Tag Archives: Startups

Rising Bharat Swadeshi News Feed: September 6th 2020

  • Investment by other countries
  1. Top 10 funding deals bagged by Chennai startups amidst lockdown

Key points:

  1. BankBazaar : Online financial service marketplace raised two rounds of funding during the lockdown, amounting to $9.78 million. In April, the startup raised Rs 29 crore as part of its ongoing Series D round from existing investors, including Amazon, Sequoia, and Walden SKT Venture Fund,
  2. Flinto: In July, edtech startup Flinto Learning Solutions raised $7.2 million in pre-Series B funding led by Lightbox Ventures.
  3. WayCool: Agritech startup WayCool raised two rounds of funding during the lockdown, totalling $5.6 million.
  4. YAP: In April, API platform YAP raised $4.5 million in its Series A round of funding led by Singapore-based venture capital firm BEENEXT. 
  5. Specsmakers: In July, Specsmakers, an optical chain with 260 stores in south India, raised Rs 23 crore from Eight Roads Ventures.
  6. Grinntech: In August, Grinntech closed a round of $2 million from a set of high net-worth individuals (HNIs) and senior people from the automotive industry.
  7. Big Bang Boom Solutions: In July, defence tech startup Big Bang Boom Solutions raised $1 million through Mumbai Angels Network in their overall $1.5 million Series A funding round-size.
  8. CreditMantri: In May, online credit management startup, CreditMantri raised a little over Rs 6 crore ($803,146) from a clutch of existing investors including IDG Ventures, Elevar Equity, and impact investor Accion.
  9. GUVI: In April, Guvi Geek Network Private Limited, which owns and operates vernacular-language based education tech startup Guvi, raised Rs 6 crore in its pre-Series A round of funding from Education Catalyst Fund, an education-focused venture capital fund managed by CBA Capital.
  10. Chai Waale: In July, tea brand Chai Waale raised Rs 1.75 crore in funding from a group of angel investors

(Your Story, 6 September 2020) News link

  • Startup in Bharat by Bhartiya
    • This ‘Made in India’ app aims to make bookkeeping easy for MSME sector

Key points:

  1. According to Statista, India has nearly 700 million internet users across the country at present. Despite this, the digital adoption among small businesses is very low. While accounting software is a favourite for big businesses, most MSMEs in the country still do their accounts on paper.
  2. Founded by Yash Raj Agrawal, GimBooks is a cloud-based bookkeeping and business management platform that aims to make business easy for millions of small entrepreneurs by providing them a convenient mobile first, easy-to-use, and affordable solution.
  3. Yash worked as a business analyst with Target Corporation before he started his own venture of trading in Pyrolysis products. He got into the niche waste recycling industry with Pyrolysis as a trader of pyrolysis products. He pioneered in introducing pyrolysis products to many industries at a pan India level. This involved frequent transactions and invoice keeping with multiple vendors.
  4. The startup has also tied up with banks and has introduced updates such as neo banking activities, lending, and insurance for its users.
    (Your Story, 6 September 2020) News Link
  • 5 startups by ‘green entrepreneurs’ whose products are environmentally sustainable Aims to Eat Fresh and Store Less

Key points:

