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NowPurchase founder on recent fundraise, expansion plans, and more

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NowPurchase, a procurement technology company for the metal manufacturing industry, recently raised $2.4 million in a seed funding round led by Orios and InfoEdge Ventures. Angel investor Neeraj Arora, former WhatsApp global business head and Co-founder HalloApp, also participated in the round. 

For founder Naman Shah, the fundraise is a validation of the business from investors. “It is a validation that large businesses could be built in a vertical domain-specific approach in the business-to-business (B2B) segment,” he told YourStory

Naman, along with his cousin Aakash Shah, launched the startup in 2017 with an initial capital of $300,000 from family business Nipha Group. 

With the latest round of funding, the Kolkata-based company plans to expand its geographical presence in the country including Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Delhi NCR and also increase its supplier base, adding global suppliers in its portfolio, to provide more efficient materials, Naman said. It has already added a supplier in Turkey.

“We’ve been at it for around four years. But in the last two years, since a pivot, things have been going really well. We are very excited to bring on board a set of investors who are specific to the seed stage, but also think long term,” said Naman. 

NowPurchase started as a B2B horizontal ecommerce platform that helped companies across various industries but pivoted to the metal manufacturing market starting December 2019. 

“We realised that we are not being able to differentiate enough or become a real procurement partner for our customers, where they value us beyond just the price and delivery. We wanted to become a critical piece of their supply chain,” Naman added. 

The startup decided to work with foundries (factories for casting metal) in West Bengal, where the company already had a presence. 

Over time, during the pandemic, it saw another opportunity in helping manufacturers improve their efficiency and productivity. This led NowPurchase to build manufacturing intelligence software to help small and medium businesses decide how to use their raw materials efficiently to make their end product.

Ankan Adhikari, who had previously founded Pyoopil Education and later sold it to upGrad in 2016, helped to build the startup’s tech offering as its Chief Technology Officer since January 2021.

“Digitising procurement is a critical milestone and one of the most important gaps that remain to be filled in India’s manufacturing sector,” Vinit Bhansali, Senior Vice President at Orios Venture Partners, said in a statement at the time of the funding, “NowPurchase’s tech-first platform will be a game-changer in this space.”

The startup claims to have 100 customers at the moment including Kejriwal Castings, TATA Metaliks, MBK Castings, Crescent Foundry, AMIK Metals. About 65-70 of them place orders every month, the company said.

Going forward, it plans to add more functionalities to the product, build its technology team, and work on its adoption and scale, and grow its business three times by volume by December 2022.

In addition, NowPurchase expects to grow to a 100-member team by the end of 2022 from about 35 at the moment. 

Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta

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Identity in the metaverse: Creating a global identity system

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With the advent of the metaverse, the need for a global identity system has become apparent. There are many different ways to create an identity in the metaverse, but no single system is universally accepted. 

The challenge is usually two-fold: first, how to create an identity that is accepted by all the different platforms and services in the metaverse, and second, how to keep track of all the different identities a person may have.

There are many proposed solutions to these challenges, but no clear consensus has emerged. Some believe that a single, global identity system is the only way to ensure interoperability between different platforms and services. Others believe that multiple identities are necessary to allow people to maintain their privacy and security.

The debate is ongoing, but it is clear that the need for a global identity system is becoming more urgent as the metaverse continues to grow.

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In this article, we will explore the various options for creating a global identity system in the metaverse. We will discuss the pros and cons of each option, and try to identify the best solution for the future.

Option 1: A single global identity

The simplest solution to the problem of identity in the metaverse is to create a single, global identity system. This would be a centralized system that would be responsible for managing all identities in the metaverse. 

The advantages of this approach are obvious: It would be much easier to keep track of identities, and there would be no need to worry about different platforms and services accepting different identities. In addition, a centralized identity system would allow for better security and privacy controls, as well as the ability to track identity theft and fraud.

