Startup news and updates: daily roundup (Feb 4, 2022)

YourStory presents daily news roundups from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Friday, February 4, 2022.

Startup news and updates: daily roundup (Feb 4, 2022)

Friday February 04, 2022,

7 min Read

Disruptors Capital launches Rs 120 Cr SEBI approved fund

Disruptor Capital on Thursday said the Securities and Exchange Board of India(SEBI) approved its Rs 120 crore venture capital (VC) fund that will invest in early-stage tech startups across India, South-East Asia, and the Bay Area in the US.

The fund is registered as category-I Alternate Investment Fund (AIF) — the category that includes VC funds with pooled private investment. 

Founded by Raj Snehil Juneja, Disruptors Capital aims to bridge the gap for founders by supplementing capital with strategic guidance needed, in the early stages of breaking ground. The three key areas where they support their portfolio include business development (including KPI setups), fundraising and positioning for attracting talent.

Shashwat Kumar and Kunal Walia and other entrepreneurs-turned-investors are a part of the fund. 

Accenture appoints Manish Sharma as COO, Yusuf Tayob as Group Chief Executive - Operations

Information technology firm Accenture on Thursday appointed a new chief operating officer and a new group chief executive of its Operations service.

Manish Sharma, currently Accenture’s group chief executive — Operations, will take up the role of the chief operating officer from March 1, 2022. He will lead the company’s business operations and execute business strategy, including the ongoing digital transformation. 

He replaces Jo Deblaere, who has served as COO since 2009, plans to retire on September 1, 2022 after a 38-year career with Accenture. 

Yusuf Tayob will take Manish’s position as group chief executive — Operations. Currently, Tayob is market unit lead for the US Midwest. 

Feature Image

BioAsia 2022 awards Genome Valley Excellence Award to Dr Drew Weissman

BioAsia, the largest annual global biotechnology and life sciences summit of Asia, awarded the Genome Valley Excellence Award for the year 2022 to Dr Drew Weissman, recognising his breakthrough research and development of effective mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. 

He is a professor at the Department of Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, who has contributed to the development of various vaccines, including COVID-19, universal flu vaccine, herpes vaccine, etc besides several other therapeutic developments. 

The mRNA COVID-19 vaccine is used in the first two approved COVID-19 vaccines by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna. 

“Over the years the Genome Valley Excellence Award has been awarded to individuals with extraordinary merit - be it individuals or organisations for their immensely valuable contribution to the Lifesciences Research and Public Health,” said Shakthi M Nagappan, CEO, BioAsia and Director (life sciences and pharma), Government of Telangana. “This year too we are honoured to confer the award upon Dr Drew Weissman whose discovery of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine helped the world combat one of the worst health challenges the humankind has ever faced.”

Ather Energy signs an MOU with ESCOMs of Karnataka

Ather Energy, an electric scooter manufacturer, said on Thursday that it signed a memorandum of understanding with Electric Supply Companies (ESCOMs) of Karnataka to jointly establish fast charging for two-wheelers in 1,000 locations in the state.

ESCOM, the state-owned power transmission and distribution company, will be the nodal agency to provide all support to the implementing agency, 

The collaboration aims to create a favourable ecosystem for electric vehicles in the state and increase adoption. 

Tarun Mehta, CEO and Co-founder, Ather Energy said, “We are excited to partner with the Government of Karnataka and thankful to the Hon. CM of Karnataka Basavaraj Bommai for his speed, support and commitment to set up a statewide network of charging stations. A robust charging network is one of the most important factors in accelerating EV adoption. Karnataka has been at the forefront of EVs and this will further the lead." 

Ather Energy Factory

The Ather Energy scooter assembly line

SIDBI signs MoU with CDAC to strengthen cybersecurity capabilities

Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI), the principal financial institution for promotion, financing and development of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), on Friday signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), an R&D organisation under the Ministry of Electronics and IT, Government of India, in a virtual event.

The two parties will collaborate to explore innovation and use of emerging technologies in the areas of cybersecurity, AI/ML, blockchain, etc. and related training and capacity building aspects in the banking sector, SIDBI said in a release. 

Azooka Labs launches mWRAPR, a bio-sample collection kit

Azooka Labs, a biotech startup, launched mWRAPR, a biological transport and storage medium for research use, focused on genomic sequencing labs, biobanks, and research labs handling biological samples for molecular analysis. 

The Bengaluru-based startup is incubated by the Society for Innovation and Development at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc). 

The mWRAPR helps in preserving genetic content in all types of biological samples. 

"India needs to move to molecular tests ( PCR / RT PCR Test ) but the sample collection kits out currently are not molecular grade. They generally tend to be cheap nutrient-based media with significant potential for contamination. RNA WRAPR is the kind of molecular grade sample collection medium that India needs right now” said Alex Paul, Co-founder and CEO, Azooka Labs.

iLabKart Technologies will be its authorized partner for distribution in the states of Maharashtra and Gujarat.

NephroPlus launches apps for patients and nephrologists for better dialysis care

Nephroplus, a Hyderabad-based dialysis service provider, launched two apps to provide much-needed support for dialysis patients and nephrologists. 

Both the patient app and Nephrologist app would be available on both Android and iOS.

"We're making it easier for our nephrologists and guests to interact remotely, have video consultations and review and make changes to prescriptions and dialysis plans, where necessary. Our guests can schedule appointments, have virtual consultations with nephrologists of their choice, get dialysis-friendly diet plans, and much-needed guidance on how to live through their treatments,” Kamal D Shah, NephroPlus co-founder, said. 

PayMe India introduced ‘Buy Now Pay Later’ feature on ‘SALT’ app

PayMe India, a Noida-based fintech startup, launched an application ‘SALT’ to allow users to buy something without paying immediately, jumping on the ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ (BNPL trend in the industry). 

The buyer enjoys a credit limit and can pay his bills later within a specified interest-free period, without owning a credit card.

SALT requires the completion of a basic KYC process and the limit can be utilised either via ‘Scan & Pay’ or merchant transactions. The transaction is taken care of by a BNPL service provider who pays to the merchant on the behalf of the buyer, i.e., an alternative to the credit card. 

The app is in line with the startup’s aim of “developing flexible finance options of trouble-free credit solutions and ‘one-tap’ instant credit limit that permits buyers to buy something but pay for it later within a specified interest-free period,” Mahesh Shukla, Founder of PayMe India said.

Stashfin names Gaurav Shah as Senior VP – Alliances

Stashfin, a credit-led neobank, has appointed Gaurav Shah as Senior Vice-President - Alliances.

Singapore-headquartered Stashfin offers easy and flexible digital lending solutions.

Gaurav, who previously worked at InCred Financial services and HSBC and is an expert in cards, alliances, sales and partnerships, will be a crucial interface between Stashfin and various stakeholders – scaling up business and providing the impetus to drive new avenues for the brand, the company said.

"We are excited to announce the onboarding of Shah. Gaurav joins Stashfin's dream team of experienced professionals from the industry. He will strengthen internal and external coalitions and take Stashfin to greater heights. We are sure that his expertise will enhance Stashfin’s unique position among customers and partners," said Tushar Aggarwal, CEO and Founder of Stashfin. 

Edited by Kanishk Singh