Startup news and updates: daily roundup (Feb 21, 2022)

YourStory presents daily news roundups from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Monday, February 21, 2022.
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AiDash buys Neurafarms.ai to boost farming solutions biz

AiDash, a startup that uses satellite and AI to provide services, on Monday said it has bought Neurafarms.ai, a geospatial and AI-powered farming solutions provider in an undisclosed deal.

AiDash will use Neurafarms.ai's assets to build on its solution for farmers and other stakeholders in the agricultural setup. Bhavesh Patidar, Neurafarms.ai's co-founder will join AiDash's team to bolster its disaster and disruptions management system which is expected to better help industries manage disasters.

"Neurafarms.ai's vision was to change the way Earth Observation (EO) data is consumed in India, and I strongly believe that our acquisition by AiDash will not only help us accomplish our goals, but also transform the way stakeholders use data for decision-making across industries worldwide," said Bhavesh in a press release announcing the deal.

The startup's head of research and development, Dr Anil Singh, will also join AiDash, the companies said. His role will focus on improving the company's R&D activities, and channel data into solving industry problems.

Wego set to buy Cleartrip's Middle East biz from parent co Flipkart

Online travel booking website Wego, which mainly operates in the MENA region (Middle East /North Africa), said it will be buying Flipkart-owned Cleartrip's operations in the Middle East to strengthen its presence there.

The Boards of Flipkart and Wego have both approved the transaction, which is expected to close in the second half of 2022, the two companies said.

Flipkart Group CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy

Cleartrip expanded into the Middle East in 2010, and in 2018 acquired Riyadh-based Flyin.com, which will be included in the sale to Wego.

"Given our strategic priorities and focus on the Indian market, the acquisition of Cleartrip’s Middle East business by Wego provides continuity to its business, and we believe that they are the right partners to boost its next phase of growth," said Ravi Iyer, Senior Vice President and Head of Corporate Development at Flipkart in a press release.

Fintech startup Mosambee buys BNPL-focused Benow

Payment solution startup Mosambee on Monday said it has acquired BNPL-focused firm Cashless Technologies, which runs Benow, in a cash and stock deal.

As part of the deal, Mosambee will help Benow expand its offerings and services, as well as leverage its network of partners to deepen its presence across the country.

Benow's CEO, Soorraj VS, will continue to lead its efforts, Mosambee said in a press release announcing the acquisition.

Insurtech player RenewBuy acquires peer Artivatic.AI

RenewBuyon Monday said it has bought Bengaluru-based Artivaticin a deal that will help it extend its tech solutions to the entire value-chain in insurance, including sales, underwriting and claims.

The tech integration will help both the insurance-tech companies provide superior customer solutions related to insurance claim settlements, risk assessments and underwriting, RenewBuy said in a press release announcing the acquisition.

Team RenewBuy

"Once we met the team from Artivatic.AI, we realised that the underwriting and claim settlement issues they have solved using their AI-driven solutions will deliver the most powerful digital platform in this space," said Balachander Sekhar, Founder and CEO of RenewBuy.

"The integrated solutions will give us a massive competitive edge and solve a long-standing problem for the industry," he added.

Goa-based edtech startup BrighCHAMPS to accept crypto payments

BrightCHAMPS, an edtech startup based out of Panjim, Goa, said on Monday it will accept cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, tether, and ethereum as modes of fee payment across the 30+ countries it operates in.

It has tied up with crypto payment gateway TripleA to facilitate crypto fee payments for its new and existing customers.

"Cryptocurrency is the future of payments, and we, at BrightCHAMPS, are committed to ensuring that our customers are always empowered to embrace change," said Ravi Bhushan, founder and CEO of BrightCHAMPS in a press release.

"It is our belief that lack of financial literacy is one of the costliest things that can happen to anyone in the world," he added.

Shadowfax to move 75 percent of its fleet to EV in the next two years

Last-mile delivery platform Shadowfax said 75 percent of its delivery fleet will be electric vehicles by 2024, and it will aim to transition the remaining by 2026.

The move is part of a global effort to make logistics more sustainable and environment friendly, Shadowfax said.

BharatPe's Ashneer Grover wants to get into politics

Over the weekend, BharatPe founder and Shark Tank India judge Ashneer Grover spoke about his ambitions to pursue politics in the future.

On an appearance on Rohan Joshi's popular YouTube channel, Grover discussed a wide range of topics. Responding to a question about what's next, Grover immediately mentioned his desire to get into politics, linking it to his experience as a founder in the Indian economy.

"As startup founders, we all have become significant part of the Indian economy, [but] at the political level, we are underrepresented," said Grover. "At some point of time, I want to get there [politics]."

Grover has recently been embattled in a series of public disagreements, but he clearly seems ready to move on and put this period behind him. As he ended his appearance on the podcast, he said that his immediate focus was living life day by day, running his house, and buying food to eat.

Kerala to have 15K startups by 2027; K'taka to build startup ecosystem

On the occasion of the third annual 'Huddle 2022' conference run by Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM), Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan announced an ambitious target of having over 15,000 startups and two lakh jobs in the state over the next five years.

He added that his government was hoping to create a startup ecosystem in Kerala's capital, Thiruvananthapuram, to match that one that currently exists in the coastal town of Kochi.

(Representational image)

"Startup India ranking places Kerala as one of the top Indian states for startup environment,” said CM Vijayan.

"Startups being the future of the country, Kerala is committed to providing the right ecosystem. Our startups have raised Rs 3,200 crore as equity investments since 2015. Along with startup infrastructure in the Technology Innovation Zone Kochi, the government is considering a similar campus at Thiruvananthapuram, focusing on emerging technologies."

Karnataka Digital Economy Mission (KDEM) on Saturday said it has agreed to a memorandum of understanding with Sri Jayachamarajendra College of Engineering - Science & Technology Entrepreneurs Park (SJCE-STEP) to create a startup ecosystem in the state. This effort will aim to focus on skill development, employment generation, and the overall development of the ecosystem.

Edited by Anju Narayanan

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