Startup news and updates: daily roundup (July 5, 2022)

YourStory presents the daily news roundup from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Tuesday July 5, 2022.

Simpl Appoints Shikha Tomar as Senior Director of its Partner Success Team

Checkout network Simpl has appointed Shikha Tomar as Senior Director and Head of Partner Success team. With this strategic hire, Simpl aims to help its onboarded merchant partners achieve their business goals.

Shikha Tomar

With over 12 years of rich and diverse experience, Shikha has been instrumental in creating innovative digital solutions for multiple domains. She is one of the key women leaders at Simpl, driving an important portfolio: merchant growth and success.

Shikha, Senior Director and Head of Partner Success Team, Simpl, said, “I look forward to innovating and creating an interconnected ecosystem conducive to the fintech growth space and leveraging existing partnerships. My efforts will be centered on expanding into new markets and driving partnerships with new members with greater efficiency.”

Hiring activity stays strong, records 22 pc Y-O-Y growth in June: Naukri JobSpeak

The latest JobSpeak Index observed a +22 percentage y-o-y growth in June 2022 v/s June 2021. The Indian job market continues to show positive hiring sentiments as the Naukri JobSpeak Index stood at 2,878, which is only second to the peak in February ’22 when it crossed 3,000. Since the start of this year, the country’s hiring activity has shown an upward growth trajectory.

Among industries, travel and hospitality continues to show maximum surge in hiring activity in June 2022 v/s June 2021 at +125 percent. Following a similar trend, retail (+75 percent) and BFSI (+58 percent) showed growth in hiring when compared with June 2021, while reflecting a stable MOM trend. 

Freshers rejoice as the demand for entry-level talent continues to record the highest yearly growth (+30 percent) in June 2022.

GoMechanic grants Rs 30 Cr stock options to partners

GoMechanic, India's growing aftermarket automotive service and maintenance platform, announced the launch of a 'Partners Incentive Plan' for its services partners, workshops, retailers, distributors and consultants across India. The company has proposed to issue stocks worth Rs 30 crore as a reward for its vast network of service partners. The stock options will have a four-year vesting duration with yearly vesting at 25 percent and a cliff period of one year.

Speaking about the new initiative, Kushal Karwa, Co-founder, GoMechanic, said, “The growth of our company is vested in the zeal and trust of thousands of partner workshops across the country, who continue to expand their association and keeping the operations running even during Covid and lockdown. The Partner Stock Option Program is a step towards incentivising and strengthening our collaboration with our partner workshops by enabling them with the opportunity to participate in GoMechanic’s long-term value creation as well as expansion in the automotive sector."

Bounce expands its rural reach through common services center network

In a move to promote the adoption of cleaner and affordable mobility solutions, Bounce, has entered into a partnership with CSC e-Governance Services India, an SPV established under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), Government of India.

Through this agreement, Bounce will strengthen its presence in the rural areas across India by selling its products and services through the CSC network. Initially, the company will offer the following products and services - Bounce Infinity e-scooters, Fleet Rental & 2W/3W Retrofitting. This partnership is a collaborative effort to bring Bounce’s smart mobility offerings to rural customers across the country. 

With the MoU, Bounce will aim at improving mobility at over seven lakh villages across India with its various consumer centric offerings. To facilitate smooth rural commerce, the centers are equipped with highly trained village level entrepreneurs (VLEs) catering to all financial and product queries; and enabling sales and service to end customers in rural areas under one roof. 

Gramophone commences expansion of its offline retail network to 10,000 stores

Agritech startup Gramophone on Tuesday announced its plans to expand its offline retail network to 10,000 stores across the country by the end of September this year. The company, which forayed into offline retail this year, already has 5,000 stores up and running across key geographies, such as Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, western Uttar Pradesh, and eastern Maharashtra. While some of these stores are owned and operated directly by Gramophone, the majority of them are under partnerships with existing agri-retailers.

The owners of each of these stores will rely on GramKonnect, a new app for retailers launched by Gramophone in April 2022. The app aims to transform agri-retail through technology by enabling Indian agri-input retailers to realise the true potential of their business and achieve seamless growth. It is a one-stop solution that enables agri-input retailers to purchase seeds, high-quality fertilizers, pesticides, insecticides, herbicides, and agricultural hardware tools and equipment without the hassle of dealing with multiple vendors.

At these partner stores, these Gramophone-trained agri-entrepreneurs will handhold farmers when it comes to decisions like selecting the correct products and providing relevant agronomy advice.

Tide partners with Transcorp to roll-out RuPay powered Expense Card

Tide, the UK-based SME-focused business financial platform that began setting up operations in India in 2020, announced that it has partnered with Transcorp International Limited, a 27-year-old Reserve Bank of India (RBI) regulated Authorised Dealer Category II and perpetual Prepaid Payment Instrument (PPI) licence holder, to launch co-branded prepaid cards (Tide Expense Card) as an entry product. This roll-out stems from Tide’s expansion strategy in India, its first international market outside the UK, and a pillar of its global ambitions.

Tide will offer payment services to small businesses across India, starting with a Tide Business Account, accompanied by a Tide Expense Card. These Tide Expense Cards will be offered in partnership with Transcorp powered by RuPay. Other payment and business services will follow later this year.

The partnership leverages the expertise of RuPay, India's indigenous payment network, the long-standing reputation of Transcorp, and Tide’s vast experience with SMEs in the UK, to help small businesses in India save time and money.

slice appoints Amazon ICICI Card Chief Sudeep Behari as Business Head

Fintech company Slice has announced the appointment of Sudeep Behari as its Business Head. Sudeep has an extensive and diverse experience spanning over 16 years in the credit finance industry and thus his specialisation will help slice to cater to a wider audience.

Sudeep’s appointment comes at an opportune time as the company expands towards building a larger payments play, with more payments products on the anvil. Prior to slice, Sudeep has built and led business as a Head at ICICI Amazon Credit Card Partnership, where he handled business transformation initiatives as well as the brand expansion mandate across verticals. Sudeep has also been a part of Capital One for more than 12 years, where he started his journey as Data Analyst in the US and got transferred to India in 2011. At Capital One , he has been an integral part of their milestones, where he led the team of credit analysts when Capital One acquired HSBC credit card business in the US and stepped in the Indian market. 

Samunnati enters a co-lending partnership with SBI for financing Farmer Producer Organizations

Agri network platform Samunnati has entered into the co-lending partnership with SBI aimed at the Farmer Producer Organization (FPO) space. The initial programme amount is Rs 100 crore.

This partnership will enable Samunnati to scale its outreach to FPOs with customised financial solutions at affordable interest rates, leveraging the vast resources available with SBI. The partnership will enhance the outreach for SBI channel credit to the under-served segment of small-holder farmers in the agriculture sector, by leveraging Samunnati’s outreach and nuanced understanding of the FPO sector.

SBI and Samunnati has also entered into a non-financial MOU to develop the FPO Sector, to mainstream FPO as an asset class and increase awareness of this class of farmer-owned institutions in the banking sector.


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