Startup news and updates: daily roundup (May 25, 2022)

YourStory presents daily news roundup from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Wednesday, May 25, 2022.
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Insurtech startup Turtlemint expands globally, opens office in UAE

Insurtech company Turtlemint launched its first office in Dubai, UAE—a growth strategy aligned with its recent Series E funding of $120 million

This expansion will enable Turtlemint to scale its digital insurance platform offering for enterprises – Turtlefin’s operations in the Middle East. Turtlefin provides end-to-end tech solutions to digitise insurance sales and services for large enterprises like banks and other distributors.

The Dubai office will serve as the central hub for Turtlemint’s business development in the Middle East region. Laxmikant Pawar, who had earlier held positions at Mashreq Bank and Oman Insurance in the region, will lead the new centre.

Turtlefin works with more than 1.6 lakh financial advisors and over 50 financial institutions in India and the Middle East. At present, it aims to work with multiple enterprises and users to help scale the insurance distribution platform.

Turtlemint Co-founders: Anand Prabhudesai (left) and Dhirendra Mahyavanshi

MobiKwik launches ‘AutoBill Pay’ feature on its BNPL product ZIP

Fintech startup MobiKwik launched an AutoBill Pay feature for its 25 million ZIP users to simplify recurring bill payments. ZIP is MobiKwik’s flagship Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) product, which extends a line of credit to its users.

This feature is exclusively designed for ZIP users to pay multiple bills, including electricity, water, gas, mobile, DTH, etc., automatically every month using the BNPL credit line. To activate the feature, users need to register their billers on the MobiKwik app and enable the AutoBill Pay feature. They also need to update their existing MobiKwik app. 

Users can choose their preferred utility bills, and a single ZIP bill will be generated monthly. The bills would be fetched 15 to 20 days before the due date, and users will get a notification before the payment is debited, the company said. 

PhonePe launches UPI SIP for gold investments

Digital payments company PhonePe launched UPI SIP for investing in gold, which would allow users to invest in 24K gold of a specified amount every month and accumulate it in insured bank-grade lockers, maintained by PhonePe’s partners—MMTC-PAMP and SafeGold.

Users can sell their gold at any time and get direct credit to their bank accounts. They can also choose to redeem their gold in the form of gold coins and bars, which will be delivered to their doorstep, the company said.

“PhonePe’s vision is to build products and offerings that cater to the varied investment needs of its 380 million users. As Indians look at finding smart ways to buy gold, we are happy to provide our users with the option of setting up a Gold SIP through UPI. PhonePe’s Gold SIP will help users build their long-term gold investments in a hassle-free way,” said Terence Lucien, Head of Investments, PhonePe.

AskSid launches product discovery bot to help retail brands

Gupshup company AskSid has launched a product discovery bot to help retail and CPG brands make the product discovery process easy for customers.

The AI-enabled plug-in allows customer service teams to eliminate human intervention in the product discovery process, minimise discovery time to a matter of seconds, and support customers at every stage of the decision-making process.

AskSid’s Product Discovery Software and APIs are powered by AskSid’s retail intelligence models that support product recommendations on customer searches, even for long-tailed keywords. Its AI models are enabled to identify product attributes and tags, linking queries with a choice of recommendations that match the search.

“We designed the product discovery bot to deliver a quick and hassle-free shopping experience to consumers by eliminating confusion on part of the shopper, and most importantly, experiences that are designed to result in a closed sale for a retail brand,” said Dinesh Sharma, Co-founder and CTO, AskSid.

UpScalio claims 70 pc portfolio growth in less than six months

Gurugram-based roll-up ecommerce company UpScalio has registered an overall portfolio growth of 70 percent for Q4 FY22 compared to the same period last year. 

The startup claims to be closing in on an annualised gross merchandise volume (GMV) of Rs 350 crore in less than one year of operation. 

Gautam Kshatriya, CEO and Co-founder of UpScalio, said, “2021 saw an acceleration of ecommerce adoption among consumers, mega startup fundraises, and several startups going public. However, while several ecommerce companies saw a slowdown after the pandemic tailwinds waned, the roll-up model thrived.”

The house of brands has acquired stakes in 13 online businesses in utility categories such as auto, home, kitchen, furniture, and wireless accessories. 

L to R: Nitin Agarwal, Gautam Kshatriya and Saaim Khan, Co-founders at UpScalio

Capillary partners with Wazir Advisors to promote its full-stack ecommerce solution

B2B SaaS company Capillary has partnered with Wazir Advisors, CPG and Retail consultancy firm to accelerate growth for its full-stack ecommerce solution.

Powered by Capillary’s Anywhere Commerce platform, the startup's full-stack model helps its customers generate digital growth, and Wazir Advisors will help the company expand this offering to more brands that are looking for a holistic ecommerce solution.

“The customer’s demand for digital channels is on the rise, and by incorporating a 360-degree approach, we want to help businesses not only with the varied capabilities of Anywhere Commerce+ but also with managing the platform optimally, driving both traffic and revenue. We have reaped major success with apparel brands like Indian Terrain, which has achieved a 30X online sales growth in 12 months,” said Arun Naikar, VP of Anywhere Commerce, Capillary Technologies.

WeWork India opens workspaces in Pune, Bengaluru

In line with its vision for expansion, the leading flexible workspace provider WeWork India has opened two new buildings in Pune and Bengaluru.

The workspace at WTC Pune spans over 55,000 sq ft feet, and the newly opened Embassy Sunriver in Bengaluru spread across over 61,000 sq. feet. The new buildings have been launched to collaborate with developers like Panchshil and Embassy REIT.

With the launch of two new buildings, WeWork India expands its footprint by over one lakh sq ft and close to 2,000 desks. WeWork now has 40 locations across India, with over 50,000 members across India.

The company witnessed over 65 percent occupancy at the buildings on the day of opening, which is a testament to the rising demand for flexible workspaces across the country, the company said in a press release.

Edited by Suman Singh

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