The number of positive cases of coronavirus is rising in India and it has already crossed the 5,000 marks. Amidst the crisis, the Indian healthcare ecosystem needs every helping hand they can get. A lot of startups and entrepreneurs are working towards contributing to the ongoing health problem. Some of such startups are being backed by the Action COVID-19 Team (ACT) comprised of startup founders, VCs, and enablers.
With an INR 100 crore grant to invest in innovative ideas, the ACT is all set to combat COVID-19. The ideas should be scalable and capital-friendly.
The ACT has invested in six startups so far which are working to solve the challenges in the field of healthcare including a shortage of medical equipment like ventilators, diagnostic kits, and personal protective equipment.
Startups working on a scalable solution can send proposals to the ACT team through this website. The funds do not have any strict deadline and will be disbursed in the span of three to four months. The fund will invest INR 25 lakhs to INR 1 crores initially depending on the need. Once a startup is growing up, the corpus will double down the grants.
Here are six of the selected startups which have received grants from the ACT.
Pune-based MyLab is India’s first COVID-19 testing kit manufacturer. It secured INR 1 crores from the ACT grant and the group is actively helping the startup to solve the supply-chain-related issues. Founded in 2016, the startup has developed a reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) kit which is approved by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). The kit is claimed to be cheaper than its international counterparts.
Bengaluru-based Ethereal Machines manufactures a ventilator splitter uniquely designed for managing two patients with varying needs using differential pressure splitting. The device is designed to prevent cross-contamination between paired patients. The ACT has invested INR 50 lakh in the startup. Simple splitters are already being used in countries like the US, Spain, and Italy. Ethereal’s design increases the effectiveness of a simple splitter
To overcome the shortage of personal protective equipment due to the sudden surge in demand, Karkhana.io is using 3D printing, injection molding, machining and fabrication to manufacture PPEs at scale. The Mumbai-based startup has received INR 20 lakhs from the ACT and manufactures face shields, aerosol boxes, googles, valves, connectors, and ventilator parts.
Kerala-based CoronaSafe has developed a live data system to track the total number of admissions in hospitals at the unit level on the ground as well as at an aggregate level at village panchayat, district, or state. The ACT has provided a grant of INR 50 lakhs to the startup. The Chief Minister’s office is also backing the project which is currently being used in Kerala.
Founded by Pawan Gupta and Abhishek Sharma, Fashinza is also working to fulfill the demand for personal protective equipment in the country just like Karkhana.io. The startup has raised INR 20 lakh from the ACT. The startup connects PPE manufacturers with third party logistic provides and suppliers to fulfill the shortage of raw materials. It helps to boost the production process of such equipment.
Raghavendra Prasad, co-founder of Qikwell, Rahul Gupta of Times Internet, Subhadeep Mondal, co-founder of Pregbuddy and Ganesh Chithambalam, founder of Recotap have joined hands to provide a cloud telephony solution to several state governments. The services enable states to provide COVID-19 helpline numbers. The startup is also helping some telemedicine companies to connect doctors and patients from remote areas. The firm has received INR 25 lakhs from the ACT.