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    Startups join battle against COVID-19; a look at how they are helping India breathe again

    Startups join battle against COVID-19; a look at how they are helping India breathe again

    Startups join battle against COVID-19; a look at how they are helping India breathe again
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    By Shruti Malhotra   IST (Updated)

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    Here's a look at what entrepreneurs and startups are doing, and how you could contribute in saving India from the COVID-19 crisis

    India's startup ecosystem has joined the fight against COVID-19 as entrepreneurs, investors and startups come together to offer funds, support and resources at a time when the country faces a crippling shortage of beds, oxygen and medical supplies.
    Here's a look at what entrepreneurs and startups are doing, and how you could contribute in resurrecting India from the severe crisis:
    ACT Grants
    Set up in 2020 as a collective of investors and entrepreneurs to support solutions for the fight against COVID-19, the initiative has stepped up its activities and is focused raising Rs 75 crore for providing relief to hospitals and citizens for home management, oxygen solutions for hospitals (cylinders, HFNC, CPAP), supplement workforce with doctors and nurses.
    Amazon India
    Amazon along with ACT Grants, Temasek Foundation, Pune Platform for COVID-19 Response (PPCR) and other partners is airlifting over 8,000 oxygen concentrators and 500 BiPAP machines from Singapore, the company said. The organisations are working closely with the government to expedite the entry of these oxygen concentrators and BiPAP machines into the country. This medical equipment will be donated to hospitals and public institutions to augment their capacity to help COVID-19 infected patients across multiple cities.
    Amazon will bear the cost of airlifting these oxygen concentrators and BiPAP machines, procured through multiple organisations including ACT Grants and PPCR , from Singapore to India, through Air India and other international carriers. Additionally, Amazon will also manage the movement of these oxygen concentrators and other donations to identified hospitals and institutions.
    Amazon India is also procuring over 1,500 oxygen concentrators and other critical medical equipment that will be donated to hospitals and medical facilities in partnership with multiple non-profits including Swasth, Concern India and impact organisations like ACT Grants and Sattva Consulting.
    Zomato
    Food tech company Zomato along with Delhivery rolled out the 'Feeding India' programme under its 'Help Save My India' initiative to source oxygen concentrators and related supplies and supply to hospitals and families in need. The company aims to raise Rs 50 crore to help save hundreds of thousands of lives ravaged by the virus.
    Zomato founder Deepinder Goyal, tweeted out details of the fundraiser and said that if they raise over Rs 50 crore, the money would be used to get more oxygen.
    Delhivery
    Logistics company Delhivery is chartering two planes to import oxygen concentrators. "We’re flying charters into India with oxygen concentrators and other essential supplies and can build more capacity on demand. If you need help with logistics or wish to collaborate with us on this please reach out to Vikas Kapoor or to me immediately (ceo@delhivery.com)," Sahil Barua, co-founder of Delhivery, wrote in a LinkedIn post.
    "In case demand far exceeds the current supply, we can arrange for additional flights as well," Barua added.
     
    Paytm
    As India gasps for oxygen, India’s most valuable startup Paytm has said that the company is working to source supplies for oxygen concentrators. Paytm Foundation plans to raise Rs 10 crore to donate Oxygen Concentrators across India. Paytm will match the contributions received through this initiative.
    "We have sourced supplies for oxygen concentrators of different sizes while we place the order using our own money. We want you to join hands in solving #OxygenShortage," Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Founder of Paytm said in a tweet.
    Mission Oxygen
    This is an initiative by a community of founders and entrepreneurs across Delhi/NCR to assist hospitals that are running out of medical oxygen.
    The collective has come together to raise Rs 7.5 crore from over 7,000 good samaritans across India. So far, the group has ordered 800+ oxygen cylinders that will be delivered before May 1.
    It will be procuring 1,000 10L oxygen concentrators directly from Chinese manufacturers, they said. Deliveries to 400+ needy clinics, government hospitals and small nursing homes in Delhi/NCR will start on April 28.
    The collective is being run by the founders of Lattice, Designhill, Satvacart, BeatO, BreatheEasy, Cuttlfish among others.
    KVN Foundation’s Mission Million Air
    The KVN Foundation led by serial investor K Ganesh set up the the ‘FeedMycity’ initiative in 2020, that served 58 lakh meals to stranded Migrant workers.
    Now the foundation is working to supply free oxygen concentrators to the needy until they find a hospital bed, get access to doctors, or recover completely. These cylinders will be provided for 5 to 10 days and will be reused on next patient with fresh set of consumables.
    Starting in Bangalore and Mumbai, the initiative plans to add more cities as they work to procure oxygen concentrators in bulk.
    They have collaborated with health tech platform Portea to help implement the project.
    MapMyIndia
    Homegrown mapping platform MapMyIndia is working to make it easier to track vehicles carrying oxygen, vaccines and other medical infrastructure transport. The company said it would install free GPS tracking systems on such vehicles in the country.
    Global tech community comes to India’s aid
    As hospitals across India continue to run short of oxygen, Silicon Valley investor and co-founder of Sun Microsystems and founder of Khosla Ventures, Vinod Khosla stepped in to lend his support.
    "I’m willing to fund hospitals in India that need funding to import bulk planeloads of oxygen or supplies into India to increase supply," he said and asked hospitals and NGOs to reach out to him as he coordinates grants through GiveIndia.
    Google and Microsoft
    Google CEO Sundar Pichai and his Microsoft counterpart Satya Nadella have assured help to India as the country grapples with a ravaging coronavirus crisis that has put enormous pressure on its hospitals due to a shortage of beds, oxygen and medical supplies.
    "Devastated to see the worsening Covid crisis in India. Google & Googlers are providing Rs 135 crore in funding to @GiveIndia, @UNICEF for medical supplies, orgs supporting high-risk communities, and grants to help spread critical information," Indian-origin Google CEO Pichai said in a tweet.
    In another tweet, Microsoft's Indian-origin CEO Nadella said that his company would continue to use its resources and technology for relief efforts and support for buying oxygen devices.
    Nadella said he was "heartbroken" by the current coronavirus situation in India.
    "I am heartbroken by the current situation in India. I'm grateful the US government is mobilising to help. Microsoft will continue to use its voice, resources, and technology to aid relief efforts, and support the purchase of critical oxygen concentration devices," he said.
    CRED
    Fintech startup CRED in partnership with Milaap has launched a cause campaign where members can spend CRED coins towards oxygen for those who need it the most. Every 10,000 CRED coins will go towards 1,000 litres of oxygen. Members can participate as many times as they’d like, with no cap on coin spends. Milaap will channel the funds raised to partners, will buy and deploy oxygen concentrators for hospitals and healthcare non-profits across India.
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