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Deep-Tech Startup Avataar.me Doubles Workforce in India

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The company plans to continue expansion and hire 100 more by December 2020

Avataar.me, a Deep-Tech 3D AR/AI Startup, announced the doubling of its workforce amidst increased demand for AR applications in retail and e-commerce. The deep-tech startup now employs more than 50 people, across its development centre in Bengaluru and sales offices in San Francisco and Gurugram.

The company hired mid-level to senior roles in R&D (AI/ML and Data Science), Engineering, Customer Development and Delivery, 3D and Visual Innovation. Given that AR is an emerging tech space, Avataar.me has instituted an in-house rigorous training program of eight weeks.

The company foresees continued uptick in demand for AR and has plans to continue expanding its workforce at significant pace through December 2020. The company plans to expand its sales presence to the UK, North Asia and SE Asia in the coming few months.

Commenting on the announcement, Sravanth Aluru, CEO & Co-founder, Avataar.me said. “As a leader in AR/VR, we focus on creating new formats in lifesize 3D and AR to upgrade pre-purchase product evaluation experience across categories, helping bridge the online-offline experience gap for consumers. Our customer development engine is firing at a global level and we have positioned ourselves to scale -up for this demand across the US, Europe and Asia.

“At a time like this, we are looking to build a passionate, non-hierarchical, customer-obsessed and outcomes-driven team that can lead the industry. We have invested in training and skill development to have the capabilities to accelerate in this period of the rapid adoption of AR/VR.”

The Bengaluru based startup was founded in 2014 and provides Lifesize 3D/AR solutions to industry leading brand owners, OEMs and eCommerce players, driving superior Marketing ROI outcomes for their client base across their commerce and marketing funnels. The startup is engaged in helping brands bridge the online-offline experience gap, which is a burning need post the Covid crisis and is likely to continue as consumer habits change and shift online.

Avataar.me has clientele in the US, Europe and Asia. The company currently has global platform partnerships with Instagram and Facebook, and also powers other platforms such as Snapchat, Google Ads and also has a proprietary WebAR platform.

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Lightnet Group Forges Partnership with Siam Commercial Bank

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Lightnet Group Forges Partnership with Siam Commercial Bank

Singapore-based fintech company, Lightnet Pte. Ltd. (Lightnet Group), has announced a partnership with Siam Commercial Bank (SCB). The partnership makes remittance services accessible to all Thai bank accounts and anyone who has signed up for PromptPay, a government-sponsored service that enables instant bank-to-bank fund transfers.

Suvicha Sudchai, Chief Product Officer of Lightnet Group, says “SCB will be Lightnet Group’s settlement partner responsible for disbursing and clearing payments, facilitating the electronic payment processing and enabling frictionless real-time remittances to Thailand from anywhere in the world with lower fees.”

This partnership offers SCB additional international money transfer options through Lightnet Group’s channels. “Siam Commercial Bank has been a longtime supporter of fintech startups in Thailand, and our fintech investment arm, Digital Ventures Co. Ltd., is the largest venture capital fund in Thailand, with a total capital base of USD100 million. Fintech plays an essential role in SCB’s digital transformation, and we look forward to working with the Lightnet Group to revolutionize the global remittances industry,” says EVP, Payment Strategy and Digital Disruptive Technology, Srihanath Lamsam.

On the new partnership, Lightnet Group’s CEO and Vice Chairman, Tridbodi Arunanondchai says, “We are very proud to be working with SCB to facilitate cross-border remittances together with another trusted global fintech solution provider, SENTBE. SCB is one of the most reputable banks in Thailand and the technology investment the bank employs allows us to optimize our platform and reach our goals.”

Lightnet Group’s partnership with SCB and Sentbe extends the Lightnet Group’s reach further in line with its mission to promote financial mobility and inclusivity.

About Lightnet Group

Lightnet Group is a Singapore-headquartered fintech company with the mission of promoting financial mobility and inclusivity. Lightnet Group empowers unbanked populations and SME trade finance with an inclusive international remittance ecosystem. The Lightnet Group’s international remittance ecosystem adopts the Velo Protocol as its blockchain protocol and positions itself as the premiere clearing and settlement network for the Asia Pacific region by connecting existing financial systems with its network of cash agents and wallets.

