Startup news and updates: daily roundup (March 30, 2022)

YourStory presents daily news roundups from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Tuesday, March 29, 2022.
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Digital-first investment platform Nivesh adds Digital Gold as another investment option

Nivesh, a digital-first financial services company, says it has added Digital Gold as another investment option on its platform to provide additional wealth management experience to its users. The company has partnered with MMTC-PAMP to offer Digital Gold as an investment option.

Digital Gold will allow virtual investment of gold with pure gold as its underlying asset and translate it into holding gold virtually. It claims to assure the highest level of purity of gold with MMTC-PAMP offering 24K, 999.9 purest gold that is safely secured in 100% secure and insured bank-grade vaults on behalf of investors, according to a statement. 

MMTC-PAMP brings together MMTC Ltd, a Government of India Undertaking and Switzerland based bullion brand, PAMP SA.

Nivesh, a wealth creation platform, says it enables its users to grow their wealth using science, data, and technology. It offers investment options such as mutual funds, fixed deposits, peer-to-peer lending, Alternative Investment Fund (AIF), NPS and bonds.

Saurabh Puri joins Zaggle as the Chief Business Officer - Credit Cards

Zaggle, a SaaS fintech company, announced the appointment of Saurabh Puri as its Chief Business Officer - Credit Cards and Lending Products. He will work towards developing and leading the credit card and lending products business in partnership with banks and NBFCs.  

Before joining Zaggle, Saurabh was the Business Head - Credit Cards at Kotak Mahindra Bank, where he handled business transformation initiatives as well as the brand expansion mandate across verticals.

Saurabh Puri Chief Business Officer - Credit Cards and Lending Products, Zaggle

Saurabh has 24 years of experience, of which he spent 18 years mastering the credit card and unsecured lending area. Saurabh will work with Avinash Godkhindi, Zaggle's MD and CEO, to augment the growth momentum of Zaggle in the fast-growing Indian and global SpendTech markets.

ZoomInfo opens its first office in India

ZoomInfo announced that it has expanded its international presence with the opening of its first physical office in India. With its new office in Chennai, ZoomInfo will provide space for its India-based employees to work in a collaborative environment.

The office is located at the Isprout Business Centre in Chennai’s Seevaram Village. 

Mahindra Group ups stake in ag-tech startup Carnot to 69 percent

Mahindra Group has increased its stake in Carnot Technologies, an ag-tech startup, to approximately 69 percent. The group has also affirmed its commitment to its vision of making Krish-e, the group’s farming as a service vertical, India’s largest ecosystem of digital products and solutions. As part of the round, an attractive ESOP pool for future employees has also been created.

The Krish-e app is part of Mahindra’s digital foray into developing a marketplace that provides a range of services centred around mechanisation and advisory. The app in the agriculture technology space has amassed over three million downloads. It is also integrated with on-ground activities undertaken in Krish-e’s 100 centres across 16 states.

Carnot Technologies is a startup founded by IIT Bombay alumni who developed agriculture IoT platform Simha (rebranded to Krish-e Rental) which now has over 25,000 tractors, harvesters, and sprayers working on over three million acres of land each season. 

Co-founders of CredAble (Ram Kewalramani & Nirav Choksi)

TenderCuts introduces freshness tracker for its customers

Direct-to-Consumer brand, Tendercuts has introduced real-time tracking for customers to know when their meat was “freshly cut”.

Traditionally customers always prefer to procure freshly cut meat over packaged meat. TenderCuts claims that from its inception it has provided freshly cut meat, which means the meat is always cut just before the delivery for online orders.

IIT Kanpur signs MoU with Ortho Regenics for bone regeneration tech transfer

IIT Kanpur has transferred bone-regeneration technology to Ortho Regenics Pvt Ltd recently. This technology will act as a carrier for bioactive molecules to help in bone regeneration. Titled “Nano-Hydroxyapatite based porous polymer composite scaffolds for bioactive molecule delivery in musculoskeletal regeneration,” the technology has been developed by Prof. Ashok Kumar and Arun Kumar Teotia from the Department of Biological Sciences and Bioengineering at IIT Kanpur.

The technology licensing agreement was formally signed between IIT Kanpur and Ortho Regenics Pvt. Ltd. on March 28.

