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Daily Markup #431: Retailo raises landmark US$36M to boost small businesses; AUS drones to map entire Indian state to help improve quality of life; Shohoz launches vaccine registration program for transport workers

Ching Yee Ho



Credit: TechJuice

Supercharging retail support

  • 500-backed B2B marketplace Retailo has raised US$36 million in a Series A funding round led by Silicon Valley venture capital firm Graphene Ventures.
  • Retailo has reportedly raised a total of US$45 million since it launched less than 1.5 years ago – claimed to be a landmark for any startup in the MENAP (Middle East, North Africa, and Pakistan) region.
  • Retailo runs a B2B commerce platform which it says is used by over 50,000 retailers monthly. It is tapping into the largely informal and undigitized retail sector in the region, said to be worth US$500 billion.
  • The fresh funds will be used to help Retailo move into the next phase of expansion into new locations, verticals, and products.
  • Read the full press release here.

Credit: Geospatial World

Improving quality of life

  • A contract worth US$2 million has been awarded to 500-backed drone startup Aarav Unmanned Systems (AUS) by Survey of India (SoI).
  • Under the agreement, AUS will deploy over 40 drones to map the entire state of Haryana in Northern India, covering approximately 345,000 square feet. The drones will help ensure accurate data is captured to boost the digitization of land records.
  • According to the article, this will be the first project of its kind awarded by SoI for large-scale mapping of any state.
  • Vipul Singh, founder and CEO of AUS said, “The project will be pivotal to revive the land records apart from boosting the planning and designing of critical infrastructure for transportation, irrigation, potable water supply, etc. across the state of Haryana.”
  • Read the full article here.

Credit: Shohoz

Creating safety in rising numbers

  • 500-backed Bangladesh-based super app Shohoz has launched an online vaccine registration program catered to transport workers of the country.
  • According to a press release, the campaign was initiated to control the rising number of COVID-19 cases. The startup has deployed online registration booths at selected bus terminals.
  • Even though the government has mandated vaccinations for all transport workers, more than 50% have yet to receive their jabs due to accessibility issues.
  • Grace Kanta Sarkar, Head of Marketing and Analytics of Shohoz said, “Since our inception, we wanted to evolve the transport industry of Bangladesh and believed that travel safety is an integral part of it.”
  • She added, “Through our tech platform, we allow insurance companies to provide travel risk coverage to our bus travelers, including COVID-19 insurance.”
  • Read the full article here.

Ching Yee Ho