Startup news and updates: daily roundup (April 21, 2022)

YourStory presents daily news roundups from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Thursday, April 21, 2022.
4 CLAPS
0

Walmart and Flipkart present a roadmap for Indian Sellers to export via cross-border ecommerce

Walmart is now offering Indian manufacturers and trading companies an opportunity for international expansion as cross-border sellers on Walmart Marketplace, where they could reach a growing market of more than 120 million US consumers each month. Along with Flipkart and cross-border commerce company Payoneer, Walmart says it has laid out a detailed roadmap for local sellers with export ambitions at the recent Walmart Global Seller Summit in New Delhi. The roadmap is part of Walmart's efforts to expand its sourcing from India to $10 billion a year by 2027.

Attending the Summit alongside 650 invited Indian sellers, Michelle Mi, Walmart Vice President, Emerging Markets and Business Development – Global Sourcing, said

“Now is the ideal time for sellers from India to get started as exporters on Walmart Marketplace. It’s already one of the top online marketplaces in the U.S., and we’re investing heavily to help new sellers bring great products and service to the platform. As one of the first batch of Indian sellers on the Marketplace, those who join us now will have a great opportunity to find success in the U.S. as part of a curated community of trusted sellers.”

Binance’s blockchain technology to power IIT Delhi Fest, Rendezvous

Binance, the global blockchain ecosystem and cryptocurrency infrastructure provider, has announced the first-ever digitisation of attendee experience with the help of Blockchain Technology at IIT Delhi’s annual college fest, Rendezvous, scheduled from April 24 to 26, 2022.

 

Through this association, Binance aims to educate and spread awareness about the various use cases of blockchain, such as those being showcased during the fest ranging from NFT tickets, NFT certificates, fan tokens, POAP (Proof of Attendance Protocol), among others.

Moreover, in another first, the fest will witness NFT Tickets for all attendees during the Concert Nights. NFT Ticketing is being done at this unprecedented scale for the first time in India. As the title sponsor of Rendezvous, Binance will also launch their ‘Crypto for all’ educational webinar which will happen on May 1st as part of the fest. Through this webinar Binance plans to spread investor awareness for crypto and blockchain and issue completion certificates over blockchain by Binance NFT to all successful participants.

 

Binance is supporting a few crypto and blockchain-related competitions at the fest, such as Cryptocon (a crypto trading competition) and an NFTart competition, to offer the students an opportunity to gain exposure to the emerging technologies.

CleverTap appoints Anand Venkatraman as Chief Operating Officer

CleverTap, the world’s leading retention cloud, announced the appointment of Anand Venkatraman as the Chief Operating Officer.

 

Anand has over two decades of experience in building and scaling global teams and P&Ls across various sales motions. He joins from Freshworks where he led the fast-growing Asia Pacific and Middle East and Africa business. He also played a key role in driving global partnerships to independently grow the business across 40+ countries, scaling the technology marketplace and embedded Freshworks deep into the worldwide startup ecosystem. Prior to that he held leadership positions at Akamai and Microsoft in APJ and India.

Anand Venkatraman, COO, CleverTap

USAID-supported SAMRIDH healthcare blended finance facility supports Qure.ai to strengthen India’s healthcare systems

The SAMRIDH Healthcare Blended Financing Facility, supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by IPE Global, has committed 2.45 Crore INR ($350,000) to Qure.ai to scale Artificial Intelligence (AI)-enabled chest X-ray screening software, qXR, in 50 sites across more than 15 Indian states. The software will enable healthcare workers in the dual screening of COVID-19 and lung diseases such as Tuberculosis, in remote and resource-challenged locations, and will benefit an estimated 62,500 people in the next 12-14 months.

 

qure.ai is a leading health-tech firm that builds AI-powered solutions focusing on pulmonary and neurocritical care to deliver better patient outcomes. Qure.ai’s CE-approved qXR software not only detects 30 critical lung abnormalities in under a minute, but can also quantify the infection, giving healthcare workers real-time insights into disease progression. As a result, it provides instant diagnostic support and actionable insights for frontline healthcare workers while optimizing resources and strengthening community care.

