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Centre Injects ₹50 Lakh Each into 7 Startups for Innovation in Technical Textiles

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Centre Injects ₹50 Lakh Each into 7 Startups for Innovation in Technical Textiles

In a groundbreaking move to drive innovation and sustainability, the Centre has approved ₹50 lakh grants for seven promising startups in the technical textiles sector.

Centre Injects ₹50 Lakh Each into 7 Startups for Innovation in Technical Textiles

Massive Boost for Technical Textiles Startups

On Thursday, the Centre announced a significant boost to the technical textiles industry by approving ₹50 lakh grants for seven startups. This initiative, part of the National Technical Textiles Mission (NTTM), aims to foster innovation and sustainability within the sector, according to a statement by the Ministry of Textiles.

Expanding Innovation Horizons

The Ministry of Textiles has ambitious plans to support 150 startups to drive innovation in technical textiles. This recent approval brings the total number of supported startups to eight, with the ministry previously approving one startup. The initiative was first reported by Mint on June 4, highlighting the ministry’s plan to grant up to ₹50 lakh to each startup engaged in technical textiles without seeking any profit share.

Royalty Cap Relaxation

In a move to further ease the growth of these startups, the textiles ministry has relaxed the royalty cap on this scheme. Traditionally, fund providers claim a percentage of profits as ‘royalty’ for their investment, but this relaxation will enable startups to retain more of their earnings, facilitating faster growth and innovation.

Focus Areas and Approved Projects

The approved proposals emphasize sustainability, composites, high-performance textiles, meditech, and smart textiles, promising substantial advancements in these critical areas. The Empowered Programme Committee (EPC), chaired by Textiles Secretary Rachna Shah, sanctioned these projects.

Transformative Innovations

The grants, distributed under the NTTM’s Grant for Research and Entrepreneurship across Aspiring Innovators in Technical Textiles (GREAT) scheme, are set to catalyze transformative innovations. Among the approved projects are initiatives focused on developing braided composites for military applications, Radmone integrated IFF antennas, surgical simulation models made of composites for doctor training, and nano-fiber infused textiles for energy generation and sensing.

Strengthening Technical Education

Beyond startup funding, the EPC has approved a ₹6.4 crore grant to IIT Guwahati. This funding will be used to introduce new subjects in technical textiles and enhance the Civil Engineering Department’s laboratory infrastructure, further bolstering India’s position in technical textile research and education.

India’s Growing Technical Textiles Market

Launched in 2020, the NTTM aims to position India as a global leader in technical textiles by promoting research, innovation, and widespread application across various sectors. According to a KPMG report, India’s technical textiles market is the 5th largest globally, valued at $21.95 billion in 2021-22. The market has been growing at 8-10% per annum over the past five years, and the government aims to accelerate this growth to 15-20% over the next five years.

Global Market Projections

The global technical textiles market, estimated at $212 billion in 2022, is projected to reach $274 billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 5.2% during this period. This growth is driven by increasing demand across industries and rapid development of new applications.

Expert Insights

“The synthetics eco-system in India needs a big boost in both textile and apparel. Technical textiles are one part of the synthetics ecosystem, so the government recognizes this gap,” said Rahul Ahluwalia, co-founder of the Foundation for Economic Development. “Startups have a role to play, but the government will also need to focus on big investors that can bring scale to synthetics.”

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Puravankara Aims to Raise $100 Million via QIP to Accelerate Growth and Slash Debt

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Bengaluru-based real estate giant Puravankara Limited is launching a QIP valued between Rs 700-800 crore

Bengaluru-based real estate giant Puravankara Limited is set to initiate a significant financial maneuver by launching a Qualified Institutional Placement (QIP) valued between Rs 700-800 crore ($100 million), according to insiders familiar with the plan.

