Startup news and updates: daily roundup (August 26, 2022)

YourStory presents the daily news roundup from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Friday, August 26, 2022.
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Delhivery to create 75,000 seasonal jobs pan-India in next 6 six weeks

To boost its festive season deliveries, Delhivery said it will create over 75,000 seasonal jobs pan-India over the next six weeks across its warehouses, last-mile delivery centres, and gateways.

The logistics company said it will also double down on its various partner programmes by onboarding individual bikers, local retailers, business partners, and transporters.

"Alongside building delivery capacity, we have expanded our infrastructural footprint by a million sqft in the first quarter of FY23," said Ajith Pai, COO of Delhivery, in a press statement.

Delhivery hopes to hire 50,000 last-mile agents through its last mile-agent programme and strengthen its ongoing programmes, including Drop at Store.

Monster.com launches Zuno Fellowship to upskill Indian youth

Employment solutions company Monster said its early career platform Zuno will now offer a fellowship programme to Indian youth, which will entail upskilling and premium internship opportunities.

The fellowship will also give the students a chance to win rewards worth over Rs 10 crore annually.

The Zuno fellowship will be open to candidates between 17-25 years of age, who are presently pursuing undergraduate or postgraduate courses. At least 280 applicants can earn a variety of cash and non-cash rewards, including free courses from various Indian edtech platforms.

BharatPe expands to 400 cities; hits $20B in annualised total payments volume

Fintech company BharatPe said it has expanded to 400 towns and cities across India and hit an annualised total payments volume of $20 billion, its highest ever.

The company increased its presence in Tier II, III and IV towns and cities as it hopes to roll out more fintech products in the coming months.

Its annualised TPV in June-end was $18.5 billion, and it hopes to surpass its previously set target of $30 billion in payments by March 2023.

"I believe that the next stage of growth for our business will be driven by Tier II, III, and IV towns and cities and hence, we will continue to focus on enabling credit for merchants in these areas and build new-age fintech products that can further empower their growth story," said Nishant Jain, BharatPe's CBO.

Suhail Sameer, CEO, BharatPe

Invoicemart signs deal with Tamil Nadu to set up an exclusive platform

Trade receivables discounting system platform Invoicemart has signed a deal with FaMe, a Tamil Nadu government enterprise.

FaMe is setting up an exclusive platform called TN TReDS (trade receivables discounting system platform), which will facilitate smooth payments for government entities, MSMEs, departments, and units. These entities will be able to use Invoicemart to get MSME invoices financed, as per the terms of the deal.

“This is an important milestone for TReDS and Invoicemart. The potential and connect that state governments have with their MSMEs can help build volumes quickly and enable deeper penetration in the segment," said Prakash Sankaran, CEO of Invoicemart.

Indifi aims to cross Rs 1,000 Cr in FY23 in loans disbursals

MSME lending platform Indifi said it expects to cross Rs 1,000 crore in loan disbursals by FY23 by building 70% of its loan book via lending partners.

As of today, Indifi disburses 50% of its loans via lending partners (at present, 13). It aims to increase this to 20 in FY23, it said in a press release.

"Despite the pandemic, we have developed an impeccable track record and trust across our partners in 2021 and look to double down on our co-lending model in FY23," said Siddharth Mahanot, Co-founder and COO, Indifi.

WhatsApp privacy policy places users in 'take it or leave' situation, forces into agreement: HC - PTI

The Delhi High Court has held that WhatsApp's 2021 privacy policy places its users in a take it or leave it situation, virtually forcing them into an agreement by providing a mirage of choices and then sharing their sensitive data with its parent company Facebook.

The high court's verdict came while dismissing the appeals of WhatsApp and Facebook against an order rejecting their challenge to a probe ordered by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) into the instant messaging platform's updated privacy policy of 2021.

A bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad said the single judge's April 22, 2021, order was well-reasoned, and the appeals are devoid of merit and substance that would warrant the interference of the court.

With Saffola, Marico eyes Rs 850-1,000 Cr food business by FY24 - PTI

FMCG firm Marico Ltd. will continue to expand its health care brand Saffola as it aspires to build an Rs 850-1,000 crore business from its food portfolio by FY24, said a top company official.

In the last two years, Marico has extended the brand Saffola in immunity, foods, and recently launched, mayonnaise and peanut butter, its Managing Director and CEO Saugata Gupta said.

"We will continue to launch a significant aggressive innovation programme under the brand Saffola in line with our aspiration to create Rs 850-1,000 crore food portfolio by FY24," Gupta said while replying to the queries of shareholders in the AGM.

Marico will continue to launch and expand the addressable market in the segment through Saffola or any new brand.

Under Saffola, Marico sells various products, including noodles, oats, honey, and immunity booster Chyawanprash, besides edible oil.

"Beardo scaled up to cross the Rs 100 crore exit run rate in FY22. We aspire to build Rs 450-500 crore portfolio by FY24 through a mix of organic and inorganic brands," said a transcript of the AGM shared by Marico with exchanges on Thursday.

On whether Marico has any plan to enter plant-based meat, Gupta said: "We have a plan for increasing the addressable market of Saffola brand as part of our food journeys, and as you know, we have already launched Soya Chunks, and therefore, you will see innovations in future in the next couple of years."

The company aims to deliver 13-15% revenue growth over the medium-term on the back of 8-10% domestic volume growth in the domestic business and double-digit constant currency growth in the international business.

"We expect to maintain an operating margin at 19%+ over the medium term," Saugata Gupta said.

Adani Group rejects NDTVs assertion of SEBI nod needed for share acquisition - PTI

Adani Group on Friday rejected NDTV's assertion that the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) approval is necessary to acquire interests in RRPR, saying the promoter entity is not a part of the regulator's order that restrained Prannoy and Radhika Roy from accessing the securities market.

Terming the contentions raised by RRPR as "baseless, legally untenable, and devoid of merit", VCPL said the holding firm is "bound to immediately perform its obligation and allot the equity shares" as specified in the Warrant Exercise Notice.

In a regulatory update, Adani Enterprises Ltd said VCPL has received a reply on behalf of RRPR to the Warrant Exercise Notice dated August 23, 2022.

"RRPR is not a party to the SEBI Order dated 27th November 2020. Consequently, the restraints as pointed out by RRPR in paragraphs 111(b) and 112 of the SEBI Order do not apply to RRPR," Adani Enterprises said in the regulatory update.

The Warrant Exercise Notice was issued by its subsidiary Vishvapradhan Commercial Private Ltd (VCPL) under a contract, which is binding on RRPR, it added.

"RRPR is therefore obligated to comply with its contractual obligations," Adani Enterprises said.

The group also said the performance of obligations by RRPR pursuant to the Warrant Exercise Notice will not result in violation of the Sebi order as "there is no, direct or indirect, dealing in any securities of Prannoy Roy or Radhika Roy" pursuant to the exercise of the warrants by VCPL and allotment of shares by RRPR.

On Tuesday, Adani Group announced it has acquired 29.18% shareholding in NDTV Limited and will launch an open offer to buy an additional 26% stake.

Edited by Suman Singh

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