Daily Startup News and Funding Bulletin

Daily Startup News and Funding Bulletin – 31 May, 2024

Funding News:

1. Scaler Invests Rs 50 Cr in Scaler School of Business:
Scaler, a prominent education provider in India, has allocated Rs 50 crore towards the expansion and enhancement of its recently launched Scaler School of Business (SSB). These funds will facilitate the development of offline infrastructure, curriculum updates, industry partnerships, and the recruitment of top-tier professionals as coaches, mentors, and instructors. Additionally, Scaler’s Innovation Lab, situated on campus, will be accessible to SSB learners, enabling them to create and showcase prototypes, products, and applications.

2. Volt Money Partners with PhonePe for Loans Against Mutual Funds:
Volt Money, a platform offering instant secured loans against mutual funds, has forged a partnership with PhonePe. This collaboration grants PhonePe’s vast user base, exceeding 535 million, access to digital, low-interest loans against their mutual fund investments. Integrating Volt Money’s loan services into the PhonePe mobile app ensures seamless access for users, further enhancing financial accessibility.

Other Startup News:

1. Cashaa Founder Kumar Gaurav Steps Down as CEO:
Kumar Gaurav, the Founder and CEO of Cashaa, a leading neo-bank in crypto businesses, has announced his resignation from the CEO position. Gaurav’s tenure saw Cashaa evolve from a Bitcoin startup to a pioneering entity in the banking sector catering to crypto and high-risk businesses. This strategic move aligns with Cashaa’s revised business model, prioritizing the introduction of alternatives to traditional bank accounts worldwide, thereby promoting crypto adoption. Amjad Raza Khan, formerly the Chief Technology Officer (CTO), has been appointed as the new CEO, spearheading the company’s transition and the release of its global Cashaa account.

2. Skechers Signs Footballer Sunil Chhetri as Brand Ambassador:
Renowned footwear brand Skechers has enlisted Indian National Football Team captain Sunil Chhetri as its brand ambassador. Chhetri will endorse Skechers football boots and feature in marketing campaigns, leveraging his influence to promote the brand’s commitment to innovation and excellence. With a focus on empowering individuals to unleash their potential, both on and off the field, Chhetri’s collaboration with Skechers underscores the brand’s dedication to sports promotion.

3. The Man Company Achieves Rs 185 Cr Revenue in FY24:
The Man Company, a prominent men’s grooming brand, has reported a revenue of Rs 185 crore for the fiscal year ending March 2024. E-commerce channels, including major online marketplaces and the brand’s website, contributed to approximately 70% of the revenue. The company’s consistent growth, with a compounded annual growth rate of 55% since its inception, demonstrates its resilience and market appeal. With strategic investments totaling close to Rs 75 crore and Emami Ltd as a key investor, The Man Company has surpassed cumulative revenue exceeding Rs 500 crore.

4. Bata India Appoints Deepika Deepti as Head of Marketing:
Bata India, a leading footwear retailer, has appointed Deepika Deepti as its Head of Marketing. With over two decades of experience in marketing and business roles at renowned brands, Deepti brings extensive knowledge of the Indian and international retail industry to her new position. Noteworthy for her contributions to promoting sneaker culture in India during her tenure at Adidas and CAMP SMA, Deepti is poised to steer Bata India’s marketing strategy towards a new era of style and innovation in the fashion and lifestyle domain.


