Tuesday, July 23, 2024
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Indian Startup Highlights: Daily News and Funding Alerts

Daily Indian Startup News and Funding Alert – 22 July 2024

Funding News

nhance bags $1.5M in seed funding
nhance.ai, a provider of smart building solutions, has raised $1.5 million in seed funding from high-net-worth individuals (HNIs). This investment will boost the company’s growth and enhance its platform which facilitates the development of smart buildings for its growing customer base. The funds will be allocated towards accelerating product development, recruiting talent, and exploring strategic partnerships. The firm’s nhanceTwin platform offers businesses visibility on building performance and insights leveraging machine learning and artificial intelligence. “We are thrilled to have the support of our esteemed investors who share our vision for transforming the smart building landscape. This funding will allow us to scale our operations, enhance our product offerings, and continue to deliver exceptional value to our customers,” said Deepak Nagraj, Founder and CEO of nhance.ai.

Umwelt.Ai raises $125K seed funding led by SaaS accelerator Upekkha
HR technology platform Umwelt.Ai has raised $125K in seed funding from Upekkha, an AI-focused SaaS fund and accelerator. “Our platform is designed to bridge the gap between employee expectations and organisational realities, enabling companies to unlock their workforce’s full potential,” said Vishal Chopra, CEO and founder of Umwelt.Ai. Umwelt.AI utilizes artificial intelligence and data science to improve employee experiences and drive business outcomes. The platform provides an AI-driven People Analytics and Employee Experience solution that outperforms traditional HR methods.

Empyreal Galaxy bags funding from AIC-RMP Seed Fund
Empyreal Galaxy has secured funding from the Atal Incubation Centre – Rambhau Mhalgi Prabodhini Seed Fund. This investment will fuel the company’s efforts to address global infrastructure challenges with its solutions. The startup comprises a team of experts, designers, and manufacturers specializing in Lighter-Than-Air (LTA) vehicles. Their goal is to create a cost-effective and sustainable transportation mode that connects remote and disaster-stricken areas often cut off from essential aid. “We envision airships as one of the world’s safest transportation methods. Modern materials, controls, and information technology can transform LTA into a solution for complex national and global challenges,” said Shailesh Dhuri, Founder and CEO of Empyreal Galaxy.

Other News

HCLTech and upGrad enterprise collaborate to offer job-aligned skilling programmes
Global tech company HCL Technologies has partnered with upGrad Enterprise, the corporate skilling and workforce development division of upGrad, to provide a variety of job-focused skilling programs in multiple formats to clients worldwide. Together, the two entities will curate content and learning experiences for working professionals and corporations worldwide. Additionally, the partnership will focus on developing and launching programs in Generative AI and related technologies. “By combining our edtech offerings with upGrad Enterprise’s proposition for global clients and university-led skilling courses/certifications in high-demand disciplines such as data and emerging technologies, we are set to jointly offer clients and learners a world-class learning experience, complete with high-quality study material and practical, real-world industry experiences, facilitating the quicker application of skills in their professional roles,” said Srimathi Shivashankar, Corporate Vice President and Global Head, Edtech Business, HCLTech.

Reliance Retail’s Yousta expands footprint in North India, launches new store in Lucknow
Reliance Retail’s Yousta, a youth-centric fashion brand, has announced the opening of its newest store in Lucknow on Kapoorthala, Aliganj Road. Since its launch last year, Yousta has rapidly expanded nationwide, with multiple stores in Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Jharkhand, Karnataka, West Bengal, and Uttar Pradesh. The brand offers stylish and budget-friendly clothing, specifically catering to the fashion-forward youth of India. To celebrate the launch, Yousta is running a special contest called “Star of Lucknow.” Customers are invited to try on the latest Yousta collection and post their pictures on Instagram.

Paras Health appoints PwC’s former partner Usha Rajeev as Independent Director
Paras Health has named Usha Rajeev as an Independent Director on its board. Rajeev brings extensive expertise in governance, audit, and risk management, accumulated over her 29-year career at Price Waterhouse, India (a member firm of PriceWaterhouseCoopers International). “It is a pleasure to have Mrs. Usha Rajeev join the Paras Health Board as an Independent Director. I am sure that with her expertise in audit & risk management, she will be able to significantly contribute in achieving our objectives by strengthening the right checks & balances. Most importantly, I believe her strategic insights will help in bolstering our long-term growth strategy, ensuring we stay true to our vision of building a healthier Bharat,” said Dr. Dharminder Nagar, Managing Director of Paras Health. Paras Healthcare Private Limited launched its first hospital in Gurugram in 2006 and has since evolved into a corporate healthcare chain offering multi-specialty tertiary care services across six states and eight cities, such as Gurugram, Patna, Panchkula, Kanpur, Ranchi, Udaipur, Srinagar, and Darbhanga.

Raghav Iyengar appointed as CEO and Whole-time Director of 360 ONE Asset
Raghav Iyengar has been named the CEO and Whole-time Director of 360 ONE Asset Management, an asset management firm. Iyengar in his new role will be responsible for steering the company’s growth strategy, broadening its product portfolio, and bolstering its market presence. With over three decades of experience in the financial services industry, he has previously held leadership roles at Axis Asset Management, ICICI Prudential Asset Management, and Tata Asset Management.

Dreame India appoints Manu Sharma as Managing Director to lead its India operations
Dreame Technology, a global smart home appliance brand, has named Manu Sharma as Managing Director for its operations in India. Sharma will be responsible for developing and executing strategic plans to propel the company’s growth and establish its brand footprint in the Indian market. Additionally, he will manage Dreame’s regional product strategy and oversee marketing and sales efforts. With over 25 years of experience in the consumer electronics industry, Sharma previously held leadership positions at Nothing India as Vice President and General Manager, and at Samsung India as Vice President and Head of Product Strategy. Before these roles, he held a 12-year tenure at Hewlett-Packard. “I am excited to lead Dreame’s India business and I look forward to working with the team to build Dreame’s brand presence, operational capabilities, and deliver innovative products that resonate with our consumers,” said Manu Sharma.

Ecom Express on-boards Jitendar Kumar as the CBO; Abhinav Imandi as Senior Vice President – Operations
Logistics solutions provider Ecom Express Limited has expanded its leadership team with the appointment of two senior executives. Jitendar Kumar has been appointed as Chief Business Officer, and Abhinav Imandi will serve as Senior Vice President of Operations, Process Excellence, and Alternate Channels. “Jitendar’s extensive experience in driving business growth and his strategic thinking will be instrumental in achieving our growth objectives in India. We are confident that his leadership and diverse background will be a valuable asset to Ecom Express,” said Ajay Chitkara, CEO & MD, Ecom Express. Jitendar Kumar brings over 18 years of experience in sales leadership, having driven growth in both the Indian and global enterprise sectors. Before joining Ecom Express, Jitendar held key roles at Hewlett Packard and Bharti Airtel. With almost 15 years of professional experience, Abhinav has expertise across consulting, sales operations, customer experience, and operations. Before joining Ecom Express, Abhinav worked with Milkbasket as the Chief Operating Officer.

MediaMint appoints Rajeev Butani as Chief Executive Officer
MediaMint, a media operations services provider, has appointed Rajeev Butani as Chief Executive Officer. Butani takes over from current CEO and co-founder Aditya Vuchi, who will remain with MediaMint as a member of the Board of Directors. “As we continue to accelerate innovation and revenue realization for businesses worldwide, we are excited to have Rajeev serve as CEO to guide us through the next phase of MediaMint’s expansion,” said Mr. Vuchi, who served as MediaMint’s CEO for the previous 14 years. “Rajeev has served as Executive Chairman of the company and understands our business and culture. We look forward to his collaboration with MediaMint leadership, employees, and customers to build on our past successes.” Before joining MediaMint in 2023 as Executive Chairman, Butani served with Accenture for over 25 years. Most recently, he served as Senior Managing Director and Group Technology Officer for Accenture’s Communications, Media, and Technology Operating Group worldwide. He was also a member of Accenture’s Global Leadership Council.

Daily Indian Startup News and Funding Alert – 19 July 2024

Funding News

Pintel.ai raises $1M in seed round led by IvyCap Ventures

Pintel.ai, a platform designed for sales development, has secured $1 million in a seed round led by IvyCap Ventures. The funding round also saw participation from prominent investors, including founders and leaders from Whatfix, LambdaTest, Livspace, Moengage, Quizizz, GSF, Hevodata, HROne, and other notable angel investors. Pintel.ai aims to address the critical challenges faced by sales development professionals, including time-consuming research and the need for highly customizable tools to cater to unique company requirements. Founded by Aman Garg and Nirmal Vatsyayan, Pintel.ai’s AI-driven solution offers a flexible and intuitive platform, enabling users to seamlessly integrate multiple data sources and apply custom research logic. This approach significantly reduces research time by up to 90% and boosts sales representatives’ productivity by 50%.

Rabbitt AI raises $2.1M led by TechCurators and various angel investors

Rabbitt AI, a generative AI platform, has closed a $2.1 million seed round led by TechCurators, the flagship company of the TC Group of Companies. Rabbitt AI’s platform offers a robust suite of tools, including core generative AI capabilities, custom LLM development, RAG fine-tuning, data-centric AI, MLOps integration, and voice bot AI agents. By combining these features, Rabbitt AI enables businesses to create powerful AI solutions tailored to their specific needs.

Accel-backed AI-SaaS startup Fibr raises $1.8M in seed round

Fibr, an AI-powered personalization platform, has raised $1.8 million in a seed round led by Accel with participation from 2AM VC and prominent angel investors such as Kunal Shah (Founder, Cred), Sunil Kumar (ex-cofounder Zenoti), and others. Founded in January 2023 by Ankur Goyal and Pritam Roy, the funding will be used to enhance Fibr’s AI personalization platform, expand its customer base, and hire diverse talent to meet the evolving needs of marketers worldwide.

Healthtech startup Drucare raises $1.2M in pre-Series A round

Healthtech startup Drucare raised $1.2 million in a pre-Series A round in June from SATRA Services and Solutions Pvt Ltd, a multi-disciplinary consulting company headquartered in Hyderabad. Drucare plans to allocate the funds to marketing and business expansion, along with additional operational expenses. Dr Rajendra P Vennam, Founder, CEO & CTO of Drucare, stated, “In the upcoming months, Drucare hopes to grow and increase its footprint both domestically and globally in addition to adding new services to its present roster of over 40-plus services for healthcare practitioners across clinics, hospitals, pharmacies, diagnostics, medical colleges of all sizes and numbers.” Founded in 2016 by professionals from diverse backgrounds, Drucare offers a variety of solutions and services to various healthcare organizations. The company has built India’s most integrated healthcare SaaS platform. DrucareONE provides the IT infrastructure needed by clinics, hospitals, medical schools, laboratories, pharmacies, providers, and patients.

