Startup news and updates: daily roundup (June 6, 2022)

YourStory presents daily news roundup from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Monday, June 6, 2022.
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SUGAR Cosmetics opens 100th offline brand store

SUGAR Cosmetics, an omnichannel beauty and personal care startup, opened its 100th store in Chennai, having forayed into the offline space in early 2019.

According to the brand, its retail store count has grown more than 50 percent in the past year and diversified the overall product range to over 550 SKUs.

Starting as a D2C brand in 2015, SUGAR Cosmetics quickly ventured into offline trade in 2017. The brand grew from more than 2,500 retail outlets in 2020 to over 35,000 retail touchpoints in over 500 cities. It has also ventured into key metro cities with nearly 15 stores in Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Delhi, Mumbai, Jalandhar, Nagpur, and more.

Vineeta Singh, Co-founder and CEO, SUGAR Cosmetics, said, “With an increasing number of customers preferring to shop at brick-and-mortar outlets and our retail stores accounting for about 65 percent of our revenue, we are hopeful that this launch will reflect our commitment towards them.”

SUGAR Cosmetics founders: Vineeta Singh (left) and Kaushik Mukherjee

Tata Motors to deliver 10,000 XPRES T EVs to BluSmart Electric

Tata Motors has signed an agreement with BluSmart to deliver 10,000 of its XPRES T EVs—the electric Sedan car—to the EV company. With deliveries starting soon, these vehicles are an addition to the 3,500 XPRES T EV order, signed by both the companies in October last year.

Shailesh Chandra, Managing Director, Tata Motors Passenger Vehicles and Tata Passenger Electric Mobility, said, “Tata Motors is taking active steps towards the rapid electrification of mobility, and it is heartening to see renowned fleet aggregators joining the green mobility wave with us. Our XPRES-T EV fleet offers an optimal battery size, along with a captive fast-charging solution, and has already set benchmarks in its category.”

BluSmart co-founder Anmol Singh Jaggi (left) Tata Motors Passenger Vehicles MD Shailesh Chandra

In July 2021, Tata Motors launched the XPRES brand exclusively for fleet customers, and the XPRES-T EV is the first vehicle under this brand.

The XPRES-T electric sedan comes with two range options: 213km and 165km (ARAI certified range under test conditions). It packs a high energy density battery of 21.5 kWh and 16.5 kWh and can be charged from 0- 80 percent in 90 and 110 minutes, respectively.

Anmol Singh Jaggi, Co-founder, BluSmart Electric Mobility, said, “With our $50 million Series A fundraise, we are supercharged to rapidly expand across Delhi-NCR and the metro cities. We are thankful to Tata Motors for charging up our journey to scale up at a fast pace. BluSmart Electric Mobility has covered 50 million clean kms and delivered over 1.6 million zero-emission rides with an elevated customer experience on its platform.”

Kafqa Academy acquires Verb Studio

Kafqa Academy, a performing arts academy startup, has acquired the Verb Studio, another Bengaluru-based online dance academy, for an undisclosed value.

According to a statement, the acquisition gives Kafqa access to even larger distribution and content on social media and a complimentary age group of over 15 years as a demographic.

Team Kafqa Academy

Verb Studio has over 350,000 customers, 150,000 subscribers across social media channels, and more than 300 original content from top instructors in India. Now, Kafqa will also get larger access to experienced instructors and over 200 classes in 30 different dance forms.

Shariq Plasticwala, Founder and CEO, Kafqa, said, "We felt their strength in community building within the young adults’ age group of 16-25 complements our current strengths and will allow us to serve customers and artists better.”

Cashfree Payments partners with EasyTransfer

Cashfree Payments has partnered with Singapore-headquartered cross-border education payment services platform EasyTransfer to offer a faster, easier, and cheaper platform for Indian students to make fee payments to universities and educational institutions abroad.

With this partnership, Indian students can make educational payments directly through their existing bank accounts, eliminating the need to set up a new account specifically for making such payments.

The EasyTransfer payments platform for Indian students will be launched by early June and will be fully customised for Indian international students and their families.

Reeju Datta, Co-founder, Cashfree Payments, said, Partnering with EasyTransfer enables us to easily extend our payment solutions directly to Indian students, facilitating easier, faster, more convenient, and more efficient international education payments. We will continue our efforts to build such effective solutions for our partners, which help to create superior customer experiences.”

Cashfree Payments co-founder Reeju Datta

magicpin launches 45-min pharmacy delivery service

Hyperlocal shopping and savings platform Magicpinhas launched a 45-minute pharmacy delivery service.

For this, magicpin has partnered with over 2,000 local pharmacies across India. At present, the service is available in 15 cities, including Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Pune, Chennai, Hyderabad, Gurugram, Noida, Faridabad, Ghaziabad, and Jaipur, with plans to scale up operations to about 10,000 stores on its platform.

Magicpin co-founder & CEO Anshoo Sharma

“We are building this category with speed and promptness in mind. Existing services might require customers to wait anywhere between two hours to two days for their prescription to be delivered home. We’re building pharmacy delivery on the backbone of the existing local pharmacies,” said Anshoo Sharma, Co-founder and CEO, magicpin.

Edited by Suman Singh

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