Startup news and updates: daily roundup (May 26, 2022)

YourStory presents daily news roundup from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Thursday, May 26, 2022.
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Zetwerk launches growth programme for nurturing, scaling hardware startups 

In keeping with its objective of strengthening the manufacturing startup ecosystem, Zetwerk Manufacturing Businesses, a platform for contract manufacturing, unveiled ‘Zetwerk BUILD’--a programme designed to provide end-to-end supply chain solutions for hardware startups in robotics, consumer products, and electric mobility, among others. 

With India being the fifth largest economy and the third-largest ecosystem for startups globally, the country holds unforeseen opportunities for hardware startups to accelerate innovation across industries. Through this programme, Zetwerk will provide a complete stack of dedicated services for each requirement of a hardware startup to expedite its journey from prototype to production. The programme promises four critical features to any budding startup in the hardware space: Build, Research, Collaborate and Network. 

The programme will enable hardware startups to scale their operations and improve their production capabilities by leveraging Zetwerk’s tech-driven, extensive manufacturing capabilities and reaching out to newer markets through Zetwerk’s vast partner network. In addition, the company will offer tailor-made resilient supply chain solutions to startups for their products and leverage Zetwerk's global scale and logistics to expedite deliveries. 

“Manufacturing is hard. Setting up a reliable manufacturing value chain for early-stage hardware companies is a major challenge. Through BUILD, Zetwerk aims to help early-stage hardware companies accelerate output and optimise production by unlocking high quality, reliable, cost-competitive manufacturing through the click of a button. Zetwerk BUILD aims to be the default operating system for manufacturing,” said Amrit Acharya, Co-founder and CEO, Zetwerk Manufacturing. 

Over the next 24 months, Zetwerk aims to partner with at least 50 hardware startups globally through the programme. In addition to providing discounted pricing for global logistics and warehousing, Zetwerk said it will also offer financial assistance for setting up dedicated production lines to aid these startups’ long-term growth.

LeadSquared introduces Ace to help businesses improve their sales using gamification

LeadSquared, a sales CRM (customer relationship management) software and marketing automation platform helping over 2,000 global brands improve their sales efficiency, has launched Ace. LeadSquared Ace is a sales performance management suite that uses a combination of psychological and analytical tactics to gamify sales processes and enhance sales performance.

The first product released as part of the Ace suite of products is Goals, which lets sales leaders set clear objectives and minimises manual efforts for all sales functions and levels easily, with its no-code setup. Intuitive, adaptive, and customisable, it is equipped with a data engine and scalable architecture, built for businesses of any size and in any segment.

Goals can be set on any relevant metrics such as Lead Generation, Calls Done, Deals Closed, Revenue Generated, and more, corresponding to varying roles across the organisational hierarchy. While managers can plan, allocate, and update goals for individuals based on their domain expertise, territory, and historical performance, executives can also track their progress, areas requiring improvement, and more. The measurement cycles can also be customised to create KPIs and monitor progress daily, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, quarterly, and even yearly.

Offering a gamified interface and detailed progress reports aligns the strengths and weaknesses of individual team members with set benchmarks. Managers can then ascertain the right course of action for low performers, like reassignment, coaching, etc. Ace also offers intuitive nudges to sales representatives across web, mobile, and email, to help them take the right action at the right time.

With the Beta version released in August 2021, Ace Goals has, since then, been used by 100+ businesses, including MakeMyTrip, Unacademy, upGrad, Twin Health, and Multibhashi.

It claims to have helped reduce manual effort and time spent, eliminated data loss across stages, delivered near-real-time performance evaluation, enhanced workforce productivity, and created an extremely efficient monitoring process.

Source: PayU

PayU launches checkout for Bharat in 7 regional languages for merchants pan India

PayU has launched Checkout for Bharat, which offers payment flow and checkout in major Indian languages. With this feature, merchants can offer customers a localised shopping experience in Hindi, Gujarati, Bengali, Marathi, Telugu, Tamil, and Kannada, which are the first languages of 79 percent of Indians. This feature helps merchants avoid customer drop-offs at payment due to language issues and penetrate the underserved tier II, III, and rural markets. 

The feature will personalise and improve the payment experience by saving customers’ language preferences for a quicker turnaround during the next purchase. Merchants can set a default language of their choice for checkout and users can also select their preferred language option for the checkout page.

Manas Mishra, Chief Product Officer, PayU payments said, “The launch of Checkout for Bharat supports PayU’s vision of a financially inclusive digital payments ecosystem. It will help merchants access and serve untapped, semi-urban, and rural markets, bring them into the digital payments fold and increase their customer base. We hope to support entities such as insurance firms, government entities, educational institutes, ecommerce companies, and organisations, which target non-English speaking customers.” 