Daily Startup News and Funding Bulletin – 30 May, 2024

Funding News:

  1. TechEagle Completes Bridge Round Led by Navam Capital, Inflection Point Ventures, and Paytm Founder:
    TechEagle, a drone-logistics startup specializing in on-demand delivery, has successfully concluded its bridge round of funding. The investment was co-led by Navam Capital and Inflection Point Ventures (IPV), with notable participation from Paytm Founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma through his wholly-owned company. Other contributors include Venture Catalysts and a consortium of high-net-worth individuals. The raised capital will further propel TechEagle’s innovative Vertiplane X3, featuring a remarkable 100 km flight range, 5 kg payload capacity, and speeds up to 120 km/h. Among its clientele are prestigious institutions like AIIMS, various state governments, and the World Bank.
  2. Logistiex Secures $250,000 Bridge Round Led by PACE Family Office and Angel Investors:
    Logistiex, an emerging e-commerce platform, has secured $250,000 in a bridge round of funding. PACE Family Office led the investment, with participation from prominent angel investors including Siddhant Khemka. Founded in 2023 by Sarvartha Kanchan and Vineet Agarwal, Logistiex offers a unified solution for Indian e-commerce, simplifying seller management through its Universal Platform. The freshly acquired funds will be directed towards product development enhancements and expanding the company’s tech team.
  3. Jaipur Watch Company Raises Rs 2 Crore Investment from Lemon Funds and Dev Diamonds:
    Jaipur Watch Company, renowned for its distinctive timepieces, has garnered Rs 2 crore ($20 million) in investment. Notable investors Nirav Jogani of Lemon Funds and Jignesh Shah of Dev Diamonds and Lucky Jewellery led the funding round. The capital infusion will facilitate the establishment of a specialized gold watch manufacturing unit and diversify the company’s product line. Additionally, investments will be directed towards marketing initiatives and leveraging advanced technology to bolster production efficiency.
  4. Gramiyaa Secures Rs 9.5 Crore Investment to Drive Expansion in Indian and US Markets:
    Gramiyaa, a vertically integrated manufacturer of cold-pressed oils, has secured Rs 9.5 crore in funding through a blend of equity and debt financing. The investment was led by UAE’s Homegrown Ventures, with supplementary contributions from Mumbai Angels and Campus Fund. Founded in 2017 by Sibi Manivannan, Gramiyaa aims to expand its presence in both Indian and US markets. The company’s strategic shift to an online-first model has enabled it to reach a broader audience, leveraging micro-warehouses in key metropolitan cities.

Other Startup News:

  1. Delhivery Emerges as Top 3PL Partner for Early-Stage D2C Brands:
    Logistics giant Delhivery has been identified 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 nurturing India’s burgeoning D2C market. Delhivery’s comprehensive logistics solutions, encompassing real-time tracking, efficient returns management, and extensive delivery coverage, position it as a vital ally for emerging D2C ventures.
  2. Quantum Energy Partners with Green Drive Mobility to Boost EV Adoption:
    Electric Vehicle (EV) Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) Quantum Energy has collaborated with Green Drive Mobility to accelerate the adoption of 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 model, Bziness, tailored for last-mile delivery fleets. The partnership aims to promote sustainable mobility solutions and advance EV adoption across diverse sectors.
  1. IDEMIA Secure Transactions Collaborates with IIT Hyderabad on Post-Quantum Cryptography:
    IDEMIA Secure Transactions (IST) has joined forces with the Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad (IIT Hyderabad), to advance research in Post-Quantum Cryptography. This collaboration seeks to fortify privacy frameworks against quantum threats by developing cutting-edge cryptographic solutions. IST’s commitment to funding PhD scholars underscores its dedication to fostering long-term product security and advancing post-quantum cryptography initiatives in India.
  2. LaunchPilot Commences Operations in India to Support Entrepreneurs:
    Startup school LaunchPilot has initiated its operations in India, extending its support to first-time entrepreneurs and working professionals. The Singapore-based initiative offers a platform for aspiring entrepreneurs to cultivate their ideas, access mentorship, and connect with investors. LaunchPilot’s collaboration with academic institutions and communities underscores its commitment to nurturing entrepreneurship and fostering innovation.
  3. Corning Establishes New Digital and IT Centre in Pune to Foster Growth:
    American multinational Corning has inaugurated its new digital and IT center, a global capability center (GCC), in Pune, Maharashtra. This strategic move aims to attract digital talent to bolster the company’s local and global operations. The center, situated near Corning’s existing research facility, is poised to generate approximately 100 new jobs within the next two years, focusing on expertise in supply chain, data management, cybersecurity, and other digital domains.
  4. Classplus Introduces Polaris School of Technology to Bridge Industry Demands:
    Edtech startup Classplus has launched Polaris School of Technology (PST), a four-year BTech program designed to address industry demands in technology sectors. Offering specializations in Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning, PST adopts a work-integrated degree model, emphasizing practical experience through 5000 hours of live coding. With a faculty comprising industry veterans, PST aims to enhance graduates’ job readiness and bridge the gap between academia and industry.
  5. JioCinema Records Significant Growth During Tata IPL 2024 Season:
    JioCinema, the official streaming platform for TATA IPL, has witnessed remarkable growth during the 2024 season, recording a reach of over 62 crores. The platform’s extensive viewership, totaling 2,600 crore views and 35,000 crore minutes of watch-time, signifies a significant surge in user engagement. JioCinema’s success underscores the growing popularity of digital platforms for accessing premium content, particularly during high-profile sporting events.
  6. Arahas Partners with UNIDO’s AIM Global Program to Advance Responsible AI:
    Geospatial IT and AI firm Arahas has joined UNIDO’s AIM Global program, aimed at promoting responsible AI deployment in industry and manufacturing. Arahas’ participation underscores its commitment to leveraging AI for sustainable and inclusive development. Through collaboration with AIM Global, Arahas aims to contribute to ethical AI practices and facilitate knowledge-sharing to drive technological innovation responsibly.
  7. PhonePe Expands Lending Platform with Marquee Partners to Offer Secured Loans:
    Fintech platform PhonePe has expanded its loan distribution services by introducing secured lending products on its platform. Collaborating with a network of banks, NBFCs, and fintechs, PhonePe aims to provide users with a seamless borrowing experience. The platform’s partnership with prominent lenders and its commitment to expanding its partner network reflect its dedication to offering diverse financial solutions to its user base.
  8. AiDash Launches Maiden ESOP Buyback Plan for Employees Post Series C Funding:
    Enterprise SaaS firm AiDash has unveiled its inaugural Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) buyback initiative following its successful Series C funding round. Targeting existing full-time employees, the buyback program allows them to capitalize on the accrued value of their vested shares. AiDash’s commitment to fostering employee ownership underscores its dedication to talent retention and incentivizing employee engagement.
  9. T-Hub’s T-Recruit 2024 Sets New Standards in Startup Talent Acquisition:
    Startup incubator T-Hub organized T-Recruit 2024, a recruitment drive facilitating the connection between startups and tech talent. With participation from 92 companies and 769 recruiters, T-Recruit 2024 attracted over 6,000 job seekers, underscoring its significance in bridging the gap between startups and skilled professionals. The initiative reflects T-Hub’s commitment to fostering startup growth by providing access to top-tier talent pools.

Daily Startup News and Funding Bulletin – 29 May, 2024

Funding News:

  1. EcoRatings: Sustainability AI Company Secures $1M Pre-Seed Funding
    EcoRatings, a company dedicated to sustainability AI, has successfully raised $1 million in pre-seed funding. The investment comes from prominent investors like We Founder Circle, 888 VC, Vinners, Indigram Labs Foundation, and Google, through a combination of equity and grant. Co-founder Aditi Balbir expressed the company’s intention to utilize this funding to advance its large language model, specifically tailored to the sustainability domain. Founded in 2023, EcoRatings focuses on building a Unified Knowledge Platform for ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) requirements, aiding organizations in meeting sector-focused ESG goals through its Gen AI-powered platform.
  2. Nanosafe: Material Science Startup Raises Rs 3.13 Cr in Seed Funding
    Nanosafe, a startup specializing in material science technology, has secured Rs 3.13 crore in a seed funding round led by the IAN Group and supported by the IIM Lucknow Enterprise Incubation Centre (IIML EIC). Notable contributions came from investors like Uday Chatterjee, Sandhya Vasudevan, Tejinderpal Singh Miglani, and Romesh Sobti. The funds will fuel Nanosafe’s expansion into new markets, enabling it to further develop its formulations that utilize active copper to address critical hygiene and safety needs in various applications, including water contact and textile healthcare.

