Startup news and updates: daily roundup (May 31, 2022)

YourStory presents daily news roundup from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Tuesday, May 31, 2022.

IKEA set to enter Bengaluru in June

Swedish furniture retailer IKEA is opening its Bengaluru store almost five years after acquiring the land in Nagasandra. The store is set to open on June 22, 2022.

Part of Ingka Group, IKEA stores are usually located on the edge of cities where people come over for a shopping trip. The Bengaluru store would be no different. Set near the Nagasandra metro station, the store is spread over 460,000 sq ft and has a restaurant capacity of 1,000 seats. IKEA Nagasandra will also have a children's play area named Småland.

"IKEA Nagasandra will serve as a one-stop destination for all your home furnishing requirements. Our unique and affordable IKEA range will cater to the wants and needs of the whole family because there is something for everyone at IKEA," said  Anje Heim, Market Manager, IKEA Karnataka market.

IKEA, which looks at the Indian market as its new growth country, opened its first store in Hyderabad in 2018, followed by a full-sized store in Navi Mumbai in December 2021.

SME neo-bank Open appoints Vijay Sriram as VP-Engineering

Open Financial Technologies Pvt. Ltd. appointed Vijay Sriram as the Vice President of Engineering. The former senior development manager from Amazon will improve existing products and also scale other new verticles.

Bengaluru-based neobank Open provides banking services to small and medium businesses (SMEs).

“Vijay’s appointment comes at an opportune time. As Open continues to move forward, I am confident that Vijay’s in-depth knowledge, domain expertise, and driven ideas will support us in achieving our tech goals and help us scale in the next phase of growth,” said Ajeesh Achuthan, Co-founder and CTO, Open.

Open's Team

Singapore-based Privyr raises $6M from MassMutual Ventures, others

Singapore-based sales support startup Privyr raised $6 million in a Series A round led by MassMutual Ventures and Vulcan Capital. Wavemaker Partners, Nir Eyal, and angel investor and former Facebook executive Gwendolyn Regina also participated in the round.

So far, Privyr has raised $900,000 from investors and several angel backers. The firm builds sales and workflow management tools for small businesses that can better engage with its potential clients through WhatsApp and phone calls, among other channels.

"With this funding, we look forward to expanding our offerings across more regions and customer segments. India’s digital transformation during the pandemic has accelerated the move toward online customer interactions, which now happen mostly through WhatsApp. We strongly believe that customers still want human relationships, but adding a chatbot in between you and your client removes that connection," said Aaron Lim, Co-founder and CEO, Privyr.

ENGN appoints Esha Deol as brand ambassador

ENGN appointed Bollywood actor Esha Deol as the company's brand ambassador for a year-long campaign, which would be active on Instagram and Facebook.

Run by Varanium Lifestyle Pvt Ltd., ENGN is a talent representation and performance wear collective, which majorly focuses on the product and design for women.

Hindi film actress Esha Deol

GoKwik appoints Vikas Shukla as Head-Engineering

Ecommerce enablement firm GoKwik has appointed Vikas Shukla as Senior Vice President - Engineering.

Vikas, set to lead the engineering team at Gokwik, was earlier at ecommerce giant Amazon, and comes with over 20 years of experience in supply chain forecasting, planning and management, and prize optimisation, among other expertise.

Vikas Shukla, senior vice president, engineering, Gokwik

"As we enter Phase II of our journey, we are excited to have Vikas join us. With his in-depth expertise in deep tech and product innovation, we are confident that we will be able to bring in new lines of products and upgrade our current offerings to create a 360-degree ecommerce enablement stack for our merchants. Vikas's experience and expertise will help us march ahead in our journey of building competitive products to complement the remarkable work ecommerce brands are doing,” says Chirag Taneja, Co-founder and CEO, GoKwik.

Edited by Suman Singh