[:en]Startup news and updates: daily roundup (July 26, 2022)[:]


Biz2Credit announces ESOP’s worth $500K for 500+ India workforce

Biz2Credit, provider of an online marketplace for small business funding, has announced its ESOP policy for its employees in India.  

Rohit Arora, CEO and Co-founder, Biz2Credit and Biz2X, said, 

“Our ESOP plan is an attempt to reward our employees’ commitment and for the role they play in helping the organisation achieve its long-term objectives. The ESOP plan reflects our company’s priorities and balances key financial measures with individual performance and tenure considerations. We have announced the ESOP plan to allow our employees to participate in the organisational success of Biz2Credit.” 

Biz2Credit leverages data and cash flow insights to give business owners an automated small business funding platform. With over 650+ employees globally, its team—made up of engineers, marketers, and data scientists—is building the next generation in business lending solutions. 

Anupama Garg, Senior Vice President and Head—Human Resources (India) said, 

“Since our inception in 2007, employee-centricity has been our core focus. Our employees are our biggest strength. It has always been our endeavour to make an employee-focused organisation, where everyone feels valued and rewarded for their contribution. We are delighted to launch our ESOP plan which has the potential for long-term wealth creation for all our employees.”  

Phable hires Sanil Bhatia as Senior Vice President—Revenue 

After having announced the onboarding of two new leaders in May, Phable, a chronic disease management company, has announced the appointment of Sanil Bhatia as Senior Vice President—Revenue. With this appointment, Phable focuses on strengthening its full-stack and value-driven chronic disease management offerings and accelerating market expansion to create India’s first comprehensive healthcare ecosystem to assist patients in better managing their condition. 

Prior to joining Phable, Sanil founded and led the healthcare vertical at Udaan. He was also an early member of Uber India and Flipkart, where he has built and scaled ride-sharing and ecommerce categories. Sanil brings in over 13 years of experience, managing large-scale P&Ls and teams for B2C and B2B technology companies. 

At Phable, all revenue-generating functions will report to Sanil. To achieve the desired business outcome, he will work directly with the founders—Sumit Sinha and Mukesh Bansal—and functional heads. As Vice President of Categories, he will oversee and lead categories such as medicine, lab tests, programmes, health and wellness, and devices. 

On his appointment, Sanil said, ”I am delighted to be a part of Phable at a pivotal moment in its journey. I remain enthused by the company’s mission of delivering better health outcomes for chronic patients by bringing quality products and services on a single platform and look forward to working with teams across the board to achieve this.” 


Synaptic announces $1M maiden ESOP buyback programme

Synaptic,an alternative data insights company focused on providing actionable insights to global investment firms, has announced an ESOP buyback worth $1 million for its employees. This is the first ESOP buyback that the company has announced since its inception.

Anurag Abbott, Co-founder, Synaptic said, “People are core to Synaptic’s success and as we grow, we are committed to creating more such opportunities for our employees. We have designed our ESOP program to be best-in-class with employee-friendly features such as an extremely long exercise period and monthly vesting to reflect this intent. We strongly believe that the best is yet to come for Synaptic and our fellow Synapticans.”

With this ESOP buyback programme, Synaptic is looking to ensure that employees are rewarded for their contribution to the organisation’s success and their continued confidence in Synaptic’s future.

The Synaptic platform is used by global VC and private equity firms, hedge funds, and asset managers across markets in the US and the UK. Synaptic recently secured a funding of $20 million in a Series B funding round led by Valor Equity Partners. In the coming year, the organisation plans to expand its footprints across more markets and geographies and focus on doubling its current headcount in the next 18 months. Previously, the startup raised $6 million in seed and Series A funding from Ribbit Capital, Felicis Ventures, and Vy Capital Management.

Simpl partners with Nicobar to enable Pay-in-3

Fintech startup Simpl has announced a partnership with Nicobar, an Indian lifestyle brand with products ranging across clothing, home, and travel. This association offers Nicobar’s customers a split payment option through Simpl’s Pay-in-3 feature.

‘Pay-in-3’ is a unique offering from the Simpl product family that benefits D2C (direct-to-consumer) brands such as Nicobar. It comes with a host of value-added features that enable spend management while combining transparency, convenience, ease of use, and best of all, a smooth payment experience.