Founded in 1975, Puravankara boasts three prominent brands: Purva, Provident Housing, and Purva Land. By the end of March 2024, the company had completed 86 residential and commercial projects, covering around 50 million square feet. With a land bank of over 36 million square feet and more than 23,000 homes under development, Puravankara is making a bold move into the redevelopment sector in Mumbai, securing rights for two housing societies spanning three acres with a potential gross development value of Rs 1,500 crore.

“Puravankara has enlisted ICICI Securities as one of its advisors for the QIP and plans to add one or two more banks. The company is currently awaiting shareholder approval for its fundraising plans, expected in the next few days. The deal launch is likely to occur next month, post the union budget,” stated one source.

The funds raised from the QIP will be directed towards both organic and inorganic growth opportunities, capital expenditure, and debt reduction. As of March 31, Puravankara’s net debt stood at Rs 2,151 crore, up from Rs 1,741 crore at the end of the previous quarter.

Puravankara is seeking shareholder approval to raise up to Rs 1,000 crore through a postal ballot ending on July 14. If successful, this will mark the fifth real estate company to tap the stock market for equity this year.

Industry Trends and Market Confidence

Mumbai-based real estate developers have been particularly active in 2024. Lodha Group (Macrotech Developers Ltd) raised Rs 3,300 crore through a QIP in March, followed by D B Realty with Rs 920 crore in the same month. Rustomjee (Keystone Realtors Ltd) raised Rs 800 crore in May, and Capacit’e Infraprojects secured Rs 200 crore in January.

These QIPs reflect a strategic shift from reliance on debt to alternative capital sources, signaling strong investor confidence in the real estate sector’s growth prospects. According to Moneycontrol, sales and new supply in eight major cities grew by 8% and 11% YoY, respectively, driven by markets in western India, including Pune, Mumbai, and Ahmedabad, which accounted for 61% of the Q2 CY2023 share.

Corporate Fundraising Insights

The first half of 2024 has been a busy period for corporate fundraising through the QIP route, with 37 companies raising Rs 32,527 crore, compared to 45 companies raising Rs 52,349 crore in the entirety of 2023, as per Prime Database.

  1. What impact do you think Puravankara’s $100 million QIP will have on the company’s future growth and debt management?
  2. How significant is the shift from debt reliance to equity fundraising for real estate companies in India?
  3. With Puravankara’s recent foray into Mumbai’s redevelopment sector, what opportunities and challenges do you foresee for the company?
  4. Do you believe the real estate sector’s growth prospects justify the high investor confidence reflected in recent QIPs? Why or why not?
  5. How might the outcome of Puravankara’s QIP influence other real estate developers considering similar fundraising strategies?

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Paytm Gains Crucial Government Approval for Rs 50 Crore Investment in Payments Arm

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Paytm Secures Rs 50 Crore Investment Nod from Government Panel Amidst Crisis

Paytm Secures Rs 50 Crore Investment Nod from Government Panel Amidst Crisis

India’s fintech giant, Paytm, has received a pivotal approval from a government panel overseeing Chinese-linked investments to infuse Rs 50 crore ($6 million) into its key subsidiary, Paytm Payment Services. This approval, pending final vetting by the finance ministry, is set to rejuvenate Paytm’s operations and help the payments arm resume its normal business activities.

Reviving Paytm’s Core Business

The nod from the government panel removes a significant obstacle for Paytm Payment Services, which constitutes a quarter of Paytm’s consolidated revenue for the fiscal year ending March 2023. The fintech company had been under stringent scrutiny due to the 9.88% stake held by China’s Ant Group, following heightened tensions between India and China post the 2020 border clash.

Navigating Compliance and Regulatory Hurdles

Previously, Paytm faced a major setback when its separate unit, Paytm Payments Bank, was shut down by the Reserve Bank of India due to persistent compliance issues, leading to a steep decline in Paytm’s stock. The government panel had withheld approval for the investment in Paytm Payment Services, raising concerns over the Chinese stake. This had put Paytm’s payment services business at risk of winding down, as it was barred from onboarding new customers since March 2023.

