Startup news and updates: daily roundup (June 27, 2022)

YourStory presents the daily news roundup from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Monday, June 27, 2022.

Co-living startup Housr acquires StayAbode

Co-living startup Housr has announced the acquisition of StayAbode, a Bengaluru-based startup in the similar space, for an undisclosed value.

This acquisition will give Housr access to more than 20 properties with over 1,200 beds in the prime areas of Bengaluru. Besides, it also gets the IPs, including the brand and tech stack of StayAbode.

On the acquisition, Deepak Anand, Co-founder & CEO, Housr, said, “This acquisition is in line with Housr’s vision to grow rapidly with superior and standardised resident experience across our pan India portfolio of more than 50 properties.”

The acquisition is a part of the larger Housr plan, aimed at 12,000 beds by March 2023 with a combination of Housr Co-living & Housr Homes (rental managed homes). The price point will range from Rs 14,000-24,000 for twin sharing and Rs 25,000-50,000 for single occupancy in Housr co-living.

“Acquiring StayAbode is an important stepping stone to our plans for scaling Housr massively in 2022. Housr’s entry into Bengaluru significantly extends the scope of our mission, which is to seamlessly meet the housing needs of India’s new-age working professionals,” said, Kalpesh Mehta, Co-founder, Housr.

Simplilearn's free digital classes in Commonwealth countries

Simplilearn, a digital skills training provider, has entered into a partnership with the Commonwealth countries to provide free digital upskilling programs for learners. The digital upskilling programs by Simplilearn amounting to $5 million will be provided to 10,000 learners at no cost.

Through the partnership, Simplilearn’s programs will help learners in the Caribbean, African, and Pacific regions upskill in digital economy skills, and upon finishing the program, each learner will receive a completion certificate. According to Simplilearn, it had previously partnered with government entities of various countries in their national digital skilling projects, to bring upskilling prospects to as many learners as possible.

Krishna Kumar, Founder and CEO, Simplilearn.

Simplilearn founder & CEO Krishna Kumar said, We see this as an opportunity to extend our support to the Commonwealth countries by improving access to high-quality upskilling in the region.”

Previously, Simplilearn had partnered with countries such as Saudi Arabia, Oman, South Africa, Lebanon, Jordan, and Singapore for boot-camps on Data, Artificial Intelligence, and Technology. Simplilearn derives more than 50 percent of its revenues from its international operations.

Plum forms partnership with Visa

Insuretech startup Plumhas entered into a partnership with Visa to provide health insurance plan to its MSME cardholders. According to a statement, under this association, small business owners who are also Visa’s business card holders can receive new-age health insurance covers, doctor consultations and a host of other wellness benefits with monthly plans starting as low as Rs 129 (per life, per month).

The partnership also enables organisations with just two employees to get access to best-in-class insurance covers.

Plum co-founder & CEO Abhishek Poddar said: “Our endeavour is to ensure the segments that earlier lacked access to quality health insurance are able to afford and utilise quality healthcare through us. Through our partnership with Visa, we will enhance adoption of health insurance by small business owners, thereby promoting a wellbeing-first culture.”

Manish Daswani, Head, Commercial Solutions, India and South Asia, Visa, said, “Small businesses often seek insurance solutions that fit with their unique needs of being affordable yet superior propositions. We are pleased to partner with Plum to make such innovative health benefits accessible to our MSME cardholders through two distinct plans.”

Amazon India’s Pen to Publish writing contest on Kindle

Amazon India has launched the fifth edition of its annual Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) event Pen to Publish Contest, which invites writers to submit original and previously unpublished entries in English, Hindi and Tamil languages.

According to Amazon India, interested authors can enroll in the contest by self-publishing their eBook with 5,000 words or more using the KDP service. Participants can submit their entries, which will be judged on a number of criteria including originality, creativity, quality of writing, and customer feedback. There will also be cash prizes for the winners.

Amol Gurwara, Director Kindle Content, India, Amazon, said, The fourth edition of the Pen to Publish surpassed our expectations and encouraged us to continue with this annual contest. Taking forward our promise to empower writers from all walks of life through self-publishing and help them become ‘authorpreneurs’, we are happy to announce this fifth edition.”

Edited by Megha Reddy