Simpl’s partnership with Nicobar will further strengthen its vast merchant network that currently features over 20,000 merchants across lifestyle, fashion, electronics, beauty, fitness, foods, and numerous other product categories.

Rohithari Rajan, CEO of Nicobar, said, “Simpl is seamless and gives our guests an added benefit, the ability to pay in instalments as well as be rewarded with cashback.”

Simpl’s Pay-in-3 has been developed on three key pillars: smart budgeting, transparency, and convenience.

“With Pay-in-3, Nicobar’s customers can efficiently split their bill into three equal tranches, at no extra charges. We believe this will help strengthen the trust factor between Nicobar and their end customers,” said Nitya Sharma, Co-founder and CEO, of Simpl.

Porter completes divestment of its FMCG Modern Trade business to COGOS Technologies

Porter, a tech-based, on-demand, intra-city logistics company, has announced the divestment of its FMCG Modern Trade business segment to Cogos Technologies, a tech-logistics startup. This strategic divestment has been undertaken, realigning Porter’s business priorities and strengthening focus on on-spot demand services and technology amelioration. 

Speaking on the partnership, Pankaj Shroff, CFO, Porter said, 

“After due deliberations, we decided to focus on our core business and found an able alliance with COGOS Technologies for the continuity of the Modern Trade business. We are positive that with COGOS capabilities and expertise in this segment, the business will scale to new heights.”

Porter’s Modern Trade servicing team accounts for close to 5 percent of the total workforce and all the employees have been absorbed based on the business needs of both companies. 

Prasad Sreeram, Co-founder and CEO, COGOS said,

“The penetration of tech-logistics in this space has been minimal leading to loss of opportunity and higher costs for FMCG companies and Modern Trade. With this investment, we are looking forward to organising and optimising the supply chain of the sector with our state-of-the-art tech platform and advanced delivery system.”


Indian SaaS startup Kapture CRM expands its business in Indonesia

Strengthening its global presence, Kapture CRM is all set to expand its foothold in Indonesia. The leading enterprise-grade, SaaS-based service automation platform is gaining a lot of interest from the region, and to cater to the demand, it has set up its office in Jakarta. Kapture offers to assist organisations in better understanding their customers, capitalising on digital/technology investments and analytics, and engaging customers in a highly personalised way that can lead to higher customer conversion and retention.

With this development, the company aims to make Indonesia a $5 million recurring revenue and create a significant presence in the entire EMEA market in the upcoming years.

Elaborating on this, Sheshgiri Kamath, CEO, and Co-founder, Kapture CRM said,

“Our research over the past year tells us that customers are looking for better customer service and companies want to provide personalised customer service but this is not turning into a reality, and we are trying to bridge that gap with Kapture. We want to be a testament to providing superior customer service that does not have to be complex, either technologically or financially.”

As a part of its Indonesia plans, Kapture has appointed Sai Jayachandra as the country manager. The company has onboarded Budi Mulia as its Head of Business Development who has experience in leading sales teams, customer success teams, and implementation teams across multiple software products.

Kapture CRM will provide its solutions across sectors like retail, ecommerce, consumer durables, healthcare, medical devices, travel and hospitality, real estate, FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods), banking, and financial services. The company is successfully helping 1,000+ brands in 16 countries to make customer service more intelligent and contextual. Kapture has also established its presence in Singapore and has been acknowledged recently in the Middle East region.

Volopay partners with Freshworks for startup mentorship and funding opportunities

With a vision to provide a world-class customer experience, Volopay, a Y Combinator-backed corporate cards and payable management company, has partnered with Freshworks, for their startup programme called ‘Freshworks for Startups’. The partnership enables the startup community of Volopay to enjoy various perks offered by the programme such as cloud-based software, mentorship, and funding opportunities.

It has a platform called FORGE through which Volopay’s startup customers can avail one-on-one mentorship from the industry leaders as well as admission to various events and resources. Through the partnership, they will have access to Freshworks’ global community of over 400 VCs, accelerators, incubators, and startup communities from more than 87 countries.

Rajith Shaji, Co-founder and CEO, Volopay, said, 

“Mentorship for startups helps the budding entrepreneurs in better understanding the company’s long-term goals and developing a sustainable business plan. Through this partnership, our customers will have accessibility to industry leaders for their guidance. In addition to this, they will be able to utilise the cloud-based software offered by Freshworks to make their operations easier and economical.”

