Startup community Action Covid-19 Team backs five more startups

Startup community Action Covid-19 Team backs five more startups
Photo Credit: VCCircle
9 Apr, 2020

The Action Covid-19 Team (ACT), set up by the Indian startup community and its connected system of stakeholders to support solutions fighting the pandemic, has funded five more startups.

Ethereal, Karkhana.io, CoronaSafe Network, Fashinza and Specialist Teleconsultation received capital infusion from the Rs 100 crore grant to develop their products, according to information on the ACT website.

Bengaluru-based Ethereal Machine received a capital infusion of Rs 50 lakh, it said. The company builds ventilator splitters designed to manage two patients with varying needs via differential pressure splitting. The device also helps prevent cross-contamination between paired patients. 

Karkhana.io, a Mumbai-based startup, picked up Rs 20 lakh to scale up its operations. It manufactures face shields, aerosol boxes and goggles. It also provides tools such as valves, connectors and ventilator parts for other manufacturers that specialise in personal protective equipment (PPE) and other intensive care unit (ICU) equipment. It uses 3D printing, injection moulding, machining, fabrication and design facility to produce PPEs.  

The Rs 50 lakh capital infusion will help CoronaSafe Network enhance its tracking methods. It uses a live dashboard, which it also set up for the government of Kerala, to track the total number of Covid-19 patients admitted in hospitals at the village, district or state level.

Fashinza, which raised Rs 20 lakh, provides a scalable demand-supply matching platform. It connects PPE manufacturers with third-party logistics providers to meet the shortage of raw materials and fulfil delivery. It also provides an advance working capital to suppliers to ensure the PPE kits are completed.

ACT has infused a Rs 30 lakh capital in Specialist Teleconsultation. The startup connects primary healthcare providers with specialist consultants remotely to ensure that patients are treated locally, unless they require hospitalisation.

Read: Live updates on Covid-19 crisis in India

Additionally, ACT had earlier backed a Covid-19 helpline, called Founders vs Covid, with a Rs 25 lakh capital infusion. The helpline assists states with scalable interactive voice response (IVR) in Indian languages and directs calls based on urgency to doctors. The data generated from the IVR also provides inputs to state administrations on where to mobilise healthcare resources.

It also put in Rs 1 crore to manufacture a Covid-19 test kit, created by biotechnology startup Mylab. The kit, manufactured domestically, has a local supply chain and is approved by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). 

Startup founders, including Kunal Shah of Cred, Deep Kalra of MakeMyTrip, Girish Mathrubootham of Freshworks, Ritesh Agarwal of OYO and Vijay Shekhar Sharma of Paytm contributed to the fund in a personal capacity, according to the ACT website.  Members of venture capital funds, including Accel, Sequoia, B Capital, Blume Ventures, GGV Capital, Fireside Ventures, Inventus, SoftBank and Lightspeed also made donations, it added.

ACT has partnered with United Way, a global non-profit organisation, to help coordinate the project and grant activities, it said.

Startups, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) can apply for a capital infusion of Rs 1 lakh to Rs 10 crore.  They must come up with products and services to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and scale testing, and discover ideas for better at-home disease management, mental health support, enhanced support for healthcare works and hospitals as well as for management of critically-ill patients, the website said.

Additionally, the ACT platform will offer its network, team and startup assets to help the chosen startups develop the solution.