed not only in our technology but also our vision to bridge the information gap that is holding back the potential of our healthcare sector,” said Sohit Kapoor, Founder and Director, DRiefcase. 

This integration will allow users to create their own Ayushman Bharat Health Account and ensure that the created medical records are issued to the correct individual or accessed by a health information user only after proper consent is granted.

DRiefcase team

Anicut closes second debt fund, raises Rs 875 Cr to invest in 30 startups

Chennai-based debt investment firm Anicut Capital raises Rs 140 crore from Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) for their second debt fund. The funds will be deployed through the second debt fund, Grand Anicut Fund-II, which closed recently at Rs 875 crore.

The funds received from SIDBI is through the Fund of Funds for Startups (FFS) launched under the Startup India Initiative of Govt of India in January 2015. The ambitious Rs 10,000 crore FFS forms a part of Union Budget Allocation and was launched to boost the growth of the startup ecosystem of the country.

Managed by SIDBI, FFS contributes to the capital of SEBI-registered Alternative Investment Funds (AIF) instead of investing directly into startups. Thus, the corpus received has been down-streamed directly from the Ministry of Corporate Affairs.

Unacademy sets up ‘Grievance Redressal Council’

Learning platform Unacademy has announced the formation of ‘Unacademy Grievance Redressal Council’ (UGRC). The council will be chaired by Dr Rajan Saxena, a prominent academician and a retired Vice-Chancellor.

UGRC will provide a three-tiered redressal system, with external independent oversight, and will be open to everyone, irrespective of whether they are paid subscribers, learners accessing Unacademy’s free content, or general users.

The categories of complaints under the purview of UGRC include those related to content on the Unacademy platform, the conduct of educators, as well as consumer grievances.

Dr Saxena is a well-known academic, writer and management expert. He is a former Vice-Chancellor of NMIMS Deemed to be University, a former Director of Indian Institute of Management, Indore, SP Jain Institute of Management, and ICFAI Gurugram.

An internal redressal panel consisting of members from various functions, and headed by a Senior Unacademy Executive, will be set up under UGRC to decide on escalations, take remedial steps, and communicate effectively with complainants.

Infibeam Avenues acquires Bengaluru-based Uvik Technologies

Infibeam Avenues has acquired 100 percent stake in Bengaluru-based startup Uvik Technologies that allows smartphones to be converted to business and payment terminals.

The company plans on strengthening payments platforms by launching offline payments in February, it said in a press release.

With this acquisition, Infibeam Avenues wants to cover the entire merchant ecosystem, online and offline comprising MSMEs, large enterprises, PSUs and government, and banks.

The company’s offline offerings will include contactless payments, QR codes, bill payments, agency services, credit cards, working capital loans, reporting, and analytics.

Airtel buys 25 percent stake in Lavelle Networks

Telecom company Bharti Airtel has acquired nearly 25 percent stake in Bengaluru-based technology startup Lavelle Networks for an undisclosed amount.

The homegrown Lavelle Networks specialises in software-defined Wide Area Network solutions and it serves a range of industry segments. Its platform has connected several thousands of Indian enterprises from the nation's largest financial institutions to ecommerce networks.

Existing investors ASM Technologies has also done a follow on investment in Lavelle Networks.

Earlier this month, Lavelle Networks was named in the latest batch of the Google for Startups Accelerator (GFSA) India programme which helps high potential Indian technology startups to build and scale in its initial years.

“We are pleased to support Lavelle’s growth journey and excited to collaborate with them to take their world-class solutions to enterprise customers in the fast-growing Indian NaaS market. With our end-to-end solutions play and brand trust, we are uniquely positioned to serve the needs of India’s fast-growing digital economy,” said Ajay Chitkara, Director and CEO, Airtel Business.

Avendus forays into Institutional Equities Business

Financial services firm Avendus has agreed to acquire the Institutional Equities arm of Spark Capital in partnership with the management to expand its offerings to include institutional equities and capital markets.

Spark’s Institutional Equities franchise is home to an 80-member team and has catered to more than 400 institutional clients over the last 15 years. Ganeshram Jayaraman will continue to run the business as before.

“Spark has built one of the most respected Institutional Equities businesses in India, backed by a strong management team, led by Ganeshram,” said Gaurav Deepak, Co-founder and CEO, Avendus Capital. “Their focus on knowledge, excellence, talent and doing the right thing resonates very much with our DNA. With this partnership, we will be significantly enhancing our service offerings to our investment banking and wealth clients.”

Avendus will be significantly investing to build equity capital market capabilities, the company said in a statement.

Square Yards launches data intelligence capabilities on its portal

Proptech platform Square Yards has launched an industry-first, comprehensive data intelligence capabilities on its portal squareyards.com.

This enables the users to check the last transacted property prices in any project or locality in the top 10 cities of India as per the actual government registration records. Square Yards has made this data available for 1.4 lakh buildings and projects covering 8.6 million transactions in the top 10 cities of India.

“By making these records public, we aim to remove the information asymmetry and build the most comprehensive “Housing Dictionary” for the Indian real estate ecosystem,” said Tanuj Shori, Founder and CEO, Square Yards.

Square Yards is investing heavily in Its data intelligence platform that has more than 8.6 million data points on more than unique denominators to analyse transaction data (sale/lease), mortgage, govt value, land ownership, land information, zoning, reservation, road-width, building permissions and RERA details – on a GIS-enabled interface to support pre and post transaction diligence.

The platform has extensively mapped data metrics of Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru Gurugram, Noida, Hyderabad, Thane, and Navi Mumbai. The company is also piloting India’s first Digital Title Search and Property e-Valuation platforms with some of the leading banks in India.

Edited by Rajiv Bhuva and Kanishk Singh

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