Other News

Roadzen CEO and Chairman agree to exchange $3.5M of short-term debt for equity in the company

Roadzen Inc, a global leader in AI, announced that the company’s Special Committee of Independent Directors has unanimously approved a plan for certain related parties to release $3.5 million of short-term debt in exchange for ordinary shares of the company. The related parties that have executed binding term sheets and agreed to the exchange include Rohan Malhotra, CEO of Roadzen; and Pi Capital International Inc. and its affiliate Marco Polo Securities, Inc., which is principally owned by Roadzen’s Chairman of the Board. The number of shares into which the accrued liabilities will be exchanged for common stock will be based on the amount of debt released divided by a share price equal to the greater of $2.80 per share or the 30-trading day volume weighted average price beginning three days following the date on which the company files its Form 10-Q for the first quarter ended June 30, 2024, with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

TATA AIG enters into a strategic partnership with Mahindra Finance

General insurance provider TATA AIG has announced a strategic partnership with Mahindra Finance, a Non-Banking Finance Company (NBFC). This collaboration aims to enhance the distribution of TATA AIG’s non-life insurance products to Mahindra Finance’s extensive customer network. Under this partnership, TATA AIG will offer a comprehensive range of general insurance products, including motor, health, personal accident, and other non-life insurance solutions to over 10 million customers of Mahindra Finance. “This collaboration with Mahindra Finance is an important move towards making our insurance products more accessible. Based on a common foundation of strong corporate governance and a robust value system, we are committed to offering customized solutions that cater to the diverse needs of our partners, ensuring comprehensive protection and financial security,” said Neelesh Garg, Managing Director & CEO at TATA AIG General Insurance Co. Ltd.

BlackSoil NBFC raises over ₹200 Cr debt in H1CY24, with 60% from new lenders

BlackSoil NBFC, the flagship arm of BlackSoil Group, an alternative credit platform, has raised ₹208 crore debt in the first half of the calendar year 2024. Notably, 60% of this funding came from new debt investors. This achievement marks a robust 30% year-on-year growth in debt raise, bringing BlackSoil’s total debt raise to over ₹1,570 crore as of June 30, 2024. Ankur Bansal, Co-founder and Director at BlackSoil, stated, “This substantial debt raise, particularly the 60% from new investors, validates our business model and emphasizes the trust we have built in the alternative credit space. It is a testament to our robust credit profile and expanding market presence. This milestone empowers us to offer even more innovative and tailored financial solutions to India’s high-growth sectors, reinforcing our commitment to bridging the credit gap for new-age businesses and fostering entrepreneurship nationwide.”

Delhivery rolls out its 4th all-women-operated hub in Delhi’s Mayapuri

Delhivery, a fully integrated logistics service provider, has rolled out a 100% women-led hub in Mayapuri, New Delhi. This would be the fourth such hub launched in recent months as the logistics company doubles down on its initiatives to absorb more women colleagues across its operations. Previously, the company launched similar facilities at Moga (Punjab), Sikar (Rajasthan), and Satna (Madhya Pradesh) and has targeted expanding these to other parts of the country as well. Suraj Saharan, Chief People Officer and Co-founder at Delhivery, said, “We are thrilled to announce the launch of our new women-operated hub at Mayapuri. Our women recruits at various other facilities have consistently raised the bar for performance and productivity. We are confident that women colleagues at Mayapuri will only raise this further.”

BIRA 91 launches second taproom in Delhi at Pacific Mall, Tagore Garden

BIRA 91 has recently launched its second Taproom in Delhi, located at the Pacific Mall in Tagore Garden, West Delhi. This new venue promises a multi-sensory Taproom experience focused on guest comfort and holistic engagement, making it a haven for beer enthusiasts that truly resonates with the brand’s vibrant characteristics. The Tagore Garden neighborhood in West Delhi, known for its dynamic young audience, is the perfect setting for BIRA 91’s second Taproom in Delhi, following the success of the Taproom at the Commons in DLF Avenue Saket, South Delhi. Ankur Jain, Founder and CEO of BIRA 91, said, “This new location represents our continued commitment to providing unique craft beer experiences. Our new Taproom in Delhi offers a diverse range of our finest brews and a vibrant atmosphere, perfect for beer enthusiasts. We are grateful for the incredible support and look forward to welcoming everyone to join us in celebrating this exciting milestone.”

Daily Indian Startup News and Funding Alert – 18 July 2024

Funding News

Honestly Raises Rs 3.2 Cr in Pre-Seed Funding from Better Capital

Honestly, an AI-powered beauty and personal care platform, has secured Rs 3.2 crore in pre-seed funding led by Better Capital, with participation from Kunal Shah-led QED Innovations and senior leaders from Flipkart, Polygon, and Cred. Founded in April 2024, Honestly’s AI analyzes each user’s order history and matches them with similar users across 100+ attributes, such as skin tone, skin type, age, and gender, to provide product recommendations. Additionally, the AI evaluates product ingredients to help users understand how new products fit into their routines.

EV Ride-Hailing Startup MyPickup Raises Rs 1.5 Cr in Seed Round Led by Inflection Point Ventures

MyPickup, an urban transit services provider, has raised Rs 1.5 crore in a seed round led by Inflection Point Ventures. The funds will be used for developing scheduling algorithms, brand building, and optimizing operations management. This investment is part of IPV’s initiative to support early-stage ideas with high innovation and impact potential. At scale, MyPickup plans to expand to on-demand rides with fleet operators and other vehicle classes, maintaining control over drivers and vehicles through robust SOPs and training to ensure a high-quality customer experience.

Protonas Secures Seed Funding from Transition VC

Protonas, a startup specializing in low-cost PEM hydrogen fuel cell solutions, has raised a seed funding round of an undisclosed amount led by Transition VC. With this capital, Protonas will establish initial manufacturing operations in Chennai and build prototype systems. Headquartered in Tennessee, US, with a subsidiary in Chennai, India, Protonas was founded by David DeVries, a veteran of the fuel cell industry since 1996. The company aims to deploy cost-efficient backup power applications in North America and power fuel cell engines for three-wheeler and four-wheeler vehicles in India and other Asian markets. Protonas leverages advanced hydrogen fuel cell technology to deliver sustainable energy solutions and plans to collaborate with companies in India to develop carbon-neutral vehicles.

Other News

Inertial Labs and ideaForge Partner for UAV-Based LiDAR Solutions

ideaForge Technology Limited, a drone technology company, has partnered with Inertial Labs, a company specializing in inertial sensors and integrated GPS systems, to integrate Inertial Labs’ RESEPI LiDAR solution into ideaForge’s unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). As part of their partnership, Inertial Labs and ideaForge will provide surveying, mapping, and inspection solutions for applications in mining, forestry, GIS, land surveys, and water resources management. By integrating Inertial Labs’ RESEPI LiDAR payloads with ideaForge’s NETRA/Q6 UAVs, they will deliver highly accurate aerial data with extreme precision and speed. Key specifications include a portable MTOW of less than 6kg, multi-use platform capabilities (27X Zoom, Thermal, Mapping, Multispectral, LiDAR), fully autonomous flying with built-in fail-safes, and custom maps for accurate resolution in various terrains.

Resumod Launches AI-Driven Staffing Solution

Resumod, an HR solutions provider, has launched its AI-driven staffing solution. This AI system aims to reduce the time taken for initial resume screening by up to 50%. Moreover, through the use of chatbots, Resumod facilitates initial screening and labeling of resumes for future use. Resumod empowers jobseekers with actionable insights by offering detailed resume analysis against specific job descriptions, helping individuals tailor their resumes for maximum impact. Additionally, Resumod now provides an “expert help service,” allowing users to hire experienced resume writers for professional resume creation and learning, available for INR 449.

Daily Indian Startup News and Funding Alert – 17 July 2024

Funding News

Multipl Secures $1.5M in Additional Funds Led by Blume Ventures and MIXI Global

SEBI-registered fintech platform Multipl has raised an additional $1.5 million, led by Blume Ventures and MIXI Global Investments, Inc. The capital will be used to enhance the platform and introduce disruptive features. With its integration with mutual funds and partnerships with top brands, Multipl enables consumers to invest in mutual funds for their lifestyle spends, empowering individuals to invest small amounts regularly for future expenditures and rewarding customer loyalty. “The support from Blume and MIXI Japan will help us enhance the product experience and bring more awareness to the Spendvesting category that we are creating. This round of funding empowers us to drive forward our mission of helping Indians live an aspirational life in a financially prudent manner,” said Paddy Raghavan, Co-founder of Multipl.

Ninecamp Ventures Raises $2M in Seed Funding

Ninecamp Ventures, a food and beverage company focused on premium dining and consumer products, has raised $2 million (Rs 16 crore) in a seed-funding round from notable angels and non-institutional investors. The round saw participation from esteemed investors including Mohit Gupta, Gaurav Gupta (former Zomato co-founders), Varun and Ghazal Alagh (founders, MamaEarth, Honasa Consumer), Vikram Chopra, Ruchit Agarwal, Mehul Agrawal, Gajendra Jangid (founders, Cars 24), Vir Das (comedian, actor), and Divine (musician), among others. The funds will be used to expand the brand portfolio, acquire prime real estate, onboard top talent, and invest in research and development for innovative concepts and products.

Unicorn India Ventures Announces Partial Exit from Sascan with 6X Returns

Unicorn India Ventures (UIV), a deeptech-focused investment house currently raising its third fund of Rs 1,000 crore, has announced a partial exit from neo-diagnostics startup Sascan Meditech. UIV had invested Rs 2 crore across two rounds starting in 2020. The partial exit has generated 6X returns for the fund, with UIV continuing to hold a substantial stake in the company. Thiruvananthapuram-based Sascan Meditech, founded by Dr. Subhash Narayanan, develops affordable healthcare products and solutions for cancer care based on biophotonics and allied technologies. “Our focus on backing deep tech business models and finding innovative solutions with commercial acumen has built a strong track record for our fund. The solutions devised by Dr. Narayan help underprivileged populations in India and third-world countries in early detection of cancer,” said Anil Joshi, Managing Partner, UIV.

Cannarma Raises $3M to Drive Expansion and Innovation

Cannarma, an Ayurvedic hemp-based products company, is in the process of raising $3 million in funding to support key areas such as marketing, global expansion, intellectual property (IP) development, and team enhancement. The funding will enhance distribution channels, ensuring that Cannarma’s innovative products reach a broader audience. “Securing the funding will enable us to accelerate our growth and bring our high-quality hemp products to more markets. We are committed to driving innovation in the medicinal cannabis space and providing natural health solutions that are both effective and safe,” said Keshav Agarwal, Director of Cannarma.

