Bits’n’bytes: Know about startup, business news in Pune - Hindustan Times
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Bits’n’bytes: Know about startup, business news in Pune

BySalil Urunkar
Feb 19, 2022 04:24 PM IST

Arvind SmartSpaces Limited announced that it has finalized a binding agreement for an outright purchase of 35 acres land parcel for ₹100 crore in Pune

ElasticRun announces $330mn funding

e-learning EdTech platform mPowerO and non-profit organization Robotex India hosted a robotics course which was piloted with 500 students between 6th to 12th Standard from government schools in Pune. (REPRESENTATIVE PHOTO)
e-learning EdTech platform mPowerO and non-profit organization Robotex India hosted a robotics course which was piloted with 500 students between 6th to 12th Standard from government schools in Pune. (REPRESENTATIVE PHOTO)

B2B eCommerce platform ElasticRun announced closing of a US$330 million funding round led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and Goldman Sachs Asset Management. The latest round also saw participation from Chimera and Innoven along with long-term investor Prosus Ventures.

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The investment will help the company expand its rural reach into 30+ states, enabling over a million kirana (neighbourhood retail) shops to conveniently access big consumer brands and food brands through its e-commerce platform. ElasticRun will also use the funds to expand its services nationally like credit facilities for retailers to enhance the value and experience offered by the kirana stores to their customers.

Sandeep Deshmukh, ElasticRun co-founder and CEO, said, “We are proud of the transformational impact of our business, which has empowered rural store owners and consumers across the length and breadth of the country. Through the pandemic, our robust logistics and channel framework ensured uninterrupted supply and support to our rural kirana partners. We are delighted to have Softbank and Goldman Sachs join us in the journey to bring more rural kirana retailers and rural consumers to participate in the digital revolution underway in India.”

Vayana Network partner with Pune Consumer Products Distributor Association

Trade finance platform Vayana Network announced its partnership with Pune Consumer Products Distributor Association (PCPDA) to offer last mile retailer financing program to the retailers and the distributors in the region.

Vayana Network’s product allows retailers to avail finance for the purchases they make through PCPDA member distributors. Retailers have the opportunity to be part of formal banking channels and get funds at affordable rates. The product is offered to retailers based on their historical trade data derived using GST returns or the ledger information.

Jitin Nanda, Business Head, Vayana Network said, “We have touch based 500 retailers from Pune till now. Usually, retailers pay interest rate of 24 to 30 per cent per annum, but we are offering them as low as 12 to 13 per cent. We are also in talks with 5 other associations in Maharashtra, especially focussing on Mumbai and Nashik region. We look forward to offer the retailers and distributors with instant access to the last mile retailer finance solutions, in turn enabling an increase in sale and turnover for all stakeholders in the supply chain”.

Anand Munot, President, PCPDA said “The distributor and retailer communities, largely being a traditional business segment, have long faced challenges related to access to affordable working capital. With this partnership, we can offer credit to three thousand shops and around 12 thousand retailers in Pune.”

100X.VC’s first annual 100X Investor Summit’22

100X.VC has organised its first annual investor knowledge summit in Mumbai on March 10. 100X Investor Summit will see participation from Investors including Corporate Venture Capital (CVC) arms and Family Offices, over and above HNIs and VCs.

“We have invested in multiple start-ups from 100X portfolio and are impressed with the eye of selection 100X team has. We are delighted to engage face to face with the team in India at their upcoming summit,” said Hershel Mehta, Co-Founder, 2am VC.

Ninad Karpe, Partner 100x.vc said “We invest in moon-shot ideas and help founders with exponential thinking. Now we are experiencing a network effect kicking in with 100X portfolio companies’ alumni who are helping the new cohort of start-ups by sharing their learnings on fundraising and business development.”

The fund has been on the mission of improving access to early-stage capital, educating investors, and building an India-focused start-up community since 2019. The summit is designed to inspire exponential thinking.

Arvind SmartSpaces invests in Pune

Arvind SmartSpaces Limited announced that it has finalized a binding agreement for an outright purchase of 35 acres land parcel for 100 crore in Pune. The land is strategically located in the Bhugaon mirco-market of Pune. This new project will consist of luxury residential villas with a development potential of 1.3 mn sq. ft.

Bhugaon is a prominent residential hub along Mulshi road, which is one of the fast-growing villa and plotted development destination in Pune. The project is located in close proximity to Hinjawadi, a popular IT hub in Pune. This fast-developing micro market is also connected to key hubs of city such as Kothrud, Chandani Chowk, Aundh, Pashan, Baner, etc.

Kamal Singal, Managing Director and CEO, Arvind SmartSpaces Limited, said, “This project marks our entry into another key micromarket of Pune, after the success of our first project in Kothrud. We have seen a steady increase in demand for luxury and villa developments. This land acquisition is in line with our strategy of investing in new growth markets such as Pune and MMR, beside widening our footprint in Bangalore and Ahmedabad.”

mPowerO eLearning app hosts robotics course for Pune students

e-learning EdTech platform mPowerO and non-profit organization Robotex India hosted a robotics course which was piloted with 500 students between 6th to 12th Standard from government schools in Pune.

The fully digital course taught the children how to program and operate a robot via a combination of LMS (Learning Management Systems) and live sessions with the experts in a Hybrid model.

“During the pilot project, it was quite encouraging to see the robotics prototype projects executed by these students in the multiple areas like agriculture, Covid-19 food delivery trucks, oxygen cylinders delivery, Biomedical contactless waste bin, etc. We are highly motivated to enable Robotex India to offer this training to the bright students and helping 2 lakh more students hone their skills on the future technologies,” said Mr. Ananth Rao, Chairman, mPowerO.

“Coming from humble backgrounds with really limited resources, these students have the zeal to learn and create meaningful projects via STEM Robotics. This has encouraged us to take this program to a higher level now aiming to train 2 lac students and help them realize their dreams of becoming the next tech icon from India,” said Payal Manan Rajpal, Director, Robotex India.

FreshToHome to expand in Maharashtra

FreshToHome, fully integrated online brand in fresh fish and meat e-commerce, plans to make available its product offerings in over 10 cities and enabling the setup of 25 new Powered-By- FreshToHome stores in Maharashtra. Freshtohome is available in Kolhapur, Nashik, Aurangabad, Pune, Navi Mumbai, Mumbai, Ahmednagar, Sangli, Satara & Karad. Shan Kadavil, founder, FreshToHome said, “FreshToHome had entered Maharashtra /AP market in 2019. Given the market’s great potential and the rise in demand for quality meat and seafood, we aim to delight our customers with products at affordable rates and at their convenience.”

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