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

YourStory presents daily news roundups from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Monday, May 9, 2022.
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Phocket completes Rs 120 Cr loan disbursement as of March 2022

Digital lending startup Phocket, on Monday announced lending of Rs 120 crore till March 2022. As per the release, it has disbursed more than 60,000 loans with an average ticket size of Rs 20,000.

 

Piyush Jain, Co-founder of Phocket said, 

“Phocket has 70 percent retention and repeat application which motivates us towards business growth and expansion. We are exploring new loan products and segments like credit line cards for unserved segments and also aggressively entering uncatered geographies. We now live in PAN India and are focused on gray-collar and white-collar employees. Currently, our focus is to develop high-quality loan books with low NPA’s.”

Founded in 2018 by Piyush Jain, Mohit Bansal and Sumit Jain, Delhi-based Phocket is a fintech startup that focuses on providing instant personal loans to young salaried professionals. It is an amalgamation of AI, ML, Bots, and Analytics to provide innovative lending solutions. It offers a digitised process of availing types of personal loans to pan India.

 

It offers five types of Instant personal loans and targets young salaried professionals. 

 

The startup claims that its current customer base exceeds 20,000. All quick cash loans are available collateral-free in the Indian market. It is a registered startup at the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) and works with RBI-licensed NBFCs.

 

The startup is also exploring new loan products and segments like credit line cards for unreserved segments. It intends to explore Tier-III and IV geographies in the upcoming months under their pan India growth plan.

LegalKart launches video consultation and document review in its product offerings

Legal-tech startup LegalKart on Monday announced that it has now launched instant video consultations and document review features on its website for customers who are seeking legal advice. 

Dr Arvind Singhatiya, Founder and CEO, LegalKart said, 

“The newly launched video call and document review feature is gaining traction among the users with more than 35 percent of them opting for a video call and adding a document to consult. After recent funding from IIM Udaipur and Mumbai Angels, we are committed to building a global ecosystem of legal products and services and democratizing them for the end user.”

Founded in 2018, LegalKart is a technology-driven company and through its proprietary AI-based technology, it has developed a solution which enables customers seeking legal advice, to consult lawyers regarding their legal matters effortlessly and confidentially sitting in the comfort of their homes. Earlier the service was only limited to audio-based consultation, however, aiming at better quality and user experience, LegalKart has launched a convenient and much faster video call feature. 

The startup has built the video call technology in-house, which ensures superior quality of the call and provides a smoother user experience to the clients. Through this new feature, anyone can opt for video consultations anytime with a validity of 30 days of purchased talk time minutes. The pricing for both audio and video calls is the same, with packages starting at Rs 599 for 15 minutes of consultation. 

In addition to this, the startup has also launched an instant legal document review feature parallel to the video calls functionality. Customers can get complex legal documents reviewed by an expert lawyer even if it’s just a single page. Clients can discuss any legal document be it a single page or multiple paged document, on a video call with an experienced lawyer who can help them navigate the document and enable them in pursuing a further course of action. 

The startup claims that it has already served more than one lakh consumers and has over 10,000 lawyers on its platform across more than 900 locations including multiple cities, districts and remote regions in India.

More than 20 startups including Policy Bazaar and Lenskart announce partnership with Newton School for their tech hiring

Over 20 startups including Lenskart, Policy Bazaar and Yellow.ai have partnered with Bengaluru-based edtech startup Newton School, known for producing quality entry-level tech talent through its industry-oriented courses, for their tech hiring. 

Newton School addresses the issue of bulk-hiring by providing industry-ready tech resources produced through its six months long training program.

Satish S, Talent Acquisition- Tech and Product, Lenskart, said,

"Newton School has a perfect pool of up-skilled talent. Lenskart was on the hunt for trained frontend skilled freshers, and we already had explored quite a few partners in this ecosystem, but the majority failed our hiring bar. However, Newton School trained talent was one of those few who could clear our hiring bar, and their team ensured a quality CS till onboarding of this talent pool." 

Founded in 2019 by serial entrepreneurs, Nishant Chandra and Siddharth Maheshwari, with more than 600 companies having hired from Newton School, the neo-university also aims to create a seamless tech hiring infrastructure for companies. 

