Also in this letter:
■ BNPL experience for bank customers via UPI coming soon
■ Regulatory burden can impede OTT growth
■ ETtech Done Deals
ETSA 2023: The nominees for Comeback Kid and Best on Campus
Comeback Kid: This category of awards celebrates failure and recognises those who survived to tell the tale. It will be given to entrepreneurs who rebuilt or launched a more successful business.
And the nominees are…
- Capillary Technologies
- Ideaforge Technology
Read more about the nominees here
Also read | ET Startup Awards 2023: Nominees for Top Innovator
Best on Campus: In this category, we look at startups that were launched while the founders were finishing college. They should have found validation outside the campus from customers or investors, making them stand apart rather than be just another college project.
And the nominees are…
- XYMA Analytics
- Digantara Research & Technologies
- Minus Zero Robotics
- Bunpai India (Rescript)
- Farmicon India Ltd
Read more about the nominees here
Also read | ET Startup Awards 2023: Nominees for Bootstrap Champ
What the high-powered ETSA jury expects from nominees
(From left) Renuka Ramnath, founder, Multiples PE; Harshil Mathur, CEO, Razorpay; Supam Maheshwari, CEO, FirstCry
A jury led by Uday Kotak, founder and director, Kotak Mahindra Bank, will pick the next cohort of winners of The Economic Times Startup Awards (ETSA) on September 12.
Renuka Ramnath, founder & MD, Multiples Private Equity, said she would “look for companies that have performed across a trifecta of revenue growth, a clear path to profitability, and navigating a challenging funding environment through judicious capital allocation”.
“I am particularly interested in understanding how the nominees have created resilient businesses, ensuring sustainable growth even during turbulent times. As we celebrate and champion their victories, I will be closely examining these key factors among the winners,” said Harshil Mathur, cofounder & CEO, Razorpay, which won the ETSA 2022 Startup of the Year award.
Read more on what the jury has to say about the nominees
On Monday, Ranjan Pai of Manipal group, and Flipkart group CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy said their focus will be on startups that are building financially robust, scalable businesses that can make the most of the opportunities India has as a nation.
Banks eye ‘Pay Later’ buzz as RBI clears UPI credit lines
The Reserve Bank of India on Monday told Indian banks to open pre-sanctioned credit lines through united payment interface (UPI), empowering them to enable ‘buy now pay later’ (BNPL)-type small recurring payments for users.
How will it work? Imagine that a customer has been offered a pre-sanctioned credit line by his or her bank. When the customer tries to make a purchase and wants to dip into this credit line, he or she can do so through the UPI app. And that’s what India’s central bank is looking to enable, thereby giving banking customers a BNPL experience.
Opportunity for banks: Fintechs and NBFCs have traditionally ruled the BNPL sector, but now banks are poised to seize this big opportunity. While most banks previously provided instant EMI options only on credit cards, a few offered it on debit cards as well. With pre-sanctioned credit limits, banks can now offer instant EMI options to customers, and the convenience is that it can be accessed through any UPI app.
Boost for UPI: A senior banker, leading the payments business at a prominent private sector bank, told ET that the expansion of credit on UPI will likely result in a substantial surge of 30-40% above existing transaction volumes. This development not only drives transaction numbers but also stimulates increased credit utilisation.
What’s the next wave? Jitendra Gupta, founder & CEO, Jupiter, says banks and fintechs are working overtime to integrate their cards with the Rupay-UPI network to offer a new source of funds for everyday transactions. According to him, new product innovations, credit card/loans with robust underwriting models and instant activations will be key drivers of the future that will unfold with credit on UPI. Read the full opinion piece here
Food, grocery delivery platforms stock fewer items ahead of G-20 Summit curbs
Anticipating a hit on their business during September 8-10 in New Delhi in light of the restrictions announced for the G-20 Summit, online food and grocery delivery firms have started prepping up by managing personnel movement and stocking appropriately.
From the horse’s mouth: “We are stocking our dark stores with fewer items for the coming week…because of the closures, movement of delivery people as well as demand is getting impacted,” an executive at a quick commerce platform said.
Who’ll be impacted? Most quick commerce platforms such as Zomato-owned Blinkit, Zepto, Swiggy Instamart and BigBasket’s BB Now operate in the areas where restrictions will be imposed. Cloud kitchens, too, are expecting a business impact even before the event begins given the traffic restrictions in these areas.
Security concerns: While food delivery platforms, restaurant chains and food services companies have urged the government to allow deliveries as part of “essential services similar to the pandemic lockdowns”, sources said the city administration and police have alluded to potential security concerns with free movement of delivery personnel in the controlled areas — a situation that is “unlike the pandemic”.
Disproportionate regulations will hit OTT growth, warns industry
Tech industry association Nasscom has told the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) that a disproportionate regulatory burden can impede the growth of over-the-top (OTTs) services and mar their contribution to the country’s data economy.
Nasscom noted this in its submission on TRAI’s consultation paper on regulatory mechanism for OTT communication services.
Nasscom’s stance: The body said such a move can hamper consumers’ right to choose, as well as raise cost of service, create entry barriers and scuttle innovation in the OTT market.
Too many cooks: OTT firms told ET that they are currently facing a situation where they may be regulated by three laws — the Digital Personal Data Protection (DPDP) Act, the Telecom Act, and the upcoming Digital India Bill, which will lead to many overlaps. As many as 203 industry bodies, news organisations, telecommunications companies, cable operators and technology policy groups submitted to TRAI concerns surrounding its consultation paper.
ETtech Done Deals
Seafood firm CaptainFresh raises $20 million from SBI Investment, others: Captain Fresh, a B2B fish and seafood company, on Tuesday announced raising $20 million (around Rs 166 crore) to expand in global markets. The extended C-round funding saw participation from SBI Investment and Evolvence Capital, among others.
Atomicwork raises $11 million led by Matrix Partners, Blume Ventures: San Francisco- and Bengaluru-based startup Atomicwork on Tuesday said it has raised $11 million in a seed round of funding led by Matrix Partners India and Blume Ventures.
Anicut Capital bags over $6 million from SIDBI fund: Venture debt investor Anicut Capital on Tuesday said it has raised Rs 50 crore (about $6 million) for its equity investments fund from SIDBI’s Fund of Funds for Startups (FFS).
Cirkla picks up $3 million from Matrix Partners, Stellaris Venture: Cirkla, a sustainable packaging company, has raised $3 million in a pre-seed funding round that was led by venture capital firms Matrix Partners India and Stellaris Venture Partners.
Other Top Stories By Our Reporters
Demand for AI solutions may put pressure on IT deals pricing: Rising demand for automation and artificial intelligence solutions will lead to pricing pressure by next year, IT firms feel. The issue is accentuated by an uncertain global macroeconomic situation, which is putting additional pressure on companies to offer better rates to clients.
Finfluencers must register with Sebi for dealing with regulated entities: Madhabi Puri Buch | Individuals or platforms who wish to deal with securities or partner with regulated entities must register with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), its chairperson Madhabi Puri Buch said on Tuesday.
G20 digital economy ministers agree on broad DPI framework: MoS IT | The G20 digital economy ministers have reached a consensus on the definition, framework and working principles for digital public infrastructure (DPI), said Mos IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar.
Global Picks We Are Reading
■ The end of Airbnb in New York (Wired)
■ Investors raise questions after Sequoia Capital’s turbulent year (Financial Times)
■ How BYD snatched Tesla’s crown (Rest of World)
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