Startup news and updates: daily roundup (March 22, 2022)

YourStory presents daily funding and news roundups from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Tuesday, March 22, 2022
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Former Jabong CFO Vinod Abrol joins Lemme Be as Co-founder, COO, CFO

Lemme Be, a young period care brand, announced Vinod Abrol as the newly appointed Co-founder, COO, and CFO of the brand. With management experience of over 22 years, Vinod teams up with the startup to help revolutionise the period-care sphere. A qualified CA from ICAI, New Delhi, Vinod is an alumnus of the prestigious Delhi University.

Since March 2018, he has been the Head of Private Investments at the SAR Group, having first-hand experience of digitalisation of businesses in the B2B, D2C and D2R sectors. His expertise in direct and passive investing, and finance has led to the tremendous growth of multiple startups. 

Prior to this, he also served as the Chief Financial Officer at Jabong, where he played essential decision-making roles while leading Business Development, Finance, Category Planning and Management, Restructuring, among others, and later went on to lead a team of close to 100 across verticals.

Unlu partners with Expy to launch creative education fund for creators

unlu, a platform for creators to learn and collaborate to produce monetisable content, announced its partnership with Expy, a 'monetisable link in bio' tool with a private community for creators. As part of the strategic partnership, both platforms aim to share cross-creator benefits in the creator and entertainment space.

Content creation has become a source of livelihood for many. To help creators succeed in building an income or a career from their content, Unlu and Expy also announced to set up a million-dollar fund in the field of creative education and provide scholarships to talents across music, writing, acting. This will help provide necessary resources to aspiring creators and empower them with a skill set and mindset of deliberate creativity.

Simplilearn and JobsForHer to upskill 1,000 women to make them job-ready

Edtech startup Simplilearn announced it's partnering with JobsForHer, an online platform for women’s careers, to train and upskill 1,000 women in the next year in Full Stack Java Development, making them job-ready for the future.

This programme, designed as a ‘women-exclusive’ initiative, aims to strengthen the position and capacities of women in tech, designed to bridge the gender gap in the professional space. To this end, Simplilearn aims at creating 1,000 women Java developers by the end of the year through this partnership with JobsForHer.

The programme will be of a duration of 1 year – of which six months will constitute learning modules, and the next six months will be devoted to the career preparation of the learners. Each batch shall consist of 50 women learners who will be trained by Simplilearn to master coding and also to build their own projects, apps, websites, and backend systems. JobsForHer will provide exclusive mentorship to these women learners, who will get a chance to connect with the finest mentors and can receive the best career guidance, industry insights, and inspiration from the top corporate leaders. Women learners will also receive invites to be part of JobsForHer exclusive networking events with top companies committed to hiring talented and skilled women to their diverse teams.

FanCode becomes official broadcast partner of Meiji Yasuda J1 League in India

FanCode has acquired exclusive broadcast rights for the Meiji Yasuda J1League in the Indian subcontinent. The top-tier Japanese football tournament kicked off on February 18 with the reigning champions Kawasaki Frontale taking on F.C.Tokyo.

As part of this partnership, FanCode will live stream select matches through the season. The league has attracted international football stars including former Barcelona star Andres Iniesta, Bojan Krkic, Leandro Damiao, Yoshinori Muto among others.

Photo: YS Design

Indira IVF becomes the first speciality chain to attain 1 lakh successful IVF stories in a decade

Indira IVF has achieved 1,00,000 successful IVF stories, claiming that it is the first IVF single-speciality chain in the country to notch this milestone in a span of 10 years. The organisation has observed that among all female patients who visit its centres, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and blocked fallopian tubes are the two leading causes of infertility whereas low sperm count contributed to the most number of male infertility cases.

