Startup news and updates: daily roundup (July 21, 2022)

YourStory presents daily news roundups from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Thursday, July 21, 2022.

Startup news and updates: daily roundup (July 21, 2022)

Thursday July 21, 2022,

7 min Read

SUGAR Cosmetics aims at doubling revenue in the coming year

SUGAR Cosmetics said that its current annualised revenue run rate of Rs 550 crore is in line with doubling the company’s revenue in the next 12 months.

As of this year, the brand’s products sell in more than 40,000 stores across India, with an aim to be present in 100,000 stores by end of FY 2024.

Currently, 60 percent of SUGAR Cosmetics’ sales come from its retail stores across the country, as compared to 35 percent pre-pandemic. However, the majority of the product and brand discovery happens online. 

The brand's app has garnered more than four million downloads, and claims to be shipping to over 20,000 pin codes solely through the app. 

On completing seven years, Vineeta Singh, Co-founder and CEO of SUGAR Cosmetics, says, “We are extremely humbled by the outpour of love and support we have received over the years as SUGAR Cosmetics turns 7.”

More recently, the brand raised $50 million (Rs 388 crore) in a round led by L Catterton, a consumer-focused private equity firm. The investment was a part of the cosmetic brand's Series D round, which saw participation from existing investors such as A91 Partners, Elevation Capital, and India Quotient.

Vineeta Singh Sugar Cosmetics

Vineeta Singh, CEO and co-founder, SUGAR Cosmetics

Paytm's Vijay Shekhar Sharma, OYO's Ritesh Agarwal to appear before parliamentary panel

Top executives of eight domestic tech firms will appear before a key parliamentary panel on Thursday to discuss the market behaviour of technology platforms amid rising anti-competition concerns.

PTI reports that executives including Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Ola CFO Arun Kumar, MakeMyTrip Founder and Chairman Deep Kalra, Zomato CEO Deepinder Goyal, Oyo Founder and Group CEO Ritesh Agarwal have confirmed to the panel to attend the meeting.

Swiggy Vice President and Group General Counsel Avantika Bajaj, Flipkart Group CEO Kalyan Krishna Murthy, and All India Gaming Federation CEO Roland Landers will also attend the meeting, they said. 

Member of Parliament and former Union Minister Jayant Sinha, who also chairs the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance, told PTI that the panel has decided to ask representatives of various technology platforms, ecommerce players, and gaming entities to appear before it soon, and they will be mainly asked about their market behaviour.

Recently, there have been complaints about various technology platforms allegedly indulging in anti-competitive practices. The Competition Commission of India (CCI) is already probing various cases, especially in the digital space, following complaints of alleged unfair business practices. On April 28, the CCI made a presentation about competition aspects in the marketplace to the parliamentary panel.

Chordify acquires India-based Rubyians in an all-cash deal

Chordify, a Silicon Valley-based software services provider, said that it has completed the acquisition of Thiruvananthapuram-based Rubyians Pvt Ltd, a software player with deep expertise in Ruby on Rails, in an all-cash deal. 

Chordify helps in providing contract software development services for startups and other software companies. Its SmartFind feature helps customers identify the right resources using a combination of online testing and intelligent rating of candidates for onsite projects.

Rubyians provides a range of offshore development services, including building minimum viable products (MVP) from the ideation to the scale-up stage for software product companies. It also has a suite of tools and products for learning management. 

Commenting on the acquisition, Varun Berry, Managing Partner and COO, Chordify, said, “The acquisition gives us an India footprint which strengthens our relationships with current clients and will help us attract new clients for offshore services in design, development, and testing services.”

John Joyce, Chief Executive Officer, Rubyians, said, “Their presence in Silicon Valley, their extensive experience in delivering to software product companies and start-ups, and their commitment to growing the team in India fivefold in India by 2025, tilted the balance for us, as a great fit for continuity and growth.”

electric vehicle

BILITI Electric powers the world's first hydrogen fuel cell three-wheeler

California-based Biliti Electric Inc said it unveiled its first hydrogen fuel cell (HFC) powered electric three-wheeler vehicle—FastMileTM

“This is a major step towards shaping the future of hydrogen energy and fuel cells for global markets. Thankfully, BEVs are not the only solution for decarbonizing transportation. We are transforming the application and commercialization of HFCs by bringing the technology to compact and affordable vehicles as well,” said Rahul Gayam, CEO of BILITI Electric.

The main difference is that BEVs contain a large battery to store electricity, while FCEVs create their own electricity by using a hydrogen fuel cell. 

BILITI’s TaskmanTM (BEV) is a popular last-mile delivery vehicle which is deployed in 15 countries across the globe including Japan, the US, the UK, France, Portugal, Germany, Lebanon, Uganda, Kenya, Senegal, Nepal, Bangladesh, Dubai, and India, and has covered over 20 million miles. TaskmanTM is currently being used by Amazon, IKEA, Flipkart (Walmart), Wasoko (Sokowatch), BigBasket (Tata), Zomato, and JioMart (Reliance) among others.

The company's SmartSwappTM technology allows vehicle batteries to be swapped in less than a minute. Luxembourg-based GEM Global Yield LLC earlier committed $400 million to BILITI through a share subscription facility. The company has also announced its plans to set up the world’s largest electric three-wheeler manufacturing facility in India. 

Raise launches its financial learning platform Upsurge

Raise Financial Services on Wednesday said it is launched its financial learning platform Upsurge which aims to make learning about markets, understanding finance, and managing money for millennials and GenZ.

Upsurge is built, managed, and operated by Valuationary—a Surat-based e-learning platform that Raise Financial Services acquired earlier this year in April 2022.

With the launch of Upsurge, the company aims to build and scale by bringing engaging learning experiences, interactive live sessions, self-learning and help tasks, and bite-sized content—with the eventual goal of promoting a culture of financial independence and money management in the most effective way possible.

“With Upsurge, we are building a platform that simplifies money and finance in a fun, simple and rewarding way through engaging courses, experiential learning, and bite-sized content”, said Pratik Bajaj, Founder, Upsurge.

Bounce Infinity to launch its electric vehicles on Flipkart



Bounce Infinity, the electric manufacturing arm of Bounce said it plans to launch its popular electric two-wheelers on Flipkart to offer a seamless purchase experience to customers, in a first-of-its-kind initiative in the country. 

With this launch, Bounce aims to democratise EV purchases in India by enabling customers to access electric vehicles in a seamless manner, and offer a hassle-free purchase and easy transition to affordable, economical, and greener mobility.

As a part of this initiative, Bounce will be making its Infinity e.1 electric two-wheeler available on Flipkart from July 22 onwards, and is offering delivery within 15 days at the customers’ doorstep.

In the initial phases, customers across Delhi, Gujarat, Karnataka, Telangana, and Maharashtra will be able to access the product while getting benefits of the state subsidies and the vehicle will be delivered at their doorstep by the respective dealerships in the area.

CEO and Co-founder Vivekananda Hallekere said, “We are delighted to make our products available on Flipkart as we find synergies in our vision of fulfilling customers’ evolving requirements in a seamless manner.”

Rakesh Krishnan, Senior Director of Electronics at Flipkart, said, “In this endeavour, we are delighted to work with Bounce Infinity to enable them to offer their electric scooter to millions of customers through our platform. Through this first of its kind initiative which we are exploring in five cities to begin with, customers will be able to seamlessly place an order on Flipkart and the vehicle will be delivered by Bounce Infinity’s dealer network. This also ties into Flipkart’s larger vision of promoting sustainable brands and the collaboration will set the premise for newer product integrations for the industry in the near future.”

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

Edited by Kanishk Singh