Startup news and updates: daily roundup (May 17, 2022)

YourStory presents daily news roundups from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Tuesday, May 17, 2022.
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Lumis Partners-backed Emoha, Eunimart selected among TiE50 list of top startups 

Indian startups Eunimart and Emoha on Tuesday won top positions in the TiE50 list announced at TiECon 2022, a flagship event hosted by TiE (The Indus Entrepreneurs). Emoha is a Gurugram-based tech-enabled eldercare startup, while Eunimart is a cross-border ecommerce ecosystem enabler based in Hyderabad. 

The awards are contested by thousands of early- to mid-stage startups worldwide. The startups, backed by Gurugram-based operating investment firm Lumis Partners, will now have access to funds allocated by TiE, greater mentoring and networking opportunities with Venture Capitalists (VCs) and angel investors. The awards will also provide the startups with a one-of-a-kind showcase opportunity amongst the world’s top technology and technology-enabled startups. 

upGrad Abroad ties up with UK-based Prodigy Finance to offer education loans

upGrad Abroad, the ‘Study Abroad’ vertical of edtech startup upGrad, has tied up with UK-based student loan company, Prodigy Finance, to provide collateral-free loans to students pursuing masters degrees from upGrad abroad-partnered universities abroad. 

The learners in the second year of a master’s degree can avail of collateral-free loans, with a repayment period of up to 20 years. As part of the partnership, upGrad Abroad will offer master’s courses across domains like Artificial Intelligence (AI), data analytics, civil engineering, entrepreneurship, cybersecurity, international business and project management across the US, the UK, Germany, Canada, Ireland, Australia, and France.

Learners will have access to their loan status, allotment, transfer, and repayment on the Prodigy Finance online platform.

D2C meat and seafood brand Pescafresh partners with Zepto

Direct-to-consumer (D2C) meat and seafood brand Pescafresh has partnered with quick delivery app Zepto to provide speedy doorstep delivery of its products to consumers. 

Pescafresh products will be available through the Zepto app across Mumbai, followed by Pune, in the near future. It also plans to launch operations in Delhi and Bengaluru.

“It is quite exciting to partner with Zepto across their fulfilment centres. Their focus on quick commerce operations along with our deep insights on this category could bring several consumers on the organised platform. We are pleased to see their commitment to develop this important seafood and meats category on their app,” said Sangram Sawant, Founder at Pescafresh. 

Pescafresh raised $2 million in a new funding round led by UK-based Elara India Opportunities Fund in April 2022. 

Indian consumers develop growing affinity towards Korean beauty ingredients: Survey 

Young Indian consumers, especially women, are developing a growing affinity towards popular Korean-beauty ingredients, revealed a survey conducted by D2C beauty and personal care brand, Pilgrim. 

The survey highlighted some of the latest trends in the beauty space. According to it, 40 percent of women, belonging to the age group of 21-40, expressed their desire to try products with 24K Gold as the key ingredient. The data also showed that rice water holds the top place (47.5 percent) among the skincare trends that consumers would want to try. The demand was driven majorly by metropolitan cities - Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Delhi. Face serums are the most preferred (38.98 percent) skincare product followed by Facial masks (30.58 percent). 

Talking about the insights, Gagandeep Makkar, Co-founder and COO, Pilgrim, said, “The Korean beauty regimes have only witnessed an uptick in the past few years. Millennials and GenZ consumers have a growing appetite for global beauty traditions and are now more than ever willing to invest their time, money, etc., in learning and imbibing these native traditions into their lives.” 

HempStreet announces strategic partnership with Israeli Femtech company Gynica

Delhi-based Cannabis startup HempStreet has partnered with Israel-based femtech company Gynica to strengthen research and development (R&D) capabilities and to co-develop clinically-proven phytopharmaceutical products to improve menstrual health and other ailments related to their health.

Incorporated in 2019, HempStreet has been working on developing cannabis-based medicine for menstrual cramps. It launched its flagship product, Trailokya Vijaya Vati, that has shipped over four million doses across India.

