Startup news and updates: daily roundup (February 14, 2023)

YourStory presents the daily news roundup from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Tuesday, February 14, 2023.

Pooja Malik

Trisha Medhi

Startup news and updates: daily roundup (February 14, 2023)

Tuesday February 14, 2023,

8 min Read

Lending Platform mPokket to expand its workforce by March 2023

Digital lending platform mPokket plans to expand its team strength by March 2023 across all verticals, as part of its mission to empower India’s youth and maintain its growth trajectory. The total number of employees at the Kolkata-based company stands at  2,700 including employees at its Bengaluru office.

The hiring strategy plans to onboard diverse young people for various positions, such as technology, product, data analytics, and digital customer expert. The technology recruitment is targeted at individuals skilled in SDET, Python, Android, Java, NodeJS, and DevOps. mPokket believes in building a positive work culture and fostering the intellectual development of employees.

DroneTech Startup TSAW Drones launched its Made-In-India Drone—Hybrid Fixed Wing VTOL (Adarna V2)

Delhi-NCR headquartered drone tech startup TSAW Drones launched its Made-In-India drone—Hybrid Fixed Wing VTOL (Adarna V2)—at Aero India 2023. Adarna V2 is designed intelligently to address these shortcomings, with its ability to fly for 100 minutes and cover a distance of 120 kilometres in a single flight.

The available drones have many applications but are limited by short travel times and confined lifting capacities. Adarna V2 has the proficiency to fly up to a ceiling height of 3,500m and carry a heavy weight of up to 8 kg. Additionally, the drone has wind resistance grade 5 (8.5-10.5m/s), allowing it to fly even in high-wind conditions and fulfil the requirements of ecommerce platforms, armed forces, medical suppliers, farmers, and others.

Adarna V2

Lentra forays into Southeast Asia; aims to reach $100M in ARR by 2024

Lentra, a digital lending cloud platform, has announced its entry into South East Asian economies of Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam to cater to their growing digital lending needs. With this expansion, Lentra aims to reach $100M in annual recurring revenue (ARR) by March 2024.

The move follows the company’s latest fundraise of $60 million in a Series B round led by Bessemer Venture Partners, Susquehanna International Group (SIG), and Citi Ventures. With this expansion, Lentra will build a stronger market presence and increase credit disbursal by replicating its India growth in the three South East Asian countries.

Founded in 2019 by Venkatesh, Lentra provides an application programming interface (API)-driven modular architecture to create tailored retail and business loan products for banks and other regulated lending institutions. In addition, its purpose-built AI/ML platform for a unified 360-degree customer view creates impactful marketing/credit opportunities.

Lal10 sets up 7 satellite offices to digitise textile factories (MSMEs) pan-India

Lal10, a cross-border B2B tech-enabled full-stack platform, has announced that it will launch seven satellite offices across seven states by the end of June 2023. It has 2,292 MSMEs in its fold, becoming the largest pan-India aggregator of textile factories.

This expansion is in line with the startup's strategy to leverage technology and transparent supply chains to unleash the latent potential of these MSMEs for global trade. It is opening offices in Varanasi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Indore, Jaipur, and Noida, all of which are close to the country's major centres for textile production.

This is in keeping with the scale planned by Lal10 to service its midsize to large-scale global buyers in the US, UK, Japan, and the Middle East. It aims to add another 12,500 Indian MSME partners with an output of $1 billion in the next 3-4 years.

Bengaluru and Mumbai continue to be sunshine locations for jobs in Q4: states TeamLease Services

Bengaluru, Mumbai, and Chennai have emerged as the cities with the highest hiring sentiment in the services and manufacturing sectors respectively, according to the TeamLease Employment Outlook Reports for Q4 (January to March 2023).

Close to 97% of employers across both cities have expressed higher hiring intent for their corresponding sectors. For the services sector, Chennai (94%), Delhi (90%), Hyderabad (86%) and Mumbai (85%) follow suit as top locations; and for manufacturing, subsequent top cities include Bengaluru (94%), Chennai (89%), Delhi (84%) and Pune (73%). Incidentally, Bengaluru, Mumbai, and Chennai have emerged as sweet spots from a holistic perspective across sectors.

Overall, while Tier I cities lead in terms of hiring intent, Tier II cities are also emerging, with close to 75% of employers across both sectors indicating positive sentiment. However, Tier III (46%) and rural geographies (24%) are lagging considerably.