Other News

Togopool Partners with MyOffiz to Encourage Eco-Friendly Commuting

Carpooling and bike-pooling app Togopool has collaborated with MyOffiz to promote eco-friendly commuting options for the working professionals at MyOffiz’s locations. MyOffiz provides flexible workspaces in multiple locations across key business hubs in urban centers. Employees at MyOffiz’s coworking spaces can share rides, significantly reducing the number of vehicles on the road and saving up to Rs 10,000 per month on transportation costs through reduced fuel and maintenance expenses. “By facilitating easy, safe, and eco-friendly transportation, we aim to inspire other business parks and coworking spaces to follow suit. This collaboration highlights the power of collective action in reducing traffic congestion and pollution, creating a positive environmental impact and fostering a community committed to sustainability,” said Saurabh C, Founder of Togopool.

Cropin Launches Sage, a Real-Time Gen AI-Powered Agri-Intelligence Platform

Cropin Technology, an AI platform for food and agriculture, has launched Sage, a real-time agri-intelligence solution powered by Google Gemini. Cropin Sage converts the world’s agricultural landscape into a proprietary grid-based map, delivering data and intelligence with scale, accuracy, and speed. This enables CPG players, seed manufacturers, food processors, multilateral organizations, financial institutions, and governments to make informed decisions based on historical, present, and future data on cultivation practices, crop, irrigation, climate, and soil. Sage enhances the Cropin Cloud platform to help agri-food businesses future-proof their production and supply chains. This innovation fuses state-of-the-art technologies such as generative AI, multi-layered global climate data, a global crop knowledge graph, earth observation data, and advanced crop models, unlocking the potential of crop production planning and marking a significant advancement in precision and sustainable agriculture.

AI Infrastructure Startups Dominate NetApp Excellerator Cohort 13

NetApp, an intelligent data infrastructure company, has launched Cohort 13 of its flagship startup accelerator programme, NetApp Excellerator. Capitalizing on the significance of AI as a key driver of business growth, Cohort 13 will see participation from eight startups developing innovative solutions across data management and artificial intelligence domains: LEGO AI, Calibr, Xylem AI, Clika, BetterData, Syntonym, Enkrypt AI, and Portkey. These companies have been selected for their innovative solutions in areas such as analytics, edtech, AI infrastructure, MLOps, synthetic data, large language models (LLM) safety benchmarking, and LLMOps. Over the last seven years, NetApp has mentored a total of 85 startups, of which 34 are global.


Daily Indian Startup News and Funding Alert – 16 July 2024

Funding News

Icanheal Secures Rs 15 Cr in Seed Funding Round from IvyCap Ventures

Icanheal, a healthcare financing and patient navigation platform, has secured an investment of Rs 15 crore in a seed funding round from IvyCap Ventures. The funds will be used to enhance the platform and its capabilities. Vikram Gupta, founder and managing partner at IvyCap Ventures, will join Icanheal’s board. “Icanheal’s unique approach to improving healthcare affordability through customized financing solutions resonates deeply with our mission. By democratizing access to advanced medical treatments and enhancing patient adherence, Icanheal is poised to make a significant impact in the healthcare sector,” said Gupta.

Other News

Hygiene Brand Pee Safe Hires Arijit Sen as Vice President

Gurugram-based hygiene startup Pee Safe announced the appointment of Arijit Sen as its new Vice President of Sales. Sen, previously the general manager at Healthkart, was instrumental in scaling its distribution to 40,000 outlets across India. “Pee Safe feels like a homecoming. I have always believed in the potential of innovative personal hygiene products,” said Sen. The company aims to capture a significant market share in India with its Ultra-Thin Sanitary Pads and Disposable Period Panties, projected to see increased consumer demand in the coming months.

AXISCADES Technologies Names Tanmoy Chakrabarty as Non-Executive Independent Director

Technology and engineering solutions provider AXISCADES Technologies has appointed Tanmoy Chakrabarty as an additional director in the non-executive independent director category. Chakrabarty has been involved in several projects for the Government of India, including the implementation of MCA 21 and the Passport Seva programs. He also led digital tax initiatives across East Africa and contributed to eGovernance programs in the UK and the US. “I look forward to contributing to the long-term mission and advancement of AXISCADES Technologies with my insights on the challenges and opportunities faced by modern organizations in the public and private sectors,” said Chakrabarty.

Ecobillz Appoints Santoshkumar Hiremath as CX Leader and Head of Operations

AI-driven B2B SaaS digitization platform Ecobillz has appointed Santoshkumar Hiremath as its CX Leader and Head of Operations. In his new role, Hiremath will oversee all operational functions and manage project execution. Previously, Hiremath held leadership positions at HP, Dell, Concentrix, and Lenovo. “We are thrilled to welcome Santoshkumar to the Ecobillz team,” said Ameet Patil, CEO of Ecobillz Private Limited. “Santosh brings a wealth of experience in operations and customer experience management. His proven track record of achievements will be crucial as we continue to expand and deliver exceptional service to our customers.”

Delhivery Appoints Prashant Gazipur as Senior Vice President of Operations

Logistics service provider Delhivery has appointed Prashant Gazipur as its Senior Vice President of Operations. Gazipur, who previously worked at Ecom Express and Amazon, will oversee Delhivery’s capacity building and operations across its last-mile pickup and delivery. “We are delighted to welcome Prashant to Delhivery,” said Sahil Barua, Managing Director and CEO. “With the solid operational base we have built since going public, Prashant’s operational experience and leadership will be instrumental to our immediate and long-term growth.”

Daily Indian Startup News and Funding Alert – 15 July 2024

Funding: SkinInspired Raises $1.5M in Seed Round

Skincare brand SkinInspired has secured Rs 12.25 crore (approximately $1.5 million) in seed funding led by Unilever Ventures and notable angel investors. Founded in 2022 by FMCG veteran Piyush Jain and dermatologist Dr. Prashant Agrawal, SkinInspired offers dermatologically approved skincare products in categories like face wash, serum, sunscreen, and moisturizer. The funding will be used for research and development, strategic marketing, and enhancing the brand’s market strategy. SkinInspired aims to set global standards in skincare with its effective ingredient blends and sustainable packaging.

Digital Lending to Reach 5% of Retail Loans by FY28

Digital lending is projected to constitute 5% of total retail loans by FY28, according to a recent report by Redseer Strategy Consultants. This growth is largely driven by Gen Z (18-25) and millennials (26-38), who are embracing digital lending for its convenience and speed. Digital lending rose from 1.8% in FY22 to 2.5% in FY24, with Gen Z borrowing Rs 3.5-4 lakh crore and millennials Rs 25-28 lakh crore. Affluent and well-off households use traditional banks, while middle and low-income groups increasingly turn to digital lenders. Gen Z prefers personal loans for experiential expenses, while millennials favor credit card spending. The report suggests substantial growth potential for digital lending in India, with Gen Z and millennials shaping the market and driving innovation and competition.

upGrad Enhances AI-Focused Bootcamps, Enrolments Up 8x in FY24

Integrated learning and workforce development startup upGrad has seen an 8x increase in enrolments for its AI-focused Bootcamps in FY24. These revamped Bootcamps, in disciplines such as Digital Marketing, Full Stack Development, Data Science, and UI/UX, now emphasize practical applications over theoretical study, with 80% of the curriculum dedicated to hands-on learning through Agile projects, coding practice on CloudLabs, daily doubt resolution, and graded projects. The shift aims to equip learners with real-time skill application capabilities, ensuring faster career returns. upGrad delivered over 200,000 hours of immersive learning in the past year, with the majority of participants being freshers and early professionals. The company plans to double enrolments in FY25 by continuing to enhance both tech and non-tech Bootcamps, including workshops, simulations, industry-aligned projects, and masterclasses, backed by triple certification from government, global tech giants, and university partners.

AMD and IIT-B Collaborate to Support Energy-Efficient Semiconductor Startups

AMD has partnered with the Society for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (SINE) at IIT-Bombay to support semiconductor startups in India. Through this collaboration, AMD will provide grants to startups developing energy-efficient Spiking Neural Network (SNN) chips. The initiative aims to reduce energy consumption in neural networks, aligning with AMD’s goal to achieve a 30x improvement in energy efficiency for its processors and accelerators by 2025. This partnership is part of AMD’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) efforts, focusing on quality STEM education and scientific research. The first grant recipient, Numelo Technologies, is developing SNN chips using ultralow power quantum tunneling on silicon-on-insulator (SOI) technology, aiming for innovations in battery life, data privacy, and versatile architecture.

AWS and iTNT Hub Launch Generative AI Startup Program in Tamil Nadu

Amazon Web Services (AWS) India Private Limited is collaborating with Tamil Nadu Technology (iTNT) Hub to launch a generative AI startup program aimed at developing AI solutions for public sector initiatives in Tamil Nadu. This programme, announced during a mixer event in Chennai, will support startups at various stages, including those in the healthcare, education, and non-profit sectors. AWS will provide up to $10,000 in credits and access to its extensive cloud services. iTNT Hub, established by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology and the Tamil Nadu government, will offer technical expertise, mentorship, and business guidance. The programme includes webinars, workshops, and hackathons to foster innovation and growth among startups, ultimately enhancing the state’s tech ecosystem.

Daily Indian Startup News and Funding Alert – 12 July 2024

Zepto Elevates Devendra Meel to Chief Business Officer

Quick Commerce unicorn Zepto has promoted Devendra Meel to the position of Chief Business Officer, effective July 2024. In this role, Meel will lead category management and foster brand partnerships, ensuring optimal assortment, pricing, availability, and growth of all core categories on the platform. “Devendra has had an incredible run at Zepto. After joining us a year ago, he played a key role in scaling our advertising business to hundreds of crores in revenue and, more importantly, built out Zepto Pass end-to-end: from an idea to 5M+ subscribers today,” said Aadit Palicha, Co-founder and CEO of Zepto. Before joining Zepto, Meel, an IIM-Bangalore graduate, led special initiatives at Zomato and Jio.

AFK Gaming Beta Launches Dashboard for Esports Analytics

AFK Gaming has launched the beta version of its analytics dashboard, providing data and insights into the nation’s esports industry. This tool offers real-time data and analytics to users, brands, and other stakeholders. AFK Gaming Insights features three core analytics modules: Tournament Analytics, User Analytics, and Social Analytics. Tournament Analytics provides detailed information on prize pools, sponsors, players, and teams. User Analytics delivers insights into demographics, occupations, interests, income, and spending habits. Social Analytics tracks key metrics such as Instagram followers, YouTube subscribers, and the country’s top live streamers.

Zapp and Bounce Infinity Partner for Manufacturing Scooters

Bengaluru-based Bounce Infinity and Zapp Electric Vehicles Group, a British electric vehicle brand, have partnered to enhance the assembly and distribution of Zapp’s i300 electric urban motorcycle in India. The partnership leverages Bounce’s manufacturing capabilities and market presence to support Zapp’s mission of delivering premium, sustainable personal mobility solutions. Bounce will manufacture Zapp’s electric vehicles according to its specifications and support Zapp EV in obtaining necessary approvals for homologating its products in India, with completion expected within 120 days from the MoU’s effective date. They will also explore a distribution partnership to enhance Zapp’s product availability across India.