Other Startup News:

  1. mPokket: Sanjay Kar Appointed as SVP of Data and Analytics
    mPokket, a digital lending platform, 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 implementing analytics strategies to manage risk effectively, enhancing operational efficiency, and fostering quality business growth.
  2. Cashaa: Amjad Raza Khan Promoted to CEO
    Cashaa, a neobank catering to crypto businesses, has appointed its Chief Technology Officer, Amjad Raza Khan, as the Chief Executive Officer. This move coincides with Cashaa’s strategic shift in its business model, focusing on introducing an all-in-one wallet. Khan’s immediate plans involve rolling out Cashaa’s wallet service with AI-driven earn and borrow programs across multiple markets, aiming to increase the adoption of Cashaa’s native token, CAS.
  3. Eloelo: Sagar Gaonkar Named Chief Technology Officer
    Eloelo, a live social media platform, has appointed Sagar Gaonkar as its Chief Technology Officer. With extensive experience in video streaming and OTT technology, Gaonkar will drive innovation and technological strategy at Eloelo, leveraging his expertise from previous roles at ShareChat and Disney+ Hotstar.
  4. Razorpay POS: Introduces ‘Q-Zap’ Payment Solution
    Razorpay POS has unveiled ‘Q-Zap’, a payment solution designed to facilitate faster checkouts for retailers. Q-Zap aims to reduce billing time by 40% and help retailers save up to 20% in annual operating costs. The solution integrates Razorpay POS hardware and software, supporting all payment methods, including UPI, credit cards, and debit cards.
  5. GatewAI: Launches AI-Powered Solutions
    GatewAI, a startup offering tech-enabled service solutions, has launched AI-powered solutions to establish talent, technology, and innovation hubs in India for large corporates, MNCs, and global startups. The aim is to foster collaborative ecosystems that empower multinational corporations to thrive in India’s market, initially targeting mid-to-small-size companies across industries based globally.
  6. TMRW: Partners with Google Cloud for AI-driven Personalization
    TMRW, a brand under the Aditya Birla Group, has partnered with Google Cloud to enable users to create personalized designs on t-shirts through Bewakoof.com using Generative AI. This collaboration leverages Google’s AI solutions to enhance user experience and personalization options on the platform.
  7. Amazon India: Announces 4th Edition of ML Summer School
    Amazon India has opened registrations for the fourth edition of its Machine Learning (ML) Summer School. The programme aims to equip engineering students with key ML skills and technologies through immersive learning sessions conducted by Amazon scientists.
  8. HostBooks: Introduces MFG 360° Solution for Manufacturing Sector
    HostBooks has launched MFG 360°, a comprehensive solution designed to transform the manufacturing sector by automating and integrating various aspects of production, including financial management, operations, inventory, and supply chain.
  9. Sleepwell, Kurlon: Partner with Unicommerce for Ecommerce Operations
    Mattress manufacturers Sleepwell and Kurlon have partnered with Unicommerce, an ecommerce enablement SaaS platform, to streamline their ecommerce operations. The partnership aims to automate order processing and warehouse management across multiple channels for enhanced efficiency.
  10. iThink Logistics: Launches Weight Discrepancy Management Dashboard
    iThink Logistics has introduced a weight discrepancy management dashboard to help ecommerce sellers manage and resolve weight discrepancies effectively. The tool offers instant notifications of weight mismatches and integrates seamlessly with existing ecommerce platforms and logistics systems.