Path to Recovery and Expansion

With the formalization of the approval, Paytm will be able to apply for a “payment aggregator” licence from the Reserve Bank of India, a critical step for its expansion and compliance strategy. This move is expected to stabilize and potentially boost Paytm’s operations in the payments sector.

Confidential Sources and Market Speculation

The information regarding the approval has not been officially announced, with sources from the government declining to be identified. Paytm’s spokesperson stated that the company refrains from commenting on market speculation and will adhere to disclosure obligations as per SEBI Regulations.

Optimism Amid Challenges

This development marks a hopeful turn for Paytm, which has been in a two-year waiting period for this crucial nod. The ability to continue and expand its payment services is anticipated to restore investor confidence and stabilize the company’s market position.

  • What are your thoughts on the government’s increased scrutiny of Chinese investments in Indian companies? How do you think it impacts the fintech sector?
  • Do you believe that Paytm’s recent approval for Rs 50 crore investment will help stabilize its operations and regain investor confidence? Why or why not?
  • How significant do you think the role of government approvals is in the growth and expansion of fintech companies in India?
  • What are the potential challenges Paytm might face even after securing the “payment aggregator” licence from the Reserve Bank of India?
  • In light of Paytm’s recent regulatory and compliance hurdles, what measures do you think fintech companies should adopt to ensure smoother operations and avoid similar issues?

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Fintech Startup Care.fi Secures $2.6 Million Funding to Revolutionize Healthcare Financing

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Fintech startup Care.fi raises $2.6 million from Trifecta Capital, UC Inclusive Credit

Care.fi Raises $2.6 Million to Transform Healthcare Financing with Trifecta Capital and UC Inclusive Credit

In a significant move set to reshape healthcare financing, fintech startup Care.fi has successfully raised $2 million in debt from venture debt firm Trifecta Capital, and an additional $600,000 from TV Mohandas Pai’s Aarin Capital-backed impact-focused NBFC, UC Inclusive Credit. This fresh influx of funds aims to propel Care.fi’s mission to become a healthcare-focused small finance bank, providing crucial supply chain financing for hospitals, pharmacies, manufacturers, and suppliers within the healthcare sector.

Empowering Healthcare with Financial Innovation

Sidak Singh, Co-founder of Care.fi, revealed that the raised funds will be pivotal in expanding the company’s book size. Care.fi has witnessed a remarkable 4x growth in disbursals over the last financial year, reaching an impressive $48 million. Singh emphasized the upward trajectory of their journey, highlighting the critical need to optimize operational aspects, particularly in insurance processing, to enhance patient experience during payment and discharge processes.

Innovative Solutions for Healthcare Financing

Care.fi’s flagship product, CareCred, is revolutionizing healthcare financing by allowing hospitals to secure finance against their invoices. This innovative solution provides real-time updates on payment dues and transactions, and hospitals can even set up autopay to streamline the repayment process. Vikrant Agrawal, Co-founder of Care.fi, shared that the funding will be strategically deployed to expand their business and strengthen their team with fresh talent, aiming to achieve new milestones.

A Promising Future in Healthcare Financing

Care.fi has already made a significant impact, working with over 50 hospitals and assisting more than 2,000 patients with their claims. The company’s growth aligns with broader trends in India’s healthcare sector, which is becoming a hub for private equity investment. According to a Bain & Company report from January, India is expected to host substantial healthcare deals, maintaining its leadership in deal value across the Asia-Pacific region.

The Rise of Private Healthcare Investment

The report indicated that India likely hosted 22 healthcare deals in 2023, with a deal value projected at $4.6 billion, closely following the $4.7 billion from the previous year. The growing expenditure on private healthcare, coupled with an expanding pharma manufacturing and services sector, and an evolving healthcare technology ecosystem, are key drivers attracting private equity investments in India.

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