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Future of digital payments – What's next for India's Digital Space: Lyra Network

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Future of digital payments – What's next for India's Digital Space: Lyra Network

In India’s journey towards becoming a cashless economy, two words and their impact played a significant role, ‘demonetization’ and ‘COVID-19’. One laid out the foundation of digital payments and another became the main source to build up the digital payments ecosystem.

Back in 2016, demonetization was a push from the government to convert India from a cash-based economy to a cashless economy. But India had witnessed digitization with steady progress way back in the 90s. With technologies like MICR, ATM, credit, debit cards followed by digital wallets, prepaid cards, recharge vouchers, etc., the payment industry was supported by new technologies and innovations. With the rise of Fintechs, the growth of the payment industry has seen many innovative solutions and methods to transact digitally. With astounding initiatives and innovations like, UPI, FASTags, NFC payments, QR codes, interoperable digital wallets, etc., Indian digital payment space certainly holds a promising future.

In the pandemic and the eventual lockdown, the digital payment sector has witnessed ups and downs. The new normal of COVID-19, social distancing, has influenced not only consumer behavior towards shopping but also how they pay for things. However, with the government’s initiative, local and new businesses like online storefronts utility bills, etc. are embracing digital payments and with that’, many digital platforms have seen recoveries. One such platform that has gained enormous popularity is contactless payments.

“Pandemic has created a big opportunity for contactless payments. As awareness about digital payments is spreading pan India, more number of people are actually interested in using contactless payments. They know what contactless payments are, how they work and they prefer to use contactless payments,” Says Rajesh Desai, CEO & MD, Lyra Network.

“While contactless payment is sitting comfortably with consumers, it is crucial for merchants to adapt to such methods, understand them, and cater to the customer needs,” he further added.

Today, more than 60% of Indians use mobile and online banking for financial transactions, and many of them want to continue with digital payments in the post-covid world. But still, four out of five payments are done by cash, and one of the main reasons is the lack of internet access. Though there are many external factors directly or indirectly affecting the growth of digital payments like government’s initiative, the pandemic, digital awareness campaigns by the payment solution providers, Fintechs, banks, and the government, etc., the mobile penetration and a robust digital payment infrastructure will allow for a continuous expansion in digitalization and digitization.

Many digital payment platforms have seen their all-time high during this pandemic, so as many digital payment solution providers. Lyra as a Fintech is also playing a pivotal role in making India’s journey towards the cashless economy.

“Lyra aims to be a ‘One stop solution for all payment requisites’. The backend infrastructure is Lyra’s key strength and the data centers at Mumbai and Bangalore are backbones. Our technology, ideas, and innovations are our greatest allies,” Rajesh added.

Lyra is working in the digital space providing transaction routing and payment processing solutions for more than a decade. For rural India, where there are connectivity and network issues Lyra is providing a connecting platform called ‘Lyra Connect’. With the active partnership with broadband companies, Telcos, several banking business correspondents, Lyra managed services are able to provide secure and stable connectivity and deliver banking and financial services.

Lyra has also introduced secure connections with intelligent platforms for Point Of Sales (POS) terminals with 2G/3G/4G/PSTN (and now Wi-Fi) technology under the fintech industry banner in India. With innovative solutions like Lyra NAC, a secure and powerful server that provides seamless connectivity and fast transaction gateway for payment processing without any glitch, Lyra payment switch, processing, and routing online payments with a higher success rate and faster processing time, Lyra provides efficient transaction services for all sectors.

Businesses are interested in the payment solutions that require much cheaper and less infrastructure to accept online payments. Payment processing industry and payment service providers are launching and researching the products/ services that will change customer service to more on a personal level. For a long time, banks have dominated the finance industry but with the rise of financial institutes, neo banking, and Fintechs, financial services have become more accessible. Now that there is a mobile app for literally everything, all the services are becoming more personalized and customized.