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Daily Startup News and Funding Bulletin – 28 May, 2024

Funding News:

1. Solinas Secures Undisclosed Funding from Neev II Fund:

  • Water and sanitation-focused robotic solutions startup, Solinas, has successfully raised undisclosed funding from Neev II Fund, managed by SBICAP Ventures Ltd. Additionally, it received investment from Zerodha Founders’ investment arm, Rainmatter Capital. Founded in 2018, Solinas specializes in developing robotic and AI solutions to tackle challenges like pipeline defect detection and manual scavenging elimination. The funding will be utilized to enhance its product range, expand market presence, and strengthen water and sanitation infrastructure resilience.

2. Inspeq AI Raises Rs 9.1 Cr in Pre-Series A Round:

  • Responsible AI development platform, Inspeq AI, has secured $1.1 million in a pre-Series A investment round led by Sure Valley Ventures. Other participants include Delta Partners, Plug and Play, and notable angel investors such as Prateek Dixit and Rick Kelly. Founded in 2023 in Dublin, Ireland, Inspeq AI plans to utilize the funds to bolster its product development team and extend marketing and sales operations across India, Ireland, and the UK.

3. Gravity Raises $1M in Pre-Series A Round:

  • Personalized banking platform, Gravity, has announced a successful pre-Series A funding round, raising $1 million 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 streamline banking applications’ interoperability, simplifying the tech ecosystem and offering customized products and features to individual users.

4. Maxvolt Energy Secures $1.5M in Funding:

  • Lithium battery manufacturer and supplier, 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, aiming to reduce charging time to 2 hours in the initial phase and 1 hour subsequently. Maxvolt Energy, established in 2019, focuses on producing lithium battery packs for electric vehicles, energy storage systems, and medical devices.

5. AbleCredit Raises Seed Funding of $1.25M:

  • AI credit underwriting company, AbleCredit, has successfully raised $1.25 million in a funding round led by Merak Ventures, with participation from Venture Catalysts and Helios Holdings. The company intends to scale its AI operations and expand its business, leveraging its innovative tools to facilitate faster and more efficient credit underwriting.

Other Startup News:

1. 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, where he played a key role in strategic acquisitions and served as a board member.

2. Paytm Insider Names Varun Khare as New COO:

  • Entertainment platform Paytm Insider has named Varun Khare as its new Chief Operating Officer. Khare’s previous leadership in the company’s business division contributed significantly to its growth over the past four years.

3. WinZO and DPIIT Partner to Select Gaming Startups:

  • WinZO and DPIIT have collaborated 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 expertise.

4. Ecom Express and Skye Partner for Drone Deliveries:

  • Logistics solutions provider Ecom Express Limited has partnered with drone tech company Skye Air to integrate drone delivery technology into their last-mile delivery ecosystem, with initial deployments in Gurugram.

5. Gamerji Launches Operations in Southeast Asia:

  • Esports tournament platform GamerJi has expanded its operations into Southeast Asia, starting with Indonesia and the Philippines. The platform aims to attract a million users from the region over the next 12 months.

6. SaralSCF Disburses Rs 940 Cr in FY24:

  • BlackSoil Group’s supply chain financing vertical, SaralSCF, has disbursed over Rs 940 crore across 1.46 lakh invoices in FY24, marking a 30% increase from the previous year. The platform aims to expand its clientele by onboarding more financial institutions.

7. Yubi Appoints Anil Mehta as Independent Board Director:

  • Debt fintech startup Yubi has appointed industry veteran Anil Mehta as an independent director to its board. Mehta’s extensive experience in financial inclusion is expected to contribute to Yubi’s growth in the debt ecosystem.

8. Ace Turtle Names Karandeep Singh Jaiya as New CBO:

  • Tech-retail startup Ace Turtle has appointed Karandeep Singh Jaiya as its new Chief Business Officer. Jaiya will lead the business operations of a cluster of brands, contributing to Ace Turtle’s innovation in the tech-driven omnichannel retail industry.

9. Algorand Launches Developer Training Platform with NASSCOM:

  • Algorand, in collaboration with NASSCOM, has launched a new developer course on NASSCOM’s FutureSkills Prime platform, aiming to equip young developers in India with blockchain technology skills.

