From logistic support to crowdfunding, Indian start-ups are coming together to fight the second wave of Covid-19 in their own unique capacities. As parts of the country continue to reel under the shortage of oxygen cylinders and concentrates, start-ups have stepped up to mobilise the supply and bridge the deficit.
Zomato founder and CEO Deepinder Goyal, who has been proactive on Twitter since past 3 days, has been calling out his industry peers to join in the company’s effort to provide oxygen cylinders and concentrators that they will be importing.
The start-ups’s non-profit wing Zomato Feeding India has collaborated with logistics and supply chain start-up Delhivery to raise Rs 50 crores. Together the start-ups plan to source oxygen concentrators and related supplies to help hospitals and families in need. Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma also took to the micro blogging site to inform that his company has managed to source supplies of different sizes of oxygen concentrators and wants to double the count.
Zomato founder Deepinder Goyal has been calling out his industry peers on social media to join in the company’s effort to provide oxygen cylinders.
Start-ups Chip in for a Breather
While start-ups founders mobilised the supply of oxygen cylinders through logistics and imports, others went on to initiate fundraisers to aid the process and other medical needs.
One such initiative was ‘Mission Oxygen’ started by Gurugram-based start-up Designhill founders Rahul Aggarwal and Varun Aggarwal. According to a statement issued by them, the founders had raised Rs 4.60 crore through crowdfunding platform Ketto by April 24 evening, and are aiming to raise a total of Rs 5 crore to meet the demand of 3,000 concentrators.
Another such initiative has been undertaken by Action COVID-19 Team (ACT) grants, a foundation by India’s start-ups. The organisation is planning to raise Rs 75 crore for home health management, oxygen solutions and supplementing the medical workforce. Raise Financial Services CEO and founder Pravin Jadhav has pledged $50,000 while Ashish Singhal of CoinSwitch Kuber has pledged $1 million.
The blockchain start-up community also came together to raise funds. Sandeep Nailwala, cofounder of blockchain scalability platform Polygon, started accepting payments in cryptocurrency Ethereum and raised $1 million and counting.
Kunal Shah of CRED invited innovative ideas to solve the issue of oxygen supply shortage. He said the oxygen manufacturing in India seems to be solved, but cryogenic containers to move it to hospitals are limited. There are two ways to solve this. One, by enabling local plants at hospitals to be self-sufficient in oxygen. second, innovative tech to convert other containers to be able to move oxygen.
What’s in it for me?
There are three ways to pitch in:
1. Independent donations, crowdfunding (via Ketto, Milaap, Indiegogo etc).
2. Collaborate with respect to logistics. Delhivery is open to collaborations (Please reach out to Vikas Kapoor or Sahil Barua at [email protected]). Zomato has also invited startups and companies to join hands in this initiative by writing to [email protected] or [email protected].
3. Pitch in with innovative tech ideas. A lot of companies and funds are looking for tech-based solutions (long term) to this problem. You can reach out to CRED ([email protected]) or ACT Grants ([email protected]) with serious leads.