DeepHealth Expands Operations in India

DeepHealth, a wholly-owned subsidiary of RadNet, Inc., a leader in AI-powered radiology and health informatics, has opened an office in Bengaluru, marking its expansion into the Indian market. The technology hub will drive innovations to advance DeepHealth’s mission of empowering breakthroughs in care delivery. As part of its India expansion, DeepHealth will leverage local expertise and a network of strategic partners to enhance the development of AI-powered health informatics solutions. The company aims to broaden its collaborations and establish affiliations with prestigious institutions to undertake research projects.

Daily Indian Startup News and Funding Alert – 11 July 2024

Funding News

Jugyah Raises $1.5M from White Venture Capital and Others
Tech-based real estate broker Jugyah has raised $1.5 million in a funding round led by White Venture Capital, QED Investors, and Godrej Properties. Other participants included Whiteboard Capital, Singularity Ventures, and notable angels Kunal Shah (CRED), Harsh Jain (Dream 11), and Ramakant Sharma (Livspace). The Mumbai-based company plans to use the funds to expand in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, capture market share, and work in high-demand localities before expanding to other cities. Founded in 2023 by Arshad Balwa and Ansuman Mohanty, Jugyah aims to provide high-quality, end-to-end digital experiences for rentals. “We realized that listing platforms are very surface level and barely solve the search and discovery problem. What happens after, that is the visit, negotiation, transaction, and post-move-in experience, is completely offline and unstandardized,” said Balwa.

Inflection Point Ventures Makes Seed Investments in Bloq Quantum, Medront Datalabs, Telkes Technologies
Bloq Quantum, Medront Datalabs, and Telkes Technologies each received Rs 80 lakh in seed investment after winning Inflection Point Ventures’ early-stage accelerator program, IPV Ideaschool Batch 1.0. The six-week nationwide program involved a rigorous multi-level selection process, starting with over 1,000 applications. The program included masterclasses, bootcamps, and mentorship sessions conducted by industry experts. The 15 finalists pitched to a jury that included Sukhmani Bedi (Partner at Orios Venture Partners), Jaideep Singh Kalra (Director and Head of Business Banking at HSBC), and Karan Kumar (Business Development Manager at AWS).

  • Bloq Quantum, led by Sreekuttan LS, offers an AI-enabled collaborative solution for quantum data and algorithm pipelines.
  • Medront Datalabs, led by Nitesh Singh, provides a secure data pods and consent platform, enabling users to control their personal data and secure data exchange with D2C brands.
  • Telkes Technologies (My Pickup), led by Abhijeet Jagtap, offers subscription-based electric auto-rickshaw services for daily commutes.

IPV also announced the launch of IPV Ideaschool Batch 2.0, starting from August 1, with applications open from August 1 to August 20.

Other News

Grip Appoints Founder Nikhil Aggarwal as Group CEO
Investment platform Grip is expanding into fund management and portfolio management distribution services with the launch of Grip Invest. The company has appointed founder Nikhil Agarwal as Group CEO to lead this expansion and co-lead the full-lifecycle management platform for EVs, Electrifi Mobility. Additionally, Vaibhav Laddha has been appointed CEO of the investment arm. Grip will continue to offer its existing suite of investment products, including corporate bonds and securitized debt instruments, via a managed structure. In May 2024, Grip Invest facilitated 12% of pan-India retail investments in high-yield fixed-income products and 80% of all investments in SDIs.

Adrenalin eSystems Appoints Sanjay Kamath as VP of SASIA Region
HR technology firm Adrenalin eSystems has appointed Sanjay Kamath as Senior Vice President and Business Head for the SASIA region. Kamath previously served as the business head and senior director for growth in India and South Asia at ZingHR and was Vice President at Adrenalin eSystems from October 2003 to November 2012.

Myntra Partners with Twid to Integrate “Pay with Rewards” System
Myntra has partnered with Twid to enable customers to use their reward points for purchases on the platform with the “Pay with Rewards” system. Santosh Kevlani, Head of Monetisation, Payments, and Fintech at Myntra, noted that increasing the share of prepaid orders has improved order fulfillment rates. Twid is a rewards-based payment network that allows Myntra customers to leverage loyalty and reward points from various banks and brands directly at checkout, enhancing users’ purchasing power.

WinZO Partners with FGV Brazil, Plans to Invest $50M for LATAM Expansion
Interactive entertainment platform WinZO has partnered with Brazilian educational institution Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV EAESP) for research projects and hiring local talent. The company plans to invest $50 million to expand its presence in LATAM. “Partnering with FGV Brazil marks a significant milestone in WinZO’s journey to deepen its footprint in the Brazilian market,” said Paavan Nanda, Co-founder of WinZO. The company launched its app in Brazil in October 2023, allowing its 100+ partner game developers to export games and gain free access to the Brazilian market.

Daily Indian Startup News and Funding Alert – 10 July 2024

Funding News

TimBuckDo Raises Rs 2 Cr in Seed Funding
On-demand talent platform TimBuckDo has secured Rs 2 crore in seed funding led by US-based angel investors Morton Meyerson and Nandkishore (Andy) Kalambi. Founded by Mythri Kumar and Apoorv Sharma Prasad, TimBuckDo leverages AI and technology to match students with suitable gig opportunities, bridging the gap between students seeking flexible employment and businesses needing part-time support.

“With over 50% of India’s population under the age of 25, it’s crucial to harness their potential and empower them with relevant opportunities. The part-time job market is experiencing significant growth, with a 30% increase in opportunities over the past year alone. At TimBuckDo, we are committed to providing flexible and meaningful employment to the younger generation and thereby driving economic growth,” said Mythri Kumar and Apoorv Sharma Prasad, Co-founders of TimBuckDo.

Other News

Digii and AWS Launch DigiiAI to Enhance Student Learning Outcomes
Digii, an Amazon Web Services (AWS) Technology Partner, and AWS India Private Limited have launched “DigiiAI,” a digital solution designed to provide personalized solutions for students, teaching faculty, and administration. This solution will utilize generative AI to streamline administrative tasks, improve classroom management, and provide personalized support for faculty members. Initially, DigiiAI will be provided to over 1,000 faculty members across 20 educational institutions in India, including the Manipal Academy of BFSI, Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT) Bangalore, Techno India University, Chanakya University, and The Apollo University.

Upstox Releases Advisory for Investors on Impersonation Scams
Upstox, a wealth management platform, has released an advisory concerning the rise in impersonation scams targeting investors. As AI adoption grows, the firm has noticed instances across sectors where individuals are attempting to mimic brands and deceive the public. The scams involve creating fake social media accounts, apps, WhatsApp groups, and websites pretending to be Upstox, offering educational courses, stock tips, and promising guaranteed returns. Fake channels such as ‘Upstox Facilities Group’ and ‘Upstox Investment Academy’ have been falsely asserting affiliation with the company.

“We are committed to providing a secure investment environment and request all investors to conduct transactions only through our official channels. Please help us spread awareness and stay vigilant. Our goal is to ensure that every investor can transact with confidence and peace of mind,” said Ravi Kumar, CEO and Co-founder of Upstox.

Korra Promotes Saket Vaidya to Chief Executive Officer
Digital marketing agency Korra has promoted Saket Vaidya to the position of Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Vaidya, who previously served as the Chief Operating Officer (COO), joined Korra’s leadership team in January 2017. In his new capacity, Saket will concentrate on leading business growth initiatives and expanding market presence. Before joining Korra, Saket held positions at various firms including Webchutney and Indigo Consulting (A Leo Burnett Company).

Eton Solutions Launches AtlasFive for Family Office Wealth Management in India
Enterprise management platform Eton Solutions is introducing AtlasFive, an ERP platform for family offices in India. The company has onboarded Catamaran, the family office of Infosys founder Narayana Murthy, as its launch customer. Based in North Carolina, USA, Eton Solutions has been operating in India for the last five years with a team of over 300 employees at their Global Technology Center in Bengaluru, providing support to AtlasFive clients worldwide. Catamaran will use Eton Solutions’ platform to streamline its investment portfolio management and refine operational planning, reporting, and compliance. The ERP platform currently oversees assets exceeding $781 billion for 665 families worldwide, processing over 11.5 million transactions annually across 92,000 entities.

Unstop Partners with Flipkart to Launch GRiD 6.0 Challenge
Unstop, a talent engagement and hiring platform, has teamed up with Flipkart to introduce the flagship Engineering Campus Challenge GRiD 6.0. Open for registrations until the end of July, this challenge invites students to tackle real-world problems and enhance their technical skills. Participants will also have the chance to secure internships and full-time positions at Flipkart through the contest. They will be evaluated on their technical, analytical, and ideation skills before being shortlisted for the Grand Finale. The challenge is open to students pursuing B.Tech, B.E., M.Tech, M.S., or other engineering programs across all engineering colleges in India.

“The collaboration between Unstop and Flipkart for GRiD 6.0 is a remarkable opportunity for engineering students to elevate their skills. Last year the number of registrations were 2X of the CAT applicants and this was huge. This year’s competition is more inclusive, welcoming individual participants and offering substantial rewards, including internships and job opportunities at Flipkart,” said Ankit Aggarwal, Founder and CEO of Unstop.

Skillsoft Partners with Microsoft to Develop Generative AI Skilling Program
American edtech company Skillsoft has launched a generative AI (GenAI) skilling program in collaboration with Microsoft. By leveraging Skillsoft’s AI Skill Accelerator, the program aims to upskill organizations and their workforce to use Microsoft AI, including Copilot and Azure OpenAI, to improve business productivity.

“Generative AI brings limitless opportunity to organizations. We’re seeing this firsthand through Skillsoft’s internal adoption of Copilot for Microsoft 365 and its potential to enhance our efficiency, creativity, and ability to achieve key business objectives. This collaboration with Microsoft is the first of many AI learning experiences we will deliver to help our customers and their talent – from everyday end-users to business leaders to AI developers – acquire the skills and tools they need to succeed in the age of AI,” said Ron Hovsepian, Executive Chair, Skillsoft.

Aerospike Onboards Venkatesh Guntur as Country Manager for Southeast Asia, ASEAN
Database solutions provider Aerospike has appointed Venkatesh Guntur as the new Country Manager for Southeast Asia (ASEAN). Venkatesh in his new role will spearhead Aerospike’s business operations, along with focusing on elevating the company’s presence.

“With his extensive experience and proven leadership, Venkatesh will be an invaluable addition to our team as we continue to expand our footprint in the enterprise and fast-growing AI-centric business applications segments in the ASEAN region. We are delighted to welcome him aboard,” said Aveekshith Bushan, Vice President and GM, Asia Pacific and Japan, Aerospike.

With over 25 years of experience in enterprise IT sales leadership, Venkatesh has driven strategic sales initiatives and held key leadership positions at firms such as Couchbase, Blue Prism, ADP, and Ramco Systems.

