Startups have come together under ACT Grants and raised Rs 50 crore for oxygen solutions and vaccinations, among other initiatives.

A COVID-19 sample collection centre three people are swabbed by persons in PPEPICXY
Atom Coronavirus Tuesday, April 27, 2021 - 14:57

As India grapples with the second wave of COVID-19, startups across the country have come forward to lend a helping hand by donating funds, arranging logistics for hospitals to get oxygen and other supplies.

Payment gateway Razorpay is helping non-government organisations collect donations for assisting COVID-19 patients by activating their payments page within 24 hours and doing away with transaction fee on donations up to Rs 10 lakh.  "With a purposeful intent to help those in need in any form now, we at Razorpay are reaching out to NGO owners who are collecting donations for helping COVID-19 patients, by providing them with a free payment page. We understand the urgency involved and so all NGO accounts will be activated within 24 hours and there will be no transaction fee charged on all donations received on the payment page up to Rs 10 lakh. The amount received will be settled to their accounts on the same day, without any additional charge,” Razorpay said in a statement. NGOs can register through this link here.

Razorpay is also planning to create a donations marketplace for NGOs. “Razorpay is working towards setting up a donations marketplace featuring as many NGOs to help struggling patients. This initiative will allow any individual or business to donate to whichever cause they wish to,” the statement added.

Scooter rental startup, Bounce is accepting donations on its dedicated platform, where users can view authentic patient data and make donations to them directly. “We have been working with a few founders and volunteers to help curb the impact of this second wave of COVID. Started as a WhatsApp group, now we enable COVID donations via a P2P platform, where users can view verified patient data and make donations to them directly. With a dedicated team, we have managed to facilitate donations of over Rs 50 lakh,” said Vivekananda HR, CEO & Co-founder, Bounce. Donations can be made here.

Further, Bounce has come up with a live portal, Bounce Atlas for users to view the availability of beds in Bengaluru, real-time. It is an open-source application that anyone can replicate for any city. “We have also deployed Bounce electric vehicles to the frontline workers, including the police at a nominal rate,” the CEO added.

Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma said it had internally raised Rs 2 crore to procure 10,000 oxygen concentrators (OC) and opened the fundraiser to its users. "We have sourced supplies for oxygen concentrators of different sizes while we place the order using our own money. We want you to join hands in solving #OxygenShortage," Vijay Shekhar Sharma tweeted.

"Donate here https://paytm.com/offer/donateoxygen and we will match your contribution and use it to source OCs. Also, do RT," he added.

Foodtech platform Zomato rolled out a priority delivery feature for COVID-19 emergencies, including oxygen, Chief Executive Officer Deepinder Goyal announced on Twitter.

"Zomato Feeding India, our not-for-profit has kickstarted the "Help Save My India endeavour today in association with @delhivery to source oxygen concentrators and related supplies to help hospitals and families in need," Goyal tweeted.

Further, Zomato’s non-profit arm Zomato Feeding India has partnered with Delhivery to raise Rs 50 crore for medical supplies, and International donors can also contribute, Goyal shared on Twitter. 

He also called upon startups and companies to contribute at this crucial hour. "We have already kickstarted the effort, and now need your help to raise 50 crores for @FeedingIndia in the next few days (hours?) to save hundreds of thousands of lives. If we raise more, we will get more oxygen. Domestic donors go here - http://zoma.to/oxygen," he added.

Under its "feed the daily wager" campaign, initiated last year, Zomato distributed 78 million meals for the poor who lost access to livelihood, it said.

Startup founders have also come together to support Action COVID-19 Team Grants (ACT Grants), which announced plans to raise Rs 75 crore for oxygen solutions, vaccinations and to supplement the medical workforce, out of which Rs 50 crore has been raised already.

ACT Grants, comprising a Rs 500 crore corpus, was formed last year to bring about collaborative action to deal with the challenges of the pandemic. It brought together 34 founders along with 44 investment funds including Matrix Partners, Accel, Kalaari Capital, Sequoia Capital, and others.

Online pharmacy Pharmeasy said it would utilise its network of 80,000 retailers and 5,000 distributors across the country to speed up the vaccination drive. The company said it would work with corporates, healthcare providers and resident welfare associations (RWAs) to inoculate at least 30-50 million people over the next two months.

Meanwhile, India on Sunday reported a record daily rise of 3,49,691 new coronavirus infections, taking its overall tally to 1,69,60,172. A total of 2,767 people were reported dead on Sunday, according to health ministry data, taking total coronavirus fatalities to 192,311.

Smartphone makers Xiaomi, Vivo and Oppo have also pledged their support to solve oxygen shortage issues. Xiaomi has announced that it will donate Rs 3 crore to procure more than 1,000 oxygen concentrators for hospitals across states. The company has also partnered with non-profit organisation GiveIndia to raise Rs 1 crore for the COVID-19 warriors. The donation page will be live on mi.com.

Vivo India announced a donation of Rs 2 crore to address oxygen shortage in the country. "We are all in this together, and we must fight as a unit to defeat Covid-19. vivo is committed to providing support to the communities in these testing times," said Nipun Marya, Director, Brand Strategy, Vivo India, in a statement.

Oppo India has pledged to donate 1,000 oxygenators and 500 breathing machines worth Rs 4.3 crore to the Indian Red Cross Society and the Uttar Pradesh government to help in the fight against COVID-19.

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