Startup news and updates: daily roundup (Feb 7, 2022)

YourStory presents daily news roundups from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Monday, February 7, 2022.
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CredAvenue appoints Krishnendu Majumdar as Chief Product Officer 

Debt marketplace platform CredAvenue appointed Krishnendu Majumdar as its Chief Product Officer. In his new position, Krishnendu will drive CredAvenue’s product strategy and build deeper synergies within different product verticals through technology-oriented solutions. 

The former Vice President of Catalog and Buying Experience at Flipkart has over two decades of experience spanning across domains like banking, online brokerage, supply chain management, advertising, and ecommerce.

Krishnendu Majumdar, CPO CredAvenue

Gaurav Kumar, Founder and CEO, CredAvenue, said,

“Krishnendu’s deep domain expertise will help us elevate the operations of our current product portfolio while also driving the development of innovative new products to fuel further growth. Krish will be integral to our leadership team as we continue to penetrate deeper into the Indian financial market.”

Otipy appoints Amresh Kumar as Chief Product Officer

Otipy, a community group buying platform for fresh produce, appointed Amresh Kumar as its Chief Product Officer. An industry veteran, Amresh comes with 16 years of experience as the product head at various brands like Times Internet (ecommerce venture), Cardekho, and Unified Messaging Systems (now Everbridge).

At Otipy, he will be responsible for spearheading the product verticals across its consumer, community leader, and farmer ecosystems, and driving products for Otipy’s tech-powered fast supply chain enabling consumers to get the freshest product at the lowest price.

Indian hospitality sector witnessed 100.3 pc YoY RevPAR growth in Q4, 2021: JLL

According to a recent JLL report, the Indian hospitality industry is on a positive upward trajectory with rising traveller confidence led by improved vaccination rates and ease of travel restrictions.

As a result, Revenue Per Available Room (RevPAR) witnessed a growth of 100.3 percent yearly in Q4, 2021. The quarterly RevPAR (October-December) was at 41.9 percent, according to JLL’s Hotel Momentum India (HMI) Q4, 2021.

While the latter part of Q4 witnessed some impact from the Omicron wave, last quarter (Q4, 2021) was largely the best performing period of the last year bolstered by long weekends, holidays during festivals and social gatherings.

Business travel also resumed, albeit in low numbers, in some markets. The last quarter of 2021 (Q4 2021) also witnessed a significant increase in international arrivals as compared to the same time in the previous year.

Walmart’s Ranveer Singh joins apna as Head of Engineering: Communities

Jobs and professional networking platform Apna appointed Ranveer Singh as the Head of Engineering: Communities. Apna communities enable users to build their professional networks and seek support and advice from experts and other users to discuss professional topics.

Ranveer will be closely working with Chief Operating Officer of Communities, Karthik Manivannan, and will further build the product to drive business growth.

Ranveer brings with him over 17 years of experience in building consumer-tech products and custom software to solve complex real-time business functions at scale and has engineered exciting new products and features for end-users. He has worked with top brands, including Walmart, JP Morgan, Agora Analytics, and IBM.

Ranveer Singh

Mobile internet startup AppyHigh to double headcount in 2022

Following a steep growth in monthly active users across its ecosystem of apps for daily needs, mobile internet technology startup Appyhigh is set to double its headcount in 2022.

By December 2022, AppyHigh aims to hire close to 100 people across product, app development, data science, and marketing teams. Over 50 percent of the hiring will be towards product development, data scientists, and engineering, including engineers skilled in Kotlin, Node.js, Python, and Flutter.

By building global products based on the ‘digital hierarchy of needs’ of smartphone users, AppyHigh claims to have witnessed a monthly user growth of 10X in 2021.

The startup has also launched #AppyHire — an internship-to-hire programme to groom graduates from premier institutes into becoming full-fledged professionals to overcome the ongoing tech talent war.

Hero Electric partners with ReadyAssist for skilling of 20,000 mechanics to service EVs in India

Hero Electric partnered with ReadyAssist — a 24/7 roadside assistance company — to train and upskill 20,000 mechanics for servicing electric vehicles (EVs) under its Private Garage Owners (PGO) initiative.

The partnership will aid in identifying mechanics willing to upgrade their skill set and coaching them in the next two years. The training programme will have two stages divided among beginners and experts, respectively.

Once the training is complete, both the partners will assess enrolled mechanics and give them a Certificate of Merit. These certified mechanics will be onboarded with ReadyAssist to service pan-India customers via its initiative GRID — a specialised vertical focusing only on EV competency to address the growing demand for on-spot and doorstep service.

Falcon appoints ex-banker Chinmaya Desai as Chief Business Officer

Embedded finance startup Falcon appointed Chinmaya Desai as its Chief Business Officer, where he will be responsible for leading sales, business development, and increasing the startup's strategic presence across the Asia Pacific, Middle East, and Africa (APMEA) region.

This appointment is made in line with the startup's growth plan of achieving $30 billion in total payments value, Falcon said in a press note.

Chinmaya holds an expansive career of over 16 years across transaction banking and digital payments. As one of the core founding members of the Banking-as-a-Service business at RBL Bank, Chinmaya turned the cards and API banking division into a revenue centre and led key fintech startup partnerships for the bank from inception, many of which are “industry-first” models.

FirstMeridian acquires IT staffing company RLabs

Bengaluru-based FirstMeridian Business Services acquired RLabs, an IT staffing and consulting firm, having over 1,200 technology professionals deployed across its clientele in more than 40 locations in India.

