Startup news and updates: daily roundup (August 30, 2022) – YourStory

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IntrCity SmartBus, the tech-enabled fleet of inter-city buses, grew 1.8x in the first half of 2022, with revenues nearing $45 million annualised run rate and business achieving operational profitability. 
The company recorded over two lakh monthly seat capacity and an 80 percent increase in revenue. Within the next 12 months, the brand’s goal is to reach $100 million in annualised revenue and maintain EBITDA level profitability.
ConnectEd Technologies, a Mumbai-based edtech social enterprise, on Tuesday launched a learning platform for regional-language state boards, called Studeasy. The platform, which is available as a free website and Android mobile app, has a collection of educational videos and assessments for 10 regional-language state boards in the country. 
At the outset, videos on the Studeasy platform can be viewed free of cost by the 50 million government school students associated with these state boards. Subsequently, the company aims to add regional-language educational videos for other state boards in the country, in line with its mission of providing students with free access to quality education in their regional languages.
The Studeasy platform boasts of fully animated regional-language educational videos that have been tailor-made to improve understanding levels and academic performance among government school students.
Additionally, every video is accompanied by a quiz which enables students to assess their understanding of a chapter, and re-watch specific portions of the video to ensure they learn in the best way possible.
KalaGato, a data-driven mobile app aggregator (app buy-out) company built on the Thrasio model, recently announced the expansion of its leadership team with the appointment of Sushmita Balasubramaniam as the Chief Executive Officer of KalaGato Consumer Intellige6nce. Sushmita, will be responsible for the insights business and building customer intelligence at Kalagato. 
Sushmita is a market research and consumer consulting professional with more than 25 years of experience who has thrived on unearthing consumer insights for decision making covering the full range of marketing issues–strategy development, brand opportunity identification, brand communication and promotion, and brand positioning.
She started her career with TNS India and went on to work with other large research and consulting companies like Technopak Advisors and GfK. In her previous role at Kantar Insights, a global consumer consulting company, where she worked for more than 10 years, she was the South Asia Domain Lead for Commerce & CX. 
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KalaGato is a data-driven app aggregator that identifies high-performing mobile apps using its proprietary data platform and buys them out with a goal of reaching a billion users over the next five years. The company was established in 2018; it raised $4 million in December 2021, from investors in India,  and the US, including Anicut, iSeed, Village Global, SOSV, and 9Unicorns, amongst others.
Tech staffing firm TeamLease Digital announced that it will be investing Rs 50 lakh to build delivery capacity for the adoption of ‘Low Code No Code (LCNC)’ tools for the IT industry. The investment is aligned with the firm’s goal to capitalize on the growing LCNC market and create delivery solutions for IT firms. In the first phase, TeamLease Digital will be investing Rs 5 million and will also infuse further capital in the coming fiscal.
LCNC industry is also adding more jobs to the IT industry, especially for budding and amateur developers. Currently, there are approximately 16,500+ open jobs in this domain for about 9,000+ job seekers. In fact, by 2025, close to 40,000+ profiles will emerge for LCNC roles with exciting salary packages.
A low code no code developer can earn between Rs 15 – 18 lakh PA (with 3-5 years of experience) and Rs 18-25 lakh PA (with 7-10 years of experience). Minimal programming skills along with basic knowledge of web/cloud-based applications with a bachelor’s or masters’ degree in computer science or similar field is an added advantage to becoming an LCNC developer, according to a statement.
The Government of India has appointed Ananth Narayan, Associate Professor at SP Jain Institute of Management and Research (SPJIMR), as a whole-time member of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). SEBI is responsible for the development and regulation of India’s financial markets.
Ananth Narayan has over two decades of experience in finance and banking, having worked at Citibank, Deutsche Bank, and Standard Chartered Bank. He served as the RBI-nominated additional director on the board of YES Bank and is an independent director on the boards of SBI Capital Markets, NSE Clearing Ltd, NSE IFSC Gift City, Care Ratings Ltd, Clearcorp Dealing Systems, Dvara Research, and BFIH (a Foxconn group company).
Hudson RPO, a global total talent solutions company, announced the acquisition of Hunt & Badge Consulting Private Limited (HnB) founded by Pichumani Durairaj. Hunt & Badge is headquartered in Chennai and is a provider of recruitment services to customers operating in India. 
Hunt & Badge partners with companies of all sizes, including well-known multinationals, across a variety of industries to meet their talent procurement needs. HnB also specialises in product startup hiring, leadership hiring, lateral hiring and RPO services. The financial transaction of this deal is an undisclosed cash deal.
The addition of H&B expands Hudson RPO’s footprint further into the Indian recruitment market with an impressive array of deep client relationships with notable multinational companies. 
Startup Incubation and Innovation Centre (SIIC), the technology business incubator at IIT Kanpur, has partnered with Exotel.
Exotel is a full-stack customer engagement platform and virtual telecom operator that offers secure and reliable communications on the cloud.
Powering 70 million+ daily conversations, Exotel’s unified stack enables 7,000 global businesses to deliver unified CX with omnichannel capabilities and rich automation through AI voice and chatbots. 
In its partnership with SIIC IIT Kanpur, Exotel is extending its startup pack to the SIIC Startup community, which would enable the incubated startups to access their flagship products – Voice, SMS, Authentication, Smart IVR, SMS routing, call tracking, CRM and Helpdesk integration, SMS authentication, and other services, free of cost.
The partnership with Exotel has received requests from many companies incubated at SIIC, IIT Kanpur, expressing their interest to subscribe to Exotel’s trial in order to understand the exact benefits their services will bring to their respective platforms.  
Hero Electric is establishing a new R&D center to redefine standards for features, quality, safety, and technological innovations for its products, according to a statement.
Sohinder Gill, CEO of Hero Electric, said, “The new R&D setup will be the nerve center of our future product development incorporating the latest and the best technologies in electric two-wheelers. The R&D center will collaborate with academia and incubators across the globe to work on mid and long-term strategies of our product.”
Payments and banking platform for businesses, Razorpay, on Tuesday announced the reappointment of Arif Khan as its Chief Innovation Officer (CIO). A veteran in the banking and financial services industry, Arif brings his expertise in working with various stakeholders and an in-depth understanding of the sector spanning over two decades. Arif has held leadership positions in reputed organizations such as NPCI, MasterCard, HDFC Bank, among others. 
Prior to joining Razorpay again, Arif served as the Chief Digital Officer at NPCI where he led strategic planning pertaining to digital transformation for the organization. He drove multiple technology initiatives, leveraged data and analytics to drive innovations, understood new market behaviors, and developed relevant solutions accordingly. 
Startup India Initiative at Invest India, the guiding vision maker for India’s entrepreneurship ecosystem, has partnered with Shiprocket, India’s latest unicorn and ecommerce enabler to build D2C 2.0 together, backing the next generation of consumer products built by founders from across the country. The programme will help accelerate D2C and ecommerce startups who have delivered early success and on-ground impact with products built by Bharat, for Bharat.
D2C startups can apply for the Rocketfuel D2C Accelerator hosted exclusively on the Startup India portal.
During the three-month accelerator programme, Shiprocket will support the D2C startups with top-tier privileges for logistics and ecommerce services, providing shipping credits that can be used on its platform.
Additionally, startups will gain access to D2C Verse, a pan-India D2C community of key startups and investors and receive one-on-one mentorship from the leading minds of the industry. The shortlisted startups will also benefit immensely from Startup India’s guidance and pan-India reach.
 
