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Startup news and updates: daily roundup (May 26, 2023)

YourStory presents the daily news roundup from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Friday, May 26, 2023.

Startup news and updates: daily roundup (May 26, 2023)

Friday May 26, 2023 , 4 min Read

European startup Flix announces entry into India

Flix, a global provider of affordable and sustainable travel options, has announced its plans to expand the operations of FlixBus to India. 

The company seeks to introduce its distinctive business model to India with the launch of the first inter-city green lines scheduled for early 2024.

“India is committed to alternative drives and is accelerating towards a future where collective transport is electric. This gives the opportunity for Flix to be a key local player in the development of a sustainable travel industry, setting up infrastructure and further development in this area,” André Schwämmlein, Co-founder and CEO of Flix, said in a statement.

By entering the Indian market, Flix aims to generate a substantial number of job opportunities and contribute to the overall economic growth of the country. 

To facilitate this expansion, Flix has initiated the process of establishing a local team in India. Surya Khurana, an experienced professional in the mobility industry, has been appointed as the country managing director and will lead the team based in Delhi. In the upcoming months, Khurana and the local team will actively seek individuals to join their workforce, as well as local bus partners.

Flix operates in 40 countries, serving a total of more than 5,500 destinations globally, and is employing more than 5,000 people of over 90 nationalities globally.

André Schwämmlein, Co-founder and CEO of Flix

André Schwämmlein, Co-founder and CEO of Flix.

GoKwik network touches 100 million shoppers

GoKwik, an enabler of ecommerce brands, has revealed that its network has witnessed a surge in the number of shoppers, with over 100 million customers making purchases in 2023. This figure represents a 1.5-fold increase compared to the number of shoppers on the platform in 2021.

The rise in shoppers primarily stems from tiered cities, with Tier III cities accounting for 46% of the growth. The majority of this incremental customer base can be attributed to the addition of new merchants specialising in beauty & personal care, fashion, electronics, and health & nutrition categories.

According to the company, cash on delivery (COD) continues to be the preferred payment method among customers. In the financial year 2022-2023, 75% of the orders processed within the GoKwik network were made using the COD option.

GoKwik offers full-stack enablement solutions backed by technology and data science to help ecommerce brands increase revenue growth and reduce return-to-origin. It is backed by Sequoia Capital, Matrix Partners India, RTP Global , Think Investmentsand other investors.

The company said that the shoppers on the GoKwik network are expected to reach 350 million by 2025.

Murty Trust pledges Rs 5 Cr to Reach to Teach Foundation

The Murty Trust, the family foundation of Narayana Murthy and Sudha Murty, has granted Rs 5 crore to the Reach to Teach Foundation. 

This five-year grant aims to support the Comprehensive School Transformation Programme being implemented by Reach to Teach in the North-East region. The funds provided will serve as seed support and enhance the foundation's capacity to deliver a credible and sustainable educational programme.

Reach to Teach primarily collaborates with the Education Department of State Governments and actively engages with other stakeholders, including parents and the broader community. Currently, the foundation is operating in Arunachal Pradesh through a tripartite agreement with NITI Aayog and the Government of Arunachal Pradesh. It also has plans to expand its work to Meghalaya and Tripura.

“Reach to Teach Foundation’s focus on the North-Eastern part of the country is a welcome initiative. Their Comprehensive School Transformation Programme will go a long way towards enhancing learning outcomes of children in government schools,” Infosys Founder Narayana Murthy said in a statement.

Narayana Murthy Infosys

Infosys Founder and former Chairman, NR Narayana Murthy

IBM, Equitas Small Finance Bank collaborate to build digital banking platform

IBMand Equitas Small Finance Bank Ltdhave joined forces to create a digital banking platform that ensures a contemporary and secure banking experience for the bank's customers and partners.

This collaboration seeks to enhance Equitas' range of digital products and services, aligning its business with the preferences of a digital-first generation. By leveraging technology as a key differentiator, Equitas aims to accelerate its growth in the next phase of its evolution.

Equitas Small Finance Bank, founded in 2016, has established its presence during the initial growth phase. Now, Equitas is looking to capitalise on its position and embark on a modernisation journey. IBM Consulting will develop and deploy modern web and admin portals for Retail Banking and Corporate Banking, along with multi-device banking apps for Retail Banking.

“We are leveraging the deep banking industry expertise coupled with digital experience and cloud capabilities of IBM Consulting to design a modern platform to support Equitas Bank’s digital journey for its customers,” Kamal Singhani, Country Managing Partner, IBM Consulting, India/ South Asia, said in a statement.

(The copy will be updated throughout the day with the latest news.)