  1. EcoRight: Founded in 2017 in Ahmedabad, EcoRight has 18 product lines and 140 SKUs available in around 11 ecommerce websites. The startup says it makes products that are ethically, socially, legally, and environmentally audited as per the pillar standards of SEDEX 4. Its products, which include tote bags, work bags, backpacks, etc., are reusable, made with natural products, and are developed with innovative fabrics to make products better for the environment. Aimed at finding solutions to environmental problems such as plastic waste, the ecommerce startup claims that each bag it sells will, in turn, replace the use of 50-100 plastic bags. Each of the handbag designs features an eco-friendly message or a pun to spread awareness about the harmful effects of plastics.
  2. Chalk and Chuckles: Pallavi Agarwal and Prachi Agarwal founded Chalk and Chuckles which shapes children’s learning, skills, and experiences based on the games they play. Calling themselves “play advocates,” the Delhi-based entrepreneurs discourage the use of gadgets like a smartphone, laptop, PSP, and so on, to entertain children, citing the impact on the child’s cognitive growth The startup creates every product keeping the planet and the environment in mind. The toys are handcrafted MDF (Class I), and are printed using soy-based ink. Each of its products is tested for compliance on international safety standards and none of them run on batteries or chargers.
  3. Love Organically: Love Organically is a Mumbai-based beauty manufacturing brand which claims to produce 100 percent natural and chemical-free products. It was founded by Deepshika Deshmukh who is a student of Ayurveda. She has conducted in-depth research and consultations with experts from the Ayurveda field, as well as doctors, on her family’s skin nutrition secrets. Every product includes nutrients from flower extracts, essentials oils, and aromatic botanicals.
  4. Krya Sustainable Goodies: Krya Sustainable Goodies was founded in 2010 by Srinivas Krishnaswamy and Preethi Sukumaran to create environmentally-friendly products. The entrepreneurs say they use natural ingredients.Krya Sustainable Goodies produces goods that address the issues of sustainable city living. Based on the principles of Ayurveda, the startup says its products are natural, vegan, and organic in nature. The laundry detergent is claimed to be 100 percent plant-based.
  5. MINC: It was founded by Mini Varkey Shibu and Kochery C Shibu in 2007. Mini is an alumnus of the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, and calls herself passionate about eco-fashion, minimalist design, and khadi. Kochery, on the other hand, is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy with a career in the Indian Navy. He has experience in setting up design studios, and has worked in the areas of operational development promotions and vendor development. The startup designs garments while only using natural fabrics, azo-free environment-friendly dyes, and closure made from natural materials like wood, coconut, etc. It also promotes khadi, and the team believes in promoting green living through eco-fashion.
    (Your Story, 6 September 2020) News Link

Rising Bharat Swadeshi News Feed: September 5th 2020

  1. खाट के नीचे एक किलो मशरूम उगाकर की थी शुरुआत, आज हर महीने कमातीं हैं 90 हज़ार रूपये

Key points:

  1. यह बीना की ही मेहनत है, जिस कारण अब मशरुम की खेती उनके 105 पड़ोसी गाँवों में भी मशहूर हो गई है। इन इलाकों से बीना ने करीब 10,000 ग्रामीण महिलाओं को ट्रेनिंग दी है।
  2. इसी साल  बीना को भारत के राष्ट्रपति, रामनाथ कोविद द्वारा नारी शक्ति पुरस्कार से सम्मानित किया गया है। 8 मार्च को, 16 अन्य महिलाओं के साथ उन्हें भी इस प्रतिष्ठित पुरस्कार से नवाज़ा गया था।
  3. एक किलोग्राम मशरुम उगाने से लेकर ‘मशरुम महिला’ के नाम से जाने जाने का सफर बीना के लिए काफी असाधारण रहा है।

(The Better India, 5 September 2020) News Link

  1. ClickNit: Aims to Eat Fresh and Store Less

Key points:

  1. Most of the e-commerce companies failed because of too easy access to capital and unproven business models with no true revenue streams.
  2. ClickNit is an eCommerce company designed to become market leader in daily micro-delivery service and to provide all home needs at doorstep with lowest possible price. Build on the unique Indian habit of getting fresh milk delivered home every morning.
  3. In next three years ClickNit intends to create an icon e-commerce brand through laser focused marketing and will grow to 100 Million IN
    (Taza Tadka, 5 September 2020) News Link
  • Why Pooja Bedi ventured into the world of entrepreneurship with a wellness marketplace

Key points:

  1. Founded by actor and TV show host Pooja Bedi, Happy Soul is a Goa-based multi-vendor ecommerce marketplace that aggregates wellness products, services, and experiences.
  2. “Both require hard work, networking, discipline, and team spirit. Acting requires you to spend on yourself to grow your business; entrepreneurship requires spending on others to do so. But acting doesn’t have a daily routine; entrepreneurship does,” says Pooja, actor and Founder of wellness startup Happy Soul.
  3. In 2020, Pooja launched her Goa-based startup, Happy Soul, a multi-vendor ecommerce portal that aggregates the best of wellness products, services, and experiences.
  4. The founder says dealing with government compliances and protocols has been daunting.
    (Your Story, 5 September 2020) News Link

Rising Bharat Swadeshi News Feed: August 31st 2020

  • Vaccine development
  1. India’s first covid vaccine: No side effects seen in trials of Covaxin so far

Key points:

  1. Blood samples of the volunteers will also be collected on different days for estimating the duration of protection
  2. The blood samples collected from the volunteers who received the vaccine were to ascertain how effective the vaccine was in terms of the level of antibodies developed
  3. Blood samples of the volunteers will also be collected on different days (28, 42, 104, 194 day) for estimating the duration of protection subsequently, he added. Dr Rao said there was a lot of enthusiasm among people to be part of the second phase of the human trial.

(Live Mint, 31 August 2020) News Link

  • दुनिया में कोविड-19 की 176 वैक्सीन रेस में, जानेंक्या है भारत की स्थिति

Key points:

  1. भारत बायोटेक और जाइडस कैडिला के वैक्सीन क्लीनिकल ट्रायल के दूसरे चरण में पहुंच चुके है। भारत बायोटेक ने इस वैक्सीन को भारतीय आर्युिवज्ञान अनुसंधान परिषद (आइसीएमआर) और नेशनल इंस्टीट्यूट ऑफ वायरोलॉजी के साथ मिलकर विकसित करने में जुटा है। इसे कोवाक्सिन का नाम दिया गया है।
  2. जाइडस कैडिला के वैक्सीन जायकोव-डी के पहले चरण का ट्रायल सफल रहा था, जिसके बाद इसके दूसरे चरण का ट्रायल किया जा रहा है। पहले चरण के ट्रायल में जिन लोगों को इसकी खुराक दी गई, उन पर इसका कोई नकारात्मक असर देखने को नहीं मिला है।
  3. ऑक्सफोर्ड की वैक्सीन को विकसित करने में भारत के सीरम इंस्टीट्यूट भी महत्वपूर्ण योगदान दे रहा है। महाराष्ट्र सहित देश के कई अन्य हिस्सों में इसका ट्रायल किया जा रहा है।

(Dainik Jagran, 31 August 2020) News Link

  1. आम लोगों के लिए मिसाल बनी बिजली दीदी, सोशल मीडिया पर खूब हो रही है चर्चा

Key points:

  1. बिजली वितरक कंपनी को घाटे से उबारने के साथ ही खुद आत्मनिर्भर बनी ओडिशा की बिजली दीदी रोजाना सुबह 10 बजे निकल जाती है बिजली बिल वसूलने।
  2. सन् 2019 में ओडिशा सरकारी की योजना सेल्फ हेल्प ग्रुप अर्थात स्वयं सहायक ग्रुप की भर्ती निकली और उसमें परीक्षा दी तो वहां उनका चयन हो गया। इसके बाद वह बिजली वितरक कंपनी सेंट्रल इलेक्ट्रिक सिटी सप्लाई यूटिलिटी आफ ओडिशा अर्थात सेसु के साथ जुड़ गई और अपनी मेहनत एवं लगन से न सिर्फ आत्मनिर्भर बनी बल्कि बिजली वितरक कंपनी के राजस्व को भी बढ़ाने का काम किया।  लोग अब जागरूक हो गए हैं और घर जाते ही मीटर रीडिंग मिल जाती है और लोग बिजली बिल का भुगतान कर देते हैं।
  3. प्रदेश में ऐसी लगभग 200 बिजली दीदी हैं, जिन्होंने अपनी मेहनत व लगन से न केवल आत्मनिर्भर बनी हैं, बल्कि बिजली वितरक कंपनी के राजस्व को बढ़ाने का काम किया है। सबसे खास बात यह है कि इस कार्य में बिजली दीदियों को शुरूआत में स्थानीय लोगों से कुछ परेशानी जरूर आयी मगर अब स्थानीय लोग भी खुश है कि उनके उपर बिजली बिल नहीं बकाया है, और बिजली वितरक कंपनी का भी राजस्व बढ़ गया है।

