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Byju’s and Licious announce new appointments in chief roles



Licious logo

Edtech unicorn Byju’s and seafood delivery startup Licious have announced appointments for major roles.

Byju’s has appointed Dhimant Vyas of Zynga Games as the Chief Creative Director. He was leading the game company’s art direction initiative, who has previously worked with Academy Award-winning Aardman Animations in UK.

Vyas’ works include on the animated films ‘Shaun: The Sheep Series’, ‘Purple & Brown’ and title sequence of the Hindi feature film ‘Taare Zameen Par’.

At Byju’s, he will lead the team to create interactive learning experiences for students across products.

Licious, the meat and seafood delivery platform has appointed Rajnish Goel as its Chief supply chain officer. He was the supply chain director for South Asia, Middle East and African operations at Reckitt Benckiser, the multinational consumer goods company.

He has the experience of holding strategic positions at GSK Consumer Healthcare Ltd., Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Ltd., Novartis India Ltd., Wrigley’s India and Marico Ltd.,

Goel will manage Licious’ operations in diverse geographies globally and lead the company to adapt to the pandemic shift in supply chain management globally.

Licious operates on a ‘farm-to-form model and manages its entire supply chain of delivery logistics. It currently delivers in Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Delhi-NCR, Chandigarh, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Coimbatore and Jaipur.

Also read: WhiteHat Jr appoints a team of senior executives to lead its global expansion

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eCommerce Startups

Home solutions startup Wakefit offers ESOP buyback options worth $2 million



Home solutions brand has announced that it is offering its employees an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) on the course of its Series B funding.

The ESOP buyback will be worth ₹15 crore ($2 million), which will benefit about 15-20 employees. Through this scheme, the company will allocate 6-7% of its shares to the employees’ part of the pool.

Wakefit had raised ₹185 crore ($25 million) from Verlinvest and Sequoia Capital in December 2020.

The Growth journey

Founded by Chaitanya Ramalingegowda and Ankit Garg in 2016, Wakefit started out as a memory foam mattress company and later transformed into an online sleep company.

It sells mattresses, bed frames, pillows and mattress protectors. The Series B funding raised Wakefit’s valuation to ₹1,900 crore ($260 million).

The company expects to reach a revenue figure of about ₹450 crore ($61 million) by FY 2021, and it wanted to make its senior members part of this growth journey.

To promote and protect

Speaking to ET about the latest announcement, Chaitanya Ramalingegowda, co-founder of said “Promoting and protecting employees’ interests and keeping them motivated is paramount to our success, as we go about achieving our growth targets.”

“During Covid-19, we ensured that our employees felt secure in their jobs and had the financial and moral support needed to battle the pandemic together,” he added.

WakeFit aims to increase its workforce to 3000 employees by March 2021, which would be a 400% increase from its March 2020 figure. It has already started training programs for machine operators, carpenters, and other customer experience executives.

Also read: PagarBook raises $15 million from Sequoia Capital

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eCommerce Startups

Tata Group in final stage of acquiring majority stakes in BigBasket and 1mg



BigBasket service

Tata Group is reportedly in the final phase of closing a $200-$300 million (₹1,463 crore to ₹2,195 crore) primary cash-infusion, to acquire a majority stake in online grocery delivery platform BigBasket.

In total, Tata would spend about $1.3 billion (₹9,512 crore) in primary and secondary share sale on BigBasket, resulting in a 60% stake in BigBasket, valuing the company at $1.6 billion (₹11,707 crore), as reported by ET.

The deal would mean a full-exit for the most important backers of BigBasket, including Chinese e-commerce major Alibaba and equity firm Abraaj Group. These two entities collectively own about 46% of BigBasket.

In September of last year, BigBasket said that it witnessed an 84% increase in new customers from the pre-pandemic levels. It also claimed to process more than 20 million (2 crore) orders per month to reach an annual revenue runrate (ARR) of $1 billion (₹7,317 crore).

Tata Group is also reportedly planning to infuse $200-250 million (₹1,463 crore – ₹1,829 crore) for a 55% stake in online pharmacy 1mg.

The SuperApp plan

These acquisitions are part of Tata’s larger plan to launch a SuperApp, which would encompass online shopping, digital payments, social media, gaming and ticket/hotel bookings.

By acquiring 1mg, Tata will try to make use of the multi-fold growth in the e-pharmacy segment, following the pandemic. The sector will likely see consolidation between these large players as Reliance has already acquired 60% stake in Netmeds.

As per some reports, Amazon is in the process of acquiring a minority stake in Apollo Pharmacy, India’s largest drugstore chain. And each of these moves will have to follow Reliance JioMart’s entry on WhatsApp, which is expected to be game-changer.

Also read: Swiggy closes its online grocery marketplace and will now focus on Instamart

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eCommerce Startups

Flipkart selects 8 startups for its startup accelerator program



Flipkart Office

E-commerce major Flipkart has selected eight finalists for its startup accelerator program ‘Flipkart Leap’. These startups will undergo a 16-week mentorship program and receive an equity-free grant of $25,000 (₹18 lakh).

The first cohort of eight startups are ANS Commerce, Entropik Tech, Fashinza, Gully Network, Piggy, Tagbox Solutions, Unbox Robotics and Wolkus Technology.

Nurture and empower

Flipkart Leap was launched in August 2020, for idea-stage startups in the consumer internet technology space to support them to build market ready solutions.

It invited applications from startups across five categories; Design and Make for India, Innovation in digital commerce, Technologies to empower the retail ecosystem, Supply chain management and logistics, and Deep tech applications.

These startups were shortlisted from 920 applications from across India.

Naren Ravula, VP, Product Strategy and Deployment at Flipkart said, “With Flipkart Leap, we aim to nurture promising startups and help them create compelling solutions for customers and bring value to the industry.“

“The quality of the startups and the number of applications we received have been encouraging. We look forward to working with the eight startups, mentoring them and supporting them through industry exposure and strategic partnerships.”

Scale and partner

The mentorship program will be conducted by a team of Flipkart leaders and various industry experts. It will be crafted under two separate tracks.

Track one will offer them one-on-one business & technical mentorship, masterclasses and networking sessions to enable them to develop their venture and scale its business in India, through tools and practices.

Track two will help the startups to partner with business units at Flipkart.

Also read: Flipkart infuses ₹150 crore in PhonePe

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