FirstMeridian was founded in mid-2018 when investors Goldman Sachs, Samara Capital, and Janchor Partners came together to back an HR investment platform empowered by technology and innovation in staffing, managed services, recruitment, and HR automation.

This marks FirstMeridian's third acquisition in the IT staffing space over last three years and sixth overall.

RBL Bank partners with Creditas Solutions to automate collections

RBL Bank has partnered with delinquency management company Creditas Solutions for its ‘Neo Collections’ platform. The bank will utilise the SaaS-based platform to accelerate efficiency in collections across the loan cycle.

The partnership will also enable the bank to offer its customers a convenient, seamless, and non-intrusive repayment experience. Customers can access their consolidated account information anytime on any device and choose the most convenient payment option for repayments in just a few clicks.

The intuitive platform will further guide customers with personalised and meaningful insights to improve their credit scores. Powered by AI and ML technology, its platform is built to intelligently automate strategies for reaching out to customers individually empathetically, motivating them to repay loans.

Extramarks becomes the official learning partner of Arsenal

Extramarks — a global provider of new-age digital learning solutions — has become Arsenal Football Club's exclusive official learning partner in India, South Africa, Indonesia, and the Middle East.

With this partnership, Extramarks will combine football and education to drive awareness of its offerings, attract new-age learners, and promote access to ‘complete learning solutions’ for their holistic learning and development.

As part of the multi-year collaboration, Extramarks will introduce grassroots-level learning programmes, football workshops, meet and greets with the players, and other exclusive competitions and experiences in partnership with Arsenal to bolster engagement with its flagship schools and learners.

Extramarks will also have access to a wide array of digital, social, and logistical assets, including Arsenal imagery, club-certified coaches, and access to the club’s London Colney Training Centre to support learning opportunities at all levels.

HyLyt appoints Pooja Desai, former Mrs India as Brand Ambassador

HyLyt, a technology-based smarter information management platform, has appointed Pooja Desai, former Mrs India 2019 from Vadodara, as its brand ambassador. HyLyt app aims to provide an affordable solution to businesses so they can stay in control of the data that matters.

Pooja Desai

The technology platform offers multi-point search to filter information and customise views, which helps toward business information supervision and decision-making in real-time without time lag. HyLyt will be using Pooja's images and videos for its promotional aspects.

Pooja, while announcing the partnership, said, “HyLyt is a multi-façade product that is positioned to make operations smooth in a data-driven world, very much like women who handle multiple daily responsibilities in home and career. I am happy to be associated with such a brand that actually resembles and portrays the similarity so much.”

OSM partners with ElectroRide; plans to open over 500 dealerships across India

Omega Seiki Mobility (OSM), part of the Anglian Group Company, has partnered with Goenka Green to open over 500 dealerships across India by FY23-24. 

After 28 years of ICE vehicle dealerships, Goenka Green, under the Brand ‘Electro Ride’, enters the commercial electric vehicle with Omega Seiki Mobility. Omega Seiki Mobility, in a bid to tap the growing brand in the commercial electric vehicle industry, is eyeing 1,000 touchpoints by FY-24, and this partnership will play a key role in achieving the same. 

Dailyhunt, RedFM collaborate to launch Vibe Check, a short-video news delivery programme

Local language content platform Dailyhunt has collaborated with RedFM to launch an initiative named ‘Vibe Check’, which will bring India’s best RJs from RedFM to the content repertoire of Dailyhunt to present news in a snackable short-video format.

Dailyhunt co-founders: Umang Bedi (left) and Virendra Gupta

Furthermore, the Inclusive Divyangjan Entrepreneur Association (IDEA) — an association that works on livelihood opportunities for differently-abled individuals — has joined this initiative as an inclusion partner to enable the delivery of content to those with speech and hearing disabilities.

NBFC-fintech and venture growth company Arvog picks up stake in Nemo, a neo-bank for MSMEs

Arvog, a modern smart-tech-enabled diversified finance and venture growth investment company known to offer simple finance and leisure products and services, has invested in the rising neo-banking player Nemo. Based out of Hyderabad, Nemo enables growth for small businesses through a combination of tools, capital, and services on a single web-based platform. 

The collaboration is aimed at strengthening the value-added growth and readily available financing options for the country’s small and medium businesses and entrepreneurs and individual customers. 

Porter to launch its intracity logistics services in Chandigarh

Porter, a marketplace for intracity logistics, launched its services in Chandigarh. This marks the 15th operating city for the company.

The city being the capital for two states, Punjab and Harayana, and an access point for multiple markets has a highly fragmented and unorganised logistics landscape. Porter, with its tech-enabled platform, intends to support thousands of small businesses that are currently dependent on unreliable service providers offering poor service satisfaction at a high cost.

The company also plans to support the small vehicle driver owners that suffer from irregular income generation with minimum wage per ride. Addressing these challenges, Porter’s entry into the market is aimed to make Chandigarh a logistically strong economy.

EarlySalary strengthen its BNPL offering and forays into the healthcare sector

EarlySalary, a consumer lending platform for young professionals, launches Health Category to strengthen its BNPL portfolio. Additionally, EarlySalary brings onboard Parvaiz Hussain, CEO and Co-founder of HealthFin, who will now be leading the health category and strengthening its BNPL offering, which includes edtech, consumer tech, insurance, and health care categories.

Parvaiz Hussain brings his experience of building a health-focused lending platform, along with partners of around 1,000 hospitals, including Apollo, Fortis, and Wockhardt to EarlySalary.

With EarlySalary Health, the company continues to further its mission to serve every need of young, aspirational, and tech-savvy Indians.

Edited by Suman Singh

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