The MoU exchange ceremony saw the presence of Prof. S. Ganesh (Deputy Director), Prof. Amitabha Bandyopadhyay, Professor-in-Charge, Innovation & Incubation, Prof. Ankush Sharma (Co-PIC, Innovation & Incubation), Prof. Ashok Kumar, BSBE (Inventor of the technology), Prof. Gopal Pande & Dr. Sudhir Reddy (Licensee & Directors of Ortho Regenics). It has been licensed with an objective to overcome the problems related to bone and joint disorders, capable of biocompatible bone regeneration.

The novel material is biodegradable and has osteoinductive (bone healing process) and osteopromotive (material for new bone growth) properties for bone regeneration.

Although there are several existing remedies for bone regeneration, they usually pose the risk of infection and immune-related complications. This technology provides a collagen-nano-hydroxyapatite composite macroporous gel, which is a potential approach for reconstruction of irregular bone defects and dental applications as well. Hence, the primary objective of this invention is to overcome the drawbacks of alternative remedies.

CredAble records $3 billion in disbursements to 1,50,000 small and medium businesses in one year

During FY 2021-22, CredAble – working capital tech platform has disbursed a record $3 billion to cash-strapped businesses, which includes large and mid, emerging corporates; vendors and dealers of large enterprises; micro, small and medium enterprise (MSMEs); and financial institutions.

This comes at a time when the MSME sector which contributes 40 percent to total exports in India continues to find itself in financial distress with only 16 percent of them eligible for formal credit, according to a statement.

Pickrr announces same day delivery in metro markets

Pickrr, a SaaS-based logistics platform, has announced same-day deliveries in the metro markets. Post receiving the order, the shipment reaches the end consumer from the nearest Pickrr Plus fulfilment centre making faster delivery at minimal transportation cost.

CEO and Co-founder of Pickrr, Gaurav Mangla, said, “The industry has witnessed many changes in the e-commerce sector due to dynamic customer demands. Last-mile operations have been a persistent challenge and were a major hindrance in achieving same-day deliveries. The consequent efforts by sellers to meet customer expectations have constantly pushed us to devise strategies that have driven our goal to achieve maximum same-day deliveries in metro cities. We will keep introducing more technologies that will help brands remove logistics barriers.”

With a wide array of tech-enabled services deployed at every step, the brand’s key focus is to reduce turnaround time. The all-in-one dashboard streamlines the whole process from placing the order to the time it gets delivered; Pickrr uses various value-added services that automatically selects a suitable courier partner, calculate the RTO risk percentage concerning all the pin-codes to make decisions safely and quickly, keeping customers informed at seven different steps of delivery, etc.   

Currently, Pickrr is delivering three million shipments per month, and 90 percent of them are delivered within 24 - 48 hours. The metro cities are the first phase of Pickrr’s same-day delivery initiative, and the company will be working actively towards achieving the same speed in Tier-II and III markets.

WebEngage and CM.com partner to leverage conversational commerce

CM.com, a cloud software for conversational commerce, announced today that it has partnered with WebEngage, a full-stack Retention Operating System, for consumer businesses.

This partnership is set to disrupt customer experience by combining WebEngage’s deep domain expertise in retention and CM.com's software suite for Conversational Commerce that empowers marketing, sales and customer service across industries. WebEngage customers can now use CM.com’s communication solutions to engage with their customers on platforms such as SMS, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Instagram Messenger. 

CM.com and WebEngage aim to add more solutions under their combined suite of offerings. 

“CM.com is a believer in personalization catering to the exact needs of the customer without compromising on technology. WebEngage is one of the best user retention platforms, and this partnership will transform the customer experience by integrating a marketplace with mobile and communication channels,” said  Chetan Borkar, CM.com’s Country Manager for India and Sri Lanka. 

He added, “In today’s tech-first world, it is essential for brands to understand the correct use cases of technology while keeping the human connection intact at the same time. This partnership will not only make business operations hassle-free but also ensure that brands receive maximum output at a reasonable cost” 

Avlesh Singh, Co-founder and CEO, WebEngage, said, “With companies realising the potential of customer experience in transforming business performance, retention marketing strategies have become a priority to reckon with. This collaboration with CM.com reiterates our commitment to enabling businesses to build personalised experiences at a massive scale, creating user engagement that feels real, just like talking to a friend. With this partnership, businesses will now be able to leverage stellar conversational commerce through CPaaS solutions from CM.com on the WebEngage Retention Operation System.

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