Startup news and updates: daily roundup (July 1, 2022)

YourStory presents daily news roundup from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Wednesday, July 1, 2022.
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JB Pharma acquires 4 paediatric brands from Dr Reddy’s Laboratories

KKR-controlled JB Pharma (previously JB Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals Ltd) has acquired four paediatric brands—Z&D, Pedicloryl, Pecef, and Ezinapi—from Dr Reddy's Laboratories for about Rs 98 crore.

The company’s board, at its meeting held on June 29, had considered and approved the acquisition of a portfolio of brands, for use sales within India from Dr Reddy's Laboratories, the drug maker had said in a regulatory filing.

The combined sales of the four brands, as per internal estimates , were Rs 33 crore for FY 2021-22. As per the terms of the definitive agreement, JB will take over the manufacturing, marketing, and distribution of these brands in India. The complete integration and transition of the brands are expected to be completed in the next two weeks.

"This is the time to capitalise on the opportunity to expand our wings in the paediatric segment across the country because all the four brands we have acquired have lion’s share in their respective spaces,” said Nikhil Chopra, CEO and wholetime Director, JB Pharma. 

“Overall, the brands acquired have significant growth potential to strengthen our already established presence in the pediatric category, which is synergistic to our current portfolio, speciality depth and geographical presence. It will also help us significantly leverage our on-the-ground field force strength and widen our offerings in the paediatric basket (comprising gut health and respiratory infection products) for HCPs across the country,” he added. 

Spacetech startup Digantara launches world's smallest digital space weather instrument

Bengaluru-based spacetech startup Digantara said "world's first commercial space-based space weather system” ROBI (ROBust Integrating proton fluence meter), designed by it, was launched onboard ISRO's PSLV-C53 Mission on Thursday.

With the launch of the world's smallest digital space weather sensor for monitoring space weather, it has taken a giant leap towards building their space infrastructure for providing a one-stop comprehensive space situational awareness solution, the company said. 

Started by Lovely Professional University’s alumni Anirudh Sharma and Rahul Rawat, under the incubation of IISc Bangalore, this is one of India's first commercial payloads that will utilise PSLV’s PS-4 orbital platform.

Earlier this month, the founders also interacted with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, where they spoke about their vision. Post the interaction, Digantara also made it to the Mann ki baat speech, wherein the PM mentioned about the spacetech startup.

According to the startup, the patented-digital space weather instrument has an extremely small footprint with power consumption of <20mW. “The simplicity of integration makes it ideal to place any satellite that goes to space, irrespective of size, shape, or application. This will enable Digantara to increase the amount of empirical space weather data that will be available in quasi-real time,” it said in a statement. 

Co-founders Tanveer Ahmed and Anirudh Sharma during the ISRO PSLV-C53 Mission launch

Battlegrounds Mobile India crosses 100 million registered users in 12 months

Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI), launched by the creator of the banned PUBG, on Friday said it has surpassed 100 million registered users, since its launch in July 2021. 

While it is very similar to polar game PUBG, the recently launched BGMI comes with some changes—like doing away with the colour red to make it seem less violent. Players will also get reminders to check their posture and how long they've been playing, as well as being reminded that this is a virtual environment. Gamers over 18 can turn these off. 

Created and published by South Korean-game development studios, Krafton, the team had also launched a ‘Game Responsibly’ campaign in November 2021 to promote safer and responsible gaming habits and build awareness amongst players to cultivate safer and healthy gaming habits.

Changhan Kim, CEO, Krafton, Inc. said, “India is an important market for Krafton. We are positive about the opportunities in the country and are committed to create a robust gaming ecosystem. Our focus is pivoted towards constantly elevating the mobile gaming experience for our growing community and invest in the flourishing start-up landscape here."

Tezos India and TZ APAC jointly launch Web3 hackathon 

Tezos India, the Indian arm of decentralised open-source blockchain Tezos; and TZ APAC, Singapore-based public blockchain consultancy supporting the Tezos ecosystem, have announced Web3 hackathon TEZASIA inviting aspiring newcomers, advanced coders, students, professionals, blockchain enthusiasts, and others who wish to build on the Tezos blockchain.

The month-long Hackathon, which will span across the Asia-Pacific region, is open for registrations until July 8, 2022, and thereafter the hackathon will begin on July 10. The organisers have tied up with Unstop to host and manage the hackathon registrations (closes July 8). Participants can register for free as an individual or as a team of four members.

 

On the basis of the chosen themes, the Hackathon if offering a prize money of $10,000 for the winner, $8,000 for the runner-up, and $5000 for the second runner-up amongst different tracks and themes, and the participants also get to receive an Exceptional Performance Certificate as an NFT. The top 20 projects stand a chance to share a prize pool of $10,000. There is a special track by Women In Tech (WIT) with a reward amount of $10,000.

Om Malviya, President, Tezos India, said, “It is a one-size-fits-all moment for all to enter and contribute to the Tezos ecosystem through a spectrum of activities mentored by global leaders. TEZASIA will be a defining moment for those aspiring students and enthusiasts with the singular goal of learning and achieving massive heights in their lives.”

“With its young, digitally-native, and ambitious population, it’s no surprise that we’re seeing rapid Web3 adoption across NFT and crypto wallet ownership in Asia. As of last year, almost half of the global crypto market capitalisation is based in the APAC region, which in turn has given rise to some of the industry’s up-and-coming projects and established unicorns,” said Katherine Ng, Managing Director, TZ APAC. 

 The hackathon will be organised into two themes ‘Small but great’ and ‘Disrupt all the things’, and shall consist a wide range of tracks covering everything from NFTs to Defi and more. The second theme is intended for teams with a disruptive vision, to showcase a PoC/MVP of their dream Web3 product. 

AI-based edtech startup SP Robotics expands operations

AI-based edtech startup, SP Robotic Works, on Friday said it is will be opening 100+ ‘Maker Labs’ in three cities by the end of 2021, as it looks to expand operations. 

Founded by Sneha Priya and Pranavan S, the startup gamifies users' learning experience with its personalised AI-based teacher named 'SPARKY'. It is currently using its pedagogy to engage its students in robotics, drone, and coding technologies, and plans to foray into math and science. The company has an online presence across 14 countries.

Students at SP Robotic Maker Lab

Additionally, it has an omnichannel presence called 'SP Robotics Maker Lab' at 75 locations in India. These labs are equipped with AI-enabled computer systems and Robotic / Drone Kits and other Maker Kits, where the student can also learn with animations and real-time concepts.

“We are excited to set up these Maker Labs so that children after school or during the weekends can spend about two to four hours a week in problem-solving skills and cognitive development. We have this franchise model since we want to collaborate with local partners who share the same vision and ideologies to start a Maker Lab center in their location,” said Pranavan S, Co-founder of SP Robotics Maker Lab. 

In 2021, the Chennai-based startup had raised $3 million in Series A funding led by Mount Judi India Growth Fund, with participation from BCCL, and existing investors including Indian Angel Network, Ajai Chowdhry (founder, HCL), and Raman Roy (chairman and managing director, Quatrro) among others. 

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

Edited by Megha Reddy

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