(Dainik Jagran, 31 August 2020) News Link

How this Hyderabad startup went from skilling youths to delivering e-learning to schools
Key points:

After quitting Motorola in 2008, Ananth set up Focus Ventures, which backed Hyderabad-based SkillPro, a social enterprise that aims to skill one million underprivileged youth. He took over as the chairman of SkillPro in 2013.  Soon after, as the Skill India Mission took off, SkillPro transitioned from offline skill training to an e-learning solution. In eight years, it has impacted over 300,000 youth across rural and urban areas and placed them in jobs. But, there was a pain point.

Hyderabad startup SkillPro launched mPowerO to tap into the rising demand for e-learning solutions and learning management systems during the pandemic.

With the lockdown on educational institutions unlikely to get over anytime soon, the thrust on e-learning and online classrooms is at an all-time high. SkillPro rolled out mPowerO in May to tap into this lockdown-induced market demand.
(Your Story, 31 August 2020) News Link

MemeChat: An app that helps meme creators get paid by brands for their creativity
Key points:

Started by two 22-year-olds, MemeChat is a space for creators, users and social media influencers to cash in on the meme-making phenomenon and was one of the winners of AatmaNirbhar Bharat App Innovation Challenge.

The duo from SRM University graduated in Computer Science in 2020 and have been developers since the age of 15. They met each other when they were studying in Delhi Public School (Gurugram), and bonded over their mutual interest in software and technology.

The users can create memes using paid templates, and get paid upon their approval. As another option, users can earn making memes in the requested category and get paid by brands.

Currently, MemeChat has a total of 11 full-time employees and 15 part-time employees. Their app has a total of 650,000 users, with over 130,000 monthly active users and is available on both Android and iOS devices.
(Your Story, 31 August 2020) News Link

  1. 12वीं पास युवक ने शुरू किया प्रोसेसिंग का व्यवसाय, 650 आदिवासी महिलाओं को मिला रोज़गार

Key points:

  1. राजेश ने बताया कि कई सालों तक बाहर काम करने के बाद वह अपने गाँव लौट आए क्योंकि उनकी वह अपने इलाके के लिए कुछ अलग करना चाहते थे।
  2. उन्होंने धीरे-धीरे महिलाओं का समूह बनाया और सभी को आश्वासन दिया कि वह उनसे बाजार भाव में सीताफल हर दिन खरीदेंगे। साल 2017 में राजेश ने जोवाकी एग्रोफ़ूड इंडिया की नींव रखी और इसे कोई कमर्शियल कंपनी बनाने की बजाय सोशल एंटरप्राइज बनाया। इसके अंतर्गत उन्होंने 12 गाँव की महिलाओं का समूह बनाया और उन्हें कई चरणों में ट्रेनिंग दी गई।
  3. जोवाकी एग्रोफ़ूड को भारत सरकार के सोशल स्टार्टअप प्रोग्राम, रफ़्तार में भी जगह मिली है। इसके अलावा, उन्हें IIM कोलकाता, विल्ग्रो फाउंडेशन, नियम एग्री बिज़नेस आदि से भी सपोर्ट मिल रहा है। कंपनी फ़िलहाल सीताफल और जामुन के अलावा हरे चने और आंवला पर काम कर रही है।
  4. उन्होंने लगभग 500 किसानों को जैविक खेती से जोड़ा है और महिलाओं को औषधीय खेती की ट्रेनिंग भी दिलाई है। राजेश कहते हैं कि उनका उद्देश्य लोगों को उनके पास उपलब्ध फलों और सब्जियों में वैल्यू एडिशन करके रोज़गार कमाने का ज़रिया देना है।