Daily Indian Startup News and Funding Alert – 9 July 2024

Funding News

e-Procurement Platform Centriti Raises Rs 6 Cr
Centriti, a B2B SaaS e-procurement platform for the HoReCa (Hotel, Restaurant, and Catering) industry, has raised Rs 6 crore in a pre-Series A funding round led by Emergent India Ventures (EV2). The round saw participation from Atrium Angels, Alluvium Capital, Venture Garage, CoralBay Ventures, HOF, and Brigade Group. Founded in 2022, Centriti offers a tech-based, end-to-end procurement system that centralizes and simplifies the procurement process for HoReCa businesses.

Sustainability Startup Ricron Panels Raises Series A Funding
Gujarat-based plastic waste recycling company Ricron Panels raised an undisclosed Series A round led by Boon Sustainable Technologies. The round also saw participation from Harsh Mohunta (Managing Director, Classic Display Systems), Dinesh Babbar (ex-President at Infra.Market), Venkatesh Srinivasan (ex-Partner, EY GDS), Architect Renuka Sharma, Kaushik Rajan (Founder, Stoicus Legal), and Veromint Advisors. Founded by Rahul Chaudhary and Radhika Chaudhary, Ricron’s patented technology transforms non-recyclable plastic waste into versatile, waterproof, rust-proof, fire-retardant, heat-resistant, termite-proof, and impact-resistant building materials, including roofing, framework shuttering, doors, panels, and storage pallets.

Felicity Games Raises $700K in Pre-seed Round
Felicity Games, a casual game developer and publisher, has secured $700,000 in a pre-seed funding round from DeVC, Visceral Capital, and marquee angel investors, including Kunal Shah of CRED; former Nazara CEO, Manish Agarwal; Sriharsha Majety and Nandan Reddy of Swiggy; and Sameer Pittalwala, Head of Gaming, Google Cloud (APAC), among others. Founded in 2023 by ex-Swiggy executive Anurag Choudhary, Felicity has launched over 10 game titles, which more than a million monthly users play across 14 geographies. The company will use the funds towards testing 10 more such games by March 2025. It aims to scale its revenue by 10X by the end of this year.

Qarmatek Raises $1M Funding Round
Qarmatek, a sustainability and circular economy-focused renewed electronics brand, raised $1 million in funding led by Umang Nahata and Rakesh Raman of Orange Orbit and Vishal Makwana of Texspin. The capital will help Qarmatek expand into multiple categories in renewed electronics, scale operations, and grow geographically. The investment aligns with Qarmatek’s mission to promote sustainability by extending the lifecycle of electronic products through renewal and refurbishment, thus reducing e-waste and contributing to a circular economy.

Helium Raises Pre-seed Round
AI platform Helium, which makes products for ecommerce websites to help them convert better, raised a pre-seed round of Rs 4.52 crore (about $550,000) led by Merak Ventures, a sector-agnostic early-stage venture capital (VC) firm, and angel investor Alok Mittal. It will use the funding to build a high-performing team and further develop Helium’s product offerings. The company aims to collaborate with top ecommerce brands globally, focusing on the North American market.

Other News

Sify Technologies Appoints Tom Bradicich to Its Board
Sify Technologies, a Digital ICT solutions provider with global service capabilities spanning data centre, cloud, networks, security, and digital services, appointed Tom Bradicich as a director on the Board of the company. Bradicich previously served on several boards, including Aspen Technology (AZPN), a publicly traded industrial software company, and the advisory boards of SparkCognition, an AI software company, and a social media and silicon chip startup.

Perfectly Average Welcomes Mira Kapoor as Brand Ambassador
Perfectly Average, a stackable jewellery and accessories brand, appointed Mira Kapoor as the face of the brand. Founded in 2021 by Tarushi Chhabra, Palak Chhabra, and Vidhi Jhalani, Perfectly Average offers an array of jewellery pieces, including rings, bracelets, earrings, and necklaces, each intricately designed with 18K gold plating, CZ stones, moonstones, amethyst, pearls, and aventurine. “Mira’s embodiment of elegance, grace, and modern sensibility perfectly mirrors the core values that define our brand. Mira is not just a style icon but also a role model who resonates deeply with our mission to redefine luxury as inclusive and empowering. Her influential presence in the fashion world and her genuine appreciation for fine craftsmanship make her an ideal ambassador for Perfectly Average,” said Founder Tarushi Chhabra.

SIDBI, BluSmart Flag-off 140+ Electric Cars for Ride-hailing Service
As part of the EV4ECO scheme for the electric mobility ecosystem, the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) and EV ride-hailing company BluSmart flagged off 140+ electric cars in the national capital on Tuesday. SIDBI has also launched a tagline, ABCD (Aaओ Bनाए Cलीन Diल्ली), for increasing the EVs on Delhi roads. Anmol Jaggi, Co-founder of BluSmart, said, “At BluSmart, our mission is to ‘Decarbonize Mobility at scale’ and SIDBI with its unique ABCD initiative supporting EVs is fuelling our growth in Delhi-NCR and helping in accelerating the adoption of EVs contributing to the reduction of carbon emissions from the transportation sector.”

Daily Indian Startup News and Funding Alert – 5 July 2024


EleFant raises $750K in seed round from Malpani Ventures, Venture Catalysts

EleFant, a mobile app-based toy library, has raised Rs 6 crore (about $750K) in its seed round co-led by Malpani Ventures and Venture Catalysts, with participation from several notable investors and family offices. Founded in 2023 by Sourabh Jain, inspired by his daughter’s curiosity and love for learning, EleFant aims to address the challenge of toy clutter and child engagement. Investors in this round include Sudhakar Pai and Jyothi Pradhan from Kanara Consumer Products Limited (part of Manipal Group), Agre Global FZE, and Growth 91/Growth Sense. “This investment reflects our confidence in EleFant’s potential to revolutionize the $1.75 billion Indian toy market, projected to reach $3.3 billion by 2027,” said Apurva from Venture Catalysts.

Gocarin Industries secures seed funding from KIIT TBI

Gocarin Industries Pvt. Ltd., an agri-tech startup, has raised an undisclosed amount in seed funding from the KIIT Technology Business Incubator (TBI) as part of the BIRAC Leap programme. This initiative, under the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), supports innovative startups with high impact and scalability potential. “This funding will drive our mission to revolutionize the agricultural industry by empowering farmers with cutting-edge technology solutions,” said Ramanuj Panda, Founder and CEO of Gocarin Industries.

Other News

Umwelt.AI appoints Sunil Joshi as Chief Operating Officer and Co-Founder

Umwelt.AI, a provider of AI-powered employee experience management and people analytics solutions, has appointed Sunil Joshi as Chief Operating Officer & Co-Founder. Joshi, a certified Gallup Strengthsfinder Coach, brings over 27 years of experience in human resources, business transformation, and coaching. Previously, he was the Head of Business Transformation at Bestseller India. “I look forward to collaborating with the talented team here to develop robust solutions for better employee engagement and retention,” said Joshi.

Grameen Foundation partners with ONDC Network

Grameen Foundation for Social Impact and the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) have signed an MoU to drive socio-economic development and digital inclusion for diverse business entities. This joint initiative aims to support Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs), nano, micro, small, and medium enterprises (NMSMEs), Self Help Groups (SHGs), women entrepreneurs, and startups with digital solutions. Grameen’s programs promote entrepreneurship, digital literacy, and financial inclusion. The partnership aims to streamline the onboarding of digitally excluded groups onto the ONDC Network through education, sensitisation, and facilitation.

Daily Indian Startup News and Funding Alert – 4 July 2024

Funding News

B2B Fabric Marketplace Fabrito Secures Funding from Green Trunk Fabrito, a B2B fabric marketplace and sourcing platform, has secured funding from Green Trunk Ventures, with OYO’s Maninder Gulati joining as an angel investor, among others. The company will use the funds to enhance its technology infrastructure, including a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform for ready fabric suppliers and a fabric sourcing platform for fashion brands and garment manufacturers. Founded in 2023 by Naresh Dhaka, Pushpendra Singh, and Mayank Narain, Fabrito will also allocate a portion of its funds to hire sales and supply resources to deepen relationships within Indian textile hubs.

Other News

inDrive Partners with Evera Cabs to Launch EV Fleet with Women Drivers Mobility and urban services platform inDrive has partnered with electric cab service provider Evera Cabs to launch an EV fleet for women drivers. The partnership is part of inDrive’s DrivingNaari programme, which aims to empower women by providing them opportunities to build careers in driving.

Indian Startup Updates: Daily News and Funding Alerts – 3 July, 2024

Funding News

Bike Bazaar bags $3M from MAS Financial in debt funding

Bike Bazaar, an online two-wheeler financing and ecommerce platform, raised $3 million in debt funding from MAS Financial Services. According to filings with the Registrar of Companies (RoC), Bike Bazaar’s board has approved a special resolution to issue 2,500 non-convertible debentures (NCDs) at an issue price of Rs 1,00,000 each. This debt investment has a 30-month tenure and an interest rate of 10.70% per annum. Founded by Srinivas Kantheti and Karunakaran Vadakkepat in 2017, the startup offers various financial services, including loans for purchasing two-wheelers, refinancing options, and ecommerce solutions for buying and selling motorcycles and scooters. Last February, it secured $10 million in funding from DEG, a Germany-based development finance institution.

Other News

Zepto and Reverie partner to enhance delivery partner experience

Quick commerce startup Zepto has partnered with Reverie Language Technologies to localise its Zepto rider app, addressing the linguistic challenges faced by delivery partners. The app is now contextually localised in six native languages: Hindi, Telugu, Kannada, Tamil, Marathi, and Bengali. “Our delivery partners, who often speak local languages, find it challenging to navigate an English-dominated digital landscape. By localising our rider app into native languages, we aim to make it more intuitive and user-friendly for them. This change is already seeing greater adoption among Zepto’s newly onboarded delivery partners,” said Shubham Agarwal, Senior Product Manager at Zepto. Reverie is an AI-powered language technology platform that offers text, voice, and video localisation solutions, leveraging advanced technologies such as neural machine translation, natural language understanding, and automated speech recognition.

KoinX partners with Mudrex to streamline crypto tax filing for Indian investors

Crypto tax software KoinX has teamed up with Mudrex, a YCombinator-backed global crypto investment platform, to streamline the tax filing process for crypto investors in India. This collaboration enables Mudrex users to generate crypto tax reports using the KoinX platform. KoinX’s advanced algorithms ensure accurate and rapid crypto tax reporting, catering to India’s complex crypto tax regulations. “Our partnership with Mudrex marks a significant milestone in our mission to simplify crypto tax compliance for Indian investors. At KoinX, our mission is to simplify crypto tax compliance, and this collaboration represents a significant step towards achieving that goal,” said Punit Agarwal, Founder of KoinX.

