Startup news and updates: Daily roundup (May 13, 2022)

YourStory presents daily news roundup from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Friday May 13, 2022.
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Pine Labs appoints former Amazon India HR Head Vijayalakshmi Swaminathan as its Chief People Officer

Pine Labs on Friday announced the appointment of Vijayalakshmi Swaminathan as the company’s new Chief People Officer. She joins Pine Labs from Amazon India where she was heading the Human Resources function.  

Prior to Amazon India, Vijayalakshmi was one of the founding Partners at CoCoon Consulting, a cross-sectoral boutique HR consulting firm with expertise in solutions for organisational and leadership transformation and growth.

CoCoon, over the last 20 years, has worked with organisations across Asia, Europe, and Latin America. She has also worked with FMCG major Unilever where, in her last role, she was responsible for bolstering the company’s employer brand.

Vijayalakshmi Swaminathan

D2C fashion market leader Bewakoof announces Samata Ballal as Chief People Officer

D2C fashion brand Bewakoof has appointed Samata Ballal as its Chief People Officer. Samata joins Bewakoof with close to two decades of experience leading People & Culture functions at some of the successful companies, including MediBuddy and Unisys. As CPO, Samata will build on this experience to align and scale Bewakoof culture to be high performance driven while keeping it conducive to foster innovation.

Speaking at her appointment, Prabhkiran Singh, Founder CEO, Bewakoof, says, “Samata is an individual with a solution mindset with an impressive track record of developing innovative and strategic methods of creating structures that enable growth, scale and performance.”

Bewakoof Founder & CEO Prabkiran Singh

Samata Ballal, Chief People Officer, Bewakoof, says, “As a people’s person, it is important for me to join high growth companies as I understand the nuances of building org designs and culture from the scratch. Bewakoof is on an exciting growth curve where we are adding new people to the team.”

AIIMS Jodhpur collaborates with Microsoft India to establish a mixed reality center of excellence

The All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Jodhpur, announced a collaboration with Microsoft India for digital innovation and collaboration in healthcare services, medical education, and research. The two organisations will establish a Mixed Reality Centre of Excellence at AIIMS, Jodhpur, that will provide cutting-edge medical care, build stronger remote healthcare capabilities, and facilitate learning opportunities for staff and students.

The joint initiative is an extension of the government’s ongoing engagement to transform last-mile delivery of world-class healthcare services in India using innovative and advanced technology platforms.

With this collaboration, AIIMS Jodhpur will set up a Mixed Reality Healthcare Lab to provide enhanced learning opportunities for medical students using mixed reality devices like HoloLens 2. AIIMS Jodhpur will also pilot mixed reality enabled remote healthcare services at Sirohi district close to Jodhpur, to strengthen healthcare services delivery to underserved locations.

Dr. Sanjeev Misra, Director AIIMS Jodhpur and Ruben Caballero, CVP, Mixed Reality, Microsoft

On this occasion, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Union Cabinet Minister for Jal Shakti, Government of India, and Member of Parliament, Jodhpur conveyed his best wishes and said, “We have a tremendous opportunity to provide reliable, safe, and cutting-edge healthcare services and solutions to every part of India with technology. This collaboration between AIIMS Jodhpur and Microsoft is a strong step in that direction, and I look forward to creating a strong healthcare ecosystem in the country with technologies like Mixed Reality.’’

Zoom to acquire conversational AI and automation platform for customer support Solvvy

Zoom today announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Solvvy, a leading conversational AI (artificial intelligence) and automation platform for customer support.

"A few months ago, we launched Zoom Contact Centre with the goal of redefining the contact centre category with our unique combination of unified communications and customer experience–and we believe Solvvy will help us achieve that goal," the company stated. 

“The nature of customer experience is transforming fundamentally, as enterprises increasingly need to deliver exceptional, personalized, and effortless customer experiences. Solvvy understands this shift and is the ideal platform to enhance our Zoom Contact Center offering,” said Velchamy Sankarlingam, President of Product and Engineering at Zoom.

Velchamy Sankarlingam, President of Product and Engineering at Zoom

Online celebrity engagement startup HeyHey Global partners up with Sunny Leone to launch 'fan verse'

Sunny Leone has established herself as an actress and dancer in the film industry, launching her own cosmetics lines and even acing stand-up comedy. She is all set to venture into the world of gamification.

On her birthday, Sunny will launch the ‘I Dream of Sunny’ fanverse owned by Suncity media and Enterprises, according to a statement.

‘I Dream of Sunny’ combines NFTs (non-fungible tokens), Artificial Intelligence (AI), fanverse, gaming, lucky draw, winning combination, and other similar terms—all rolled into one.

To become a part of the fanverse, users need to purchase NFT cards available on the 'I Dream of Sunny' website. Buying these utility NFTs gives access to the actress’ private discord server. Also, on offer are four different NFT card variants in the categories which are Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Joker which assist in playing the game, and each card comes with bonus features, which will give access to Sunny directly.

These features can be in the form of interaction with Sunny on Zoom, on Instagram Lives, shout-outs from the actress, an opportunity to have coffee, or even skydiving with her in Dubai.

Fyllo raises $2 million

Agritech startup Fyllo raised $2 million in a round led by Triveni Trusts and Ninjacart, with participation from IAN, Venture Catalysts, StarAgri, Kia Ora Ventures, Singularity Ventures, Mastermind Capital, and angel investors.

Fyllo is run by Agrihawk Technologies, which was founded by Sudhanshu Rai and Sumit Sheoran in 2019. The agritech platform uses IoT technologies to track the requirements of agricultural produce, and provide advice to farmers.

It has developed crop-specific models for irrigation, nutrients, diseases, pests, and weather management for each physiological stage of crop and soil. Fyllo has expanded its services to more than 2,000 farmers and over 10 enterprise customers in four states, according to a press release from the company.

Angels invest in Ednovate

Edtech company Ednovate has raised an undisclosed amount in a round of funding from Vinay Jain, Chairman of Witty Group of Institutions, and angel investors Ajay Sarupria and Kaushik Mehta. 

Ednovate began operations in March 2021 as a platform focused on commerce students through their study experience to become chartered accountants (CAs). It has onboarded more than 2,500 students.

The startup has four branches in Mumbai and an online presence for students in more than 10 cities. Its live interactive zoom lectures for students include sessions to solve doubts, and a test series called Know Your Report.

"We launched Ednovate during the pandemic to revolutionise the commerce coaching industry," said Ashish Shah, CEO of Ednovate.

Edited by Affirunisa Kankudti

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