razorpay-joins-unicorn-club

India’s Razorpay joins Unicorn club with fresh funding, eyes expansion

by | Oct 13, 2020 | Industry News

The company foresees enormous potential in the Indian payment gateway space due to the growing demand from organizations to build their e-commerce presence amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
Share to lead the transformation

 

One of the few successful Indian fintech startups, Bangalore-based Razorpay, joins the Unicorn club, as it has secured $100M in a new funding round. With this cycle of financing, the payment startup has also become the first Indian payment-gateway to achieve US$ 1bn valuation.

“Razorpay secures $100 million in Series D funding led by GIC, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, along with Sequoia & our existing investors Ribbit Capital, Tiger Global, Y-Combinator and Matrix Partners. The funding also comes with a significant milestone of Razorpay becoming the newest unicorn in India, informs Shashank Kumar, Co-founder, Razorpay, through the company’s official blog.

Set-up in 2013 by Shashank Kumar and Harshil Mathur, Razorpay had raised $75 million in Series C funding last year. 

Razorpay’s ambitions after joining Unicorn Club

Razorpay offers social media sellers and SMEs a convenient mechanism to take payments online without a website or a payment gateway integration.  The company plans to employ the fresh capital to scale up its solutions such as RazorpayX, a neo-banking platform, and Razorpay Capital, a quick business loan platform. It also plans to hire about 500 employees this fiscal year.

Razorpay also provides cash advance service to Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSME), through collaboration with banks. As Razorpay secures $100 million funding, this will enable it to expand its lending solution capabilities. The company says that over 50% of Indian SMEs still don’t have access to digital financial tools, and it is determined to help these businesses in the best possible manner.

“We strongly believe that RazorpayX will charter our next growth chapter – driving the mobile-first, technology-first transformation of business banking, suited to the digital needs of businesses today and helping them make better decisions,” adds Kumar.

Market onlookers view this development as spectacular since it demonstrates investors’ growing confidence in the Indian startup ecosystem despite the uncertain economic environment. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated digital technology’s acceptance, forcing people to alter their behavioral buying patterns and move to online channels.

Razorpay’s list of clients includes Facebook, Google, Jio, Hotstar, Wikipedia, Meesho, among many other independent contractors and SME’s.

Digital transactions gain steam during the pandemic

Led by the Indian government’s increased impetus and growing digitization, the country’s digital payments ecosystem is ready to see a monumental rise. According to the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), India saw digital transaction uptake of about 55% in 2018 compared to 11.4% in Brazil, 35% in Russia, and 23% in Indonesia.

With a mushrooming work-from-home and cautious approach due to COVID-19, the country is expected to see rapid growth in the digital transformation across all sectors and industries. Additionally, from a demographic perspective, more than 60% of India’s population is under 35 years, mostly extremely tech-savvy. This young population is equipped with high disposable income, inexpensive smartphones, and 24*7 data connectivity. It makes them prime potential customers of non-bank digital players.

Additionally, events such as demonetization and COVID-19 have also fast-tracked the digital payment ecosystem’s overall growth.

Companies like Razorpay seems to be cashing in on these exceptional attributes and expanding their solution capabilities. There is also a tremendous interest among many fintech companies and investors to set their shop locally and be a part of India’s growth story.

Besides Razorpay, other prominent digital payment gateway players battling for India’s market share include PayMate, Paytm, CC Avenue, PayU, Paytm, and Mobikwik.

MORE FROM BETTER WORLD

Workshop lays focus on bamboonomics

Workshop lays focus on bamboonomics

A tribal woman (representative image)

Arjun Munda, Union Minister for Tribal Affairs inaugurated a “National Workshop on Tribal Enterprise with focus on Honey, Bamboo and Lac” organized by TRIFED and Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MoTA) in Delhi today. Renuka Singh, MoS for Tribal Affairs, Deepak Khandekar, Secretary, MoTA and Pravir Krishna, MD, TRIFED were present. Munda released flyers and reports on bamboo and bamboonomics; lac; and honey on the occasion. A National Workshop was organized to fine-tune its action plan on promoting tribal enterprise on bamboo, honey, and lac.

Delivering the inaugural address, Munda said that the focus of such efforts should not be confined to job creation only but should focus on fulfilling the needs of the market. Support system and research should be market driven and equilibrium should be maintained between the demand and supply in the market. For these products, markets should be innovation and research based. The quality and prices of the products should also be maintained properly. The tribals should be treated as entrepreneurs and efforts should be made to upgrade them in technology.

Addressing on the occasion, Renuka Singh said that such initiatives will strengthen ‘Van Dhan Vikas Kendras.’ The integration of ‘Van Dhan, Jan Dhan and Pashu Dhan’ will reform the lives of tribals considerably. Van Dhan scheme has the cluster of self-help groups to support tribals and is the mainstay for their family income who are living in and around the forest areas.