Applications for the program are open till 15th September 2022, and the results will be declared on 28th September 2022.
Ahead of the upcoming festive season and the Big Billion Days, Flipkart, India’s homegrown ecommerce marketplace, announced the strengthening of its Kirana delivery program with the onboarding of an additional one lakh kiranas in the last year, taking the total partner count to over two lakh across the country.
This will enable customers across the country including metros, Tier-II and Tier-III cities, and even in rural India to get their products delivered and fulfill their festive requirements while also becoming an additional source of income for kirana partners.
 
Flipkart’s Kirana delivery program claims to have seen massive acceptance across the country and more and more Kirana stores are expressing interest to join. As preparations for the festive season scale up, states including West Bengal (27,000+), Bihar (23,000+), Uttar Pradesh (20,000+), Maharashtra (17,000+) and Tamil Nadu (14,000+) have witnessed the highest onboarding of kiranas while other states including Puducherry and Jammu & Kashmir too have seen increased onboarding by Kirana partners.
Similarly, the Northeastern states have witnessed a significant jump in participation with nearly 15,000 partner stores across Tripura, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh coming onboard – a significant 5X growth from 2020.
 
This year, Flipkart has introduced additional incentives for Kirana partners such as guaranteed payment and bonuses, referral incentives, and a host of other benefits including a personal accident policy of Rs 5 lakhs, which has been encouraging Kirana partners across India to join hands with the company.
(This article will be updated with the latest news throughout the day)

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