Startup news and updates: daily roundup (June 2, 2022)

YourStory presents daily news roundups from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Thursday, June 2, 2022.
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Cashfree Payments partners with NPCI for tokenisation of RuPay cards

Cashfree Payments, a payment and API (application programming interface) banking solutions company, today announced that it has partnered with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to provide tokenisation solutions on RuPay cards for its merchants.

Cashfree Payments’ tokenisation solution ‘Token Vault’ helps merchants provide their customers the option to save cards on the merchant website or app and process card payments securely while being RBI (Reserve Bank of India) compliant. With this partnership, Cashfree Payments becomes a certified and compliant payment tokenisation service provider across key card networks like RuPay, Mastercard, and Visa.

 

Token Vault, according to a statement, supports all major card types: credit, debit, prepaid, and corporate cards. Businesses can integrate Token Vault API with their platform with a single integration. Once integrated, Cashfree Payments takes care of both saved card function & processing payments.

 

Ambee joins NASA’s Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, ocean Ecosystem (PACE) mission

Datair Technology Pvt Ltd (Ambee), a global platform for hyperlocal and geospatial datasets on air quality, weather, pollen, soil, water vapor, fire, and more, announced that it has joined NASA’s PACE (Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, ocean Ecosystem) Mission as an early adopter.

The PACE mission, scheduled to launch in 2024, will add to NASA’s existing satellite observations of global ocean biology and aerosols, continuing the analysis of global ocean health and atmospheric quality.

The data collected will be used by the scientific community, including universities and government agencies, to forecast weather and develop research that can aid in mitigating climate change. As part of the PACE Early Adopter programme, sustainably driven companies like Ambee can integrate valuable PACE data into their offering.  

Snapdeal sees 40pc jump in kids category in 2022

Ecommerce platform Snapdeal says the volume in the kids' category is 40 percent higher this year (January- May 22) as compared to the equivalent period last year (January- May 21). The results are based on analysis of data from the last five months, according to a statement.

The upbeat mood in online shopping is reflected in a 130 percent growth in occasion wear for children, which caters to special occasions including festivals, birthdays and other social celebrations with friends and family.

Similarly, the sale of ethnic wear for children is up 263 percent this year due to families getting the opportunity to meet and jointly celebrate weddings and festivals like Eid, Baisakhi, Pongal, and Guddi Padwa. A large part of the demand for kids' ethnic wear was centered in Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, and Maharashtra, the statement said.

The rapid growth in some categories is distinct from the trends in the previous two years, where there was a greater emphasis on utilitarian wear like tracks and t-shirts and top-bottom sets, largely for home use. With more kids’ fashion being bought online, shopping trends on Snapdeal indicated consumer preferences for items that offered “more value.” Complete outfits in the Rs 499-699 range were popular with users.

CloudSEK announces the appointment of Samir Sunil Karnik as the RVP for India & SAARC

CloudSEK announces the appointment of Samir Sunil Karnik as the RVP for India & SAARC. With over 25 years in the IT Industry, Samir has held multiple leadership & senior positions at organisations like McAfee, Cisco, Symantec, and Wipro. A specialist in the BFSI vertical, he has been instrumental in strategic projects of national importance in the BFSI / Payments industry.

Commenting on Samir’s appointment, Vimal Ignatius, Global Head – Revenue and Strategy of CloudSEK said, “India and SAARC is a strong and strategic region for CloudSEK. Samir’s extensive industry experience, combined with his domain expertise and leadership acumen, will strengthen customers' trust with us. We are confident that Samir’s successful track record and skills will play a significant role in expanding our presence in the region.”

Startup launches 10-min liquor delivery service in Kolkata, reports PTI

A Hyderabad-based startup has launched a 10-minute liquor delivery service in Kolkata.

Booozie, the flagship brand of Innovent Technologies Private Limited, claimed it is India's first 10-minute liquor delivery platform.

The service was launched in the eastern metropolis after approval from the West Bengal State Excise Department, a PTI report said.

"Booozie is a delivery aggregator that picks up liquor from the nearest shop, with 10-minute delivery by using innovative AI which predicts consumer behaviour and order patterns," it said.

Innovent Technologies said it has created a B2B (business-to-business) logistics management platform, which will optimise the delivery costs thereby making Booozie an affordable platform.