Freshworks for Startups is offering $10,000 worth of credits split across essential software products across CRM (Customer relationship management), Helpdesk, Marketing Automation, HRMS (Human Resource Management System), ITSM (Information Technology Service Management), Live Chat, Cloud Telephony and much more. This makes it a beneficial partnership for Volopay and its community.

Recently, Volopay also partnered with Plum. The partnership allowed Volopay’s clients to avail and access comprehensive insurance coverage and complimentary benefits like teleconsultations and health checkups.

Volopay is a one-stop shop, unified, receivable and payable platform that can be used to streamline and automate the financial management of accounting and finance teams. Some of their clients include CoinDCX, Polygon (Matic), MPL, InVideo, MX Media, Livspace, Moneysmart, Smartkarma, Funding Societies, BukuWarung, Deputy, HealthifyMe, among others.

Flipkart rolls out Virtual Try-On feature for beauty products 

Flipkart, India’s homegrown ecommerce marketplace, has announced a beauty extension to its augmented reality-led feature on the app—Virtual Try-On. It enables users to virtually try on beauty products such as lipstick, foundation, eyeshadow, kajal, eyeliner, compact, concealer, highlighter, blush and mascara from brands including Lakmé, Maybelline, Blue Heaven, Faces Canada, and L’Oréal Paris

Customers can find the ‘Try On’ feature on the product page at the bottom right corner of the image gallery. After enabling the camera and gallery access, users can opt for a ‘Live’ Try-On or by uploading a selfie to see how a product would look on them virtually, as well as save the image to share across other apps.

Commenting on the launch, Kanchan Mishra, Senior Director, Consumables (FMCG), General Merchandise and Home, Flipkart, said, 

“At Flipkart, we aim at being at the forefront in bringing technology-led solutions to our burgeoning registered customer base of 400 million across the country. We are proud to expand our augmented reality(AR)-enabled feature to a category such as beauty, where there are nuanced product differences that customers are acquainted with purchasing offline. This feature will herald a new era for online makeup shoppers enabling easy access to leading brands while driving growth for lakhs of our sellers.”

Flipkart enters audiobooks segment; partners with Pocket FM

Ecommerce company Flipkart has entered the audiobooks category through a partnership with the audio streaming platform, Pocket FM.


With the collaboration, Flipkart would provide exclusive and licensed audiobooks through Pocket FM to its customer base of over 400 million, a release said on Tuesday.


In India, it is estimated that there are 25 million people who listen to audiobooks.

Kanchan Mishra, Business Head for FMCG, Home and General Merchandise at Flipkart, said audiobooks have gained prominence during the pandemic and the collaboration will help authors publish their work on its platform with the aid of audiobooks.

It will also help the ecommerce company as it continues to address its users’ appetite for regional content, he added.


Pocket FM, which officially launched its audiobook platform in March this year, sells over 1,20,000 audiobooks every month, according to the release.

Zolve onboards Boston Consulting Group (BCG) partner to leadership team 

Zolve, India’s neobank providing cross-border financial services, announced the appointment of Anandapadmanabhan Ramabhadran to its leadership team, on Tuesday.

A graduate from IIM Bangalore with over 12 years of experience, Anandapadmanabhan joins Zolve to drive business and growth. Prior to joining Zolve, Anandapadmanabhan was a partner at global management consulting firm, Boston Consulting Group. He worked in the area of Financial Institutions Practice, where he served fintechs and financial institutions (banks, insurers, regulators etc) on topics such as New Venture Build, Digital, Customer Journeys, Strategy and Transformation, across three geographies—India, North America, and South-East Asia.


Welcoming Anandapadmanabhan, Raghunandan G, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Zolve said, 

“Anand’s vision and in-depth understanding of the customer financial services landscape across different countries will be instrumental as we continue to build and lead the next phase of growth for Zolve globally. We are confident that he will set new benchmarks in elevating Zolve’s presence in international markets”.

On his appointment, Anandapadmanabhan Ramabhadran, added, 

“I’m excited to lead Zolve into the next frontier by driving innovation, growth, and strategy for our stakeholders. Having lived across three countries and having personally experienced different financial ecosystems, I can truly resonate with what Zolve is solving for.  Zolve has already built a robust financial services platform for the global citizens and my aim will be to fortify it and drive the growth of Zolve further.”

(This story will be updated with the latest news throughout the day.)

Edited by Kanishk Singh


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