However, this approach also has several disadvantages. First, it would be very difficult to create a global identity system that is accepted by everyone. Also, a centralized system would be vulnerable to attack and could be used to track people’s movements and activities. Third, it would be difficult to protect the privacy of users in a centralized system.

Option 2: Multiple identities

Another solution to the problem of identity in the metaverse is to allow each person to have multiple identities. This would mean that each person could have one or more identities that they use for different purposes. 

One of the main advantages of this approach is that it would allow people to maintain their privacy and security. Each person could choose which identity to use for each situation, and they would not have to worry about their entire identity being exposed. In addition, this approach would be more resilient to attack, as it would be much harder to take down multiple identities than a single one.

The limitations of such an approach would be that it could be difficult to keep track of all the different identities, and there would be no guarantee that different platforms and services would accept all of them. In addition, multiple identities could lead to confusion and could make it more difficult for people to build trust with others.

Option 3: A decentralized identity system

A third solution to the problem of identity in the metaverse is to create a decentralized identity system. This would be an identity system that is not controlled by any one centralized authority but rather is distributed among many different nodes. 

This might seem like the ideal approach, since decentralization is a common theme in the metaverse. However, there are still some challenges that need to be overcome. For instance, it would need to be ensured that all the different nodes in the system are properly synchronized and that the system as a whole is secure. In addition, it might be difficult to get people to adopt such a system if they are used to the more traditional centralized approach.

One solution would be to get the nodes in the system to be run by different organizations. This would help to decentralize the system and make it more secure. Another advantage of this approach is that it would allow different organizations to offer their own identity services, which could be more tailored to their needs.

Another would be to incorporate an edge computing solution into the system. This would allow for more decentralized processing of data and could help to improve performance. It would also make the system more resilient to attack since there would be no centralized point of failure.

The best solution for the future of identity in the metaverse is likely to be a combination of these approaches. A centralized system might be necessary to provide a basic level of identity services, but it should be supplemented by a decentralized system that is more secure and resilient. Ultimately, the goal should be to create an identity system that is both easy to use and secure.

The ideal identity standards of the metaverse

Now that we have explored the various options for identity in the metaverse, we can start to identify the ideal standards that should be met by any future global identity system. 

It is no easy task to create a global identity system that meets all of the criteria, but it is important to strive for an ideal solution. After all, the metaverse is still in its early stages, and the decisions made now will have a lasting impact on its future. 

Current iterations of the metaverse have used very traditional approaches to identity, but it is time to start thinking outside the box. The ideal solution will be one that is secure, private, decentralized, and easy to use. It will be a solution that allows people to maintain their privacy while still being able to interact with others in the metaverse. 

Most importantly, it will be a solution that can be accepted and used by everyone. Only then can we hope to create a truly global identity system for the metaverse.

The bottom line on identity in the metaverse

The question of identity in the metaverse is a complex one, but it is an important issue that needs to be addressed. 

The challenges associated with creating an implementation that is secure, private and decentralized are significant, but they are not insurmountable. For one, it will be important to get buy-in from organizations that have a vested interest in the metaverse. These organizations can help to promote and support the adoption of identity standards. 

It is also important to keep in mind that the metaverse is still evolving, and the solution that is ideal today might not be ideal tomorrow. As such, it will be critical to have a flexible identity system that can adapt as the needs of the metaverse change. 

Ultimately, the goal should be to create an identity system that is both easy to use and secure. Only then can we hope to create a truly global identity system for the metaverse.

Daniel Saito is CEO and cofounder of StrongNode

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How to Eliminate Scheduling Inefficiencies in Your Business

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What do salons, consultancies, and home service providers all have in common? This question may seem like the prime setup for a joke, but there’s no punchline to look forward…

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Why You Should Start a Business Only While You Have a Job

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Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Many people that I meet tell me that they dream of starting their own . I always ask them, “Then why don’t you?” They typically respond by saying that they have so many financial and personal responsibilities, that they can’t just quit their job to start a company, etc. Then I tell them my story …



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Related: How to Use Your Current Job to Start Your Next Business

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