Soon in the future, the payment space will take more advanced and revolutionary routes. We can witness the development of blockchain payments, payments initiated by voice, biometrics and social media accounts, cryptocurrencies, cloud-based payments, AI, ML, IoT enabled payments, and many more innovative methods.

But payment space includes more than just payment methods, in the coming years, there will be interesting development on the side of digital payment solution providers, as they understand their role in the payment value chain and evolve their innovations, infrastructure, security, interoperability with the trends and the government’s regulatory regime.

Though due to the uncertainty caused by the pandemic have increased the demand for cash, more people are now shifting towards using contactless payments. In a developing country like India, though financial inclusion has provided an opportunity to adapt to digital payments, the unbanked and underbanked sectors in Indian provide the biggest opportunity for the growth of digital payments. It is safe to say, that for now, due to the pandemic, India’s journey to becoming a cashless economy from a cash-based economy is taking a temporary halt at the contactless economy.

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Mphasis Acquires Datalytyx, a DataOps specialist in the Snowflake and Talend ecosystem

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Mphasis Acquires Datalytyx, a DataOps specialist in the Snowflake and Talend ecosystem

Mphasis, (BSE: 526299) and (NSE: MPHASIS), an Information Technology (IT) solutions provider specialising in cloud and cognitive services, announced today, its acquisition of Datalytyx, a leading next-gen data engineering and consultancy company. Headquartered in London, United Kingdom, Datalytyx provides Next-gen Data Engineering, Data Ops and Master Data Management solutions on Snowflake and Talend environments to clients globally. As the first Snowflake Rockies Partner in the UK, a Snowflake Select Solutions Partner, and a Platinum VAR partner of Talend, Datalytyx provides services for modern data projects enabling faster, more accurate analysis and Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Since its inception, Datalytyx has been supporting modern data projects by providing a managed data platform for analytics and machine learning, using best-in-class data tools. The company integrates client environments with platforms from its partners – Talend and Snowflake, creating a single integrated platform for Data and AI. Through its best and brightest talent (including engineers, scientists, and analysts) and data expertise, Datalytyx, has been driving digital transformation for its clients.

“Every enterprise needs the ability to turn raw data into actionable information at scale, the recent worldwide crisis has only accelerated this need. Data and analytics combined with artificial intelligence, will continue to play a dominant role to predict, prepare and respond to changing needs of the business,” said Nitin Rakesh, CEO and Executive Director, Mphasis. “Together with Datalytyx and its highly skilled data professionals, we believe Mphasis is distinctively positioned to further fuel our worldwide clients’ transformational projects. This acquisition will not only strengthen our next-gen data strategy but will also be a significant milestone in our journey to build capabilities relevant to the digital priorities of our clients.”

“We are delighted to be a part of the Mphasis family and firmly believe that the collective vision and capabilities will lay a strong foundation for the future. Our combined expertise will be central to Mphasis’ next-gen data strategy and will further drive our clients’ digital transformation in Global markets,” said John Webb, Co-Founder, Datalytyx.

“Datalytyx played a critical role when Snowflake opened up Europe in February 2017 and they have continued to invest and support us during this hyper-growth period. From day one, Datalytyx has supported us in data modernisation projects, providing a managed data platform for analytics and machine learning, creating a single integrated platform for Data and AI. We are excited to see the acquisition of Datalytyx, by Mphasis as strategic in becoming a global leader in this space. The foundations have been firmly laid, which give us all a platform for scale and immense opportunity,” said Tim Alexander, Director of Alliances EMEA, Snowflake.

“Since working with the Datalytyx team, the company has been supporting modern data projects with Talend at the forefront providing a managed data platform for analytics and machine learning, using best-in-class data tools creating a single integrated platform for Data and AI. Datalytyx has been instrumental in aligning with Talend’s customers, sales teams, and technology partners to provide modern data stacks to tackle the problems that companies face with a modern approach to advanced analytics. We applaud Mphasis’ acquisition of Datalytyx as a great move to enhancing them both with capability and capacity to become a global leader in this space,” said Rolf Heimes, Global Head of Business Development, Talend.

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