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

YourStory presents daily news roundups from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Wednesday, July 6, 2022.
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M2P Fintech acquires Bengaluru-based cloud lending platform Finflux

Chennai-headquartered M2P Fintech acquired Bengaluru-based cloud lending platform Finflux, which will enable M2P Fintech to accelerate the adoption of next-generation digitisation, workflow automation, and rollout cutting-edge lending products that are secure, scalable, and cloud-ready.  

Finflux’s cloud lending platform offers loan origination, loan management, co-lending, Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL), marketplace integration, app-based lending, alternative data-based credit scoring, and analytics features.

With over 60 global customers from across 15 countries, which includes fintechs, NBFCs, microfinance, savings and credit co-operative societies (SACCOs), banks, financial institutions, etc., Finflux serves more than 12 million borrowers.  

Madhusudanan R, Co-founder of M2P Fintech, said, "With Finflux and the formidable team led by Nayan, we found a match to cater to the burgeoning and fast-evolving digital lending ecosystem across banks, NBFCs, and fintechs. Our key offerings around BNPL and neo credit products will get a major thrust with Finflux's platform, and we are embarking on a mission to digitise the lending ecosystem." 

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GAIL to invest in startups operating in petrochemicals, logistics, other areas

Through its startup initiative 'Pankh', GAIL (India) plans to invest in Indian startups operating in identified focus areas, including natural gas, petrochemicals, energy, project management, logistics, electric mobility, bio manure marketing, nanomaterials, IoT and data mining, environment, health and social, etc. 

According to stock exchange filings, GAIL has now opened a fresh round for solicitation of investment proposals from startups operating in these focus areas.

Startups interested in equity investment from GAIL can apply on 'GAIL Pankh' on the company's website. The current solicitation round will remain open till July 31, 2022. 

Google launches Startup School India; to enable 10,000 companies in Tier II, III cities

Google launched Startup School India — a Google for Startups initiative — to help entrepreneurs understand the nitty-gritty of the startup ecosystem. The programme aims to organise this knowledge into a structured curriculum and deliver it across a wide footprint.

The nine-week virtual programme will feature fireside chats between Google leaders and collaborators from across the startup ecosystem, spanning fintech, ecommerce (D2C, B2B, and B2C), language, social media and networking, job search, etc.

Aimed at early-stage startup founders with a minimum viable product, the curriculum will feature instructional modules on subjects like shaping an effective product strategy, deep-diving into product user value, road mapping and PRD development, building apps for the 'Next Billion Users' in markets like India, driving user acquisition, and more.

IndusInd Bank, MoEngage partner to deliver differentiated digital experience to customers          

IndusInd Bank has partnered with Moengage, an insights-led customer engagement platform, to deliver a ‘Gen Z’ digital banking experience to its customers. The deal will also enable the bank to curate personalised content and recommendations across channels, where customers spend most of their time.

Soumitra Sen, Head - Consumer Banking and Marketing, IndusInd Bank, said, “IndusInd Bank’s engagement with MoEngage is designed to achieve strategic outcomes that support our vision of being the most preferred bank for our customers by providing relevant and personalised financial recommendations.”

Yash Reddy, Chief Business Officer (APAC and EMEA), MoEngage, said, “We are excited to partner with IndusInd Bank and look forward to using our deep banking industry knowledge and digital capabilities to support IndusInd Bank in their ongoing journey to deliver highly personalised and seamless experiences across all digital touchpoints.”

Digital Startup Pitch Night aims to accelerate the digital startup culture in India

Launching a series of pitch events, a Digital Startup Pitch Night (DSPN) will bring together digital startups in an engaging and inspiring environment. 

To be held at The Oberoi, Gurugram, on July 21, DSPM will expose early-stage startups to the wider ecosystem, including angel investors, venture capitalists, HNIs, mentors, technical experts, and policymakers, alongside fellow startup founders.

Several senior leaders from the industry will also attend DSPN to share their thoughts and provide guidance, and network with startups and investors.

A phygital event, DSPN will be hosted locally but broadcast globally. It will allow the participants to pitch to a wider audience, and the organisers are expecting the gathering to reach a local and international viewership of over a million through the live broadcast on social media.

DSPN, which is built on the four pillars of funding, global visibility, brand recognition, and networking, will seek to promote a local culture with a focus on digital startups. 

It will also offer support to the government's Digital India and Startup India initiatives to help the country attain its 2025 vision of becoming a leading digital economy. 

Additionally, startups will showcase emerging Web 3 technologies that will help drive the Metaverse in the future.

Premium mother and baby care platform AllThingsBaby onboards baby carrier brand Ergobaby

AllThingsBaby has boarded the US-based baby care brand Ergobaby, which will expand the company’s range of premium, genuine, and exquisite baby products from 50 international brands.

Tejal Bajla, Co-founder of AllThingsBaby, said, “For years, Ergobaby has been in the international markets for its ergonomic designs that foster healthy growth and development in babies. We are delighted to add some of their best baby carriers to our web store. We strive to make parenting easier for parents across the nation, and with this latest addition, we continue to do the same. Over the next year, we intend to onboard some of the most-loved and sought-for international and Indian brands on our platform.”