Aerospike appoints Venkatesh Guntur as Country Head for Southeast Asia

Database solutions provider Aerospike has appointed Venkatesh Guntur as the new Country Head for Southeast Asia (ASEAN). In this role, Guntur will lead Aerospike’s business operations in the region, aiming to enhance the company’s presence, drive growth, and fuel customer service. “With his extensive experience and proven leadership, Venkatesh will be an invaluable addition to our team as we continue to expand our footprint in the enterprise and fast-growing AI-centric business applications segments in the ASEAN region. We are delighted to welcome him aboard,” said Aveekshith Bushan, Vice President and GM – Asia Pacific and Japan, Aerospike. With over 25 years in enterprise IT sales leadership, Guntur has led strategic sales initiatives in the technology sector for numerous organisations. Before Aerospike, he held leadership roles at Couchbase, ADP, Blue Prism, and Ramco Systems.

Indian Startup Updates: Daily News and Funding Alerts – 2 July, 2024

upGrad Raises $34 Million in Debt Funding from EvolutionX

India’s leading EdTech unicorn, upGrad, has secured $34 million in debt funding from EvolutionX, a key investment firm for growth-stage businesses in Asia. This funding will bolster upGrad’s efforts to expand its offerings and solidify its position in the EdTech sector.

Founded by Ronnie Screwvala, Mayank Kumar, and Phalgun Kompalli in 2015, upGrad specializes in higher education and upskilling programs for working professionals and students. The new funds will drive upGrad’s growth strategy, including scaling operations, developing new products, and exploring new markets.

Opting for debt funding over equity indicates upGrad’s intention to retain operational control and avoid ownership dilution. EvolutionX’s investment underscores their confidence in upGrad’s robust revenue model and the booming demand for quality education in India.

The EdTech market in India has surged, especially due to the pandemic, pushing educational institutions and learners to online platforms. upGrad has capitalized on this trend by partnering with global universities to offer diverse courses in data science, technology, management, and law.

Competing with giants like Byju’s, Unacademy, and Vedantu, upGrad has distinguished itself with quality content and strong industry partnerships. The new funding will enhance upGrad’s tech infrastructure, expand course offerings, and improve customer acquisition strategies.

Additionally, the funds may support upGrad’s potential expansion into international markets, aligning with its vision of becoming a global EdTech leader. This investment positions upGrad to thrive in the evolving education landscape and make a significant impact on the global EdTech industry.

Daily Indian Startup News and Funding Alert – 26 June 2024

Funding News

Novavente Bags $3M from Highbrow Securities

Novavente Private Limited, a technology sales company, has secured $3 million from Highbrow Securities. The funding will support Novavente’s expansion, enhancing its offerings and boosting its workforce. Founded in 2016, Novavente specializes in global sales enablement and demand generation, serving Fortune 500 companies and startups across various regions.

Morphing Machines Raises $2.76M Seed Funding

Fabless semiconductor startup Morphing Machines has raised $2.76 million in seed funding led by Speciale Invest, with participation from IvyCap Ventures, Golden Sparrow, Navam Capital, CIIE Initiatives, and DeVC. The funds will accelerate product development, expand the engineering team, and support go-to-market initiatives. Founded in 2006, Morphing Machines is pioneering runtime reconfigurable dataflow processors.

O hi Secures $1M Pre-Series A Funding

Social networking app O hi has secured $1 million in a pre-Series A round led by JIIF and several marquee angel investors. The funds will be used to strengthen the product and integrate an AI-based profiling system. Launched in 2021, O hi focuses on real-life human interaction by creating digital rooms in cafés, airports, and hotels.

Other News

Gupshup Launches Conversational Buyer App for ONDC

Conversational messaging platform Gupshup has launched a WhatsApp-based buyer app on the ONDC network. The app allows users to discover, browse, and buy products from sellers on the ONDC network without needing to download another app. Initially, the app will have limited availability, supporting food and beverage orders.

Unicommerce and Fabindia Partner for Ecommerce Operations

Fabindia has partnered with Unicommerce to streamline its ecommerce operations across online and offline channels. Using Unicommerce’s technology, Fabindia aims to process orders efficiently, enabling faster deliveries by allocating orders to the nearest store locations. Fabindia manages a catalogue of 175,000 items, processing orders from over 100 stores and four warehouses.

Indian Startup Highlights: Daily News and Funding Alerts – 5 Jun, 2024

Funding News

iPiD Secures $5.3 Million in Pre-Series A Funding

Fintech startup iPiD, which specializes in payee verification and identification solutions, has raised $5.3 million in an oversubscribed pre-Series A funding round. Leading the round was Monk’s Hill Ventures, with participation from Quona Capital, QED Investors, and existing partners. The new capital will be used for product development aimed at preventing payment-related fraud and expanding iPiD’s presence in strategic markets, particularly in Asia and Europe.

“This investment empowers us to tackle the pressing challenges in the payment industry—enhancing security and simplifying compliance,” said Damien Dugauquier, CEO and Founder of iPiD. “By advancing our validation technologies, we’re not just responding to regulatory demands; we’re actively enhancing trust and efficiency in global payment ecosystems that are increasingly targeted by fraudsters.”

iPiD’s flagship product, Validate, verifies payee names and account details to combat fraud and enhance customer experience. The company serves customers across six continents, covering over 2.8 billion accounts and 6,000 banks.

Aegeus Tech Raises Debt Round from Caspian Debt

Aegeus Technologies, a provider of IoT-driven green robotics solutions, has raised an undisclosed amount of venture debt from Caspian Debt. The funds will be used for working capital and expansion. Founded in 2017 by Suraj Vernekar and Nishith Shah, Aegeus focuses on leveraging robotics, AI, and ML to revolutionize the operation and maintenance (O&M) of solar plants. Its flagship product, Intelligent Waterless Solar Panel Cleaning Robots, is installed in over 8GW solar plants across India, enhancing efficiency and returns on investments by eliminating the need for water and manual cleaning efforts.

Other Startup News

Qlik Launches Talend Cloud and Answers to Accelerate AI Adoption

Qlik announced the launch of Qlik Talend Cloud and Qlik Answers at Qlik Connect 2024, aiming to eliminate barriers to enterprise AI adoption. “Qlik is accelerating AI’s business value with these launches,” said Mike Capone, CEO of Qlik. “Our innovations position us to meet market opportunities for end-to-end, technology-agnostic AI solutions.”

Qlik Talend Cloud offers no-code to pro-code AI-augmented data integration, ensuring data quality and governance. Qlik Answers, an AI-powered knowledge assistant, provides reliable, explainable insights from unstructured data. These solutions are designed to enhance data integration and leverage AI, promoting competitive advantage.

Zomato to Partner with EV Companies to Go Fully Electric by 2030

Foodtech company Zomato aims to achieve a fully electric delivery fleet by 2030 through partnerships with over 70 electric vehicle (EV) rental companies and OEMs. The initiative also includes onboarding EV-based logistics providers and supporting EV bike ownership through financial collaborations.

“Sustainability is at the core of Zomato’s business, underscored by our commitment to 100% EV-based deliveries by 2030,” said Anjali Ravi Kumar, Zomato’s Chief Sustainability Officer. “Given that over 90% of our emissions arise from last-mile deliveries, the transition to EV-based deliveries is critical for our Net Zero target by 2033.”

E-Fill Electric and DevvStream Partner to Generate Carbon Credits

E-Fill Electric has partnered with DevvStream to generate carbon credits from its EV charging network in India through the Electric Vehicle Charging Carbon Offset Program (EVCCOP). “With India prioritizing the adoption and growth of domestic EV manufacturing, there is a significant need for expanded EV charging infrastructure,” said Sunny Trinh, CEO of DevvStream. “DevvStream’s EVCCOP will allow E-Fill Electric to create a lucrative new revenue stream from its existing EV charging network through the generation of high-value carbon credits.”

The program generates and sells carbon credits when EVs are charged, benefiting charge point operators and mobility service providers.

Varun Reddy Sevva Appointed GD Goenka Group CHRO

GD Goenka Group has appointed Varun Reddy Sevva as its new Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO). Sevva, an alumnus of IIM Lucknow, brings over 14 years of diverse industry experience in talent management, HR operations, and organizational development, with successful stints at Samsung Electronics and Apollo Tyres.

“I am honored to be part of this prominent organization that has redefined education in the country,” said Sevva. “I am confident that my experience and skills will contribute to the continued success of the group with growth-oriented and employee-centric HR practices.”

Indian Startup Highlights: Daily News and Funding Alerts – 31 May, 2024

Funding News:

1. Scaler Invests Rs 50 Cr in Scaler School of Business:
Scaler, an educational provider in India, has allocated Rs 50 crore towards the expansion of its newly launched Scaler School of Business (SSB). These funds will facilitate the development of offline infrastructure, curriculum enhancement, industry partnerships establishment, and the recruitment of top-tier professionals as coaches, mentors, and instructors. Moreover, the Scaler Innovation Lab, located on campus, will be accessible to SSB students, providing them with opportunities to develop and showcase prototypes, products, apps, MVPs, and more.

2. Volt Money Partners with PhonePe for Loans Against Mutual Funds:
Volt Money, a platform offering instant secured loans against mutual funds, has entered into a partnership with PhonePe. Through this collaboration, PhonePe’s user base of over 535 million can now access digital, low-interest loans against their mutual fund investments. This integration will embed Volt Money’s seamless loan services into the PhonePe mobile application, enabling users to conveniently leverage their mutual fund holdings for financial support.

Other Startup News:

1. Cashaa Founder Kumar Gaurav Steps Down as CEO:
Kumar Gaurav, the Founder and CEO of Cashaa—a pioneering neo-bank in crypto businesses, has announced his resignation from the CEO position. Under his guidance, Cashaa evolved from a Bitcoin startup to a significant player in the banking sector catering to crypto and high-risk ventures. This decision aligns with Cashaa’s strategic shift towards introducing alternatives to traditional banking services, aiming to foster global crypto adoption. Amjad Raza Khan, formerly the Chief Technology Officer (CTO), has been appointed as the new CEO, as the company embarks on a corporate restructuring journey to launch its global Cashaa account.

2. Skechers Signs Footballer Sunil Chhetri as Brand Ambassador:
Skechers, a renowned lifestyle and performance footwear brand, has enlisted Sunil Chhetri, the captain of the Indian National Football Team, as its brand ambassador. Chhetri will represent Skechers as a forward, donning Skechers football boots and participating in marketing campaigns. Expressing his enthusiasm for the collaboration, Chhetri praised Skechers for its commitment to innovation and excellence in sports. With this partnership, Skechers aims to empower individuals to unlock their full potential both on and off the field, contributing to the growth of sports in the country.

