Startup news and updates: daily roundup (May 5, 2022)

YourStory presents daily news roundups from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Thursday, May 05, 2022.

Startup news and updates: daily roundup (May 5, 2022)

Thursday May 05, 2022,

5 min Read

BlackSoil Deploys $90+ million in FY 2022, grows 2x

Black Soil completed 31 deals and invested more than $93 million in financial year 2022. It closed 2x the value of deals done as compared to FY21.

BlackSoil has had 24 successful exits during the year, with a cumulative value of $64 million.

The strategy of the company for the coming fiscal year is going to remain consistent with its ethos, wherein BlackSoil will focus on deploying capital in digital-first new-age growth companies that have a significant on-ground impact, the company said.

BlackSoil’s investee companies have cumulatively raised more than $7 billion through equity as of March  2022 (including $1.5 billion in FY22 itself).  

“We will continue to strive to be the lender of the first choice for new age growth companies that often find it difficult to access regular banking credit especially during trying times such as the pandemic. The aim is to become part of and provide long-term support to the journeys of promising founders and startups that can have a tangible impact on consumers, businesses, and SMEs,” says Ankur Bansal, Co-Founder and Director of BlackSoil. 

BlackSoil currently manages an alternative credit platform consisting of an RBI (Reserve Bank of India) registered NBFC (Non-Banking Financial Company) and a SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India) registered AIF through which it has built a quality loan book by deploying over $255 million across 125 deals. BlackSoil’s investments include six unicorns – OYO Rooms, Slice,  Udaan, Zetwerk, Spinny, Infra.Market, and soonicorns such as Curefoods and Zest among others. 

Ankur Bansal

Ankur Bansal, Co-founder and Director of BlackSoil Capital

T-AIM and NASSCOM enable market access for AI startups

Telangana AI Mission (T-AIM) has announced that nearly 30 AI (Artificial Intelligence) startups from its Revv Up Acceleration Programme have participated in a market access initiative in a recently held virtual event in Hyderabad. 

T-AIM, which is an initiative of Government of Telangana, powered by NASSCOM, conducted a virtual event to bring together enterprises and startups on the same platform.

For this initiative, T-AIM has collaborated with NASSCOM to invite several enterprises. Through a series of one-to-one meetings spread across three days, the initiative witnessed startups pitching their AI-led solutions to enterprises.

“Market access is mutually beneficial for both parties: corporates can maintain a comparative advantage by accessing the latest technological innovations whereas start-ups can benefit from customer access and feedback, potential mentoring, and access to resources to help them grow,” said Praveen Mokkapati, Lead for T-AIM.

As per NASSCOM data, 2021 has witnessed 1.5X higher corporate participation with over 175 investments and more than 35 M&A (mergers and acquisition) activities as compared to 2020. 

Through this initiative, enterprises may choose to provide a proof-of-concept opportunity to select startups. The event’s conclusion saw two startups being identified by enterprises for deeper engagement.

LEAD launches Super 100 programme in Tier II+ towns for students appearing for board exams

Edtech startup LEAD has launched a curated coaching, tutoring and mentoring programme ‘Super 100’. The programme offers personalised academic guidance, tutoring, and practice for students in Tier II+ India.

As part of Super 100, the top 100 students entering the 10th grade in LEAD-powered CBSE schools (academic year 2022-23) will be selected through a test and will be awarded a full scholarship for the year-long programme.  

LEAD has brought together teachers in maths, science, English, Social Studies, and Hindi to coach, tutor and mentor these 100 students.

“Talent is present in every child. However, the opportunity for students in smaller towns is restricted by the lack of resources and support. With Super 100, LEAD is ensuring that access to opportunity is also equally distributed so that the brightest students from India’s small towns have a level playing field and can earn their rightful place as national board toppers,” said Sumeet Mehta, Co-founder and CEO, LEAD.

LEAD’s Super 100 programme will commence in May 2022. LEAD Super 100 students will also be awarded laptops and tablets, as part of the programme.

Twitter users in India are mostly happy with the platform’s acquisition by Elon Musk: Survey

In the context of Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk acquiring Twitter for $44 billion, YouGov Omnibus conducted a survey among 1,005 urban Indian respondents between April 26-29, 2022.

YouGov’s latest data shows that close to two in five (37 percent) of Twitter users in India are happy about the platform's acquisition by Elon Musk, with urban Indian millennial users being most likely to say this (at 43 percent).

While three in ten of those who use Twitter in India (29 percent) are surprised by this move, a fifth (22 percent) remained unaffected by the news. The numbers for those who express negative emotions like worry, sadness and anger and those who are unaware of the acquisition, are much lower (8 percent and 5 percent, respectively), the survey showed.

Talking about the anticipated user behaviour as a result of the change in leadership, close to two-thirds (64 percent) of those who currently use Twitter say they will continue using the platform as always.

In India, the Twitter community is not just happy with Elon Musk acquiring the platform, they also believe in his leadership.

Data shows that a majority (61 percent) of Twitter users in India agree with the statement — “Twitter will become the most powerful social media platform under Elon Musk's leadership". Again, we see that millennials (70 percent) users are strong advocates of this view than Gen X (54 percent) and Gen Z (59 percent).

Edited by Kanishk Singh