Here are the top headlines from the startup space.
LeadSquared eyes IPO in next three years: Report
Sales and marketing automation unicorn LeadSqaured is planning to go public in the next three-four year, Moneycontrol reported. This even as the SaaS firm plans to clock a revenue of USD 200 million in the same period, it added.
“We are on the path of building a USD 200 million company in the next three-four years and there will be I think two-three more rounds of fundraising…when we have the line of sight for USD 200 million we will think about an IPO as well,” said cofounder and chief operating officer Prashant Singh.
“Our plan is to clock USD 200 million revenue and there will be many funding rounds and more inorganic activity as well happening before that,” Singh added.
Amazon launches first all-women delivery station in Mizoram
Amazon India has announced the launch of Northeast’s first all-women delivery station in Mizoram, which will be operated by its Delivery Service Partner (DSP). The newly-launched station is situated in Champhai, close to the India-Myanmar border.
The station is run by Christina Rindiki, an entrepreneur who started a last mile delivery company called Servico with Amazon’s DSP program. It will help deliver Amazon packages to customers in neighbouring areas like Kanan, Kahrawt, Venglai, Vengthlang, Vengsang, and Bethel among others, a statement said.
“The launch of the first all-women delivery station in Mizoram is a continuation of our ongoing efforts to give women secure and fulfilling opportunities to become self-sufficient and independent. As Amazon India continues to expand its reach in the Northeast region, the women working at this all-women partner delivery station will serve as an inspiration to many more,” said Dr. Karuna Shankar Pande, Director, Amazon Logistics, India.
Google joins MeitY, launches pan-India effort to improve online safety
Google has launched several initiatives, including new investment and collaboration with the IT Ministry, to safeguard people in India from online harm.
The company launched a cybersecurity up-skilling programme for nearly 100,000 developers, IT, and start-up professionals across the country, at its 'Safer With Google' event.
Google.org also granted USD 2 million (Rs 16 crore) to non-profit organisations, including Collective Good Foundation, Point Of View and HelpAge India, to empower high-risk groups such as women, micro entrepreneurs, seniors and the LGBTQ community.
The tech giant said it is also starting a multilingual user awareness campaign supported by the MeitY and Digital India Corporation to encourage millions of internet users to adopt better practices for safer digital transactions.
Google said it will flag off a multi-city, mixed format cybersecurity Roadshow to reach approximately 100,000 developers, IT and start-up professionals with unique tools, detailed guidance, and best practices on building safer apps by embedding security in all phases of development and adopting modern IT services.
ONDC onboards JKTPO to strengthen digital commerce
ONDC and Jammu and Kashmir Trade Promotion Organization (JKTPO) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to further expand the partnership and accelerate ecommerce adoption in the state.
The association will accelerate the onboarding of sellers or seller service providers from among MSMEs, eommerce companies, artisans, FPOs, and logistics firms to the ONDC network, a statement said.
“As we join hands with JKTPO, which aims at building and promoting trade in the state, this initiative will serve as a driving force to initiate the participation of all stakeholders in the growing ecommerce ecosystem through the ONDC network,” said T Koshy, MD and CEO, ONDC.
Gruhas selects 7 startups for its first cohort
Gruhas ASPIRE, a startup accelerator focused on proptech companies, has announced its first cohort. The selected startups will get support for market expansion and access, business model refinement, branding and marketing, hiring, and mentoring, a statement said.
The firms in Gruhas ASPIRE’s first cohort include: Modcave, Realiti.io, Safearth, Settl, SustVest, Tellus Habitat and Zerund.
“We believe India has the brightest minds and markets for leading this change and we at Gruhas ASPIRE firmly back this cohort which represents the diversity and high potential of the country. We are excited to support such inspired founders to realise their vision,” said Abhijeet Pai, co-founder of Gruhas Proptech Fund.
Jupiter Meta launches Metaverse-as-a-Service
Jupiter Meta, Web 3.0 advisory and metaverse, has launched Rent-A-Meta, a multi-utility space offering Metaverse-as-a-service.
The feature has been designed to allow users to experience all kinds of spaces and give entities the flexibility for a fast turnaround, the firm said.
