Startup news and updates: daily roundup (September 12, 2022)

YourStory presents the daily news roundup from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Monday, September 12, 2022.
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Amazon India slashes selling fee by half for new sellers

In order to add new sellers ahead of the festive season, Amazon India will offer new sellers across all categories a 50% waiver on the selling fee. These sellers will have to be registered on the ecommerce platform between August 28 and October 26 and can avail the waiver within 90 days from date of registration. 

Amazon India claims to have over a million sellers on its platform and has a network of over 60 fulfilment centres, sortation centres across 19 states, and over 1,850 Amazon-owned and partner stations as part of the infrastructure for the festive season sale. Amazon India has launched a treasure for its four-day Great Indian Festival Sale for the year. 

Flipkart witnesses 40% increase in smartphone sales from non-metros

Flipkart saw the sale of premium smartphones rise by 25% for the period of January to July. The demand from Tier II and beyond cities saw a 40% increase. Overall, Flipkart witnessed a growth of nearly 60% in the number of new launches in premium segments across brands like Apple, Samsung, Google Pixel, OPPO, Nothing, and others said a statement issued by the company.

The ecommerce platform’s findings also indicate that overall the demand for 5G-enabled smartphones with high processing power, wider display and high quality camera increased in the first half of 2022, with demand to continue as part of festive season sale. 

6 startups selected for grants under Pfizer INDovation incubation programme

The first edition of Pfizer INDovation incubation initiative for startups in the healthcare space saw six startups being selected for grants of Rs 65 lakh each. The programme is supported by Atal Innovation Mission, NITI Aayog, Social Alpha, Foundation for Innovation and Technology Transfer, IIT DElhi, AGNIi, and UN Health Innovation Exchange as a health partner, in addition to Pfizer Limited.

The two-year programme launched in April 2022 to accelerate the lab-to-market journey of select startups that focus on digital health and oncology. The list of selected startups include BrainSight Technologies, RAMJA Genosensor, AI Health Highway, Oncophenomics Life Sciences, Pragmatech Healthcare Solutions, and TeraLumen Solutions. 

Shreyas Chandra to head marketing for Merisis Opportunities Fund

Mid-market investment banking firm Merisis Advisors backed Merisis Opportunities Fund has announced the appointment of Shreyas Chandra to head marketing. In his new role, Shreyas will be responsible for relationship building for the Rs 150 crore corpus Category I Angel Fund, said a statement issued by the company. 

Merisis plans to launch its second fund later in the year.

Before taking on the current role, Shreyas worked with investment advisory firms—Mintosh, Keiretsu, and Saxon Capital. He has been a part of the investment process for over 45 companies and has raised investments from angel investors and funds in the past. 

Bikayi rebrands, opens to mid-market and enterprise customers

Ecommerce enablement platform for small retailers and offline stores, Bikayi, has rebranded to BIK and will be targeting large ecommerce direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands for growth. The company said that it will help D2C companies with new marketing channels and help them with personalised customer targeting over WhatsApp.

Founded in 2019 by Sonakshi Nathani and Ashutosh Singla, and backed by the likes of YCombinator and Sequoia, Bikayi has raised close to $12.8 million so far. 

The BIK platform claims that it can drive up engagement for brands by up to 3X through its features such as smart cohort-based broadcast campaigns, template builder, and multichannel CRM with live interaction chat screen, automated messages and transactional messages, a conversational chatbot with flow builder, and others. 

ED unfreezes bank accounts of crypto exchange WazirX

Indian crypto exchange WazirX, which has been under investigation by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), today announced its bank accounts have been unfrozen.

WazirX is now in a position to continue its banking operations as usual, it added.

The company further clarified that it has no association with any of the alleged accused fintech and instant loan app entities, which appear to be the subject of ED investigation, and is carrying out the KYC/AML checks despite having no legal obligation to do so.

"Due to the active cooperation extended by WazirX and active anti-money laundering (AML) checks that led to the blocking of suspicious accounts, ED has unfrozen the bank accounts of WazirX," read the statement.

MarketsMojo appoints Abhisek Puglia as CBO

Stock advisory and research platform Marketsmojo has announced the appointment of Abhisek Puglia as Chief Business Officer. In his new role, Abhisek will be defining and executing strategies for MarketsMojo and Infinity Asset Advisory’s business development activities. 

Abhisek has previously worked with IIFL Wealth, ICICI Bank, and Alchemy Capital across wealth and asset management roles.

Founded in 2015, MarketsMoho offers real-time research on listed stocks and offers model portfolio strategies.

AiDash appoints Sanjay Goel as vice president

AI-first vertical SaaS company, AiDash, has announced the appointment of Sanjay Goel as Vice President of Engineering. Previously, Sanjay served as the Director of Engineering at Walmart Global Tech to support the retailer’s ecommerce market. 

Backed by the likes of Edison International and Shell Ventures, AiDash offers satellite and AI-powered operations and maintenance for electric utilities, energy, transportation and other core industries. Founded in 2019, the US-headquartered company has added two new offices in Bengaluru and Gurugram respectively.

(This article will be updated with the latest news throughout the day.)

Edited by Kanishk Singh

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