Deepak Khandekar in his welcome address said that the reason behind bamboo, honey and lac taken up for Van Dhan Scheme is that, these commodities are already having existing markets which enable producers i.e. tribal entrepreneurs catch on to the chain of procurement- primary level processing-storage value addition and marketing.

After inaugural session, technical sessions were held on the bamboo products, lac products and honey in which experts presented their presentations on the success stories, production, use and business related to these products. National Workshop was an initiative to formulate a strategy for establishing tribal enterprises based on skill and local resources available particularly in bamboo, honey and lac. In the workshop, national and international experts deliberated and gave their views and ideas for establishing implementable and commercially viable tribal enterprises. The expert insight and deliberation will explore the significance of bamboo, lac and honey to address livelihoods of tribal communities across the country. The workshop also introduced feasible technologies and process for production of value-added products from bamboo, lac and honey.

Bamboo
India is the world’s second largest cultivator of bamboo after China, with 136 species and 23 general (out of which about 19 care indigenous) spread over 13.96 million hectares. According to the Union Ministry of Agricultural and Former Welfare, India’s annual bamboo production is estimated at 3.23 million tons. Poor yield of Bamboo is one of the perennial problems in India. In contrast to China’s average yield of 50 MT/Ha, the maximal yield range in India is 10-15 MT/ha. This shows that there is lot of scope for bamboo enterprise based on the good stock. The bamboo is used in different types of products and it is a very good earning option for the tribals, for which necessary seed money, facilities and expertise need to be provided to tribal artisans. The bamboo enterprises can give immediate results leading to substantial increase in income of tribal artisans.

Honey
“As per the latest data from the ‘National Bee Board’ under the Department of Agriculture, the country’s total honey production reported in 2017-18 was 1.05 lakh metric tonnes, compared to the 35,000 metric tonnes in 2005-06. The major part of it comes from Apisdorsata. With international demand for honey growing, India exports 50 per cent of the commodity and in the last 12 years, exports have increased by 207 per cent. India has exported 61,333.88 MT of natural honey worth Rs 732.16 crores i.e. USD 105.48 million dollars to USA, Australia, UAE, Saudi Arabia. Morocco, Qatar Germany, UK, Japan, France, Spain and Italy being the main markets.

The tribals can be provided with trainings along with tools and kits for scientific extraction/collection and processing of honey from the beehive and thus the tribal SHGs can play a crucial role in this regard. Besides collaboration with KVlC, there is a need to collaborate with the forest departments for wild honey collection and protection, conservation and propagation of the tree species like Adina Cardifolia and Trivia Nudiflora that are preferred by bees to nest colonies.

As per the latest government estimates, large scale employment in the beekeeping sector is estimated to generate around 3 lakh man-working days by maintaining 10,000 bee colonies. The honey is an excellent source of earning and TRIFED is committed towards Prime Minister’s vision of a “Sweet Revolution” by way of making people prosper though production and trade in honey.

Lac
“Lac resin was once imported in sizeable quantity into Europe from India along with Eastern woods. It has been seen that the Lac is mostly cultivated by poor tribals to supplement their agricultural income. Lac cultivation in India is mainly confined to the states of Jharkhand which contribute 57% of the total production, followed by Madhya Pradesh at 24% and the balance 19% is contributed by Maharashtra, Orissa and West Bengal. This cultivation has proved to be a subsidiary source of income for the tribals. In the mid-1950s. Indian annual production was about 50, 000 tons of stick lac and export about 29,000 tons of lac. By the late 1980s, the figures were about 12,000 tons and 7,000 tons respectively. However, during 1992-93, Indian lac exports fell further to 4,500 tons only. On the contrary, during the same period, the countries like Thailand & China were able to increase their lac exports. Presently Indian lac export is almost non-existent, which needs to be revived. Lac with its availability and possibilities of cultivation in tribal areas has a great potential in creating livelihood and income generation opportunities for tribal communities.

Karnataka lowers tariffs for grid connected solar

Karnataka lowers tariffs for grid connected solar

(Representative image)

The Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission has, in a recent order, determined new generic tariff for solar projects, as below:

  1. Rs 3.08 per unit for grid connected megawatt scale solar power projects of less than 5MW capacity;
  2. Rs 3.07 per unit (without capital subsidy) and Rs 2.32 only per unit (with capital subsidy) for grid connected solar rooftop photovoltaic projects of 1kW to 2000kW; and
  3. Rs 3.99 per unit (without capital subsidy) and Rs 2.97 per unit (with capital subsidy) for grid connected solar rooftop photovoltaic projects of I kW to 10 kW for domestic consumers;

The above tariff shall be applicable to all such new solar power projects for which PPAs are entered into on or after 1 April 2019 and approved by the Commission after the date of issue of this order, that achieve commercial operation on or after 1 April.