(The Better India, 31 August 2020) News Link

Rising Bharat Swadeshi News Feed: August 30th 2020

How 2 former Unacademy colleagues launched an e-sports streaming platform for millennials

Key Points:

  1. Bengaluru-based Rheo, an online e-sports streaming and community platform, was founded in 2019 with the aim of enabling gamers in India to live stream games from mobile phones and create live gaming streams in vernacular languages.
  2. Its goal is to bring gaming into the same league as that of cricket and Bollywood in India.
  3. Rheo provides live streaming gaming videos and engagement with streamers. It also lets users get access to exclusive tournaments and e-sports events hosted and participated by top gamers in India and stream one’s favourite games from PC, Xbox One or any Android smartphone.
  4. The platform claims to have over 100 games that are streamed online. These include PUBG, Free Fire, and Call of Duty.
  5. Further, with the recent ban on Chinese-origin mobile apps the number of new users on Rheo has increased by up to 200 percent per day, and the total number of users on the platform have doubled (grown by 2x) during this period, it claims.

(Your Story, 30 August 2020) News Link

  • StepSetGo app: PM Modi praises the platform making fitness fun by rewarding every step users take

Key points:

  • To incentivise people to work out and make fitness a daily habit, childhood friends Misaal Turakhia(28), Abhay Pai (27), and Shivjeet Ghatge (28) started Mumbai-based startup and fitness app StepSetGo in January 2019. 
  • StepSetGo app, a winner in the Aatmanirbhar Bharat App Innovation Challenge, aims to get people out of the workout rut by incentivising the process of walking. PM Modi recognised the fitness app by the Mumbai-based startup in his Mann ki Baat address.
  • Fitness app StepSetGo is a fitness app that maintains records of how much a user has walked and motivates users to stay fit, PM Modi noted in his Mann ki Baat address. 
  • The app currently gets revenue from advertisements, which the users can choose to watch to earn coins. However, a user can earn only up to four coins per day this way. Users can also decide to watch banner and video ads for additional perks. 
    (Your Story, 30 August 2020) News Link