Focused at solving the employability problem of college graduates, Newton School’s student intake crossed 1000 during the pandemic. 

As per the startup, in just two years, it has already completed 1900 placements with its graduates now working in over 500 of India's most prominent startups, including Shadi.com, Lenskart, Razorpay, Flipkart, Zomato, Meesho and Nykaa.

"We hired front-end developers through Newton School, and all of the candidates were well-versed in their job responsibilities," added Kush Semwal, Manager - Talent Acquisition, Testbook.com.

Steadview Capital, RTP Global,  Nexus Venture Partners, Prophetic Ventures, Unacademy co-founders Gaurav Munjal, Roman Saini, Hemesh Singh, and others have invested in the startup.

Vi ties-up with SonyLIV to offer exclusive plans bundled with premium content

Vi, the telecom brand, on Monday announced its partnership with SonyLIV to offer premium content services which will bring the world of binge-worthy content and add-on data benefits together for Vi users. Creating a bundle option for the customers, Vi in association with SonyLIV, has launched a new prepaid pack offering subscription of SonyLIV Premium along with extra data benefits to the users. 

From sports properties like UEFA Champions League, WWE, Bundesliga, UFC to originals like Scam 1992 – The Harshad Mehta Story, Maharani, Tabbar, Rocket Boys, Gullak Season 3; regional content like Salute, Kaanekkaane, Shantit Kranti and James and international shows The Good Doctor, Fantasy Island and Magpie Murders, SonyLIV has a bouquet of attractive content offerings appealing to audiences across age and interests. The new proposition will enable all Vi prepaid users to enjoy SonyLIV Premium without having to worry about data quota.

For Prepaid Users, Vi has introduced a new add-on recharge of Rs 82 offering free mobile-only subscription of SonyLIV Premium for 28 days along with an added data benefit of 4GB with 14days validity.

In addition to this, Vi offers a content library for its customers under Vi Movies and TV (VMTV) on the Vi app. VMTV app has 450+ live TV channels, live news channels and premium content from other OTT apps.

SG Analytics welcomes Sid Banerjee as New CEO

SG Analytics (SGA), a global insights and analytics company, has appointed Sid Banerjee as the firm’s new Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

 

Sushant Gupta, Founder, SG Analytics will now take on the role of Founder and Chairman. He will focus on steering the company towards its stated resolve of creating a regenerative organization in line with its brand promise - Life’s Possible. He will continue to engage and nurture client relationships and strategic partnerships.

Sid comes to SG Analytics with three decades of diverse experience in growing successful businesses. Having started his career at ITC Limited, Sid has led IHS Markit as CEO, and Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank as Managing Director. Very recently, Sid was part of the advisory board at Bridgei2i solutions, which was acquired by Accenture in November 2021.

 

SG Analytics was founded by Sushant Gupta and his partner, Ahmed Hakki in 2007. The firm is one of the fastest-growing insights and analytics firms, globally. Sid’s smooth transition to his new role has been facilitated by close collaboration with Sushant over the past three months, wherein both have worked closely to envision SGA’s growth strategy and global scale-up.

 

“I am thrilled at the opportunity to lead SG Analytics, a firm built on the powerful foundation of a clear purpose, strong values, and an unequivocal brand promise. I know that I have many aspirations to fulfil and will be building on the legacy of a passionate and visionary leader like Sushant. I’m inspired to lead a talented group of people who have been in the business of offering insights and analytics services to our customers for the last fifteen years. We are perfectly poised, now, for significant growth powered by a strong, digital platform and clear vision,” said Sid Banerjee, CEO, SG Analytics.

 

“Sid comes to SGA with an impressive background of formidable industry experience and professional success. His energy, focus, and talent will enable us to continue to deliver our promise of manifesting life’s utmost possibilities for our three core levers – our people, our clients and society, with ease, joy, and grace of a ‘source’ company. I am confident that Sid will accelerate our journey towards an IPO in three years,” added Sushant Gupta, Founder and Chairman, SG Analytics.

