Startup news and updates: daily roundup (April 11, 2023)
YourStory presents the daily news roundup from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Tuesday, April 11, 2023.
Tuesday April 11, 2023,
9 min Read
upGrad integrates study abroad business with online courses
, a career skilling and workforce development company, has integrated its diversified study abroad portfolio with blended and online courses.
“Ranging from market-ready skilling programmes to assuring the last-mile connectivity with global recruiters, we have built a one-stop spectrum to enable the learning and placement needs of everyone who seeks to build a career in an international geography,” said Mayank Kumar, Co-founder and MD, upGrad.
The brand has expanded its footprints across over 20 countries with over 1,000 university partners and 40,000 recruitment agents.
The study abroad segment also experienced over 100% growth during FY23 due to a strong intent towards overseas education that suffered a setback in the last two years. It is expected to cross Rs 500 crore in annual gross revenue in FY24 and will be profitable. The segment will account for about 20% of the group revenue for the year.
HARMAN expands automotive engineering footprint in India
HARMAN, an automotive electronics technology company and a subsidiary of Samsung Electronics focused on designing consumer experiences at automotive grade, announced its expansion plans in India by opening a new automotive engineering centre in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
According to the company, the new Chennai centre, which will be fully functional by the second quarter of this year, will support HARMAN to tap into Chennai’s rich talent pool of automotive engineers and researchers and contribute to the growth of the global auto ecosystem.
The company will begin operations with a workforce of 200 employees in the first year itself. Currently, over one-third of HARMAN’s total workforce, i.e., close to 10,000 employees work in India.
The Chennai centre will cater to both global and Indian OEMs, and will work in tandem with the other key centres, including Bengaluru and Pune, to develop advanced automotive technologies.
Broadband India Forum signs MoU to expand next-generation wireless ecosystem
Broadband India Forum (BIF) and Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) concluded their inaugural event on "Wi-Fi and Delicensing of 6GHz - The Driving Force of Broadband for All" on Tuesday at Le Meridian Hotel, Delhi.
The event jointly focused on the importance of the globally harmonised unlicensed 6Ghz spectrum band and the benefits it brings by addressing the digital divide and making the spectrum available for the next generation. Wi-Fi products based on standardised IEEE 802.11 technologies viz, Wi-Fi6E and Wi-Fi 7, accelerate technology innovations including new applications like AR/VR as well as holographic and haptic systems.
The event brought together policymakers, industry leaders, subject matter experts, and other stakeholders to discuss and deliberate on aspects around how the latest Wi-Fi technologies viz Wi-Fi6E (and upcoming Wi-Fi 7)—that work exclusively in the delicensed 6Ghz spectrum band—can help complement 5G and thereby help bridge the connectivity gap besides spurring new innovations and research and development of new applications and services.
Blowhorn launches offline to online same-day deliveries
Blowhorn has introduced retail store pickups that will allow brands to cut down on inventory costs and deliver products on the same day. This service will be particularly beneficial for metro cities, where the average delivery time for non-grocery items is more than two days.
This new service offers a solution that enables brands to use its current inventory in its offline stores to service online customers, in turn reducing inventory replication costs and improving last-mile delivery times. This would also enable brands to offer faster and more efficient delivery options to their customers, which would improve their overall satisfaction.
This service is currently available in all the metro cities and the plan is to extend it to Tier II cities by the end of this year.
Blowhorn is India’s largest same-day delivery platform enabling customers to scale up seamlessly on a pay-per-use basis. With a self-operated network of asset-light warehouses, transportation and technology integrated, Blowhorn focuses on outstanding SLA (service-level agreement) quality.
Yubi Co.Lend records 3.5M+ transactions in FY23; registers 4X YoY growth
Co-lending platform Yubi Co.Lend has recorded over 3.5 million transactions in FY23. Yubi Co.Lend, which is Yubi’s co-lending marketplace, saw a 250% growth year-on-year (YoY) in terms of gross transaction volume.
The total co-lending portfolio declared by PSBs for FY23-FY24 is Rs 25,414 crore, with SBI accounting for the bulk. The co-lending market in India is seeing significant growth, with 16 partnerships announced by various banks and non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) in H2 of FY23 alone.
The co-lending partnerships announced this year covered a diverse range of segments, including housing finance, SME lending, and consumer finance, indicating a growing demand for credit across different sectors of the economy.
With over 500 co-lending partners, over 50+ lenders, and 100,000 average daily transactions, Yubi Co.Lend claims to be the biggest co-lending player in the Indian market. Yubi Co.Lend has already partnered with major public sector banks including the State Bank of India.
GOQii harnesses AI for preventive healthcare solution
Fitness technology firm GOQii has integrated four AI-powered features into its platform to provide more personalised and effective preventive healthcare solutions to its users.
By leveraging AI, GOQii claims it is able to identify patterns and trends in user health data that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to detect with traditional methods.