    AskSarkar: how this Made in India app by Bengaluru-based CoRover is disrupting the AI chatbot segment in India
    Key points:
  • Bengaluru-based conversational AI startup CoRover’s chatbot AskSarkar app leads users to official government websites and resolves their queries on government services via text, audio, or video. This Made in India app is among the winners of the Aatmanirbhar Bharat App Innovation Challenge.
  • CoRover’s AskSarkar app received special mention in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Mann ki Baat broadcast to the nation on Sunday, during which PM Modi recognised the disruptive innovations taking place in India.
  • CoRover itself was founded in 2016 by Ankush Sabharwal along with Rahul Ranjan, Manav Gandotra, and Kunal Bhakhri.
  • The startup provides a conversational AI platform that offers managed Chatbot-as-a-Service to help businesses improve customer experience, operational efficiency, generate revenue, and save costs.
  • While the co-founder did not reveal details about pricing, he says it depends on the number of user queries, number of questions being asked, different intents, concurrent users among other factors. Prices vary for different clients. 
    (Your Story, 30 August 2020) News Link
  • CaptionPlus: the app for brands to turn pictures into stories
    Key points:
  • According to international social media marketing firm Socialbakers, posts with explanatory text overlay generated 41 percent more interactions on average over the course of 2017. This was one of the underlying rationale behind CaptionPlus — one of the winners of the government’s AatmaNirbhar Bharat App Innovation Challenge.
  • In 2018, three Delhi University students, Rahul Maurya, Anurag Kumar, and Jitendra Yadav found this an opportunity to help content creators. The trio launched CaptionPlus in beta in August 2018 with zero monetary investment after initial market research and studying profiles of thousands of people.
  • In two years since the beta launch as a simple repository of captions and hashtags, the app has now integrated an AI engine, which can show users contextual captions and hashtags to the images. This is similar to the tags or emoji options one can get while doing the SEO optimisation or drafting any social media message.
    (Your Story, 30 August 2020) News Link
  • Hitwicket: this Made in India app seeks to disrupt the global e-sports and mobile gaming market for an Aatmanirbhar Bharat
    Key points:
  • Cricket Strategy Game 2020 by Hyderabad-based startup Hitwicket emerged as one of the favourite Made in India apps in the gaming category in the recent AatmaNirbhar Bharat App Innovation Challenge launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
  • In line with PM Modi’s clarion call for an Aatmanirbhar Bharat, or a self-reliant nation, and more particularly, his call for an Aatmanirbhar App Ecosystem, Hitwicket aspires to create a truly world-class gaming experience for the billion cricket fans, with their Made In India game for India and the world. Their vision is to host Hitwicket World Cup 2023, the grandest e-sports event for cricket.
  • Furthermore, the team behind the game plans to make India a prime hub for e-sports championships by orchestrating the all-ambitious Hitwicket World Cup, tentatively scheduled for 2023 — wherein users from all across the globe would compete in a virtual IPL-like tournament at zonal, state, national, and international levels.
    (Your Story, 30 August 2020) News Link
  • Investment by other countries
  1. Mauritius-based PE firm invests ₹250 crore in Shriji Polymers

Key points:

  1. Malaysia-based private equity firm Creador, managing assets worth $1.5 billion, has invested ₹250 crore in Indian pharmaceutical packaging firm Shriji Polymers (India) Ltd.
  2. Shriji’s product portfolio includes high-density poly ethylene bottles, polypropylene caps–both continuous thread and child resistant–and other speciality plastic products such as derma bottles, tablet applicators, dosing cards and self-administered metered dosing devices.
  3. The company’s manufacturing facilities are located in key markets across India, the US, and China.
  4. The deal signifies the interest of private equity players in this pharma allied industry of packaging, given India’s cost advantage and policy makers’ efforts to boost domestic manufacturing.
  5. “We will continue to make significant investments in India supported by the recent government initiatives of ‘Make in India’ catering to domestic and exports,” Anand Bangur, founder and managing director of Shriji said.

(Live Mint, 30 August 2020) News Link

  • MF investment in REITs jumps three-fold to Rs 735 crore in H1 2020

Key points:

  1. Emerging investment instrument REIT seems to be finally catching investors’ fancy, with mutual funds investing a whopping Rs 735 crore in such units in the first six months of 2020, nearly three-fold jump from the year-ago period.
  2. However, mutual funds’ investment in infrastructure investment trusts (InvITs) dropped by 8 per cent to Rs 4,968 crore in the period under review, data with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) showed.
  3. Investment by fund houses in REITs jumped from a mere Rs 7 crore in January 2019 to Rs 71 crore in January this year and further increased to Rs 402 crore in June 2020.
  4. Fund managers infused Rs 735 crore in real estate investment trusts (REITs) in January-June 2020 compared to Rs 249 crore in the first six months of last year.
  5. The investment in InvITs rose from Rs 611 crore in January 2019 to Rs 908 crore in the same month this year and thereafter to Rs 968 crore in June 2020.
  6. As compared to last year, fund managers’ investment in InvITs declined to Rs 4,968 crore in January-June 2020 from Rs 5,400 crore in the first six months of 2019.
  7. Ever since Sebi introduced InvITs, markets witnessed the listing of two public InvITs — IRB InvIT Fund and India Grid Trust.