Akshay Jalan, Co-founder, AllThingsBaby, added, “In the last few months, we have onboarded multiple international brands on our platform, including Ergobaby. With this move, we intend to improve the accessibility of some of the best baby care products in the Indian market. In addition, we plan to introduce a two-pronged market outreach by launching an app and a range of our offline experience stores over the next year.”

Salesforce deepens its commitment to education workforce development in India

Global CRM company Salesforce announced $2 million in direct company donations to over 22 non-profits across India. With a strategic focus on education and workforce development, these grants are expected to impact over 40,000 individuals across India.

To provide quality education to every child in India, Salesforce has partnered with Meghshala Trust, Inquilab Foundation, and Learning Curve Foundation, among others. Students will have access to hybrid learning spaces, STEM, and early education.

The company has partnered with Katalyst, Navgurukul, Feminist Approach, etc., to impart skill education to individuals to improve their employment opportunities, ensuring untapped talent can build social capital, excel in their careers, and potentially improve economic prosperity.

With partners such as United Way of Hyderabad, Enable India and Protsahan India Foundation, Salesforce is building resilience among young people and families, breaking down inequalities through grants, employee giving, volunteering, technology, and partnerships.

Actyv.ai hires top industry leaders to head customer engagement, banking verticals

Actyv.ai, the AI-powered enterprise SaaS startup embedded with B2B BNPL, has appointed Ambarish Ojha and Sumit Khaneja to further boost the company’s growth strategy.

A seasoned veteran from the enterprise software and SaaS industry, Ambarish has joined as the EVP of Customer Engagement and will lead customer-facing technology functions, including pre-sales, customer success, and implementation and support.

Sumit, a banking industry leader with 21 years of experience, will lead Actyv.ai's efforts to build banking partnerships and drive BNPL adoption to transform the B2B supply chain transactions globally. He is joining as President – Business, Banking, and Partnerships.

Nothing taps Polygon for Web 3 access starting with NFT membership programme

Consumer-tech company Nothing launched its first NFT project – the Nothing Community Dots – in collaboration with the carbon-neutral Polygon network. The membership programme invites Nothing's community to collect NFT tokens that unlock special perks, including early access to new products and offline events. The announcement comes ahead of the launch of its highly anticipated smartphone Nothing Phone (1).

Nothing will airdrop its first NFT token, Black Dots, to Nothing community investors from July 7, followed by Phone (1) pre-order customers. Registration is required on dots.nothing.tech. The Polygon partnership will take Nothing’s Web 3 plans a step further. Going forward, the company also plans to make its phone category and other ecosystem devices future-ready by enabling sustainable and secure access to Web 3.

“With Nothing Community Dots, we’re using Web 3 technologies to create more meaningful connections with our community,” said Carl Pei, CEO and Co-founder of Nothing. “By partnering with Polygon, a leader in blockchain innovation, we’re delivering an accessible, and importantly, a more sustainable Web 3 experience,” he added.

KFintech elevates Sreekanth Nadella to Managing Director, CEO

Fintech startup KFin Technologies has elevated CEO Sreekanth Nadella to the role of Managing Director (MD) and CEO of the parent organisation.

In this role, Sreekanth will continue to steer the company’s focus to deliver enhanced and technology-focused solutions, positively impacting the overall financial services ecosystem.

Capital Float unifies Walnut and Walnut 369 under a new brand - axio

Capital Float unified its offerings Walnut and Walnut 369 under a new identity — axio — to combine the company’s three unique consumer finance products of pay later, personal credit, and money management.

Through axio, the company will offer a financial platform that helps consumers access credit responsibly and take control of their finances.

Sashank Rishyasringa, Co-founder, axio, said, “axio will not obsess over who is creditworthy, but will focus on making credit worthy for all. At Capital Float, we have been on an exciting journey to expand access to credit to individuals and households across India. With axio, we are deepening that commitment. We see instant credit at checkout as a way to make purchases more affordable but also as the perfect tool to enable the start of credit journeys for millions of customers.”

EnKash makes four new appointments in its senior leadership team

Enkash has hired Lalit Arun as Head of Banks and Financial Institutions Alliances; Abhishek Miglani as Head of Corporate Alliances and Partnerships; Krishna Kumar SV as Head of Operations, and Amandeep Arora as Head of Communications.  

The leadership appointments come as EnKash eyes its next phase of growth through new enterprise-grade payment products and international expansion in the US and European markets, the company said in a press release. 

3i Infotech launches its global CoE in Tirunelveli 

3I Infotech Ltd launched its first Centre of Excellence (CoE) for Oracle applications development in Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu, to address the huge skill shortage faced within the industry. Named ‘NuRe Park Tirunelveli’, it is the first of the hub and spoke network to be launched across India and globally.

The company aims to expand this in Tier III cities across the world, with the potential of creating employment opportunities on par with those available in Tier I cities and building a strong talent pool across emerging technologies.  

NuRe Park Tirunelveli will house the Oracle CoE across cloud, cybersecurity, application, automation, and analytics, where engineering graduates will go through specialised Oracle certification from Oracle University and real-time industry experience.

Edited by Suman Singh