3. The Man Company Achieves Rs 185 Cr Revenue in FY24:
The Man Company, a leading men’s grooming brand, has reported a revenue of Rs 185 crore for the fiscal year ending March 2024. Notably, approximately 70% of the revenue was generated through ecommerce channels, including major online marketplaces and the brand’s official website. The company’s robust financial performance reflects a compounded annual growth rate of 55% since its inception. Additionally, The Man Company marked a significant EBITDA of 7.7% (Rs 14+ crore) for FY24, reaffirming its position as a key player in the men’s grooming industry. With cumulative external funding of nearly Rs 75 crore, including strategic investment from Emami Ltd, the company has surpassed Rs 500 crore in cumulative revenue.

4. Bata India Appoints Deepika Deepti as Head of Marketing:
Bata India, a prominent footwear brand, has named Deepika Deepti as its Head of Marketing. With over two decades of experience in marketing and business roles at renowned brands, including Adidas and CAMP SMA, Deepti brings extensive knowledge of the Indian and international retail industry to her new position. Recognized for her contributions to nurturing the sneaker culture in India, Deepti is poised to lead Bata India’s marketing initiatives, steering the brand towards new heights in the fashion and lifestyle sector. Prior to joining Bata India, she served as the Senior Vice President of Marketing at Metro Brands Ltd.

5. TheCafePrinter Launches Evebot Coffee and Food Printers at Palm Expo 2024:
TheCafePrinter, a division of MJ Innovation Automations India Pvt Ltd, has unveiled its latest innovation, the Evebot coffee and food printers, at Palm Expo 2024. Priced starting at Rs 31,000, inclusive of GST, these printers offer cafes, bars, bakeries, restaurants, and catering services a unique opportunity to elevate their offerings and stand out in a competitive market. With a one-year warranty, the Evebot Coffee Printer enables users to print intricate designs, logos, and personalized messages directly onto beverage foam, while the Evebot Food Printer allows chefs and food businesses to adorn various edible surfaces, including cookies, cakes, bread, and savory dishes, with designs.

Indian Startup Highlights: Daily News and Funding Alerts – 30 May, 2024

Funding News:

  1. TechEagle Completes Bridge Round Led by Navam Capital, Inflection Point Ventures, and Paytm Founder: TechEagle, a leading drone-logistics startup specializing in on-demand delivery services, has successfully concluded its bridge round of funding. Navam Capital and Inflection Point Ventures(IPV) co-led the round, with significant participation from PaytmFounder Vijay Shekhar Sharma’s wholly-owned company. Other contributors include Venture Catalysts and a group of high-net-worth individuals. The funds will further bolster TechEagle’s innovative Vertiplane X3, known for its remarkable 100 km range per flight, 5 kg payload capacity, and impressive speed of 120 km/h. With clients including AIIMS institutes, State Governments, and the World Bank, TechEagle continues to revolutionize drone-based logistics solutions.
  2. Logistiex Secures $250,000 Bridge Round Led by PACE Family Office and Angel Investors: Logistiex, a pioneering e-commerce startup, has raised $250,000 in a bridge round led by PACE Family Office, with participation from angel investors, including Siddhant Khemka. Founded in 2023 by Sarvartha Kanchan and Vineet Agarwal, Logistiex offers a unified platform for Indian e-commerce sellers, simplifying management through its Logistiex Universal Platform. The infusion of funds will fuel product development efforts and expand Logistiex’s tech team, further enhancing its position in the competitive e-commerce landscape.
  3. Jaipur Watch Company Secures Rs 2 Cr Investment for Expansion: Jaipur Watch Company, renowned for its craftsmanship in luxury timepieces, has secured Rs 2 crore ($20 million) in funding from investors Nirav Jogani of Lemon Funds and Jignesh Shah of Dev Diamonds and Lucky Jewellery. The investment will support the establishment of a specialized gold watch manufacturing unit, diversification of product offerings, enhanced marketing initiatives, and technological advancements. With a commitment to excellence and heritage, Jaipur Watch Company aims to elevate its presence in the luxury watch market.
  4. Gramiyaa Raises Rs 9.5 Cr to Drive Expansion in India and US: Gramiyaa, a leading manufacturer of cold-pressed oils, has secured Rs 9.5 crore in funding from UAE’s Homegrown Ventures, Mumbai Angels, and Campus Fund. Founded in 2017 by Sibi Manivannan, Gramiyaa has evolved into a vertically integrated brand, leveraging technology and innovative distribution models. The investment will fuel Gramiyaa’s expansion efforts in both the Indian and US markets, further solidifying its position as a pioneer in the health and wellness industry.

Other Startup News:

  1. Delhivery Emerges as Top 3PL Partner for Early-Stage D2C Brands: Logistics powerhouse Delhivery has been recognized as the preferred partner for early-stage direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands, according to a report by Redseer Strategy Consultants. The report underscores the pivotal role of third-party logistics (3PL) providers in driving the rapid growth of India’s D2C market. Delhivery’s comprehensive logistics solutions, including real-time tracking and seamless integration, position it as a crucial enabler for burgeoning D2C brands, amid the exponential rise in online retail.
  2. Quantum Energy Collaborates with Green Drive Mobility for EV Adoption: EV Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) Quantum Energy has forged a strategic partnership with Green Drive Mobility to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) for last-mile delivery and connectivity services. Under the memorandum of understanding (MoU), Quantum Energy will supply 5,000 units of its EV 2W, Bziness, tailored for last-mile delivery fleets. This collaboration signifies a concerted effort towards sustainable mobility solutions, aligning with India’s thrust towards electric mobility.
  3. IDEMIA Secure Transactions and IIT Hyderabad Partner on Post-Quantum Cryptography: IDEMIA Secure Transactions (IST) has teamed up with the Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad (IIT Hyderabad), to advance post-quantum cryptography. This collaboration aims to enhance privacy frameworks against quantum threats by developing cutting-edge cryptography solutions. By funding PhD scholars for a four-year duration, IST underscores its commitment to fostering innovation and safeguarding digital security in an increasingly complex landscape.
  4. LaunchPilot Expands Operations in India to Support Entrepreneurship: Singapore-based startup school LaunchPilot has initiated its operations in India, aiming to empower first-time entrepreneurs and working professionals. LaunchPilot offers comprehensive support, including mentorship and access to investors, fostering a conducive ecosystem for entrepreneurial growth. With partnerships established with academic institutions and communities, LaunchPilot seeks to nurture the next generation of Indian entrepreneurs, driving innovation and economic development.
  5. Corning Inaugurates Digital and IT Centre in Pune to Fuel Growth: American multinational Corning has inaugurated its new digital and IT centre, a global capability center (GCC), in Pune, Maharashtra. This initiative aims to harness local digital talent to propel the company’s growth trajectory. The centre, situated near Corning’s existing research facility, will create approximately 100 new jobs over the next two years, focusing on areas such as supply chain, data analytics, and cybersecurity. This investment underscores Corning’s commitment to leveraging digital capabilities for sustained innovation and competitiveness.

Indian Startup Highlights: Daily News and Funding Alerts – 29 May, 2024

Funding News:

EcoRatings Secures $1M Pre-Seed Funding:
EcoRatings, a sustainability AI company, has successfully secured $1 million in pre-seed funding from a consortium of investors. Among them are We Founder Circle, 888 VC, Vinners, Indigram Labs Foundation, and Google, who have contributed a mix of equity and grant. Co-founder Aditi Balbir expressed the company’s intention to utilize the investment to enhance its large language model tailored for the sustainability domain. Founded in 2023, EcoRatings focuses on developing a Gen AI-powered platform dedicated to creating a Unified Knowledge Platform for ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) requirements. The platform aids organizations in achieving sector-focused goals in ESG by analyzing vast datasets and providing real-time insights.

Nanosafe Raises Rs 3.13 Cr in Seed Funding Round:
Material science technology startup Nanosafe has secured Rs 3.13 crore in a seed funding round led by the IAN Group, along with participation from IIM Lucknow Enterprise Incubation Centre (IIML EIC). Notable contributions came from investors such as Uday Chatterjee, Sandhya Vasudevan, Tejinderpal Singh Miglani, and Romesh Sobti. The funding will fuel Nanosafe’s expansion into new markets, supporting its mission to address critical hygiene and safety needs in water contact and textile healthcare and apparel applications through its formulations utilizing active copper.

Other Startup News:

mPokket Appoints Sanjay Kar as SVP of Data and Analytics:
Digital lending platform mPokket has appointed Sanjay Kar as its Senior Vice President of Data and Analytics. Kar, with over 16 years of experience in the banking domain, will lead the development and deployment of advanced analytics tools and data systems. His responsibilities include managing risk effectively, enhancing operational efficiency, and driving quality business growth for mPokket.

Cashaa Promotes CTO Amjad Raza Khan as CEO:
Neobank for crypto businesses, Cashaa, has appointed its Chief Technology Officer Amjad Raza Khan as its new Chief Executive Officer. The move comes as Cashaa shifts its business model to focus on introducing an all-in-one wallet, discontinuing banking services for crypto and other high-risk businesses. Khan’s immediate plans include rolling out Cashaa’s wallet service with AI-driven earn and borrow programmes across multiple markets.

Eloelo Appoints Sagar Gaonkar as Chief Technology Officer:
Live social media platform Eloelo has named Sagar Gaonkar as its Chief Technology Officer. With extensive expertise in video streaming and OTT technology, Gaonkar will drive innovation and technological strategy at Eloelo. The platform, serving over 75 million users in India, aims to further expand its reach under Gaonkar’s leadership.

Razorpay POS Announces Q-Zap Payment Solution:
Razorpay POS has introduced ‘Q-Zap’, a payment solution designed to expedite checkouts for retailers. By integrating self-checkout kiosks or handheld POS devices with Q-Zap, retailers can reduce billing time and operational costs significantly. The solution supports various payment methods, including UPI and credit/debit cards, across all major networks.

GatewAI Launches AI-Powered Solutions:
Tech-enabled service solution startup GatewAI has unveiled AI-powered solutions to establish talent, technology, and innovation hubs in India for large corporates and MNCs. Targeting mid-to-small-size companies across industries, GatewAI aims to foster collaborative ecosystems to facilitate multinational corporations’ growth in India’s market.

Aditya Birla Group’s TMRW Partners with Google Cloud:
TMRW, under the Aditya Birla Group, has partnered with Google Cloud to enable users to create custom designs on t-shirts via Generative AI. The collaboration aims to enhance user engagement and personalization on Bewakoof.com. Through Google’s Generative AI solutions, Bewakoof can offer unique design experiences to its customers.

Amazon India Announces ML Summer School Registration:
Amazon India has revealed the registration dates for the fourth edition of Machine Learning (ML) Summer School. The programme aims to equip engineering students with essential ML skills through immersive learning sessions conducted by Amazon scientists. Eligible students can register between May 31 and June 21, 2024.

HostBooks Introduces MFG 360° Solution:
HostBooks has launched MFG 360°, a comprehensive solution aimed at transforming the manufacturing sector. MFG 360° automates various aspects of production, including financial management, operations optimization, and supply chain management, to streamline manufacturing processes effectively.