BHIM UPI goes live at NEOPAY terminals in UAE

NPCI International Payments Ltd (NIPL), the International arm of the National Payment Corporation of India has announced that BHIM UPI is now live at NEOPAY terminals, across the UAE. This initiative will empower millions of Indians who travel to the UAE, to safely and conveniently make payments using BHIM UPI. NIPL and NEOPAY, the payment subsidiary of Mashreq bank, partnered last year to create the acceptance infrastructure in the UAE.

 

With the acceptance of BHIM UPI in the UAE, Indian tourists can now make seamless payments through BHIM UPI across NEOPAY enabled shops and merchant stores. This partnership will play a key role in transforming the P2M payment experience for Indian travelers in the UAE. The implementation of BHIM UPI in the UAE is a stepping stone toward providing a major boost to digital payments in the country.

 

Mr. Ritesh Shukla, CEO, NIPL said, We are glad to witness BHIM UPI going live in the UAE through our partnership with NEOPAY. This initiative will enable Indian tourists to perform payments using BHIM UPI which has emerged as the preferred mode of payment of Indian citizens. NIPL is consistently working towards simplifying digital payments and driving digital public goods across the globe with our cutting-edge solutions. We are dedicated to building a vast global acceptance network for UPI to ensure seamless user experiences when it comes to payments.

B2B packaging ecommerce platform DCGpac raises Rs 11.45 Cr

B2B packaging E-Commerce platform DCGpac has raised Rs 11.45 Crores in a Pre-Series A round. The round was led by Venture Catalysts; 9Unicorns with participation from Inflection Point Ventures. The funds will be used for building the technology front, marketing for growth, implementing other growth initiatives, and managing the working capital requirements of the firm.

 

DCGpac offers several product lines such as packaging products, warehouse supplies, raw materials, and corporate products.  

Wiom raises Rs. 30 Cr in seed round

WIOAI, a telecom and technology-focused company working towards deploying High-Speed Internet today announced that it had secured a funding of Rs 30 crores ($4 million). Starting operations in 2021, the company has witnessed phenomenal growth during the pandemic that has forced each member of a household to use multiple devices to stay connected. 

WIOM is creating a blockchain-based model seeks to create a first-of-its-kind distributed “Internet Delivery Model” in the country. This will enable more people to have access to the internet while also enabling them to augment earnings from any “extra internet” capacity. This new approach will help create a “People’s Network” to use the internet.

WIOM’s seed round includes investors including YourNest, 9Unicorns and a global tech giant. Few renowned angel investors along with existing investors Omidyar Network India and Auxano have also participated in the round.

Flipkart launches India’s largest modern fulfillment center in Haringhata, West Bengal

Flipkart, India’s homegrown e-commerce marketplace, announced the inauguration of India’s largest fulfillment center in Haringhata, West Bengal.

The tech-enabled facility that will create more than 11,000 job opportunities and will support around 20,000 sellers from the state and North-East region, was inaugurated (virtually) during the Bengal Global Business Summit (BGBS) 2022 by the Hon'ble Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee in presence of Principal Chief Advisor to Chief Minister Amit Mitra, Industries Minister Partha Chatterjee, Minister of Transport and Housing Firhad Hakim, and Chief Secretary H.K. Dwivedi. 

Located 50 kms from Kolkata, the Big box facility has an integrated supply chain management spread across 110 acres. It will help strengthen the local economy with the availability of stronger supply chain infrastructure to connect thousands of sellers from West Bengal and the North East region with national market access while also catering to growing customer demand. 

 

ISMG Acquires Majority Stake in Grey Head Media

Information Security Media Group Corp. (ISMG) is excited to announce the acquisition of a majority stake in Grey Head Media Pvt. Ltd., under ISMG Partners – ISMG’s newly formed growth unit for acquisitions, investments, and global partnerships. 

Founded in 2011 by Rahul Neel Mani and Pranav Saran, Grey Head Media (GHM) is a B2B media organisation, focusing on the enterprise technology and cybersecurity domains. GHM specializes in industry-focused events, research, surveys, and editorial content for a unique audience of enterprise security, risk management and technology professionals, through its two flagship brands – DynamicCIO and DynamicCISO.