The tenure of the PPA, shall be for the life of the solar power projects, which is considered 25 years.

The Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission has been promoting generation of power from renewable sources, by determining the feed-in-tariff (generic tariff) periodically, based on the normative operational and financial parameters for different control periods from the year 2005 onwards.

The Commission, vide its Order dated 18 May 2018 had determined a levelized tariff of Rs 3.05 per unit for Megawatt scale solar projects and Rs 3.56 per unit for kW scale solar rooftop photovoltaic projects, applicable for the life of the projects, i.e., 25 years. This Order was in force till 31 March 2019.

Now, Hyundai starts work on an electric race car

Now, Hyundai starts work on an electric race car

Hyundai Motorsport says it has begun work on its first ever electric race car in a new project that will herald a new motorsport era for the company. The car, which has been designed and built at Hyundai Motorsport’s headquarters in Alzenau, Germany, will break cover for the first time on September 10, the media day of the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt.

The move to electric continues the growth of Hyundai Motorsport, which has become well established in rallying and circuit racing since its inception in 2012. The multiple rally-winning WRC team, now in its sixth season, is currently leading a closely fought Manufacturers’ Championship.

The company also boasts a successful Customer Racing division, established in September 2015, which has developed the competitive i20 R5, i30 N TCR and Veloster N TCR cars that have between them claimed victories and championships in motorsport series around the world. The first glimpses of the new car can be seen in videos published on Hyundai Motorsport’s Social Media channels, offering a hint of what is to come at the official reveal next month.

Mirroring the move towards hybrid technology and electrification in the automotive industry, motorsport has also ventured into new territory in recent years with the introduction of electric and hybrid series and regulations. This exciting new chapter promises to showcase Hyundai’s high-performance capabilities, its green technology credentials and its unwavering passion for motorsport.

“A new era is dawning at Hyundai Motorsport. For many months, our team in Alzenau has been working hard on an exciting electric vehicle and soon we will be able to share the fruits of these labours,” Andrea Adamo, Team Director said. “It promises to be a new chapter for our company, a natural extension to our motorsport activities, one that links closely to the current trends and innovations in the wider automotive industry. There’s not much longer to wait; all will be revealed at the IAA in Frankfurt in early September.”

Costa Rica generates 99.99% of electricity from renewable sources

Costa Rica generates 99.99% of electricity from renewable sources

Hydroelectric-plant

Representative image–Hydroelectric plant.

Latin American country Costa Rica, which aims to be 100% carbon-neutral by 2021, derived 99.99% of its total generated electricity from renewable sources in the month of May 2019, says a news report.
Citing data from National Energy Control Center (Cence), the geothermal energy news and research website Think Geo Energy added that the country generated a total of 984.19 GWh of energy during the month. While 80.04% of this came from the hydel sources; 12.9% was produced by geothermal plants, 6.99% by wind, and 0.06% by biomass and solar energy. Only 0.01% was generated by pollution-causing thermal plants.
The achievement is all the more significant given that demand for electricity has surged over the past few decades. As noted by a Wikipedia page on the topic, electricity consumption had increased by 4.2 times between 1980 and 2009 and 99.5% of the population had access to electricity.
However, when it comes to reducing CO2 emissions, the country’s transportation system still has a long distance to cover. A sequential rise in the number of vehicles has led to an increase in the consumption of fossil fuels.

Tata to set up 300 EV charging stations in 5 cities

Tata to set up 300 EV charging stations in 5 cities

Tata Tigor EV charging

LtoR – Ramesh Subramanyam, CFO & President – New Biz, TPL and Shailesh Chandra, President – Electric Mobility Business & Corporate Strategy. (Image: Tata Motors)

Within days after the government cut GST rates on EV charging stations to 5% from 18% earlier, Tata Power and Tata Motors have announced their partnership to install 300 fast charging stations by the end of the FY20, across key five cities namely Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Bangalore and Hyderabad. The two companies inaugurated their first seven charging stations in Pune, to enable the e-mobility drive in the city. Over the next two months, 45 more chargers will be installed across the other four cities. These chargers will be installed at Tata Motors dealerships, certain Tata Group retail outlets and other public locations.

The new GST rates on EV charging came into effect from 1 Aug 2019.

The chargers will be operated by Tata Power and will adhere to Bharat Standard (15 kW) for the initial 50 chargers. Going forward, there will also be charging stations that will adhere to 30-50 kW DC CCS2 Standard. These chargers can be accessed by any electric vehicle user, having cars compatible to the above charging standards. Tata Power and Tata Motors have jointly developed an attractive charging tariff for Tata Motors EV customers.