"With the advent of cutting edge technologies and Booozie's commitment to responsible drinking, most of the apprehensions associated with liquor delivery such as delivery to under-age persons, adulteration, excessive consumption etc. have been addressed," said Booozie Co-founder and CEO Vivekanand Balijepalli.

SuperCoins witnesses a new phase of growth across Flipkart, PhonePe, Myntra and Cleartrip

Flipkart, India’s homegrown ecommerce marketplace, says it has seen tremendous growth for its SuperCoin reward programme across categories in the past year. The multi-brand reward ecosystem that rewards consumers and enables them to redeem coins on every single purchase across Flipkart, Myntra, Cleartrip and PhonePe, today sees close to 1.5 billion SuperCoins issued every month.

SuperCoins can be redeemed while buying any product from the participating sellers on Flipkart and also while accessing the rewards store among other options, purchasing the latest fashion styles on Myntra, making travel bookings on Cleartrip or to pay over thousands of select merchants through PhonePe.

About 58 percent of SuperCoin customers hail from Tier 2 and 3 regions in India, a statement said. And, about half of these rewards are claimed across categories such as household items, grooming accessories, men’s clothing, food and nutrition, makeup and fragrances, healthcare, baby care, fashion wearables and women’s westernwear.

MakeMyTrip joins hands with Climes

MakeMyTrip, online travel company, has partnered with Climes, an Indian climate-tech startup, to introduce carbon neutralisation options when booking a flight through its platform. Through this collaboration, flyers of MakeMyTrip will be able to neutralise the carbon footprint of their air travel, entirely or partially.

Commitments made by MakeMyTrip users will be distributed by Climes to carbon removal projects that focus on increasing biodiversity through agroforestry, and restoring degraded agricultural lands, across the country. Flyers will additionally have the option of choosing the project they wish to support.

Debt-resolution fintech startup Credgenics expands leadership team

Credgenics, a SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) based collections and debt-recovery technology platform, today announced the expansion of its core leadership team as part of its next phase growth plan for existing markets and entry into global markets. New additions to the Credgenics leadership team include Vibhor Singhal as Head of Engineering, Nitin Garg as Head of Marketing, Asvini Krishnan as Head of Finance, Manjari Lakshmanan as Head of Product, Aakash Agarwal as Head of Data Science, Sukhpreet Singh as Head of HR, and Abhishek Sharma as Director of Sales. 

Leadership Team Additions 

  • Vibhor Singhal, who comes with over a decade of extensive experience in building core technology platforms, leading engineering teams, and establishing an agile work culture, has joined as Head of Engineering 
  • Nitin Garg, with more than a decade of proven expertise in strategically marketing complex enterprise technology solutions for BFSI across diverse markets worldwide, is on-board as Head of Marketing 
  • Asvini Krishnan, an expert in financial planning and management with experience of more than 15 years has joined as Head of Finance 
  • Manjari Lakshmanan, with a track record of building technology platforms from scratch, championing product visions, and devising roadmaps over more than 11 years of expertise, is aboard as Head of Product 
  • Aakash Agarwal has joined as Head of Data Science to drive the enrichment of ML capabilities and the broader data science vision at Credgenics by leveraging his more than 11 years of expertise 
  • Sukhpreet Singh has joined as Head of HR with a focus on driving a people-centric culture and establishing a strong values driven framework building on his more than 11 years of experience 
  • Abhishek Sharma, with more than 13 years of diverse experience in Solution Sales, Technology Consulting, and Business Advisory is onboard as Director of Sales, to drive Credgenics’ rapid business expansion 

Micron Ventures Fund II Commits $200M for Deep Tech Startups

Micron Technology announced that its venture capital team, Micron Ventures, will be investing $200 million in deep tech startups with its Fund II. Micron’s Fund II builds on the success of the initial AI-focused Fund I by targeting broader deep tech innovations. Additionally, to reflect Micron’s commitment to diversity, equality and inclusion (DEI) initiatives, 20 percent of invested capital in the new Fund II will be aimed at startups led by women and other underrepresented groups.

Since its inception, Micron Ventures has made investments in 25 startups, yielding strong financial returns and multiple unicorn companies within the portfolio. Micron Ventures has accelerated broad technology innovation including in AI-assisted manufacturing, edge security, and autonomous vehicle development.

