Startup news and updates: Daily roundup (Feb 10, 2022)

Indian startup unicorns to be part of Dubai Silicon Oasis ‘Elevate’ sessions

Dubai’s integrated free zone technology park Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO) and India Innovation Hub, a project of the India Pavilion at EXPO 2020 Dubai have signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) to support the startup ecosystem in both countries.


As part of it, Indian startup unicorns will be brought to Dubai to participate in the investor pitching session called ‘Elevate’ sessions, organised by DSO.


The announcement was made at the tenth edition of the series at DSO. Nearly 50 Indian startups participated in the investor pitching series of India Innovation Hub. Some of the startups which were a part of the session include fintech startup PrognoAdvisor, sustainable solutions company Kalki Ecosphere and low-code platform for SMEs, EXPRESSbase.  Startups from Dubai and California, USA also participated in the session.

The series has so far showcased nearly 250 startups across sectors. 

SplashLearn partners with One Animation for Oddbods digital books

Gurugram-headquartered educational games company SplashLearn has partnered with Singapore-headquartered content creation, distribution, and licensing studio One Animation for its Oddbods range of digital books. As part of the deal, Oddbods books including ‘The Pied Piper of Oddsville’, ‘Pogo and the Magic Lamp’ and others will be launched on SplashLearn’s learning platform.


SplashLearn provides game-based learning for preK-5 students. It has a presence across 150 countries and also offers affordable online tutoring for K-5 students. SplashLearn claims to have added 7 million new users in 2021 and is used by over 7.5 lakh teachers across 70,000 schools.

Medusa Beverages launches its beer brand in Silvassa

Indian beverage company Medusa Beverages has announced the launch of its beer brand in Silvassa, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, and Daman and Diu. The launch has been scheduled for the second week of February in Silvassa. 


The company launched in 2018 has clocked sales of three lakh cases in the first year of launch in Delhi. The brand is available across 650 retail outlets in Delhi. The brand retails in five other locations including Punjab, UP, Himachal Pradesh, Chhatisgarh and Chandigarh, with its brewery located in Punjab.


Aqilliz launches music and entertainment NFT marketplace

Singapore-headquartered blockchain-as-a-service company Aqilliz has announced the launch of curated music and entertainment NFT marketplace, WishWorld, in partnership with premier talent and celebrity management company, One Mercuri. 


The WishWorld marketplace allows creators and artists on its platform to exchange their creations with their fans as exclusive experiences. Fans can also exchange their collections with other community members on the marketplace as well. 


WishWorld will release its first set of exclusive assets on February 14 from renowned composer and musician Ilaiyaraaja. These include over 8000 songs across nine languages and more than 100 unreleased albums from his personal collection. The collection will be released as digital collectible with the original soundtrack, anecdotes and musical notes by the composer.


Adda247 appoints Rahul Pandey as CMO

Indian language test-preparation platform Adda247 has appointed former vice president of IncNut Digital, Rahul Pandey, as its chief marketing officer. In his new role, Rahul will be responsible for designing, developing, implementing, and monitoring the business marketing strategy of the company. 


In hir previous stints, Rahul has worked across brands like Flipkart, Amazon, iXigo and others. An alumnus of SP Jain School of Global Management, Rahul has an experience spanning 16 years across key executive roles. 


Founded by Anil Nagar and Saurabh Bansal in 2016, Adda247 has a user base of 15 million with 2 million paid users, primarily in tier 2, 3 and 4 cities. Investors in Adda247 include the likes of Westbridge and InfoEdge.


Fintso partners with FinX for financial literacy

Mumbai-headquartered fintech platform Fintso which operates in the wealthtech space has partnered with skilling and edtech platform FinX to train 10,000 new Independent Financial Product providers (IFPPs) by 2025. The program will commence with 500 students across the country.


The programme is targeted at bridging the gap for IFPP requirements, bringing more retail investors into the economy. This will also help the students turn into micro-entrepreneurs, starting a high-growth business with limited capital. 


The programme includes full sponsorship for training, fees for regulatory NISM V-A Certification, AMFI registration fee and internship stipend for three months. It will offer students online access to curriculum, lectures by industry leaders and access to the new-age Fintso platform to develop their financial advisory practice. 


Fan engagement platform SportZchain partners with Koinearth for NFT collectibles

Blockchain based fan engagement platform for sports, SportZchain, has partnered with enterprise solution provider for digital supply chain, KoineArth to launch its NFT platform, NgageN. The NgageN platform will go live by the end of February and will house rare NFT collectibles across cricket, kabaddi and football. 


The collectibles will be available in Indian currency and the digital token will be GST-compliant coupled with authentication certificates, said the company in a statement. The NFTs can also be listed on digital marketplace, Opensea, for secondary sale. 


The brand will also expand its partner portfolio to different games.

Leap Scholar appoints Zuhaib Khan as vice president of international expansion

Sequoia-backed study abroad platform, Leap Scholar, has announced the appointment of Zuhaib Khan as the Vice President of international expansion as the company forays into the Middle East market. 


In his previous role as the CEO of education vertical of Appejay Stya group, Zuhaib had led the group’s expansion to over 10 countries. An alumnus of Delhi University, Zuhaib will lead the company’s expansion in the MENA region, across UAE, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Jordan, Israel and Saudi Arabia. 


Leap Scholar has also announced that it was looking to invest $20 million to expand its team in the Middle East over the next one year.

Edited by Affirunisa Kankudti