Startup funding and news: daily roundup (April 29, 2022)

YourStory presents daily news and funding roundups from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Friday, April 29, 2022.
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JITO Angel Network invests in EV battery startup Nexus Power

JITO Angel Network announced an undisclosed investment in electric vehicle (EV) battery manufacturer Nexus Power, in line with its commitment to fuel the country’s sustainable development goals.

The Bhubaneswar-based startup makes rechargeable, bio-organic, and biodegradable batteries from crop residue.

The startup claims its technology uses fully biodegradable materials that could be turned into manure after the life cycle is complete to formulate the composition of the battery. It is working towards a sustainable future and pollution-free battery market.

Vegan health wellness brand Fitspire raises $300k from Ivor Braganza, Rajesh Sud

Vegan health wellness brand Fitspire today announced it has raised $300,000 in funding from global investors Ivor Braganza and Rajesh Sud.

Founded in 2020 by IIM Lucknow alumnus Vipen Jain, Fitspire provides various health and wellness products in the nutritional segment. Focused on vegan health products, Fitspire caters to sports nutrition, general health wellness, personal and child wellness, and more.

The Delhi-based nutrition and wellness startup plans to use the fresh funds in strengthening its ecosystem and accelerate market expansion, build the brand, and create new revenue streams.

Telegram is the 5th most downloaded app, while Tiktok leads the chart: Sensor Tower

In the March-ended quarter of 2022, messaging app Telegram was the fifth-most downloaded app while short video app Tiktok led the pack. 

While downloads are not the most important metric to track success of the app as many could have the app on their phones and never use, it definitely indicates the popularity of an app. 

The Bytedance-owned app was downloaded over 175 million times between January and March 2022, followed by Meta-owned Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp. 

Telegram, which is run by Nikola Durov and Pavel Durov, came in at the fifth position with over 100 million worldwide downloads. The messaging app, along with Signal messenger, gained prominence in India, some time in 2021, after Facebook’s (now known as Meta) privacy policies came under public scrutiny. 

Since then, Telegram has become a potential alternative to WhatsApp in the country. 

Flipkart-owned PhonePe’s witnesses major traction in the North East 

PhonePe, which facilitates digital transactions, said it has over 2.5 lakh merchants using its services in Assam, in 2022, compared to only 10,000 in 2020. The growth was also seen in states including Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, and Nagaland

The Flipkart-owned entity has also claimed to have seen 7.5 crore transactions in the March-ended quarter of 2022, compared with 14.8 lakh transactions for the first quarter of 2018, according to PhonePe Pulse data, shared by the company. 

Founders of PhonePe (L to R): Sameer Nigam and Rahul Chari

“We continued to see a surge in volumes in Q1 2022 across various use cases further cementing the fundamental shift in consumer behaviour towards contactless payments. This, in turn, is creating a virtuous loop of consumer demand fueling merchant acceptance and vice versa,” Karthik Raghupathy, head of strategy and investor relations, PhonePe, said in a release shared by the company. 

India Health Link provisions $1M for to supply HPODs to Medikabazaar

Medikabazaar, a B2B platform for medical supplies, will receive around 500-600 HPODs worth $1 million provisioned by India Health Link (IHL), a PHYGITAL health and medical device startup. 

Health Pod (HPOD) is self-service health kiosk, where individuals can get their screening done for more than (20+) vital health parameters including blood pressure, pulse, temperature and body mass index (BMI) within five minutes. The kiosk also provides instant reports without any paramedic assistance. 

“Our collaboration with India Health Link will catalyse our mission to ensure that everyone has

access to innovative and quality health treatment. The HPOD developed by IHL is quite promising as it is portable. Its preventive care features are essential to complement corporate wellness. The compromised workplace wellness is due to the lack of preventive care, which the IHLs HPOD is ideally positioned to fill,” said Vivek Tiwari, Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Medikabazaar, in a release shared by the company. 

The medical supplies player, which currently has over 40 warehouses, claims to deliver medical supplies, across 900 pin codes in India, to independent practitioners, doctors clinics, nursing homes and hospitals, among others.

IndiaMART generates Rs 201 crore in operational revenue in March-ended quarter of FY22

IndiaMart InterMESH Ltd financial year and Q4 results of FY2021-22. The company generated Rs 201 crore in operational revenue for the March-ended quarter in FY2021-22, a 12 percent year-on-year (YoY) growth

IndiaMART’s consolidated revenue from operations for FY2022 stood at Rs 753 crore, a 13 percent y-o-y growth. While the profit before tax (PAT) stood at Rs 77 crore, the company earned Rs 57 crore in net profit.

The last few months, IndiaMART has also been on a acquisition and investment spree

Faircent to become a neo lending platform; introduces Faircent Pro for NBFCs, others

Faircent, a peer-to-peer lending platform, is launching Faircent Pro, a co-lending platform, for non-banking financial institutions (NBFCs) and institutional lenders, according to a release shared by the company. 

The product will let pre-qualified borrowers, who are selected on the basis of certain parameters, to take loans from co-lenders. 

Started in 2013, Faircent is a Gurugram-based P2P lending platform, which offers loans. The firm also provides credit appraisal, operational management, analytics, collection and recovery, among other functions.

“The co-lending platform is quicker, simpler and cheaper. With advanced technologies, Faircent Pro will let NBFCs and institutional lenders invest together by lending money to the same borrower. The completely digital process will bring down the lending costs drastically. It will benefit the lending ecosystem and make it more organised,” said Vinay Mathews, Founder and chief operating officer, Faircent. 

India Accelerator joins forces with Gujarat’s i-Hub to scoop out early-stage startups

The Gujarat Student Startup and Innovation Hub (i-Hub) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with India Accelerator to scoop out early-stage startups. The accelerators, which are majorly focused on Gujarat, are looking to mentor and support these startups financially and by finding investors. 

“We are thrilled to have joined hands with i-Hub to provide a conducive ecosystem for the innovative and budding startups of India. We are looking forward to putting the startups of Gujarat and India on the map and generating employment within the country. Our partnership will help early-stage startups to get the right mentorship, support and resources at the right time which will help them raise capital and succeed,” said Ashish Bhatia, Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), India Accelerator. 

Bharat BillPay collaborates with FAARMS to offer recurring payments to farmers across India 

Bharat Bill Payment System, which facilitates recurring payments across categories, has tied up with FAARMS to enable the recurring payments for farmers across India. 

FAARMS, which is a delivery app, gives farmers access to products and services including purchase of seeds, fertilisers, pesticides, and animal feed, among other products. 

“We are glad to collaborate with FAARMS to make life easier, safer, and effortless for every Indian household through Bharat BillPay. This partnership is a step towards bringing farmers into the mainstream digital payments ecosystem and bridging the financial inclusion gap for the last mile of the country. We look forward to collaborating with many new players to create a network effect and provide a convenient, uniform, and assured transaction experience to farmers and many such households across India,” said Noopur Chaturvedi, chief executive officer (CEO), NPCI Bharat BillPay Ltd. (NBBL), in a release shared by the company. 

Bharat BillPay offers recurring payment services across categories including electricity, telecom, gas, education fees, water, NETC FASTag recharge, loan repayments, insurance, cable, subscription fees, and mobile prepaid recharges. 

Edited by Kanishk Singh

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