 

Pankaj Sawant, Senior Manager, Projects and Digital Payments, Tata AIA Life Insurance Company Ltd, added,

“Checkouts for Bharat is a very good feature by PayU. After the pandemic, most of our customers moved to online payment modes and this solution is helping them to understand the payment process better and use it more effectively”.

ElectricPe inks partnership with Electric One 

ElectricPe, an EV charging platform, has partnered with Electric One, an EV super stores chain, to provide robust charging infrastructure and encourage EV adoption. Through this alliance, Electric One customers across 82 stores in India will get access to ElectricPe’s EV platform. 

 

As per the official release, the alliance will be executed phase by phase, starting in Bengaluru, before scaling across different regions, providing EV customers access to on-demand charging at the click of a button. It will also strengthen ElectricPe’s network, which has already onboarded 2,500 public charging points in Bengaluru.  

Avinash Sharma, Co-founder and CEO, ElectricPe, said, “At ElectricPe, we have an unshaken vision to establish the largest network of charging points across India on our platform. Electric One has 82 physical stores, servicing multiple OEMs, and has aggressive growth plans; once a customer purchases an EV, they will immediately get access to our nationwide network and all the perks our platform offers; thereby boosting customer confidence."

"Working alongside Electric One, we aim to rid the fear of range anxiety and help cater to customer needs in every nook and corner of the country," he added.  

The association will be a step towards a common goal of improving the charging infrastructure access in India to boost customer confidence and seamless adoption of clean mobility. ElectricPe recently committed to ensuring 1,00,000 public charging points on its platform by the end of the year.  

 

Amit Das, Founder and CEO of Electric One, said,

“Building customer confidence and retention has been a core focus for us as we continue to build a market for electric vehicles. We believe that our alliance with ElectricPe will enable this by providing charging infrastructure, technology, and user interface tools of the highest grade, ensuring the consumer enjoys a hassle-free experience. Having the largest network of 2,500 public charging points in Bengaluru is a testimony to their vision.” 

Former CEO of Veolia Transportation and Transdev North America joins BILITI Electric’s board

Biliti Electric, a compact electric vehicles and affordable mobility solutions, on Thursday said it has appointed mobility veteran Mark Joseph to its Board of Directors.

Joseph has over 30 years of leadership experience with both public and private transportation organisations across the US, Canada, UK, Ireland, and South America. At present, he is serving as the CEO of Mobitas Advisors, a Washington-based advisory firm working with growth-stage companies in the mobility, automotive, and energy sectors.  

BILITI Electric’s CEO, Rahul Gayam, said,

“We are delighted to have Joseph on board. His knowledge and experience will be invaluable in helping BILITI Electric meet the challenge of electrifying last-mile, globally with our affordable and scalable mobility solutions. His strategic approach and management capabilities have helped shape companies into leading national and global forces. Joseph’s appointment brings considerable strength and diversity to our leadership team.”

D2C footwear brand CHUPPS raises $1.5M in pre-Series A

CHUPPS, a direct-to-consumer (D2C) sustainable footwear brand, has raised $1.5 million in a pre-Series A round led by Green Frontier Capital, a green-tech venture fund.

The startup appointed one of Green Frontier Capital's Founding Advisors Soumitra Dutta as an advisor on its own Board.

The round also saw participation from investors such as Gunavanth Vaid from 4G Capital, Kaushal Vora from Genesis Packaging, Swanand Kelkar from Breakout Capital Advisors, and Gaurav Mathrawala from Mathsons Re-insurance Brokers.

CHUPPS is launching a sustainable sneaker in September this year with 16 colours. The startup claims to have developed a unique technology of blending in natural tree fibres, along with recycled materials, to create an upcycled sneaker.

Additionally, CHUPPS will be launching outdoor wear for both women and men with products made from sustainable materials.

Emiza Supply Chain Services raised $4.8M in Series B

Mumbai-based warehousing and fulfilment services provider Emiza Supply Chain Services has raised $4.8 million in a Series B round led by JM Financial Private Equity. Existing investor Mayfield India has also participated in this round.

“Our company has scaled up rapidly over the last three years, and we envisage even faster growth over the next few years. This growth capital infusion and partnership with a seasoned investor like JM Financial Private Equity will help us accelerate our current expansion plans and add other service lines to the business, including a last-mile platform to offer a complete suite of services to our customers. The founders and senior management have a deep understanding of the logistics industry, and given our strong customer-centric approach, we are confident of creating a leader in the ecom fulfilment service industry in India,” said Ajay Rao, CEO, Emiza.
Edited by Megha Reddy