Speaking at the occasion, Praveer Sinha, MD & CEO Tata Power, said, “We are committed to making India EV ready in line with the Government’s ambition of providing green technology solutions and Tata Group’s vision of reducing India’s carbon footprint. Our aim is to make EV Charging as fast and easy as possible for all Indians and we are very pleased to partner with Tata Motors, with whom we jointly identified high priority locations which could be preferred by the potential EV owners.”

Commenting on the collaboration, Guenter Butschek, CEO & MD Tata Motors Ltd., said, “We are happy to partner with Tata Power for taking the first step in developing ubiquitous EV charging infrastructure in India. This partnership is an important milestone in our journey to offer complete ecosystem solutions and offer peace of mind to our customers. We remain committed to the sustainable mobility mission and will continue to work towards bringing aspirational e-mobility solutions for the customers, leading the drive towards faster adoption of electric vehicles in the country.”

Tata Power’s current EV infrastructure presence in Mumbai is 42 charging points and its mobility infrastructure footprint is in multiple cities including Hyderabad, Bangalore and Delhi with a total of 85 charging points set up across various usage scenarios. The company has signed landmark MoUs for setting up commercial scale EV charging stations at HPCL, IOCL, and IGL retail outlets. The company also partnered with Tata Motors earlier to support Maharashtra Government’s vision of promoting e-mobility in the State by setting up public EV charging stations.

As an introductory offer, Tata Motors EV Customers can avail free charging for the next three months.

 

Ace water project delivers 3.5L conservation measures

Ace water project delivers 3.5L conservation measures

water drop

Water conservation efforts are gathering steam. (Representative image).

India is taking some sound measures in the direction of improving water security, especially in water-distressed areas. The outcome delivered by one such measure, Jal Shakti Abhiyan (JSA) is laudable. It has delivered over 3.5 lakh water conservation measures in 256 districts in a span of just one month.

Of the conservation measures that the Centre initiated JSA has delivered, 1.54 lakh are of water conservation and rainwater harvesting measures, 20,000 relate to the rejuvenation of traditional water bodies, over 65,000 are reuse and recharge structures and 1.23 lakh are watershed development projects. An estimated 2.64 crore people have already participated in the Abhiyan making it a jan andolan. About 4.25 crore saplings were planted as a part of the efforts. The outcome of the first phase of the Jal Shakti Abhiyan was announced at a review by Cabinet Secretary in New Delhi today.

Chairing the review, Pradeep Kumar Sinha, Union Cabinet Secretary, appreciated the efforts and commitment shown by the nodal officers in the campaign and encouraged them to closely work with districts for bringing significant changes through key interventions and initiatives. He said, “JSA has definitely created a lot of buzz in the country, and it will do lot of good in the years to come. Our aim is to ensure the benefits reach the farmers at the ground-level.”

Parameswaran Iyer, Secretary, DDWS, shared that the JSA has led to an increase in groundwater level, surface water storage capacity, soil moisture in farmlands and increased plant cover. The JSA is a collaborative effort of various Ministries of the Centre and State Governments, and is primarily a Jal Sanchay campaign, which has gained phenomenal momentum in this past one month.

The campaign is successfully running with the involvement of about 1,300 officers of the central government joined by state and district officials who are required to take up 3 field visits.

Workshop with Aamir Khan and Kiran Rao, Founders, Paani Foundation.

The workshop also had presentations by prominent NGOs working in the area of water conservation, deploying successful interventions, innovations and strategies. Aamir Khan, renowned actor and the founder of Paani Foundation, showcased encouraging films about grass-root level stories in Maharashtra, where lives have been impacted by the Foundation’s mobilization efforts in respective villages. He emphasized upon the need of educating people at village-level about the importance of saving water, showing them effective ways and techniques and how they can play a leading role in taking the initiatives forward.

Kalyan Paul, Executive Director, Pan Himalayan Grassroots Development Foundation, Uttarakhand elaborated how women played an important role in water conservation across the mountain states of India. Aranyak, an NGO working in North East India highlighted the importance of “Dong Bundh System” (a traditional water conservation and management system) which ensures availability of drinking and irrigation water by deploying conventional methods. Representatives of Bangalore based Arghyam highlighted the importance of educating locals, honing their skills, ensuring their participation and ownership to manage local water bodies and continuing this practice on a daily basis as the ways to ensure efficient water conservation measures.

The review-meeting-cum-workshop was attended by concerned Union Secretaries who clarified on points relating to their departments. TP Singh, Advisor, MEITY made a presentation about the application of Space and Geo Information (3-D) in Jal Shanchay.

News source: PIB.

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