GOQii's AI-powered features include IntelliFit for personalised health monitoring and assisted coaching, NutriGenius for AI-recommended habits and nutritional plans, MindMentor for mental health support, and AgeReversor, which helps users visualise a younger version of themselves by maintaining a healthy lifestyle. These features will be rolled out to users in phases over the next few months.
Founded in 2014 by Vishal Gondal, GOQii empowers consumers globally to lead healthier and better lives.
Garuda Aerospace receives agri drone subsidy
Drone startup Garuda Aerospace has received agri drone subsidy for its agricultural drones.
The DGCA-approved Garuda Kisan Drones were given to eight farmers under the subsidy, which is part of the Indian government's efforts to promote the use of agricultural drones.
These drones can help farmers manage and monitor crop health, and detect and identify areas that require water or fertiliser, the company said. They can also be used to spray pesticides and fertilisers on crops, cutting down on manual labour and increasing efficiency.
Founded in 2015, Garuda has scaled to a more than 200-member team having the largest drone fleet in India with over 400 drones and 500 pilots operating in 84 cities. Garuda Aerospace recently raised $22 million.
Explorex appoints Suneet Kulkarni as VP
Explorex, a restaurant-focused startup, has appointed Suneet Kulkarni as its Vice President, Business and Growth.
Kulkarni will play a key role in ensuring the best customer experience and looking at the overall growth of Explorex, the company said. He is the former Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of Torqus & InResto, which was acquired by Dineout.
“His extensive experience in the F&B domain will prove extremely beneficial to Explorex. We are confident that through his addition, we will continue to provide outstanding results to our clients. We look forward to further strengthening Explorex’s footprint across markets in India with his efforts and expertise,” Mainak Sarkar, Co-founder and CEO of Explorex, said in a statement.
Founded in 2020, Explorex envisions itself as a beyond software company, which in addition to disrupting the restaurant industry with its full-stack solution, wants to empower business owners.
Anthill Ventures selects 5 Singapore startups for India's urban tech market
Anthill Ventures, an investment and scaling platform, announced the selection of five startups from Singapore for the fifth cohort of its GIA (Global Innovation Alliance) Programme.
The five startups selected for the fifth edition of the programme are—Ailytics, Bizsu, Hydroleap, sepPure, and SwiftIOT. The programme is an opportunity for startups to acclimatise to the Indian urban tech ecosystem, build market access connections and engage with funding opportunities.
The programme is run in partnership with Enterprise Singapore, the Singapore government’s agency responsible for developing enterprises and fostering the country’s startup ecosystem.
The four-week experiential programme is tailored to provide two weeks of knowledge sessions from key stakeholders across the Indian urban tech ecosystem, including corporate leaders, investors, startup mentors, and government officials.
The programme will also offer an optional three-month-long, immersive experience, which will focus on converting leads to pilot testbeds and contracts.
Startups will have access to Anthill’s network of top-level management, market access clientele, mentorship and investors for market entry opportunities in India.
Apple announces launch dates of its first stores in India
Apple will open its doors to customers at two new retail locations in India—Apple BKC in Mumbai on April 18, and Apple Saket in Delhi on April 20.
These new retail locations mark a significant expansion in India that will offer great new ways to browse, discover, and buy Apple products.
In celebration of the first Apple Store opening in India, Apple BKC announced a special Today at Apple series—“Mumbai Rising”—running from opening day through the summer. Bringing visitors, local artists, and creatives together, these sessions will offer hands-on activities with Apple’s products and services that celebrate the local community and culture in Mumbai.
Content creator Raj Shamani launches tech-platform House of X
Content creator Raj Shamani has launched a tech platform called House of X that aims to build a global commerce infrastructure that enables the creation of digital-first creator-led D2C brands in India.
It is backed by Lightspeed Venture Partners, Lumikai, Ashneer Grover, and founders of Razorpay, Mamaearth, Zerodha, Meesho and 40 other top angel investors.
“Due to the absence of a full-stack tech platform, creators have been unable to realise their potential to build D2C brands that resonate with their audience,” Neeraj Kumawat, Co-founder and CTO of House of X said in a statement. “We aim to enable India’s top creators to build and scale digital-first creator-led consumer brands by bridging this gap.”
As a full-stack platform, House of X provides end-to-end support for product ideation, manufacturing, shipping, payments, and scaling a business. House of X aims to empower one million creators and businesses in India with its creator-commerce platform in the next five years.
LehLah brings digital community of ‘real people’ to inspire shoppers
Fashion-tech startup LehLah, through its mobile application, is bringing a community of “real people” who are obsessed with fashion, to inspire people to shop.
With a new interface and intuitive features, anyone can find their next fashion inspiration, snap the trendiest looks and flaunt their style on the app with just a few swipes, according to the startup.
Moreover, fashion influencers post their looks and tag every product with shoppable links allowing anybody to simply shop the products on their feed itself.
Launched in November 2022, LehLah aims to disrupt the fashion influencer space. The platform allows users to monetize their fashion influence by posting their looks and tagging every product for purchase.
(This article will be updated with the latest news throughout the day.)
Edited by Kanishk Singh