daily roundup (June 23, 2022)

Flipkart Group is committed to net zero carbon emissions by 2040

The Flipkart The group is committed to setting an ambitious Net Zero target to decarbonise its own operations by 2030 and the wider value chain by 2040. This is in line with the Science-Based Targets Global Initiative (SBTi) to support global increase of the temperature below 1.5 degrees Celsius according to the Paris climate agreement.

As part of this commitment, Flipkart Group will take measures in its own operations to reduce 100 percent of emissions by 2030 by increasing energy efficiency in its corporate office, supply chain facilities and powering its energy needs through renewable sources such as solar energy. Recognizing that most of the climate impact comes from Flipkart’s extended supplier value chain, waste in operations, transportation and logistics, and end-of-product life, it will also work with its sellers, consumers and partners to achieving net zero emissions by 2040

Kalyan Krishnamurthy, CEO, Flipkart Group, said, “This engagement is a significant undertaking in our journey to build a sustainable business and we want to play our part in taking a proactive approach to create shared value across the ecosystem.”

In this endeavour, Flipkart Group has joined initiatives such as Climate Group’s EV100 initiative to deploy 25,000 electric vehicles across the country by 2030 and environmental non-profit organization Canopy to responsibly source sustainable packaging and man-made cellulose fibers to offer sustainable products to millions of customers among other initiatives.

PS Jayakumar and Tabassum Inamdar join Indifi Board

Indifi Technologies, a digital lending platform for MSMEs, has appointed PS Jayakumar and Tabassum Inamdar as independent directors.

Jayakumar is a veteran financial services professional who was also the CEO of Bank of Baroda. He has also held key positions at Citibank, besides foraying into the entrepreneurial world by co-founding Value Budget Housing Company and Home First Finance.

Tabassum Inamdar has more than 25 years of experience in the financial services industry with positions at Goldman Sachs, UBS Securities and Jardine Fleming. She also serves on the board of Franklin Templeton AMC India.

Indifi Technologies Co-Founder and CEO Alok Mittal said, “We are delighted to have Mr. Jayakumar and Ms. Inamdar join this venture. Having worked intensively on both the funding and inclusion fronts, we are confident that their insights and expertise will strengthen our mission in many ways.”

Indifi also recently welcomed Rajnish Kumar, former chairman of State Bank of India; and Sam Hodges, co-founder of Vouch Insurance, as advisors.

Exotel will hire 500 professionals

Exotela Bengaluru-based customer engagement platform, aims to hire 500 new professionals in growth and technology functions as the company achieved annual recurring revenue of $60 million with a CAGR of 70 percent for FY22.

According to the company, its focus on sustainability and strong divisional economics are the defining culture across the organization.

Ishwar Sridharan, Co-Founder and COO – Exotel

“People are the foundation on which business success is built – and no business could possibly agree with that more than us. Exotel is one of the few fast-growing companies with a strong unit economy and a clear value proposition for our customers. This success has been achieved and sustained because we have the best talent in the industry,” said Ishwar Sridharan, Co-Founder and COO, Exotel.

Exotel noted that most of its senior talent has been with the company for 6-10 years.

“We prioritize our people and give them interesting challenges to solve. This focus on a strong work culture, employee opportunities and high quality work is why more than 100 people have rejoined Exotel after leaving,” noted Ishwar.

With its recent merger with Ameyo, the acquisition of CognoAI and a new virtual telecom operator license, Exotel is now aiming to achieve an ARR of $200 million over the next four years.

Hosteller plans to expand to newer locations

The hostel, a chain of backpacker hostels, will expand its presence from 10 locations to 50 locations across the country. This startup is largely present in the northern part of India and plans to enter the states of Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu in the southern region. It aims to have about 15,000 beds in South India with a presence in over 100 locations by 2024.

Hosteller Founder and CEO Pranav Dangi said, “We started with a simple dream and now we aspire to become India’s largest self-managed hostel chain. We want to establish our presence in over 12 countries across India and five countries globally and achieve 40%+ operating margins, enabling young entrepreneurs to participate.”