Sleepwell, Kurlon Partner with Unicommerce for Ecommerce Ops:
Mattress manufacturers Sleepwell and Kurlon have collaborated with Unicommerce to enhance their ecommerce operations. Utilizing Unicommerce’s multichannel order management and warehouse inventory systems, Sleepwell and Kurlon aim to automate order processing and streamline warehouse operations.

iThink Logistics Unveils Weight Discrepancy Management Dashboard:
iThink Logistics has launched a weight discrepancy management dashboard to assist ecommerce sellers in managing weight mismatches effectively. The tool offers instant notifications of weight discrepancies, facilitating immediate resolution during billing and enhancing operational efficiency for ecommerce sellers.


Indian Startup Highlights: Daily News and Funding Alerts – 28 May, 2024

Funding News:

Solinas Secures Undisclosed Funding for Water and Sanitation Robotic Solutions:

Solinas, a startup specializing in water and sanitation-focused robotic solutions, has secured undisclosed funding from Neev II Fund, managed by SBICAP Ventures Ltd. The investment also includes capital from Zerodha Founders investment arm, Rainmatter Capital. Established in 2018, Solinas aims to address challenges such as pipeline defect detection and manual scavenging elimination using robotic and AI solutions. The funding will be utilized to expand product range, market presence, and strengthen water and sanitation infrastructure resilience.

Inspeq AI Raises $1.1 Million in Pre-Series A Round:

Responsible AI development platform, Inspeq AI, has raised $1.1 million in a pre-Series A investment round led by Sure Valley Ventures. Delta Partners, Plug and Play, along with several angel investors, including Prateek Dixit and Rick Kelly, participated in the round. Founded in 2023 in Dublin, Ireland, Inspeq AI plans to utilize the funds to expand its product development team and extend marketing and sales operations in India, Ireland, and the UK.

Gravity Raises $1 Million in Pre-Series A Round:

Personalized banking platform, Gravity, has raised $1 million in a pre-Series A funding round led by Kettleborough VC and other investors from the banking industry. Founded in 2024 by former bankers Satish Krishnaswamy and Rohit Maroo, Gravity aims to enhance banking application interoperability, simplifying the tech ecosystem and offering customized products. The funding will be directed towards further tech development.

Maxvolt Energy Secures $1.5 Million for Fast-Charging Batteries:

Lithium battery manufacturer, Maxvolt Energy, has raised $1.5 million in funding from multiple angel investors. The company plans to utilize the funds for developing fast-charging batteries. Maxvolt Energy aims to launch the final product by the end of 2024 after thorough R&D, with an initial focus on reducing charging time to two hours in the prototype phase.

AbleCredit Raises Seed Funding of $1.25 Million:

AI credit underwriting company, AbleCredit, has raised $1.25 million in a funding round led by Merak Ventures. Venture Catalysts and Helios Holdings also participated in the round. Founded by Utkarsh Apoorva, Harshad Saykhedkar, Ashwini Prabhu, and Anubhab Bandyopadhyay, AbleCredit aims to scale its AI operations and grow its business to transform credit underwriting with recent advancements in AI technology.

Other Startup News:

InCred Appoints Vikram Agarwal as COO:

Financial services company, InCred, has appointed Vikram Agarwal as its Chief Operating Officer. Agarwal brings over 25 years of experience, including leadership roles at Julius Baer India. In his new role, Agarwal will oversee critical functions at InCred Capital, including technology, operations, client servicing, compliance, and risk management.

Paytm Insider Names Varun Khare as New COO:

Entertainment platform, Paytm Insider, has named Varun Khare as its new Chief Operating Officer. Khare, with four years of experience at the company, will lead operational strategies to drive growth and innovation across the business. Prior to joining Paytm Insider, Khare worked in the live events and entertainment industry.

WinZO Partners with DPIIT to Sponsor Gaming Startups for Gamescom, LatAm:

WinZO and DPIIT have partnered to select and sponsor gaming startups from India to represent the country at Gamescom, Latam. The initiative aims to provide a global platform for Indian gaming startups to showcase their creativity and technological prowess.

Ecom Express and Skye Air Partner for Drone Delivery Technology:

Logistics solutions provider Ecom Express Limited and drone tech company Skye Air have partnered to integrate drone delivery technology into their last-mile delivery ecosystem. The aim is to enhance delivery speed, improve efficiency, and reduce carbon emissions.

Gamerji Expands Operations in Southeast Asia:

Esports tournament platform GamerJi has launched its operations in Southeast Asia, starting with Indonesia and the Philippines. The company aims to capitalize on the growing popularity of esports in the region by offering a diverse range of gaming titles.


Indian Startup Highlights: Daily News and Funding Alerts – 27 May, 2024

  • CoverSure Funding: CoverSure, an InsurTech startup, secured $4 million in a pre-series A funding round led by Enam Holdings. The investment will fuel the development of a consumer-centric insurance engagement platform, with a focus on expanding operations in India.
  • CirclePe Investment: Property tech platform CirclePe raised nearly $1 million in a pre-seed round led by OTP Ventures. The funding will support CirclePe’s innovative rental solutions, including “Smart Renting,” catering to urban tenants, landlords, and co-living operators.
  • Yatra’s AI-Powered Tool: Yatra Online introduced a Generative AI-backed business expense management solution for SMEs and large enterprises. The tool aims to streamline travel expense management using artificial intelligence for receipt analysis and integrated chatbot features.
  • Plum’s HR Appointment: Insurtech company Plum appointed Priya Sunil as Chief Human Resource Officer, bringing extensive talent acquisition and organizational development experience. Plum offers employee wellness and business insurance solutions to over 4000 companies.
  • Recyclekaro’s EPR Registration: Recyclekaro, a lithium-ion battery recycling company, registered on the government’s Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) portal for e-waste recycling. This aligns with the company’s commitment to sustainable waste management.
  • IIT Guwahati’s MOUs: IIT Guwahati formalized two Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) to foster innovation and startup growth in Northeast India, partnering with Assam Startup and FICCI to support entrepreneurship and technological innovation in various sectors.
  • Sebamed’s New Leadership: Skincare brand Sebamed appointed Philip Kuncheria as Senior Vice President and Country Head for India. Kuncheria brings extensive industry experience to oversee operations and drive strategic initiatives in India.
  • Zomato’s Compliance Awareness: Zomato conducted awareness campaigns among its delivery partners in New Delhi to comply with the city’s Motor Vehicle Aggregator and Delivery Service Provider Scheme, 2023, ensuring full disclosure compliance with vehicle-related requirements.
  • Glance and Star Sports Contest Success: Glance Smart Lock Screen and Star Sports Network reported participation from 50 million people across India in the ‘Star Nahi Far’ contest, engaging cricket enthusiasts with questions related to popular cricketers and reflecting Glance’s growing popularity during cricket tournaments.

CoverSure Secures $4M in Pre-Series A Funding led by Enam Holdings

On Monday, InsurTech startup CoverSure announced a successful raise of $4 million in a pre-series A funding round. The investment was spearheaded by Enam Holdings. CoverSure, established in January 2023, aims to utilize these funds to develop a consumer-centric insurance engagement platform. The expansion plans include a significant focus on the Indian market, facilitated by Enam Holdings’ strategic investment. CoverSure’s platform streamlines all customer insurance needs, offering personalized advisory services and innovative insurance solutions.

CirclePe Raises $1M in Pre-Seed Round led by OTP Ventures

Property tech platform CirclePe secured close to $1 million in a pre-seed funding round, led by OTP Ventures. The round also witnessed participation from notable investors such as 1947 Rise, iSeed, IIT Delhi, Venture Catalyst, and founders/CXOs from leading companies like OfBusiness, BharatPe, Uni Cards, and OYO. CirclePe specializes in fintech solutions for urban tenants, landlords, and co-living operators, providing innovative rental solutions like “Smart Renting,” enabling tenants to move in without security deposits.

Yatra Launches AI-Powered Travel Expense Management Tool

Yatra Online introduced a Generative AI-backed business expense management solution for SMEs and large enterprises. The tool, powered by artificial intelligence, aims to streamline travel expense management for over 800 crores. It utilizes Large Language Models (LLMs) for receipt analysis, enhancing accuracy, reducing errors, and operational time. The platform features an integrated chatbot for seamless expense tracking and analysis, catering to end-to-end travel solutions within a single platform.

Plum Appoints Priya Sunil as Chief Human Resource Officer

Insurtech company Plum appointed Priya Sunil as Chief Human Resource Officer. With a Master’s degree in Applied Social Psychology and 17 years of talent acquisition and organizational development experience, Sunil brings a wealth of expertise to Plum. Plum offers employee wellness and business insurance solutions to over 4000 companies, backed by prominent investors like Tiger Global and Peak XV Partners.

Recyclekaro Registers on Government’s EPR Portal for E-Waste Recycling

Recyclekaro, a lithium-ion battery recycling company, registered on the government’s Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) portal for e-waste recycling. This move aligns with the company’s commitment to sustainable waste management. The EPR Portal, initiated by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), offers a transparent framework for electronic waste management, connecting manufacturers with registered recyclers and providing financial incentives for sustainable practices.

IIT Guwahati Signs MOUs to Foster Startup Ecosystem in Northeast India

Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati formalized two Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) to promote innovation and startup growth in Northeast India. The agreements aim to support entrepreneurship and technological innovation in the region through collaborative initiatives with Assam Startup and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI). The partnerships entail mentoring, technological support, and frameworks to foster entrepreneurship in sectors like agriculture, women development, and sustainability.

Sebamed Appoints Philip Kuncheria as India Head

Skincare brand Sebamed appointed Philip Kuncheria as Senior Vice President and Country Head for India. Kuncheria brings extensive experience from his tenure with industry giants like 3M, Kraft Heinz, and Fractal Analytics. In his new role, Kuncheria will oversee operations, drive strategic initiatives, and expand Sebamed’s market presence in India.

Zomato Conducts Awareness Campaigns to Comply with Delhi’s Guidelines

Zomato conducted awareness drives among its delivery partners in New Delhi to comply with the city’s Motor Vehicle Aggregator and Delivery Service Provider Scheme, 2023. The initiative aims to ensure full disclosure compliance with the scheme’s requirements, which mandate the declaration of all vehicles associated with cab aggregators, delivery service providers, and ecommerce entities operating in Delhi.

Glance and Star Sports Report Successful Turnout in ‘Star Nahi Far’ Contest

Star Sports Network and Glance Smart Lock Screen reported participation from 50 million people across India in the ‘Star Nahi Far’ contest. The contest, part of Star Sports’ flagship campaign, engaged participants by posing questions related to popular cricketers. Glance witnessed significant user engagement during cricket tournaments, reflecting the platform’s growing popularity among cricket enthusiasts nationwide.

These developments underscore the dynamic landscape of startups, investments, and industry initiatives driving innovation and growth across various sectors. Stay tuned for more updates on the vibrant startup ecosystem.

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