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STARTUP DIGEST: Paytm’s Q2 update; Made-In-India Apple Airpods; PhonePe founders invest in volleyball; Licious’ meatless meat & MS Dhoni launches a drone

STARTUP DIGEST: Paytm’s Q2 update; Made-In-India Apple Airpods; PhonePe founders invest in volleyball; Licious’ meatless meat & MS Dhoni launches a drone

STARTUP DIGEST: Paytm’s Q2 update; Made-In-India Apple Airpods; PhonePe founders invest in volleyball; Licious’ meatless meat & MS Dhoni launches a drone
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By Oct 10, 2022 9:46 PM IST (Published)

Startup Digest brings you all the news that matters in quick, easy-to-digest bites.

Here's the lowdown from the startup space today:

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Paytm sees more than 3x loan disbursals in the September quarter
Paytm's loan distribution business grew at an annualised run rate of Rs 34,000 crore in September, according to the company's official release.
According to the latest data for the July-September quarter, the number of loans disbursed stood at 9.2 million, a growth of 224 percent from the corresponding period a year ago. The value of loans disbursed grew 482 percent from the corresponding period a year ago and stood at Rs 7,313 crore.
“We continue to see growth and upsell opportunities in this business while we work with our partners to remain focused on the quality of the book," Paytm’s parent company, One 97 Communications, said in a regulatory filing.
ONDC likely to open for citizens in Delhi by next month: Report
The Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) is set to be made available for at select PIN codes for residents in the national capital by early November, according to an ET report.
The beta testing could start with groceries, food and beverages segments, said ET, citing network participants who did not want to be named.
The report added that ONDC is likely to select areas with strong logistics and areas where there are at least four active sellers in a two km radius. This comes on the launch of ONDC across 16 pin codes in Bengaluru on September 30.
PhonePe co-founders pick up Mumbai franchise of Prime Volleyball League
PhonePe founders Sameer Nigam and Rahul Chari have invested in Prime Volleyball League and acquired the eighth franchise — the Mumbai Meteors.
Former Indian national volleyball captain Abhijit Bhattacharya joins them as the GM of the Meteors. The second edition of the league is expected to commence in early 2023.
Speaking on the occasion, Nigam said, "As a regular volleyball player myself, I have a great sense of how enthralling the sport can be. And the RuPay PVL gives us a perfect opportunity of building this sport in a professional way to a world-beating level."
Edtech Consortium firms spend Rs 3,500 crore to boost learning ecosystem
Indian edtech companies spent Rs 3,500 crore on the learning ecosystem comprising teachers, content, pedagogy, and faculty, according to a survey conducted by India Edtech Consortium (IEC), a self-regulatory body for the industry.
This comes at a time when edtech startups are treading water as offline classes open up and growth stagnates for new-age technology companies providing online education. The sector, which grew manifolds with investors pouring in funds during the pandemic, now sees a funding dry-out.
The members of the independent regulatory body include Indian edtech startups like upGrad, Byju's, Careers360, Classplus, Doubtnut, Great Learning and others.
KKR-backed Livspace earmarks $100 million for acquisitions
Private equity firm KKR-backed home interior unicorn Livspace has earmarked $100 million to buy assets in the home interiors and renovation segment.
The move could help the company incubate brands across its domestic and international markets as it looks to achieve profitability over the next 12-18 months.
The company told Moneycontrol that it is in "active conversations" with brands across India and Southeast Asia and plans to deploy the $100 million corpus over the next 12-15 months.
After iPhone 14, Apple to make Airpods in India
Apple's wireless earphones AirPods will be manufactured in India, says the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).
The iPhone 14 will be manufactured by December 2022 at Foxconn's facility near Chennai, the ministry told CNBC-TV18.
Licious launches alternative protein brand UnCrave
Licious, an online meat delivery platform which turned unicorn last year, has forayed into the plant-based meat category with its alternative protein brand — UnCrave.
"We have invested in over 20 months of R&D, in-house, to develop a range of products that closely resembles the taste and texture of meat in a never-before experienced way," said Abhay Hanjura & Vivek Gupta, Co-founders, Licious.
Priced Rs 349 onwards, UnCrave will initially launch with chicken & mutton kebab variants. The cook-times for these ready-to-cook products are 8 minutes with a shelf life of 12-14 days. They are currently available in Delhi NCR, Mumbai and Bangalore through the Licious app, marketplaces and Licious stores.
MS Dhoni Launches 'Droni' from the Garuda Aerospace hangar
Indian cricketing star Mahendra Singh Dhoni has launched a quadcopter consumer camera drone named 'Droni', which is manufactured by Garuda Aerospace. Remember: Dhoni is also an investor in the drone startup.
With Droni, Garuda Aerospace has entered the consumer drone segment, in addition to offering business solutions for agricultural pesticide spraying, solar panel cleaning, industrial pipeline inspections, delivery services and more.
According to the company's founder and CEO, Agnishwar Jayaprakash, the product will be available in the market by the end of 2022.
India's space economy expected to be worth $12.8 billion by 2025: Report