“As a Web3.o advisory and integrated solutions architect, our Metaverse as a Service will help brands initiate their metaverse journey. And our expertise in creative strategy and gamification will help businesses transform and achieve their goals,” Manasa Rajan, CEO of Jupiter Meta said.
Indifi aims to cross Rs 1,000 Cr in FY’23 from lending marketplace business
MSME-lending platform Indifi Technologies, has announced that it has increased its marketplace share in the overall disbursals which was up by 3X in FY ‘22.
The percentage of total loans disbursed via lending partners at Indifi today stands at 50 percent in Q1 FY ‘23, up from 25 percent in Q1 FY22. Indifi aims to bolster this further in FY23, by building 70 percent of its loan book via lending partners, the firm added.
Currently, the firm has 13 lending partners and aims to increase this to 20 in FY’23 including NBFCs, private and MNC banks. “Despite the pandemic, we have developed an impeccable track record and trust across our partners in 2021 and look to double down on our co-lending model in FY’23,” said Siddharth Mahanot, Co-founder and COO, Indifi.
nurture.farm launches incubation programme for agritech startups
Agritech firm nurture.farm has launched an incubation programme, Catalyst, to help agritech startups sustain themselves and expand further.
The program will help agritech startups collaborate with key stakeholders across the agricultural ecosystem, gain capital for sustenance, test their products or solutions at scale, and gain access to infrastructural, knowledge and human resources. It will offer its incubatees a wide spectrum of support to enable them and accelerate their growth journey, the company said in a statement.
The incubation programme focuses on nurturing growth stage, pre-revenue, seed-funded, or angel-funded start-ups. It intends to support, collaborate and champion these startups as they break new ground, a statement said.
BlackSoil claims to cross $300M in venture debt deals
Debt capital provider BlackSoil said that it has crossed UD 300 million in venture deals that help more than 100 companies to build their business.
The firm added that it invested USD 40 million in more than six deals in Q1FY23, posting the highest ever year-on-year (YoY) growth despite broader cyclical volatility and the impact of Covid-19.
“We invested in 2 unicorns in this quarter itself. Our AUM
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Twitter staff exodus accelerates amid Musk battle, whistleblower complaint
Twitter is facing more employee departures, company executives told staff, as leaders sought to address multiple challenges, including whistleblower allegations and a legal battle with billionaire Elon Musk.
Employee attrition is currently 18.3 percent, Twitter executives told staff during a company-wide meeting, audio of which was heard by Reuters. Before Musk made his USD 44 billion offer to buy the company, attrition hovered between 14 percent and 16 percent, which was consistent with competitors, executives had previously said.
The months-long chaos related to the Musk takeover has caused some staff to flee, current employees had told Reuters.
The staff meeting was held a day after Twitter's former security chief Peiter "Mudge" Zatko said in a whistleblower complaint that the social media company misled federal regulators about its defenses against hackers and spam accounts.
During the meeting, Twitter staff submitted questions to company leaders on whether Twitter would hire or promote more junior staff members and how Twitter could be expected to hit its growth targets given the employee exodus.
The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee said on Wednesday it will hold a hearing with Zatko on September 13, the same day that Twitter shareholders will vote on whether to approve the deal with Musk.
Google to roll out anti-disinformation campaign in some EU countries
Google's Jigsaw subsidiary will launch a campaign next week to tackle disinformation in Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic about Ukrainian refugees based on research by psychologists at two British universities, as per a Reuters report.
Working with Jigsaw, the psychologists from the universities of Cambridge and Bristol have produced 90-second clips designed to "inoculate" people against harmful content on social media.
The clips, which will run in advertising slots on Google's YouTube and also on other platforms such as Twitter, TikTok and Facebook, aim to help people identify emotional manipulation and scapegoating in a news headline.
Amazon signs green hydrogen supply deal with Plug Power
Hydrogen fuel cell maker Plug Power has signed a deal with Amazon to supply liquid green hydrogen.
Amazon said Plug Power will supply 10,950 tons of green hydrogen every year starting 2025 that it will use to replace grey hydrogen, diesel, and other fossil fuels, said a Reuters report.
The green hydrogen deal will provide enough annual power for 30,000 forklifts or 800 heavy-duty trucks, Amazon said. Plug said it has granted Amazon a warrant to buy up to 16 million of its shares at an exercise price of USD 22.9841 a unit for the first 9 million shares.