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Startup news and updates: daily roundup (December 12, 2022)

Dvara Money ties up with Decentro to launch UPI solution for prepaid account 

Neobank Dvara Money, the financial services arm of Dvara Trust, on Monday said it has partnered with API (application programming interface) banking platform Decentro to launch UPI (unified payments interface) solutions for customers via its ‘zero balance’ pre-paid account facility. 

The partnership will add UPI capabilities to its pre-paid account offered on its recently launched Spark Money platform, and allow users to make/receive payments via the same. The all-in-one account offers multiple financial products across savings, loans, insurance, investments, and tax along with a card that can be used in ATMs or for offline transactions.

As per the company, the solution is particularly targeted toward the gig economy workforce. Since its launch in June, it has seen a 100% month-on-month growth and has onboarded 15,000+ gig workers across 20 different states, as of November 2022.  

Alternative investment platform Grip launches third SDI 

Alternative investment platform Grip has announced its third Securitised Debt Instrument (SDI) as a debut investment-grade offering, with a CRISIL-rated lessee, Everest Fleet. 

As per the company’s statement, Grip entered into an operating lease arrangement with Everest Fleet, and securitised lease payments of Rs 10+ crores to be paid over three years. The new SDI opportunity was oversubscribed and has attracted Rs 8+ crore in less than 48 hours, it said. 

“The SDI instrument is insulated from stock market volatility and conditions and falls in the category of high-yielding fixed-income debt with contracted monthly repayments,” it added. 


How Grip Invest is tapping business models of Furlenco, Blue Tokai, Rentomojo, others to enable alt investments

HDFC Bank partners with Startup India for grants

HDFC Bank on Monday said it launched its sixth annual grants programme for social startups in partnership with the Government of India’s flagship initiative, Startup India. 

The programme, known as Parivartan SmartUp Grants, will identify startups working in the social impact space and offer grants to their incubators besides specialised banking and value-added services to entrepreneurs. So far, the bank claims to have disbursed over Rs 30 crore to 45 incubators, supporting 165 startups working in areas like environment, agri-business, edtech, waste management, healthcare, and skill development sectors.

The bank will also focus on building capacities of incubators and startups working in Tier II and III cities, and startups developing solutions in environmental conservation, affordable healthcare, sustainable rural economy, technologies for better governance, economic growth of SMEs, gender diversity and inclusion space.

The application for incubators is open and the winners will be declared in February 2023.

OYO launches new category for users

Travel tech firm OYO on Monday launched ‘Super OYO’, a new category on its app that provides a separate listing of selective hotels analysed and picked by the company based on their performance and various other metrics.

“The non-paid category recognises hotel operators who go above and beyond to provide exceptional customer experiences. Since only hotels that meet predefined parameters can be recognised as ‘Super OYO’, these properties are required to maintain an average rating of 4 and above, ensuring zero check-in issues, low cancellations and minimal negative feedback,” the company said in a statement.

Currently, there are around 200+ Super OYOs available on the site.

DRDO programme for startups in defence, aerospace receives over 5,600 applications 

A total of 5,637 applications have been received under three ‘Dare to Dream’ contests to promote individuals and startups for innovation in the area of Defence and Aerospace in the last three years, said Minister of State for Defence Ajay Bhatt in a written reply to K Laxman in Rajya Sabha on Monday.

A total of 52 individuals and 34 startups have been awarded under three contests, and a total of 7 projects have been sanctioned to the winners so far, a PIB release said. 

DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation) has been launching the said contest since 2019 to bring together entrepreneurs above 18 years and DPIIT recognised-startups for innovative ideas in the field of Defence and Aerospace. The selection criteria for evaluation of the entries are completeness of proposal, scientific soundness, design completeness, merit, technological readiness level achieved and innovation.

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

Edited by Affirunisa Kankudti

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