The organisation has conducted 742 physical camps educating 60,000 couples across the country. Even during the COVID-19 period, the efforts continued with digital integration and personalised counselling. Of its 107 centres, 50 percent are located in Tier II and III locations, empowering the diaspora with awareness on medical treatments of infertility and providing easy access to technologically-backed treatment. The group plans to open 20-30 more such centres every year with international exposure by establishing centres in Bangladesh and Nepal.

Cuemath expands C-Suite to strengthen leadership

Edtech startup CueMath has been expanding its C-Suite ever since Vivek Sunder was appointed as company CEO in October last year. In continuation to this, it has now appointed Varun Jha as the company’s new Chief Marketing Officer, Tanaya Kilara as Chief Customer Officer, and Santanu Chari as Chief of the Teacher Community.

Varun will support Cuemath’s growth and help scale the company’s expansion in the global market. A consumer internet industry veteran with over 15 years of experience in growth, product, and scaling consumer commerce businesses, he has worked in leadership roles across companies like Zoomcar, Snapdeal and PayU. In his last assignment, Varun was heading Business and P&L for Wynk and Airtel Xstream (Airtel’s digital offering). He is an alumnus of IIM Bombay and the University of Mumbai.

Tanaya is a Wharton School graduate who comes with global experience across education and customer experience, working at the World Bank in the US, running a chain of about 500 schools in East Africa and most recently heading Education Solutions at Varthana, a school lender.

Santanu will lead the Teacher Community and Operations, and will be instrumental in teacher recruiting and training, management, upskilling and teacher quality. He is a hands-on business leader and he was Vice President and part of the senior leadership at Global Alliance for Mass Entrepreneurship (G.A.M.E) and at education companies such as Edureka and Avado Learning. He is an alumnus of IIM Lucknow and Bangalore university.

OMOTEC student wins Google Code to Learn 2021

A student of OMOTEC — an edtech company specialising in coding, robotics, innovation and research — has won the Google India Code to Learn 2021 competition. Moksh Nihalani, using MIT’s open-source software for Android App development for his project titled ‘PRISM- Smart Communication’, has won the top spot at the annual National event geared to promote computer science among students in grades 5-12.

OMOTEC had 24 participants compete at the national level, of whom five had qualified as finalists.

OMOTEC’s robotics-, ML- and AI-led mentoring programmes encourage students to learn, analyse and solve real-life problems with new-age and meaningful solutions and products. The goal is to equip students with the wherewithal to work in fields poised for growth in the future.

Vedantu ropes in Nikhil Rungta as Chief Growth Officer

Vedantu has announced the appointment of Nikhil Rungta as Chief Growth Officer. Nikhil will be responsible for scaling and driving growth across all business units, directly reporting to Vamsi Krishna, CEO and Co-founder. His mandate will include brand, social and digital marketing, strategic partnerships, PR and YouTube. Nikhil will also play a critical role in strengthening the Vedantu brand and help in making it one of India’s most preferred online education companies amongst students, parents, and teachers.

Nikhil is a seasoned leader with strong management experience across consumer internet, technology, and SaaS organisations. Nikhil has held leadership roles at Google, Intuit, Yahoo, Reliance Jio, Housing.com and Yatra.com. In a career spanning over 20 years, Nikhil has successfully scaled businesses, built marquee brands, and led high-performance teams, in both turnaround and high-growth situations. Nikhil’s robust experience across global companies and start-ups will help accelerate growth at Vedantu.

IFSCA declares Signzy as winner of its Global FinTech Hackathon

International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA) has declared Signzy as one of the winners of ‘Sprint03:InsureTech’, its InsureTech Hackathon under I-Sprint’21, the global FinTech Hackathon. The Sprint03:InsureTech Hackathon was open to all eligible FinTech companies around the world and was one-of-its-kind, being backed by a financial sector regulator.

Signzy was named as the winner for ‘development of technologies for increasing penetration, better underwriting, or claims management of life or health products’. All winners will be allowed a direct entry into the applicable IFSCA Regulatory or Innovation Sandbox. They will further receive Regulatory guidance and handholding. After a successful exit from the respective Sandbox, they will get an opportunity to set up business at GIFT IFSC.