Chumbak Beauty launches on Myntra

Fashion and beauty ecommerce major, Myntra, has announced the launch of the home and lifestyle brand, Chumbak’s beauty offering, Chumbak Beauty, on its platform. 

 

Chumbak is present in over 50+ stores across 20+ cities, catering largely to creative shoppers looking to explore and indulge in premium, quaint and offbeat designs in the home category. It forayed into beauty in 2021 to bring beauty products that are cruelty-free, vegan, affordable and toxic-free within the reach of its loyal base of shoppers. In order to enable visibility for Chumbak Beauty, Myntra is extending introductory and limited period offers for the launch. 

 

Myntra will promote the launch of Chumbak Beauty comprehensively, on its social commerce platforms, M-Live and Myntra-Studio, enabling top-of-mind recall for the brand amongst its thriving cohort of Gen-Z and millennial shoppers with the support of popular beauty creators. Myntra Beauty currently has over 1000 brands on the platform and continues to emerge as the preferred destination for domestic and international brands to foray at scale into the Indian market.  

 

Speaking about the partnership with Myntra, Vasant Nangia, CEO, Chumbak, said, 

“Our partnership enables us to tap into Myntra’s large base of experimental yet evolved beauty shoppers. Chumbak Beauty is a brand that shifts the needle from beauty being ‘glamorous and only for special occasions' 'to something that’s fun, fuss-free and makes your everyday joyful.  Myntra and Chumbak both appeal to young women looking for high quality fashion, home & lifestyle for work and leisure, and we’re looking forward to Chumbak Beauty being a part of their lifestyle.”

BalaAatral Solutions wins Rs 3 Cr from the Ministry of Defence

Chennai-based serious gaming startup BalaAatral Solutions on Monday has won grants worth Rs 3 crore from the Ministry of Defence (MoD), to work on two defence startup challenges using Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) technologies.

The startup is geared up to develop: an Augmented Reality (AR)-Virtual Reality (VR) solution for airplane mechanics, and a VR-based training simulator for helicopter pilots, within two years, as per the MoD mandate.

Prem Balachandran, CEO, BalaAatral Solutions, said, 

“It is a matter of pride to have the capabilities to contribute to our defence sector and a great recognition for our AR/VR competencies. Our AR/VR solution for airplane mechanics eliminates the need for the technicians to spend hours reading through manuals with thousands of lines of instructions.

The solution will display relevant audio/visual cues for the technicians through smart glass to aid their repairing task. Our VR-based simulator will eliminate the need for a real helicopter for training and evaluation. The simulator will have a virtual cockpit environment to test various capabilities of pilots such as their emergency response and cognitive loads, serving as a highly economical and effective evaluation solution.”

Founded in 2018, BalaAatral Solutions is a startup recognised by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Government of India. It is incubated at Mach 33, Bengaluru, a business incubator developed in a public-private partnership to promote innovation and entrepreneurship in aviation, aerospace and space tech. One of the focus areas of Aatral is digital twin' technologies that refer to a virtual representation of physical objects or processes that would serve as the real-time digital environment, especially for experiential learning.

The startup has a 20+ member team of software engineers and domain experts providing the best-in-class industrial safety and remote assist solutions. In an active partnership with Toyota Kirloskar Auto Parts Private Limited, Bengaluru, Aatral is providing the automobile major training digitalisation solutions based on VR and AR technologies. 

4 startups receive cumulative commitments of Rs 9 Cr at JIIF Shark Angels event

JITO Incubation and Innovation Foundation (JIIF) and JITO Youth wing (JYW) in association with Mumbai Zone recently hosted the grand JIIF Shark Angels, which saw four out of seven startups that pitched at the event receive cumulative commitments of Rs 9 crore.

As per a statement, Rs 3.5 crore was secured by the farm to fork organic brand 1 Organic, Rs 2.5 crore by lifestyle startup EUME, Rs 2 crore by innovation lad Omotec, and Rs 1 crore by EV platform Tride Mobility.

 

The event reportedly saw 400+ live participants and 2400+ virtual audience, and is the first among a series of events.

Edited by Anju Narayanan

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