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"More than 80 per cent of the start-ups in the digital tech space have been negatively impacted by the global pandemic and we appeal to all large companies to extend their support to these start-ups through the virtual incubator," IAMAI President Subho Ray said in a statement.

PTI | New Delhi | Updated: 06-07-2020 15:27 IST | Created: 06-07-2020 15:27 IST
Business briefs

Last mile rural distribution startup Frontier Markets on Monday said it has raised USD 2.25 million (about Rs 16.8 crore) in funding led by ENGIE Rassembleurs d'Energies, The Rise Fund, and The Singh Family Trusts. The pre-series A funding round also saw participation from Teja Ventures and affiliates of Beyond Capital Fund, a statement said.

"The current investment will drive the company's assisted e-commerce platform to the next level, adding digital marketing tools, AI enabled digital training, and a B2C solution onboarding their rural customers directly on their digital platform," the statement said. The company will leverage its B2B2C e-commerce to drive digital and physical services to rural customers and become the primary income source for rural women, it added. Founded in 2011 by Ajaita Shah, Frontier Markets started as a clean energy access firm delivering solutions in lighting and appliances to rural households in Rajasthan. Since then, the company has pivoted to an inclusive products and digital service platform driving doorstep deliveries of appliances, agriculture, energy, and digital services with their network of women entrepreneurs.

Currently, Frontier Markets has over 4,000 women entrepreneurs to deliver over one million products and services to 7,00,000 rural customers in Rajasthan, UP, and Bihar. The company is associated with several partners including Samsung, Crompton, HUL, Eko India Financial Services and others to curate products based on data insights collected through their tech platform. By 2025, the company plans to grow to one million rural women entrepreneurs serving 100 million consumers.

**** TCS deploys digital solution for London's freight ferry port IT services major Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) on Monday said it has deployed its terminal operating system at Forth Ports' new unaccompanied freight ferry terminal that was opened recently in London. The implementation, which commenced in February, was interrupted by the lockdowns announced soon after. The company implemented its TCS DynaPORT solution on schedule, 100 per cent virtually during the COVID-19 lockdowns, leveraging its Secure Borderless Workspaces (SBWS) model, a statement said. Tilbury2 Ro-Ro (Roll-on/roll-off) terminal is a 5,00,000-freight unit ferry terminal at the port of Tilbury on the River Thames, London. The terminal operates on unaccompanied freight mode, importing and exporting freight for the UK, including food, drink and medicines to-and-from continental Europe.

The solution is already implemented within Forth Ports Lo-Lo container terminals operating at the Port of Tilbury and the Port of Grangemouth in Scotland, allowing all three freight terminals to operate on the same IT platform, the statement said. TCS DynaPORT allows streamlining order-to-invoice processes and supports multi-modal (vessel, rail, truck and barge) and multi-purpose (container, breakbulk, liquid bulk, dry bulk and ro-ro) requirements. It currently powers over 80 terminals across the globe.

**** IAMAI launches virtual incubation programme for tech startups Industry body Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) on Monday said it has launched a virtual incubator to help take care of the short and mid-term needs of startups arising out of the global pandemic situation. "More than 80 per cent of the start-ups in the digital tech space have been negatively impacted by the global pandemic and we appeal to all large companies to extend their support to these start-ups through the virtual incubator," IAMAI President Subho Ray said in a statement. The primary function of the virtual incubator is to address the needs of the startups located outside the major cities of Bengaluru, Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi, and Kolkata, the statement said. "This will be a virtually accessible programme for providing state-of-the-art incubation services to every Indian startup and thereby, enabling startups to charter their success stories and is designed with a very flexible structure, catering to the varying needs of virtually incubated startups," it added. The programme will entail close supervision by the dedicated mentors from the relevant industry for multiple cohorts that would be created based on the domain, sectors and the progress of the startups, IAMAI said.

As a part of its Mobile 10X initiative launched in 2015, IAMAI currently runs three not-for-profit incubators in Bengaluru, Kozhikode and Gurugram, supported by the respective state governments, and has curated about 300 start-ups in the digital space through a structured programme. All the facilities provided in these incubators will be extended to those incubated in the new virtual incubator..


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