10. Tide Enables Bill Payments for SMEs:
– Business finance platform Tide has introduced a bill payments feature in partnership with Setu, enabling SMEs to make seamless payments for various services. Tide aims to onboard half a million SMEs in India onto its platform by the end of 2024.

11. Nykaa Parent Appoints Santosh Desai as Independent Director:
– FSN E-Commerce Ventures has appointed Santosh Desai as an independent director, bringing his extensive experience to the company board. Nykaa aims to strengthen its leadership with this strategic appointment.

12. Oben Electric Expands into Delhi, Pune, and Kerala:
– E-motorcycle startup Oben Electric is expanding its presence to Delhi, Pune, and Kerala, aiming to launch 50 new showrooms and service centres across 12 cities in the upcoming year.

13. Modenik Names LV Vaidyanathan as Executive Chairman:
– Essential wear company Modenik has appointed LV Vaidyanathan as executive chairman, succeeding Sunil Sethi. Vaidyanathan’s extensive expertise is expected to drive Modenik to new heights.

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Daily Startup News and Funding Bulletin – 27 May, 2024

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

CoverSure, an InsurTech startup, announced a significant milestone on Monday with the successful closure of a $4 million pre-series A funding round. Enam Holdings spearheaded the investment, signaling a vote of confidence in CoverSure’s vision and potential. The funds raised are earmarked to fuel the development of a consumer-centric insurance engagement platform.

Established in January 2023, CoverSure has swiftly emerged as a player in the insurance sector, offering a holistic platform to address diverse customer insurance needs. Their platform stands out for its personalized advisory services tailored for both existing policyholders and newcomers to insurance. CoverSure’s emphasis on personalized insurance portfolios, democratized risk management, and family-centric insurance solutions has resonated well with consumers.

With regulatory reforms opening up new avenues in the insurance landscape, CoverSure is poised to capitalize on the industry’s growth momentum. The infusion of funds from Enam Holdings is expected to accelerate CoverSure’s expansion plans, particularly in the Indian market.

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

CirclePe, a property tech platform catering to urban tenants, landlords, and co-living operators, celebrated a significant milestone with the successful closure of a pre-seed funding round amounting to nearly $1 million. OTP Ventures took the lead in the investment, joined by a consortium of investors including 1947 Rise, iSeed, IIT Delhi, Venture Catalyst, and key industry stakeholders.

Renowned for its innovative “Smart Renting” solution, CirclePe has redefined the rental experience by offering credit-worthy tenants the flexibility of zero-security deposit move-ins and transparent monthly rent payments. The platform’s user-centric approach has garnered attention and positioned CirclePe as a disruptor in the property technology space.

The fresh capital infusion will empower CirclePe to further enhance its platform capabilities, expand its market reach, and solidify its position as a leader in urban rental solutions.

Other News Highlights

  • Yatra Online introduced an AI-powered business expense management solution aimed at streamlining travel expense management for SMEs and large enterprises.
  • Plum appointed Priya Sunil as its Chief Human Resource Officer, leveraging her extensive experience in talent acquisition and organizational development.
  • Recyclekaro, a lithium-ion battery recycling company, registered on the government’s Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) portal, reaffirming its commitment to sustainable waste management practices.
  • IIT Guwahati inked two Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) to foster innovation and entrepreneurship in Northeast India, signaling its commitment to supporting startup growth in the region.
  • Sebamed appointed Philip Kuncheria as its Senior Vice President and Country Head for India, entrusting him with spearheading the brand’s operations and driving innovation.
  • Zomato conducted awareness camps among its delivery partners to ensure compliance with Delhi’s Motor Vehicle Aggregator and Delivery Service Provider Scheme, underscoring its commitment to regulatory compliance and responsible operations.
  • Glance and Star Sports reported a successful turnout in their ‘Star Nahi Far’ contest, showcasing the widespread enthusiasm for cricket among Indian audiences.