Signzy Co-Founders: Ankur Pandey (L), Ankit Ratan and Arpit Ratan Image Source: Pune Mirror

Insurtech startup Symbo appoints Kartik Poddar as Chief Growth Officer

Symbo announced the appointment of Kartik Poddar as the Chief Growth Officer. The appointment comes on the back of Symbo’s continued focus to scale its embedded business, with a deep focus on product and technology. Kartik will partner with Symbo’s leadership team to drive growth, expand Symbo’s footprint across geographies, achieve operational excellence and ensure strategic collaborations.

He will be responsible for the overall growth strategy of Symbo and drive higher adoption of insurance products across industries. He will work across teams and departments to foster internal alignment and also focus heavily on external marketing dynamics, customer needs and general consumer behaviour.

boAt opens CoD after partnering with GoKwik, boosts sales by 2x

Lifestyle brand boAt Lifestyle(Parent Company- Imagine Marketing Ltd.) has opened cash on delivery option for its customers for the first time on its D2C ecommerce site. This was executed after boAt onboarded ecommerce enabler GoKwik with an aim to boost conversions, reduce RTO, and increase overall GMV realisation.

With this association, GoKwik is helping boAt widen its customer base. The idea here is to enable best in class conversion rates to go hand in hand with a definite assurance that boAt can open up CoD in a risk-free manner. This partnership is expected to help boAt upscale further.

Enabling CoD on orders assists in increasing overall conversion rates. However, with CoD orders, an added risk of Return to Origin may become imminent as well. boAt, with an intent to increase conversion rate by enabling cash on delivery while also keeping return to origin rates minimal, has entered into their partnership with GoKwik.

Bank of Baroda partners with the Reserve Bank Innovation Hub to boost financial inclusion of women using technology

Bank of Baroda, one of India’s leading public sector banks, announced today that it is partnering with the Reserve Bank Innovation Hub (RBIH), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Reserve Bank of India, to promote the financial inclusion of women in India. RBIH has launched a programme on Gender & Finance named "Swanari" that seeks to combine technology with a greater focus on women to help women achieve financial security and independence. To that end, RBIH is launching the inaugural edition of Swanari TechSprint, which Bank of Baroda is supporting as a scale-up partner, to create digital solutions to close the gender gap.

TechSprints are problem-solving sessions that promote innovation and collaboration to create technology-driven solutions to complex problems. The core objective of the Swanari TechSprint is to improve the financial inclusion of women in India using technology and will serve as a platform to encourage women-led start-ups and women in tech to create and produce smart, creative and sustainable solutions for underserved women from low and middle-income backgrounds and women-owned enterprises in India. The Swanari TechSprint will be held from April 18 to April 22, 2022.

Kunal Shah-backed fintech startup BankSathi get IRDAI Insurance licence

Backed by Marque Investors Kunal Shah (Founder of CRED), CP Toshniwal (Future Group CFO), Prateek Jain (Founder of Hem Securities), fintech startup Banksathi Technologies Pvt Ltdannounced that it has been issued an Insurance Corporate Agent licence from the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI). IRDA Insurance licence allows BankSathi to start offering a more diverse portfolio of financial products to customers through more than 5 lakh financial advisors.

“This licence is a big milestone in our journey. BankSathi is growing in fintech and this move to insurance products will give us further momentum and accelerate our growth in this space. We are building a robust, full-service platform for our advisors and consumers base through innovative products in partnership with high-quality financial Institutes and Insurers. This move will lead us closer to our goal of becoming a one-stop destination for all the financial needs of our customers,” said Jitendra Dhaka, Founder and CEO at BankSathi.

Founded in 2020, BankSathi aimed to increase the penetration of financial products — bank accounts, credit card

BankSathi Team

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