Startup news and updates: daily roundup (June 22, 2022)

YourStory presents the daily news roundup from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Wednesday, June 22, 2022.
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Delhivery expands infrastructure across Greater Mumbai, Bengaluru

Logistics service provider Delhivery has announced plans to expand its infrastructure in Bhiwandi in Greater Mumbai and Bengaluru by setting up fully-automated large integrated trucking terminals.

For Greater Mumbai, it has partnered with Welspun for a seven lakh square-feet mega gateway. The Bengaluru facility developed in partnership with GMR over one million square feet includes a warehouse for multi-channel order fulfilment for its customers. The facilities will be operational by 2023, said a statement issued by the company.

The infrastructure expansion will help Delhivery increase its processing capacity to meet customer demand in the South and West of India.

Fixcraft acquires VMotive brand from Vogo

Gurugram-based car repair and service startup Fixcraft has acquired Vogo-owned automotive spare parts brand VMotive. The VMotive team will join Fixcraft as part of the deal. VMotive will add to the availability of genuine and high-quality spares for dealers and workshops with Fixcraft.

Founded in 2018 and backed by marquee angel investors and Good Capital, Fixcraft is a tech-enabled car repair solution startup. The company, which has a presence in Delhi-NCR and Bengaluru, plans on expanding to 10 metros over the coming year.

Fixcraft founding team

IAMAI announces formation of a venture capital committee

Industry body representing digital services companies in India including multinationals, the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) has announced the formation of a venture capital committee to work on public policy consultations, stakeholder engagement, ecosystem enhancement, and building industry networks for venture capital firms.

The committee will also highlight sector-specific challenges faced by portfolio companies of the venture capital firms.

The committee will be chaired by Vikas Agnihotri, Operating Partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers; and Shweta Rajpal Kohli, Chief Public Policy Officer at Sequoia India and Southeast Asia. Half the members of the committee will be drawn from the Indian venture capital community. Representatives from Sequoia India, SoftBank, Multiples Asset Management, Indian Angel network, 3One4 Capital, Eximius, and other funds have already joined it.

The committee will be taking up issues around the direct foreign listing of Indian startups, clarification on Gift Tax rules, ESOP taxation, Angel Fund structure, and GIFT City regulations, among others.

Gujarat government’s iCreate incubator launches EV innovation challenge

International Centre for Entrepreneurship and Technology (iCreate), an autonomous centre of excellence of Gujarat government has launched EVangelise ‘22—an electric vehicle (EV) innovation challenge in partnership with Startup India and CII-CoE for Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Startups.

Open to individual innovators, startups, students, researchers, and EV enthusiasts, the EVangelise innovation challenge has a total cash prize of Rs 1.12 crore. The innovation challenge has two categories—tech development and manufacturing partnership—and follows the themes of vehicle traction, vehicle energy storage, and vehicle infrastructure.

The applications open in June and the event will be concluded in December 2022. iCreate will provide access to facilities, research labs, mentorship support, and industry connection to the participants.

WhatsApp partners with Razorpay X for UPI cashbacks

Payments on WhatsApp, the UPI payment service of the eponymous chat app, has partnered with neobank RazorpayX to power the cashback functionality for its users. The technology from RazorpayX is aimed at minimising chances of failure and pending transactions for cashbacks offered by Payments on WhatsApp to its users. 

WhatsApp launched its UPI-based payments service in beta in 2017 and was allowed by NPCI to go live with 20 million customers only in November 2020, followed by permission to roll it out to an additional 60 million users in April 2022. 

In order to capture the crowded market which counts third party application providers (TPAP) like Google Pay, PhonePe, Paytm and others, WhatsApp has been offering cashbacks to hook new sets of users. 

SUN Mobility partners with Amazon India to set up battery-swapping network in Mumbai

Energy infrastructure provider Sun Mobility has launched its battery-swapping network for electric vehicles in Mumbai in collaboration with Amazon India. The first set of stations are placed at Amazon’s sites in Mumbai and Pune.

Amazon and SUN Mobility have partnered to expand the deployment of electric vehicles integrated with battery swapping technology for delivery fleet operations. Currently, 200 vehicles from Amazon’s delivery operations use SUN Mobility’s swap solutions across Delhi-NCR and Bengaluru.

SUN Mobility plans on deploying over 2,000 battery swapping points across Maharashtra by 2025. Out of these, 100 swap stations will be located in Mumbai, followed by Pune, in FY 2023. The network will support over 4,000 two-wheeler and three-wheeler electric vehicles.

Furlenco doubles annual revenue run rate for FY22

Furniture rental platform Furlenco has doubled its Annualised Revenue Run rate (ARR) to Rs 200 crore for FY 2022 from Rs 100 crore for the year before. In a statement, the parent entity of the company, House of Kieraya (HoK), claims to be on the path to profitability before tax by March 2023, with the majority of revenues coming from Furlenco.

 

Other businesses under the brand include UNLMTD, an annual subscription service for furnishing a home, and luxury furniture and lifestyle brand Prava. These brands contribute to over 10 percent of HoK’s revenues, the company said in the statement. 

KnowledgeHut announces UI/UX bootcamp

Edtech firm upGrad-backed reskilling and upskilling platform KnowledgeHut has announced the launch of its first UI/UX bootcamp. The six, eleven or twelve-week bootcamp will enable the candidates to master the latest design tools and workflows used by the industry. The bootcamp is curated with an objective to make candidates industry-ready.

upGrad forayed into the reskilling space with the acquisition of KnowledgeHut in August, 2021. Prior to this, upGrad’s USP was offering graduate and post-graduate courses to students, executives and other working professionals.

India Accelerator partners with Triarchh Ventures

GAN-partner India Accelerator has entered a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Mumbai-based venture development firm Triarchh Ventures to foster the development of tech startups in the sectors of sports, health and wellness. Both will curate and shortlist a pipeline of startups ideal for mentoring, accelerator programmes and venture development assistance. 

The partnership will see the parties contributing capabilities and resources to mentor startups, scale the product and business development, and facilitate fundraising. India Accelerator will provide mentoring and accelerator programme to the shortlisted startups and Triarchh will assist them with venture development. 

Exterro strengthens leadership with key hires

Oregon, United States headquartered software provider for legal Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) Exterro has announced the appointment of Debora Jones as Chief Operating Officer and Dr Kavitha Thangasamai as Chief Research and Development Officer. The appointments come at a time when the company has driven record revenue and customer growth over the past fiscal year.

 

The company also announced the retirement of Alice Lawrence, COO at the company since 2019. She will focus on the philanthropic arm of the company, Exterro Gives Back, going ahead. 

In her new role, Debora Jones will oversee Exterro’s client operations. Dr Kavitha will oversee the company’s growing research and development operations including software development, technical support, recruiting and corporate management. 

Garuda Aerospace sets up first international drone factory in Malaysia

Chennai-headquartered Garuda Aerospace has announced partnering with HiiLSE Global Sdn Bhd (HiiLSE Drones) to set up HiiLSE Garuda Aerospace Plant. Located in Malaysia over an area of 2.42 hectares, the plant will be set up with an investment of Rs 115 crore. It will focus on providing cutting-edge technology to both government and private sectors across the region.

Garuda Aerospace manufactures 30 different types of drones and offers over 50 services such as precision agriculture spray, industry 4.0 upgradation services, structural damage inspection, and warehouse management among others. 

(This is an ongoing story and will be updated with the latest updates throughout the day.)

Edited by Kanishk Singh