Startup news and updates: daily roundup (September 29, 2022)

By Naina Sood
September 29, 2022, Updated on : Fri Sep 30 2022 04:59:24 GMT+0000
Startup news and updates: daily roundup (September 29, 2022)
YourStory presents the daily news roundup from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Thursday, September 29, 2022.
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EV battery startup Lohum Cleantech partners with Glencore

Lohum Cleantech, a New Delhi-based startup that manufactures and recycles electric vehicle (EV) batteries, on Thursday said it has partnered with Switzerland-based natural resource company Glencore to supply 10,000 tonnes of specialty chemicals for the battery supply chain over the next five years. 


Under the agreement, Lohum will supply battery raw materials, including cathodes, sulphates, carbonates, and oxides of various metals extracted from spent batteries and other sources. The agreement comes into effect in 2023. 


The partnership will allow both companies to deepen their recycling expertise and support the advancement of a circular economy by supplying raw materials back into the battery supply chain, it said in a statement. 


Lohum has a recycling, dismantling and re-assembling unit in the National Capital Region. It will procure spent batteries and recycle them at its plant, the company said. Last year, the firm raised $7 million funding round led by Baring Private Equity Partners (BPEP). Other companies in the space are Ziptrax, ACE Green Recycling Inc, Attero (tied up with MG Motor India announced for the recycling of EV batteries), among others. 

Lending platform EarlySalary rebrands itself as Fibe

Lending platform EarlySalary on Thursday said it has rebranded itself as Fibe.


As part of the rebranding, the company has migrated to a new website, launched an updated version of its app and revealed its new logo. 


Founded in 2016 by Ashish Goyal and Akshay Mehrotra, Pune-based EarlySalary provides instant loans to salaried individuals besides offerings like buy now pay later (BNPL), instant cash loans, instant salary advances, and skill upgrade loans.


With the new identity, the company plans to clock assets under management (AUM) of $2.5 billion over the next five years, and expand operations across verticals to build a large presence in its product lines.

  

In August 2022, the company, valued at around $300 million, had raised $110 million from TPG's Rise Fund and Norwest Venture Partners. Its existing investor Piramal Capital and Housing Finance Ltd. also participated in the round.

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How EarlySalary grew amid the pandemic


Content marketing SaaS startup Scalenut partners with US-based Semrush

SEO and content marketing SaaS platform Scalenut has announced partnership with Boston-based Semrush, an online visibility management SaaS platform, to allow their respective customers to scale SEO content.


Under the partnership, Scalenut has integrated Keyword Overview and Domain Reports tools from Semrush, which would enhance Scalenut’s Keyword Researcher and Cluster Booster tools and give Scalenut customers valuable data on keyword difficulty, search volume and competition level. It claims that the users would now be able to continuously improve their SEO.


“With this integration, creating SEO content can become easier than ever before. The entire SEO content workflow, right from keyword analysis to content planning to competitive research to creation, can be managed without leaving the Scalenut platform,” it said in a statement. 


The platform, primarily focussed on the US and the UK markets, says it has a clientele of over 100,000 marketers, content creators and businesses across 150+ countries. Snapdeal, PharmEasy, Foyr, Hubilo, and Mosaic Wellness are some of the names. 


The startup is backed by Saama Capital and angel investors Amit Singhal (former senior VP of Google and head of Google Search), Titan Capital, First Principles VC, among others. 

Greendigo announces strategic partnership with actor Dia Mirza

Sustainable baby clothing brand Greendigo on Thursday said it has onboarded actor, producer, UNEP Goodwill Ambassador Dia Mirza as a strategic investor and brand ambassador for the company.


The three-year-old brand claims to use organic materials and sustainable processes to create carbon-neutral clothes for children. With the partnership, the startup aims to create awareness about the harmful effects of toxic chemicals that are found in conventional baby clothing, and leverage the wide reach of the actor’s diverse platforms to push for a mindful shift to organic clothing and nursery essentials. 

Greendigo

Greendigo Cofounders - Barkha Bhatnagar Das (L) and Meghna Kishore (R)


IIT Mandi researchers develop a portable device to detect ischemic stroke

Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology Mandi in collaboration with PGMIER Chandigarh have proposed and developed a portable and cost-effective device to detect and diagnose stroke caused by impaired blood flow to the brain.


A research paper describing the device and its operation was recently published in IEEE Sensors Journal. The paper was co-authored by Dr Shubhajit Roy Chowdhury, Associate Professor, School of Computing and Electrical Engineering, IIT Mandi, and his student Dalchand Ahirwar along with Dr Dheeraj Khurana, PGMIER, Chandigarh.


Ischemic stroke, caused by the insufficient or interrupted blood supply to part of the brain, affects one of every 500 Indians every year. Surveys have shown that around 10-15% of strokes affect people below 40 years of age. 


The efficient management and treatment of stroke depend upon early identification and diagnosis. Currently, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computer tomography (CT) techniques are considered the gold standard for ischemic stroke detection. While these are indeed reliable methods, they require considerable infrastructure and high cost, and are inaccessible to many communities in India – there is only one MRI service for every 1 million people in the country.

CarTrade partners with CoverStack Technologies’ to offer dealer insurance 

Gurugram-based automobile classifieds platform Cartrade Tech has announced a strategic partnership with digital insurance infrastructure as a service platform, CoverStack Technologies, to offer digital insurance services to its dealers for their inventory. 


CarTrade Tech, which made its public debut in August last year, is a multi-channel auto platform with coverage and presence across vehicle types and value-added services, providing services through platforms under several brands - CarWale, CarTrade, Shriram Automall, BikeWale, CarTrade Exchange, Adroit Auto and AutoBiz.


The process of purchasing or renewing motor insurance policy is manual and time-consuming for the majority of the players in the online automobile business. Aiming to eliminate the paperwork hassle of obtaining insurance, this partnership will smoothen the insurance buying experience, it said in a statement. 

Former Zeta executive Balaji Sundeep joins BaaS startup Falcon as VP Product

Falcon, a Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS) startup, on Thursday said it has appointed Balaji Sundeep as the Vice President of Product, as the company looks to scale up for the next major stage of growth.

Prior to joining Falcon, Balaji was the Associate Director at Zeta, where he helped create and scale a modern lending platform that allows banks to quickly launch products like credit card-based EMIs, BNPL (buy now pay later) facility, and personalised term loans. A BITS Pilani and Indian School of Business (ISB) alumni, Balaji holds his strength in building a range of B2B and B2C payments and lending products. 


(The copy will be updated with the latest news throughout the day.)


Edited by Affirunisa Kankudti