Paytm Payments Bank becomes the first payments bank to launch UPI LITE

India’s homegrown Paytm Payments Bank Limited (PPBL), has gone live with UPI LITE, a feature enabled by the National Payments Corporation of India for multiple small-value UPI transactions. It enables faster real-time transactions with a single click through Paytm. With UPI LITE, the Bank aims to drive the adoption of digital payments across the country.

Paytm Payments Bank

GPS Renewables appoints Santanu Roy as Principal Advisor to its Green Hydrogen Vertical

GPS Renewables, a Bengaluru-based biofuels technology and EPC (Engineering, Procurement and Construction) firm, has appointed Santanu Roy as the Principal advisor for its Green Hydrogen vertical under GPSR Arya.

With over 30 years of experience, Santanu Roy recently retired from GAIL as Executive Director, heading Business Development, Corporate Affairs & Sustainability. He was part of the top management team in GAIL for over a decade and has previously headed other key corporate functions – Strategy & Planning, Projects Development, Total Quality Management, and Centre of Business Excellence.

2023 Call for Code encourages developers to build sustainability solutions using IBM AI & Hybrid Cloud

Call for Code Creator, David Clark Cause, Founding Partner IBM , Charitable Partner United Nations Human Rights, and Program Affiliate the Linux Foundation launched the 2023 Call for Code program to encourage the development of AI-powered technology projects that address sustainability issues to help fight climate change.

This year, Call for Code will challenge global developers, students, and startups to build and contribute to solutions that help accelerate sustainability by improving resource management, reducing pollution and protecting biodiversity, the release stated.

To help engage more developers, this year’s Call for Code Global Challenge will transition from a single, annual global challenge to multiple “Challenge Rounds” throughout 2023.

Avidestal Technologies appoints Sonakshi Singh as vice president of product sales

Avidestal Technologies, the tech arm of global research giant, Markelytics Solutions, appoints Sonakshi Singh as its Vice President of Products Sales. In her new role, Sonakshi will be responsible for the country-wide and global sales of Avidestal products, i.e., Me-Grow, AvidViews, AvidIntelli, AvidCircle, and AvidHub.

She will also lay out the road map for the upcoming phase of the company's growth in the Indian & global markets. With her appointment, Avidestal Technologies intends to strengthen its presence across markets by foraying into new cities every quarter and making an aggressive global push. The company further aims to have its field presence for Me-Grow in 20+ cities by the end of 2023.

Additionally, the company has also expanded its geographical presence to two new cities—Hyderabad and Lucknow. It has hired a large field force, including a few leadership positions in these two cities.

The Good Glamm Group unveils Good Community, an omnichannel interest-based network

The Good Glamm Group, a content-creator-commerce beauty and personal care conglomerate, launched the Good Community, an omnichannel interest-based network of consumers and experts.

It sits seamlessly across all three existing divisions of the Good Glamm Group (Good Brands Co, Good Media Co, Good Creator Co) and augments its content-creator-commerce flywheel as the fourth strategic moat.

The launch of Good Community as a strategic focus area for the Good Glamm Group. It will leverage WhatsApp Communities, a new feature launched in 2022, which allows organisations to connect multiple groups under one umbrella to stay better connected and engaged.

The Good Glamm Group
The Good Glamm Group adds a 'Tweak' to its content strategy

Kapture expands to South East Asia markets; continues to move on a global expansion spree

Kapture - a renowned SaaS-based Customer Experience platform has recently announced the expansion of its services with client acquisition across South East Asian markets. The platform has adopted a country-by-country approach basis the needs of the markets and focused verticals.

Kapture has formulated strategic expansion plans after making inroads in Indonesia with the incorporation of a separate entity. Currently, it has a proficient sales team in the country that the platform is planning to double down and foresee similar headcounts in newly captured SEA markets.

In addition, the platform is expanding its customer base in the Philippines and focusing on core market development activities across Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia, planned for expansion in the fourth quarter of FY24.

Velocity launches Lexi - ChatGPT powered AI Assistant for D2C founders, a Bengaluru-based fintech, has launched a chatbot tool that is integrated with ChatGPT. Velocity has integrated this latest advancement in artificial intelligence with its existing analytics tool Velocity Insights.

Velocity Insights is India’s largest ecommerce analytics platform that is trusted by 3,000+ Indian ecommerce brands to make informed business decisions. Brands that utilise insights receive a daily business report on WhatsApp. Further, these brands can also access benchmarks to evaluate their performance relative to other brands in the industry.