Startup news and updates: daily roundup (April 20, 2022)

YourStory presents daily news roundups from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Wednesday, April 20, 2022.
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Pine Labs announces key appointments to strengthen its senior leadership

Merchant commerce platform Pine Labs has announced that it has hired two new leaders to join its global senior leadership team - Varun Varma as the Head of Strategy and Corporate Development, and Jagriti Bhattacharya as General Counsel.

Amrish Rau, CEO, Pine Labs, said, “Today, Pine Labs is in one of its most exciting phases where we are building a complete omnichannel ecosystem for our customers, entering new markets, and forging strategic partnerships to engineer growth outside India. In this purposeful journey, I am delighted to welcome Varun to Pine Labs. His wealth of international experience in payments and fintech will be invaluable to us going forward."

"Equally thrilled to have Jagriti accept the role of General Counsel at Pine Labs. Some of the key verticals at Pine Labs such as Human Resources, Legal, and Online Payments are headed by women leaders and that says something about our continued commitment to build an equal opportunity organisation for all,” he said.

Jio Institute opens admissions for its post graduate programmes

Jio Institute said it has now started inviting applications for its one-year full-time Post Graduate Programmes (PGP) in emerging areas of artificial intelligence and data science, and digital media and marketing communications.

In a statement, it explained that the PGP in Artificial Intelligence and Data Science (AI & DS) aims to instill theoretical capabilities and provide the know-how to create practical solutions for enterprises and society.

The PGP in Digital Media and Marketing Communications (DM & MC) will help students acquire knowledge on how to manage the customer experience in the digital age by innovatively engaging, serving and communicating with them, it added.

The AI & DS prospects must have completed at least one course at the undergraduate level in either Computer Science/IT/Mathematics/ Statistics/Economics, while the DM & MC candidates should have at least a three-year undergraduate degree in any discipline.

T-Hub selects 13 startups for its first product development programme

T-Hub, which works in India’s pioneering innovation ecosystem, today announced the selection of 13 startups for its first product development program RubriX.

According to a statement, the programme aims to bring a global perspective to product development for early-stage technology startups from T-Hub’s robust innovation ecosystem.

T-Hub reportedly received 135 applications from across the country from sectors, such as Fintech, Blockchain, PropTech, Sustainability, HealthTech, EdTech, Electric Mobility, HRTech, eCommerce, Mobility, IoT and SaaS, Embedded Systems, Enterprise and AgriTech.

The five-month programme will help the startups in designing scalable and sustainable business models, enabling rapid product development and prototyping, leadership training and mentorship.

SIDBI Venture Capital makes 25x return from Mosambee investment

SIDBI Venture Capital Limited (SVCL) has reportedly made a 25x return on its investment in Mosambee, the fintech startup in which Pine Labs acquired majority stake at a valuation of over $100 million.

SVCL has first invested in Mosambee in 2013 and the total realisation for it was over $26 million with Pine Labs acquiring its stake. Mosambee provides payment solution and has over one million SME merchants as well as government departments on its platform.

SVCL, a wholly owned subsidiary of Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) has been focused on MSMEs since 1999 and is currently investing from its eighth Fund, a CAT II AIF, Ubharte Sitaare Fund (USF), having a target fund corpus of Rs 500 crore.

The fund is looking to invest in Indian MSMEs that aims to expand globally and increase their export business cutting across multiple sectors. The other notable investments of SVCL have been Billdesk, Algonomy, Data Patterns, Stovekraft.

SVCL has also successfully exited from investments such as Momspresso and M2xchange.

Gupshup acquires AskSid

Gupshup, the conversational messaging tech unicorn has acquired Bengaluru headquartered startup AskSkid for an undisclosed value, as per a statement.

AskSid is also an conversational AI provider to ecommerce and retail companies. This acquisition is expected to strengthen Gupshup’s customer experience offering which will provide a end-to-end conversational experience.

This startup which has clients such as AkzoNobel, Danone, Wolford, Akris and Himalaya Wellness has operations in over 25 countries and supports over 100 languages. AskSid claimed that by automating 92 per cent of support conversations with a self-service model, it has enabled 25 percent reduction in operational expenditure and boosting order conversion rate by 30 per cent.

“Conversational commerce is about to transform shopping, both online and offline. Gupshup is building the most comprehensive conversational commerce solution and AskSid’s deep-domain AI offering will help us bring even more advanced capabilities to ecommerce and retail businesses worldwide”, said Beerud Sheth, Co-founder and CEO, Gupshup.

Edited by Megha Reddy

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