(Economic Times, 30 August 2020) News Link

  1. PM Modi urges startups to ‘team up for toys’ for India to become global toy hub

Key points:

  1. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday called upon startups and entrepreneurs to “team up for toys”, as he noted India’s miniscule share in the global toy market of over Rs 7 lakh crore and asserted that the country has talent and ability to become a hub for the industry.
  2. In his monthly ‘Mann ki Baat’ address, he said it was time for startups to be “vocal for local toys” and also asked them to develop computer games in and based on India, citing the nation’s rich heritage and traditions that can drive innovations in the toy and gaming industry.
  3. The prime minister had also recently chaired a meeting aimed at boosting India’s share in the global toy trade in which China is one of the largest manufacturers and exporters. 
  4. He also urged people to raise dogs of Indian breeds at their homes if they consider keeping a pet dog. Indian breed dogs are being inducted by security forces as well, he said.
  5. He said the area for the sowing of kharif crops increased by seven per cent compared to last year, paddy by nearly 10 per cent, pulses close to five per cent, oilseeds around 13 per cent and cotton by about three per cent.
  6. He said September will be observed as “Nutrition Month” and added that the need for having a good nutrition is being converted into a “mass movement”, especially in villages.

(Financial Express, 30 August 2020) News Link

  1. Trai to reform licensing regime to fuel investments, innovation in telecom sector

Key points:

  1. India’s telecom regulator is aggressively working on reforming the licensing regime and would soon release a consultation paper to base its views on promoting innovation and attracting new investments, as a part of ease of doing business in the sector.
  2. The sector watchdog has previously recommended a slew of measures to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) such as the reduction in levies, and the upcoming initiative is aimed to further improve the industry’s health in line with the national policy unveiled in 2018.
  3. With this reduction, the applicable uniform rate of licence fee would become 6%, from the present 8% of AGR, according to Trai, while the 3% of license fee (LF) that directly accrues to the government would not change.

(Economic Times, 30 August 2020) News Link

Rising Bharat Swadeshi News Feed: August 19th 2020

Export

  1. Spices exports from India goes over Rs 21000 crore in 2019-20, records growth of 10 per cent

Key points:

  1. The exports of Indian spices and spice products surged to Rs 21,515.4 crore (USD 3033.44 million) and a volume of 11,83,000 tonnes in 2019-20, sustaining their robust demand in international markets despite stiff competition.
  2. During the previous year of 2018-19, India exported a total of 11,00,250 MT of spices and spices products. 
  3. In rupee terms, the spices exports in 2019-20 grew by 10 percent from Rs 19,505.81 crore and in dollar terms, the growth was 8 percent.
  4. Though the Indian spices are exported to 185 countries, China (24 percent), USA (16 percent), Bangladesh (six percent), Thailand (five percent), UAE (six percent), Sri Lanka, Malaysia, UK, Indonesia, and Germany are the major buyers contributing over 70 percent export earnings.

(The New Indian Express, 19 August 2020) News Link

Startup in Bharat by Bhartiya

How two college students built a profitable home service business based in Jaipur
Key points:

  1. The Jaipur-based startup is a ‘service at home’ company that provides trained service professionals for various needs at home.
  2. At present, the startup is serving eight cities, including Mumbai, Bengaluru, Delhi, Surat, Jaipur, Indore, Kota, and Sawai Madhopur.
  3. NamasteSir takes bookings on its consumer app ‘NamasteSir: Your Service Partner’, which then assigns these orders manually to its registered partners. However, it is developing a partner app ‘Sir Partner’, which will allow partners to accept bookings directly from the nearest customers.
  4. NamasteSir takes bookings on its consumer app ‘NamasteSir: Your Service Partner’, which then assigns these orders manually to its registered partners. However, it is developing a partner app ‘Sir Partner’, which will allow partners to accept bookings directly from the nearest customers.
    (Your Story, 19 August 2020) News Link
  • How DevOps startup Esper helps with Android device deployment, app management
    Key points:
  • Founded two years ago by Shiv Sundar and Yadhu Gopalan, Esper creates a complete tool chain and allows enterprises to deploy and manage touch-enabled Android device applications without worrying about the device infrastructure.
  • The startup also helps streamline the process for building, deploying, and managing apps on devices for POS, restaurants, kiosks, logistics, and transportation at scale.
  • Esper raised $7.6 million in Series A funding in February 2020. The round was led by US-based venture capital firm Madrona Venture Group and saw participation from existing seed investors Root Ventures, Ubiquity Ventures, Haystack Ventures, and Pathbreaker Ventures.
    (Your Story, 19 August 2020) News Link
  • This edtech startup aims to instil analytical and scientific skills in children as young as six years
    Key points:
  • Bengaluru-based WizKlub is a K-8 edtech startup that combines technology and research in cognitive learning to empower K-12 kids to get started on a skill.
  • WizKlub has two flagship products – Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) programme and SmartTech Programme to develop skills in children of ages six to 13 years.
  • The WizKlub SmartTech Programme helps children as young as six years to build and code technology.
  • WizKlub has raised angel and seed funding from HNIs, Incubate Fund India, and Insitor Impact Asia Fund. The startup works on a subscription model, and charges Rs 500 per month for a single programme.
    (Your Story, 19 August 2020) News Link

Investment in Bharat by other countries

Lightspeed India raises $275M, will focus on startups of the future
Key points:

  1. Lightspeed India Partners has closed the Lightspeed India Partners III fund with $275 million of committed capital. As a fund, it has invested more than $750 million in India and supports startups through the growth stages.
  2. It will continue to focus on early stages of innovation, and work with founders to support them through their growth lifecycle – working with a growth capital pool of over $3 billion raised recently in its global funds.
    (Your Story, 19 August 2020) News Link
  • DrinkPrime raises Rs 21 Cr from Omidyar Network India, Sequoia Surge
    Key points:
  • Water purifier startup DrinkPrime on Tuesday announced that it had raised Rs 21 crore ($3 million) in its pre-Series A round.
  • The round was led by Omidyar Network India, with participation from Sequoia Surge
    The Bengaluru-based startup will use the freshly raised funds to strengthen its team and invest in growth plans.
  • The startup has created smart water purifiers by leveraging Internet of Things (IoT) technology and a seven-stage filtration process. It allows users to subscribe to use the company’s advanced modular water purifiers, with a pay-as-you-use model.
  • DrinkPrime is also backed by founders of Snapdeal, Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal, GrowthStory’s founders Meena and Krishnan Ganesh, and Bounce, among others.
    (Your Story, 19 August 2020) News Link

Vaccine Development

  1. Oxford COVID-19 vaccine final trials will be held in these 17 hospitals in India

Key points:

  1. The phase II and phase III clinical trial of COVID-19 vaccine developed by the University of Oxford is all set to start in India
  2. Indian pharmaceutical major Serum Institute of India has initiated the process, according to report by news agency ANI.
  3. Pune based drug maker has selected 17 sites in India to conduct the trial. A total of 1,600 candidates will take part in the study.
  4. These sites include — Andhra Medical College (Visakhapatnam), JSS Academy of Higher Education and Research, (Mysore), Seth G. S. Medical College and KEM Hospital (Mumbai), KEM Hospital Research Centre (Vadu), B J Medical College and Sassoon General Hospital (Pune), All India Institute Of Medical Sciences (Jodhpur), Rajendra Memorial Research Institute of Medical Sciences, (Patna), Institute of Community Medicine ( Madras), Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education & Research (PGIMER), Bharati Vidyapeeth Deemed University Medical College and Hospital (Pune), Jehangir Hospital ( Pune), AIIMS (Delhi), ICMR- Regional Medical Research Centre ( Gorakhpur), TN Medical College & BYL Nair Hospital (Mumbai), Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (Sewagram) and Government Medical College (Nagpur).

(Live Mint, 19 August 2020) News Link