Commenting on the partnership, Abhishek Mohan, Founder and CEO, HempStreet said,

“We are very pleased to enter this partnership with Yotam Hod (CEO  of Gynica) and the team at Gynica, who are a cutting edge biotech firm focused on solving the unique requirements of women's health via clinically validated cannabis based medication. This partnership is also representative of the focus of biotech innovation in India and Israel, that both share the same passion for phytopharmaceutical medicines and to solve problems for the world.” 

Abhishek Mohan, Founder & CEO, HempStreet

IT stalwart Ganesh Natarajan joins advisory board of Centre for Innovation in Public Policy

Chairman of Honeywell Automation India Ltd, Ganesh Natarajan has joined the advisory board of the Centre for Innovation in Public Policy (CIPP), a think-and-do public policy tank. Ganesh is an independent director on the Board of State Bank of India, and is also the  Vice Chairman and CEO of Pune-based Zensar Technologies. He had founded 5F World, a platform dedicated to investment and mentoring of start-ups, skills platforms and social enterprises. 

IIT Madras raises Rs 131 crore from alumni and corporate firms in FY22

Indian Institute of Technology Madras has raised Rs 131 crore from alumni, donors, and corporate firms during the financial year of 2021-22 to further its philanthropic and socially-relevant projects. This is by far the highest amount raised by the institution. 

The number of corporate firm donating funds to IIT Madras through CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) has almost doubled in the last five years, the institute said in a statement. 

During the pandemic, the institute collected over Rs 15 crore from IIT Madras alumni globally towards COVID-19 relief projects, which were deployed to provide essential medical equipment such as BiPAP and oxygen concentrators, to the Governments of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Telangana.

Professor Mahesh Panchagnula, Dean (Alumni and Corporate Relations), IIT Madras, said, “We are grateful to all the alumni and corporate partners who have helped us through impactful contributions. IIT Madras is fortunate to have thousands of alumni invest both time and money to grow the Institute. This group is crucial to the Institute’s future development.”

Officials at IIT Madras handling BiPAP machines to Chennai Municipal Corporation as a part of their CSR activities.

Pocket Aces selected for Cannes film festival

Digital entertainment startup Pocket Aces has been selected by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to be a part of the India delegation at the upcoming Marché du Film (Cannes Film Market) — one of the largest annual get together of film fraternity that is organised alongside the Cannes Film Festival, in France. 

 

Five new-age media companies have been selected by the ministry to showcase the innovation taking place in the Indian media across digital content, Augmented reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR) and animation. Pocket Aces will present its work at a global arena through a dedicated startup pitching Session on May 22, 2022. 

In a first ever move, India has been named as the ‘Country of Honour’ at the Marché du Film 2022. 

 

Pocket Aces Co-founder and CEO, Aditi Shrivastava said, “These are exciting times for India as we take the centre stage to become one of the largest and most diverse content hubs in the world. At Pocket Aces we are thrilled to be selected to be a part of the most prestigious film festival in the world, and are grateful to the Ministry for giving us this global platform. We are excited to present the innovation we are doing in creating consistently high performing data-driven content across genres and platforms. We look forward to learning from the best in class filmmakers and producers and forging some long lasting relationships.”

Short video app Chingari forays into social audio space

Short video app Chingari has introduced a new feature—Audio Room—in its app. It would allow users to create voice-based rooms and engage with their followers in a new format.  

There is no upper limit to the number of people that can be in an Audio Room for a live discussion. However, in order to keep the conversation going and avoid chaos, no more than 10 people can be given talking rights. Users can engage via text messages, send virtual gifts, tips and choose among other paid and free services. 

“Ensuring customer satisfaction is our top priority. We've always had the most innovative and cutting-edge features because we're a company that prioritises technology. The Audio Room represents a big advance in this approach. Our users and creators will be able to communicate in a fresh and engaging manner and they will have the option to entirely customise their appearance and experience,” said Sumit Ghosh, co-founder and CEO of the Chingari App. 

Going forward, Chingari plans to add features like short games and also reward users based on the time spent in the audio room.

Edited by Kanishk Singh and Saheli Sen Gupta