Startup news and updates: daily roundup (March 9, 2022)

YourStory presents daily news roundups from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Wednesday, March 9, 2022.
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BharatRohan raises seed round

Delhi-based drone-based crop monitoring startup BharatRohan Airborne Innovations has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from US-headquartered funds, Upaya Social Ventures and impact investment entity Acumen Fund Inc

The company will utilise the capital to strengthen its presence in Rajasthan and Gujarat. Founded in 2016 by Amandeep Panwar and Rishabh Chaudhary, BharatRohan works with farmers, agri-input companies, NGOs, FPOs, and FMCG companies. On the farmer and FPO side, BharatRohan provides technology-based insights to minimise crop losses, purchase agri-inputs and help them sell residue-free crop produce to large retailers and FMCG brands and offer digital tools for farm traceability. 

At present, the company works with 6,000 farmers across 20,000 acres in Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. The company projects that it will expand its operations to increase the sale of seed spices, oilseeds and pulses across 2 lakh acres of area in the next 18 months and increase the volume of sale of seed spices to 7,000 metric tonnes with their network of farmers. 

Dreamsredeveloped raises pre-seed round  from India Accelerator

Pune-based tech-enabled property redevelopment platform Dreams Redeveloped has raised an undisclosed amount in a pre-seed round from Gurugram-based India Accelerator. The company will utilise the funds to develop its AI-enabled platform and expansion.

Founded in 2020 by S Lakshminarayanan and Harish Menon, Dreamsredeveloped focuses on providing end to end services for redevelopment. The platform focused on senior citizens' claims to offer hassle-free experience and transparency during the process of redevelopment. 

“Having gone through the nitty-gritties of redevelopment we are focussed on building a platform which provides a hassle-free experience to the senior citizens in their whole redevelopment process, provides a good discovery and transparent platform for the developers and also provides a gamut of services for the service providers like architects, lawyers, liaisoning, mediation, etc. Dreamsredeveloped has been well-received by the market and has been growing at a rapid pace in a niche market,” said S Lakshminarayanan, Founder of Dreamsredeveloped in a statement.

CoinDCX and BITS Pilani partner to enable crypto education in India

Indian crypto exchange CoinDCX has announced its partnership with BITS Pilani's Computer Science Department with the aim to train over 100 students in blockchain technology in the span of one year.

As per a statement by CoinDCX, as crypto moves closer to mainstream adoption, this collaborative initiative aims to counteract misinformation and drive awareness among students in emerging technologies. It aims to focus on educational projects in blockchain and crypto, including smart contracts and DApps development, among other things.

Neeraj and Sumit, founders of CoinDCX

RBI introduces UPI for feature phones, allows users to make payments without internet

Reserve Bank of India(RBI) Governor Shaktikant Das on Tuesday released the country's most popular Unified Payments Interface (UPI) service for feature phones.

The service, known as UPI123PAY, will allow 40 million feature phone users in India to use the payment service without the Internet. Making a payment with UPI has already been accessible through the USSD method, but this new method will allow various digital payment options to users across the country, especially rural India.

To provide extra support, the central bank has also introduced DigiSaathi, a 24-hour helpline for digital payments, which will help users enquire via a website or chatbot.

VC investment into ecommerce companies clocks record $140B in 2021, India ranks 2nd after the US

In 2021, global venture capital investment into digital shopping more than doubled following a significant consumer shift to ecommerce platforms amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, according to London & Partners and Dealroom.co.

The total global VC investment stood at a record $140 billion, up from $68 billion in 2020, with the US and India leading the chart with investments of $51 and $22 billion, respectively, the report said.

Investment in India grew by a whopping 175 percent from $8 billion in 2020 to $22 billion in 2021. India was second only to the US ($51 billion), followed by China in third ($14 billion), the UK in fourth ($7 billion), and the most in Europe.

Deliveroo launches New Engineering Centre in India

Global food delivery company Deliveroo on Wednesday announced the launch of its India Engineering Centre in Hyderabad.

In the company's multi-year plan, the newly-launched centre will be a core part of Deliveroo’s central technology organisation and plans to employ over 150 engineers from the fields of analytics, platforms, automation, and machine learning by the end of 2022. 

Deliveroo said India will be its largest technology hub outside the United Kingdom, where the company is headquartered and recruitment for the same has started.

HRTech company PeopleStrong acquires PayReview

Enterprise HR technology company PeopleStrong on Wednesday announced the acquisition of salary and compensation tech platform PayReview in an all-cash and stock deal.

The acquisition is expected to extend PeopleStrong's capabilities by bringing efficiency and transparency to traditional compensation management and enabling enterprises across APAC to drive data-backed talent strategies and improve business profitability.

Sandeep Chaudhary, CEO of PeopleStrong said, “In today’s talent economy, the negotiating power resides with the talent, and pay management has become central to any value creation for employees. The new digitally adapted world comes with new work-life & business models which complicate things even further for high-growth enterprises with an ever-demanding talent workforce.”

315Work Avenue leases 800 seats to Square Yards

Source: Shutterstock

Coworking space provider 315Work Avenue leased 800 seats at business hub Amar Paradigm, Baner, in Pune to proptech startup Square Yards.

Based in Bengaluru, 315Work Avenue currently manages around 20,000 seats spread over 1 million sq ft across multiple locations in Bengaluru, Mumbai, and Pune. It plans to add another 5 lakh sq ft office space within six months.

Manas Mehrotra, Founder of 315Work Avenue said, “The deal reaffirms the potential created by the consistently rising demand of flexible workspaces amongst companies - startups, SMEs, mid-and large-sized enterprises that are looking to adopt hybrid workplace models.”

Edited by Kanishk Singh

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