Nandan Nilekani opens credit infra to help small businesses get loans !!

A major new technological innovation is in the works connecting lenders with the marketplace, Aadhaar architect Nandan Nilekani announced on Wednesday that, as he buttressed the need for India to “democratize credit” for millions of small businesses to revive its virus-battered economy. Speaking at the Global Fintech Festival, 2020 Nilekani, co-founder & non-executive chairman of Infosys Ltd, described that the initiative as a credit protocol infrastructure called the Open Credit Enablement Network, or OCEN, built by the Indian Software Product Industry Roundtable (iSpirt), a think-tank of the software industry. Under these…

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Electric scooter manufacturing start-up Okinawa plans to expand dealership network !!

New Delhi: Electric scooter manufacturing start-up, Okinawa, on Monday announced that its decision to increase dealership network to 500 across the country from the present strength of the 350. The company also plans to focus on increasing its sub dealer network as well in order to improve sales in post-pandemic days. While Covid-19 has forced a slowdown across the industries, Okinawa had shared the strategy to accelerate its marketing activities and strengthen its dealership network. Recently, the brand also announced a hike in dealership margins from 8% – 11%, to support…

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MPowered raises $21 million as part of pre-Series A funding !!

Bengaluru:  Gurugram-based asset management firm, MPowered has raised $21 million, as a part of its pre-series A round, from a group of US-based ultra-rich individuals with real estate veterans Ashok Nichani and Shelly Nichani leading the round. The funding will be used by the firm to take on new verticals of real estate such as warehousing, residential and commercial spaces. A portion of the funding amount will also be used to develop tech-solutions that it will be enable ease-of-use in day-to-day real estate transactions and management. “This fundraise will be…

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Freecharge founder Sandeep Tandon sets aside Rs 100 crore for early-stage hardware bets !!

Sandeep Tandon, is the founder of online financial services player Freecharge, has allocated Rs 100 crore from his family office to invest in early-stage companies in the hardware, manufacturing, and Internet of Things (IOT) space. The investment arm will cut average cheque taht  sizes of between Rs 2 crore and Rs 6 crore, Tandon told ET in an exclusive interview. The Rs 100-crore allocation will be managed by Tandon’s venture capital arm, Whiteboard Capital, and will be supplemented by dedicated team members with prior experience in manufacturing technology. Tandon’s family office…

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As e-learning takes hold, creators flock to startups !!

Professionals looking to set up an e-learning businesses quickly are flocking to startups like Knorish and Invanto, and earning big money in the process. Yoga trainers, wine connoisseurs, primary school teachers, digital marketers, cybersecurity experts and business management grads are all looking to the startups to build personalised websites so that they are impart skillsets through paid video content. Software as a Service startup Knorish, launched in 2018, has built e-learning businesses for 4,500 creators in the last four months, after onboarding just 500 customers till March. “These creators upload recorded videos or take live…

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Bengaluru beware: Under the radar town quietly emerges as startup hub !!

Bengaluru : It takes just one startup to change the narrative of an ecosystem. Last week, Chandigarh-based PrepLadder became that startup, when the medical entrance test preparation platform was acquired by Facebook-backed educational technology company Unacademy for $50 million in a cash-and-stock deal. The exit, hailed by founders and investors alike, it is indicative of a fledgling startup ecosystem in Chandigarh, which a clutch of homegrown venture capital-backed companies — in sectors such as ed-tech, agri-tech, content tech, Software as a Services (SaaS) and consumer goods — call home. The founders of these startups, both…

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3 Takeaways From Running a Startup During Covid-19 !!

How have your companies fared during the Covid-19 crisis? The short answer is, some better than others. It’s been stressful since Covid-19 came to town. I own a diverse range of companies, including a towing company, a bar and restaurant, a real estate redevelopment company, plus my consumer product startup, Kube Sound. We had to close the restaurant and let everyone go. In addition, one of the  my real estate redevelopment deals in Berkeley, California, has provided more than its fair share of problems. We were supposed to finish the building last…

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Startups wake up to a post-China world !!

BENGALURU : Last week, after India abruptly announced a ban on 59 Chinese apps, TikTok’s CEO Kevin Mayer called for a virtual town hall with his India employees. Over the past two years, ByteDance, which owns TikTok and Helo (also included in the list of the banned apps), had established a large presence in India. Despite the border conflict between India and China that led to the death of 20 Indian soldiers and the anti-China rhetoric that had been bubbling up here as the pandemic spread, the Beijing-headquartered Byte Dance had no inkling…

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BookMyShow casts its eyes on live streaming and online shows !!

BookMyShow is changing. From a pure-play transactional platform with the main focus on ticketing for outdoor events, the Mumbai-headquartered start-up is foraying into online shows and events, direct-to-home. No marks for guessing why. It’s COVID-19. “We have historically been the discovery platform of choice for all forms of outdoor entertainment. With COVID-19, people are forced to stay at their home and we are designing the app to bring entertainment straight to the consumers,” said Albert Almeida, Chief Operating Officer – Live Entertainment at BookMyShow. BookMyShow has already hosted around 750…

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38% startups out of funds, 4% shut down business due to lockdown effect !!

New Delhi: A survey has revealed that about 38% start-ups have run out of funds and 30% have 1-3 months of cash left, indicating the severe impact of lockdown on fledgling businesses. According to the online survey by Local Circles  which sought over 28,000 responses from more than 8,400 start-ups, SMEs and entrepreneurs — 16% such entities said the they have 3-6 months of cash left. Another 12% respondents said they have less than a month’s worth of cash left. “4%  also said that they have already shut down the…

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