Zigii integrates with Decentro to launch co-branded prepaid cards for Gen Z

Decentro, one of India’s leading API infrastructure platforms for banking integration, announced its collaboration with NeoBank Zigii to launch co-branded prepaid cards for Gen Z, teenagers, and young adults. The Zigii card is specifically designed to cater to the lifestyle and aspirations of more than 400 million+ Gen Z and young adults in India. 

This underserved segment provides neo banks with an untapped opportunity as teenagers grow up in an on-demand world with preferences for digital transactions and ecommerce. According to a PWC survey on the evolution of Neo Banks in India, 84 percent of them shop online for big-ticket (gadgets) and small-ticket items (food, clothes, and digital subscriptions). 

Demand for ESG jobs more than double in India

Research released by Indeed shows that jobs in the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) sector have grown over 468 percent in India in the past three years, between April 2019 and April 2022.

 

The most significant increase in demand happened in the past year, between April 2021 and April 2022. The number of job posts grew 154 percent compared to the previous year when the expansion of these roles was 97 percent. 

 

The positions advertised varied from engineers, and research analysts to consultants. Healthcare & Pharmaceuticals, BFSI and Consulting sectors indicate hiring the most when it comes to ESG roles. Mining, FMCG and manufacturing sectors are yet to catch up. Companies have now also started looking at specific qualifications in jobseekers for such roles. This includes degrees in fields like energy, environmental science, sustainable business management, environmental studies etc.

 

The increase in job postings for ESG indicates that the idea of letting values guide a company has been growing over the last decade, and has really taken off during the pandemic. Demand for ESG roles grew over sevenfold in 2020-2021 as compared to 2019 - 2020, the year COVID-19 started spreading across the globe. Demand for ESG roles might continue to rise as more sectors incorporate the functions into their organisations and make sustainability and community relations a key part of their actions.  

Kiya.ai launches India’s first-ever Banking Metaverse

Kiya.ai, a digital solutions provider serving financial institutions and governments globally, today announced the launch of India’s first-ever Banking Metaverse–Kiyaverse.

 

Kiyaverse pioneers use cases of merging real-world banking with Metaverse banking through an avatar (virtual humanoid) based interactions. In the first phase, Kiyaverse will allow banks to extend their own Metaverse for clients, partners, and employees, through services that will include Relationship Manager & Peer Avatars and Robo-advisors.

Kiyaverse plans to have tokens as NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) and support CBDC (central bank digital currency) to enable open finance in a Web3.0 environment. Kiyaverse will interface its Open API connectors with Aggregators, and Gateways to enable a Super-App and Marketplace on the metaverse. With the introduction of Haptics enabled Headsets, Kiyaverse will provide a near real-world interaction using the internet of senses.

Union Bank of India signs MOU with SIDBI for Co-financing arrangement of MSMEs

Union Bank of India today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) for a Co-financing arrangement for MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises). The MoU was signed by Shri Lal Singh, Chief General Manager, Union Bank of India and Shri Vivek Kumar Malhotra, Chief General Manager, SIDBI. SIDBI is country’s principal financial institution engaged in the Promotion, Financing and Development of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME).

 

Under the MoU, Union Bank of India would consider Joint financing/ Co-Financing with SIDBI to Projects/Units in the MSME. This MoU would help the Banks to increase their customer base, while helping the MSMEs to meet their funding requirements. The key highlights of the arrangement include joint identification of viable projects and term loan and working capital financing to MSMEs. Initially the arrangement would be at specific centers and once the arrangement stabilizes at these centers, more locations would be covered.

CENTA Partners With The CCS Dharampal Fellowship Program To Upskill Educators In India

CENTA (Centre for Teacher Accreditation) is announced as the training partner for the CCS Dharampal Fellowship Programme to train teachers in advanced skill-sets and tools to provide quality education for children across India. The prestigious programme is the brainchild of the Centre for Civil Society and is sponsored by Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom South Asia.

As part of the selection process for the Fellowship, 100 candidates (shortlisted from all applicants) will appear for the CENTA Teaching Quotient (TQ) test on June 11, and the results will be declared on July 4. Based on their performance, 40 candidates will be selected for the Fellowship Programme. The training sessions will commence in July and end in August, culminating in assessments towards their certification. The final results will be declared on September 5. 

(This story will be updated with more news blurbs throughout the day)

Edited by Affirunisa Kankudti

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