Indian Startup Community Loosens Purse String To Tackle The Second Wave
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India has been breaking world records everyday for the last five days. The record India is breaking, however, is nothing to be proud of, rather is a reminder of the crippling healthcare system the largest democracy has. In the last 24 hours, India has recorded 3,52,991 COVID-19 cases and 2,812 deaths.
While foreign governments and technology giants have lent their support in India’s fight against this deadly second wave, the Indian startup community has also come forward to provide additional support. Here’s a look at startup founders/investors who are doing their bit and even inspiring others to help those in need.
Delhi-based logistics and supply chain startup Delhivery will be flying charters with its airline partners from China to provide India with oxygen concentrators and other essentials, to build more capacity.
Vijay Shekar Sharma-led digital payment firm Paytm has opened a fundraise to its users and is matching donations of those who contribute. Sharma on Twitter on Monday announced that it has raised INR 1 crore from its users, and will add another INR 1 crore from its own pocket to source INR 2 crore worth of oxygen concentrators. Sharma said that the company is aiming to raise funds worth INR 10 crore.
Sandeep Nailwal, co-founder of Polygon, has launched a fundraise where he is accepting funds in cryptocurrency. He has also pleaded the founders of the global crypto community to help India in this crisis. Nailwal is currently accepting all popular forms of cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and Dogecoin, among others, and then it will be converted into fiat currency to purchase oxygen concentrators and other essential products. Nailwal said founders in the crypto community have reached out to him personally for support.
Founded last year during the first wave by 34 founders along with 44 venture capitals such as Matrix Partners, Kalaari Capital, Sequoia India and Lets Venture, among others, ACT Grants is targeting to raise INR 75 crore funds for home health management, oxygen solutions, supplement medical workforce and others. Amazon India has already collaborated with ACT Grants, Temasek Foundation and Pune Platform, and is providing 10,000 oxygen concentrators and BiPAP machines in India.
Digital payment gateway firm Razorpay is helping various NGOs who are collecting donations for COVID-19 patients. Razorpay has announced that any such NGOs with payment page without charging any transaction fee.The company said that the account will be activated within 24 hours and will charge no transaction fee upto INR 10 lakh.
Democracy People Foundation
Democracy People Foundation is a body founded by Rahul Aggarwal and Varun Aggarwal of Designhill, Uday Anand, founder of Crush Fitness India, Shiker Gupta, founder of Cuttlefish , Rahul Hari Saxena, founder of Satvacart. The body, which is raising its funds through Ketto.org, has till now raised around INR 8.52 crore.
Apart from them, other founders are working tirelessly to help the affected. For instance, Zomato though its non-profit Zomato Feeding India has collaborated with Delhivery to raise INR 50 crore for medical supplies. Sheroes, a networking platform, has vouched to train over 10,000 volunteers to keep hospitals from flooding over. Another logistics firm Porter has said that it will deliver essentials to COVID-19 affected families.