By the end of 2024, The Hosteller intends to serve 10,000 guests every day across its entire inventory of 12,500 beds internationally.

PESU Venture Labs will invest in 50 startups

PESU Venture Labs, partnership with PES University & CoCreate Ventures, announced it will invest in 50 startups. CoCreate partnered with PES University in 2021 and established PESU Venture Labs (PVL), a concept stage fund and has invested in over 24 deep tech startups in sectors such as weather tech, e-tech, cyber security, crypto and home wellness favorites.

With the aim of identifying budding entrepreneurs and innovative startup ideas, CoCreate and PVL have launched programs such as the Unicorn Launchpad, which is a search for ideas from campuses that could be unicorns. These ideas will be evaluated by VCs and analysts and built to become a successful startup. Another program “Venturethon” is a month-long event where teams pitch their ideas and those ideas will be evaluated by a jury of VCs and analysts. Ideas and entrepreneurs with the potential to create high impact will receive funding of up to $200K.

Suresh Narasimha, co-founder and managing partner of CoCreate said, “The support structure we have created at PESU is enviable and inspiring for any startup founder, and the flow of ideas we see from students is unprecedented. We believe it will be the future of entrepreneurship and a destination for the brightest students. “

WhatsApp has partnered with RazorpayX

WhatsApp Payments has rolled out to RazorpayX, the neo-banking division of Razorpayas its technology partner to enable a smooth cashback experience through UPI for its users across the country.

According to WhatsApp, this partnership with RazorpayX will help ensure minimal chances of failures and pending transactions. UPI crossed the $1 trillion mark in transaction value for FY 2021-22 after the payments system crossed 5 billion transactions per month for the first time in March 2022.

Razorpay co-founder Harshil Mathur

Harshil Mathur, co-founder and CEO of Razorpay said, With India’s preference for instant digital payment methods growing exponentially, WhatsApp Payments will play a key role in financial inclusion for its 500 million users.”

Manesh Mahatme, Director, Payments, WhatsApp India, said,WhatsApp is often the first digital portal for Indians, especially those in rural and semi-urban areas, and through WhatsApp payments, we aim to extend financial inclusion to those who need it most.”

RazorpayX currently serves over 30,000 businesses and has processed UPI transactions of over 20 percent of all registered UPI users in India in the last year. He saw over 200 percent growth in his payout business.

Piper Serica launches angel fund to invest in startups

Mumbai-based Piper Serica Advisors, established in 2003 as a portfolio management service provider, recently launched a SEBI Registered Category 1 Angel Fund to invest in early-stage companies. The current fund size is capped at Rs 100 crore with a small green shoe option. The fund will make 30-40 investments over the next three years.

Piper Serica’s Angel Fund aims to be an IPO fund and will use its proprietary AI ML-based tool called Yoda.ai to screen investment opportunities. Abhay Agarwal, founder and fund manager, Piper Serica, said, “It’s a very exciting time to be investing in startups in India, just as the startup ecosystem is growing. We see some extraordinary talents aspire to become entrepreneurs. India’s economic growth over the next decade will create hundreds of unicorns. HNI investors should definitely allocate a portion of their equity portfolio to startups with the aim of achieving high returns over a long holding period.”

The Competition/Nudge for Water Technology Startups

The Center for Social Innovation/Nudge and Ashirvad Pipes shortlisted 25 water technology startups for The/Nudge Award | Ashirvad Water Challenge. The challenge opened for applications in February this year. Selected from a total of 140 applicants, these 25 startups will compete for a total prize of Rs 2.5 crore.

Of the 25 water technology innovators, four work in water runoff and distribution, five in wastewater treatment, nine in water treatment, three in atmospheric water generation, and four in enabling aquatic ecosystems. Many of the semi-finalists use deep technological interventions such as artificial intelligence and machine learning. Some are working on efficient ways to collect rainwater, watershed management or membrane filtration for purification, the statement noted.


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