Meesho partners with Cashfree Payments to provide Instant Refunds to customers

Meesho, India’s fastest growing internet commerce company, announced its partnership with Cashfree Payments, India’s leading payments and API banking solutions company, to enable instant refunds for all Cash on Delivery (COD) orders placed via Meesho’s platform.

This integration of Cashfree Payments is set to enhance the shopping experience of all Meesho users while also minimizing the need for manual intervention in certain orders.

 

Microsoft strengthens support for startups in India with two new initiatives

Committing to empower startups’ ambitions from idea to unicorn in the country, Microsoft India unveiled two new initiatives that will help entrepreneurs and their organisations innovate and grow. Curated for AI startups, Microsoft AI Innovate will be introducing its second cohort, and a hackathon for startups will provide resources and support to developers for creating digital solutions that empower business innovation, social entrepreneurship, and sustainability.

  

Selected startups receive OpenAI preview and credits, access to industry and technology deep-dive sessions and AI masterclasses by experts, mentoring by startup founders and renowned industry leaders, skilling and certification opportunities, among other benefits. 

Catering to both technical and business audiences, the program brings together tech know-how, global GTM partnerships and engineering expertise. 

The debut cohorts of 16 startups from fintech, manufacturing and logistics sectors graduated last month after weeks of immersive engagement with leaders, industry experts and subject matter specialists (see appendix for graduated startup details).

 

AgNext appoints Nitin Kochhar as Chief Business Officer

AgNext, India’s leading agritech company, has on-boarded business veteran Nitin Kochhar as Chief Business Officer to drive business expansion in domestic and international markets.

Kochhar is a business leader with over 16+ years of experience in building and scaling businesses across sectors such as ed-tech, e-commerce, logistics, among others. He will play a critical role in the development and expansion of AgNext’s business verticals, as the company continues to see accelerated demand for its offerings.

Terra Motors and SUN Mobility collaborate to accelerate EV adoption in India

Sun Mobility, the leading provider of battery swapping services for electric vehicles (EVs), has entered into a strategic partnership with Japanese electric vehicle manufacturer Terra Motors Corporation. Together, the two companies plan to integrate Terra Motors’s 3W passenger vehicles and 2W platforms with SUN Mobility’s swappable batteries-based energy solution.

 

As part of this partnership, Terra Motor’s identified 3W and upcoming 2W models will be integrated with SUN Mobility’s smart swappable battery technology, and those vehicles will then be deployed in several cities across India.

Google and nurture.farm announce research collaboration towards solutions to scale soil quality measurement in India  

Google and Nurture.Farm have announced a research collaboration to identify scalable and cost-effective solutions for soil quality measurement across farmland in India. The relationship aims to enable farmers with informed decisions that improve their yield and profitability in their practices across the seasons.

Combining Google’s AI, imaging technologies, and cloud infrastructure, and nurture.farm's direct on-ground reach and engagement with millions of farmers in India, the two companies have outlined multiple areas of research collaboration that will enable and accelerate the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices across the country.

NEW STATE MOBILE April update is live

Krafton today announced that the April Update for NEW STATE MOBILE is live on Android and iOS. This update brings the popular BR: Extreme Mode to the Erangel map, launches a new Survivor Pass, introduces the new MCX weapon and makes a variety of tweaks to other weapons and items.

 

In parallel with these updates, NEW STATE MOBILE’s collaboration with Among Us is currently live in-game. Through May 19, NEW STATE MOBILE players are now able to embrace their inner Impostor through an Among Us-themed mini-game, a suite of new in-game items, newly added props on the Troi map and more.

 

redBus announces Allu Arjun as its brand ambassador

redBus, the online bus ticketing platform, announces Tollywood sensation and ‘Pushpa’ fame, Allu Arjun, as its official brand ambassador. Allu Arjun will spearhead all major campaigns for redBus, while being the face of the brand, enabling the online bus ticketing major to connect with millions of his fans spread across the country today and is slated to appear in promotional campaigns for the brand in the days ahead. Allu Arjun’s association with redBus goes back to 2017 when he was also appointed as the brand ambassador for two years.