India's space economy is likely to be worth nearly USD 13 billion by 2025, with the satellite launch services segment set to witness the fastest growth spurred by increasing private participation, according to a report released on Monday.
India's space economy was pegged at USD 9.6 billion in 2020 and is expected to touch USD 12.8 billion by 2025, according to a report released by the Indian Space Association (ISpA) and EY.
The growing demand for smaller satellites is set to boost satellite manufacturing in the country and will attract global start-ups in the sector to help incubate space tech companies.
Tech-led real estate brokerage platform Homesfy Realty acquires EQServ
Homesfy Realty has acquired EQServ — a Mumbai-based real estate broking firm — that has been facilitating residential property sales for category A+ developers across the city.
So far, EqServ has sold almost more than 390 units and onboarded over 330 customers.
Commenting on the deal, Ashish Kukreja, Founder & CEO, and said, “Proptech is the next big sector considering the size of the opportunity."
Founded a decade ago, Homesfy facilitatied transactions totalling Rs 1,650 crore on its platforms in FY22.
Wysa to develop Hindi version of its mental health app with ACT
Wysa, an AI-based digital companion for behavioral health, has announced plans for a Hindi language mental health app, which will also be accessible through WhatsApp.
ACT, a non-profit venture philanthropy platform, is supporting the initiative and is seeking a co-funding partner to propel the development further. The pilot is expected to commence in early 2023.
The app will guide users through cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) exercises via text with a mobile phone-based conversational agent, to help them manage depression and anxiety. The app will also guide users who show moderate to severe symptoms towards a clinical program and wellness tools.
Artium Academy raises $3 million in funding round led by Chiratae Ventures
Artium Academy, an online music learning and community platform, has raised $3 million from Chiratae Ventures with participation from Anicut Capital, Jet Synthesis, Whiteboard Capital and angel investors.
Co-founded by Ashish Joshi, Vivek Raicha and Nithya Sudhir, Artium Academy offers music lessons and courses in the form of 1:1 live classes.
These courses are designed and certified by music maestros such as Sonu Nigam, KS Chithra, Shubha Mudgal, Aruna Sairam, Louis Banks, Gino Banks, Raju Singh and Aneesh Pradhan.
Artium’s AI enabled practice studio supplements in-person learning and tracks improvement followed by regular online performances within the Artium community of learners, teachers and maestros.
BioPrime Agrisolutions raises Rs 9 crore in a Pre-Series A round led by Inflexor Ventures
Tech-focused VC fund Inflexor Ventures led the pre-Series A round of Rs 9 crore in Agbiotech startup — BioPrime Agrisolutions. The current round of funding also saw participation from BioPrime's existing investor — Omnivore.
The agbiotech startup aims to utilise the funds for their SNIPR Biologicals registrations, advancing the discovery platform, building a strong IP portfolio, increasing production capabilities and expansion.
Founded by Dr Renuka Karandikar, Dr Amit Shinde and Dr Shekhar Bhosle, BioPrime offers chemical-free products that improve crop resistance to insects/pests and help manage abiotic stress such as high temperature, excessive water, drought and more.
Oddr raises $2 million in seed round led by Saama Capital & Twin Ventures
Legal tech platform Oddr has raised $2 million in a seed round led by Saama Capital and Twin Ventures. The round also saw participation from angels in the US, Singapore and Germany.
The startup which is based in Silicon Valley and India is gearing up to launch its services in North America, the UK and Australian market with a R&D center to be set up in India.
Funds raised to be used for building the AI-powered invoice-to-cash collection platform for legal firms, client acquisition for scaling business and hiring for achieving growth targets. The Company plans to clock an ARR of $1 million in the next 18 - 24 months.
Hubbler raises $1.5 million from Artha Venture Fund, Unicorn India Ventures & LenDenClub Alpha
Hubbler, a no-code platform that makes app development easier, faster, and cost-effective, has raised $1.50 million from Artha Venture Fund, Unicorn India Ventures, and LenDenClub Alpha in seed round. This is the first external funding round for the startup.
Hubbler will use these funds to enter new markets globally and increase its user base. The company currently has over 50 enterprise customers, including three unicorns, and wants to increase it by 5 times by the end of 2023.
The platform handles over a million monthly transactions and has built over 1,000 applications for enterprises and partners. The company plans to increase the number of transactions by 10 times in the next 12 months.
Goofy Tails raises seed funding from BeyondSeed & The Chennai Angels
Goofy Tails, a nutrition-focused pet care D2C company, secures seed funding of USD 500,000 led by BeyondSeed, a Singapore-based investor group, and The Chennai Angels, with participation from other overseas angel investors. The company plans to use the funding to expand its portfolio of healthy pet foods and pet accessories.
Launched by by co-founders Karan Gupta, Kartik Gupta, Kunal Gupta, and Ashish Kaushal in 2019, Goofy Tails claims to have seen 200% growth across all categories of its product line, over 1.2 lakh  customers served across Amazon, its own website, and other channels.
The current Goofy Tails pet care product range consists of fresh and healthy food, interactive toys, accessories, and grooming products. Goofy Tails plans to enter other South Asian and European markets by the middle of next year.
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