Indian Startup News & Funding Alert Daily Highlights

Indian Startup News & Funding Alert Daily Highlights – 31 May, 2024

Funding News:

1. Scaler Invests Rs 50 Cr in Scaler School of Business

Scaler, an educational institution based in India, has committed Rs 50 crore towards the development of its recently launched Scaler School of Business (SSB). The investment will be utilized for various purposes, including the enhancement of offline infrastructure, curriculum design and updates, establishment of industry partnerships, and recruitment of top-tier professionals as coaches, mentors, and instructors. Additionally, the Scaler Innovation Lab, situated on campus, will be made available to SSB learners, enabling them to create 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 extensive user base, exceeding 535 million, will gain access to digital, low-interest loans against their mutual fund investments. This integration will seamlessly incorporate Volt Money’s loan offerings into the PhonePe mobile app, granting users 100% digital access to loans against their mutual fund holdings.

Other Startup News:

1. Cashaa Founder Kumar Gaurav Steps Down as CEO

Kumar Gaurav, the Founder and CEO of Cashaa, a neo-bank specializing in crypto businesses, has resigned from his position. During Gaurav’s tenure, Cashaa underwent a transformation from a Bitcoin startup to a player in the banking sector catering to crypto and high-risk enterprises. This move coincides with Cashaa’s strategic realignment, wherein it discontinues banking services for crypto and other high-risk ventures to concentrate on introducing an alternative to traditional bank accounts globally, with the aim of boosting crypto adoption. Amjad Raza Khan, previously the Chief Technology Officer (CTO), has been elevated to the role of CEO as part of the company’s corporate restructuring in preparation for the launch of its global Cashaa account.

2. Skechers Signs Footballer Sunil Chhetri as Brand Ambassador

Skechers, a renowned footwear and apparel brand, has enlisted Indian National Football Team captain Sunil Chhetri as its brand ambassador. Chhetri will endorse Skechers football boots and feature in marketing campaigns for the brand. Expressing his enthusiasm for the collaboration, Chhetri emphasized Skechers’ commitment to innovation and excellence, aligning with his own values as a sports personality dedicated to promoting and advancing the sport in India. Skechers offers a diverse range of lifestyle and performance footwear, apparel, and accessories for individuals across age groups.

3. The Man Company Reports Rs 185 Cr Revenue in FY24

The Man Company, a leading men’s grooming brand, has announced a revenue of Rs 185 crore for the fiscal year ending March 2024. A significant portion of this revenue, approximately 70%, was generated through e-commerce channels, including major online marketplaces and the brand’s official website. The company has achieved a compounded annual growth rate of 55% since its inception. Additionally, The Man Company recorded an EBITDA of 7.7% (Rs 14+ crore) for FY24. With cumulative external funding close to Rs 75 crore and strategic investment from Emami Ltd, the company’s cumulative revenue has surpassed Rs 500 crore.

4. Bata India Appoints Deepika Deepti as Head of Marketing

Bata India has appointed Deepika Deepti as its Head of Marketing. With over two decades of experience in marketing and business roles at prominent brands, along with extensive knowledge of the Indian and international retail landscape, Deepti is poised to lead Bata India’s marketing endeavors. Noteworthy for her contributions to nurturing the sneaker culture in India during her tenure at Adidas and CAMP SMA, Deepti is expected to steer Bata India towards a new stylish trajectory in the fashion and lifestyle segment. Prior to joining Bata India, she served as the Senior VP 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 introduced its latest innovation, the Evebot coffee and food printers, at Palm Expo 2024. Priced starting from Rs 31,000 inclusive of GST, these printers cater to cafes, bars, bakeries, restaurants, and catering services, offering them a distinctive way to enhance their offerings, stand out in a competitive market, and augment revenue streams. The product comes with a one-year warranty. The Evebot Coffee Printer enables users to print intricate designs, logos, and personalized messages directly onto the foam of beverages like lattes and cappuccinos. Meanwhile, the Evebot Food Printer empowers chefs and food businesses to imprint designs on various edible surfaces, including cookies, cakes, bread, and savory dishes.

Indian Startup News & Funding Alert Daily Highlights – 30 May, 2024

Funding News:

  1. TechEagle Completes Bridge Round Led by Navam Capital, IPV, and Paytm Founder:
    • Drone-logistics startup TechEagle has successfully closed its bridge round funding. Navam Capital and Inflection Point Ventures (IPV) co-led the round, with participation from Paytm Founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma and other high-net-worth individuals.
    • TechEagle’s Vertiplane X3, boasting impressive specifications, has garnered attention from clients like AIIMS institutes, State Governments, and the World Bank.
  2. Logistiex Secures $250,000 in Bridge Round Led by PACE Family Office:
    • New-age e-commerce startup Logistiex has raised $250,000 in a bridge round led by PACE Family Office, along with angel investors like Siddhant Khemka.
    • The funds will fuel product development and expand Logistiex’s tech team, strengthening its position as a unified solution for e-commerce in India.
  3. Jaipur Watch Company Raises Rs 2 Crore from Lemon Funds and Dev Diamonds:
    • Jaipur Watch Company has secured Rs 2 crore 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 and diversification of product lines.
  4. Gramiyaa Raises Rs 9.5 Crore for Expansion in Indian and US Markets:
    • Gramiyaa, a manufacturer of cold-pressed oils, has secured Rs 9.5 crore in equity and debt financing, led by UAE’s Homegrown Ventures.
    • The funding will drive expansion efforts in both Indian and US markets, furthering the company’s growth trajectory.

Other Startup News:

  1. Delhivery Named Most Preferred 3PL Partner for Early-Stage D2C Brands:
    • Logistics services provider Delhivery has been recognized as the preferred partner for early-stage direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands, according to Redseer Strategy Consultants.
    • Delhivery’s comprehensive logistics solutions play a vital role in the rapid growth of India’s D2C market, offering real-time tracking, streamlined returns management, and extensive delivery coverage.
  2. Quantum Energy Partners with Green Drive Mobility for EV Adoption:
    • EV Original Equipment Manufacturer Quantum Energy has partnered with Green Drive Mobility to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) for last-mile delivery and connectivity services.
    • Quantum Energy will deliver 5,000 EVs to Green Drive Mobility, designed to cater to last-mile delivery fleets, contributing to sustainable mobility solutions.
  3. IDEMIA Collaborates with IIT Hyderabad on Post-Quantum Cryptography:
    • IDEMIA Secure Transactions has partnered with the Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad, to enhance privacy frameworks against quantum threats through post-quantum cryptography.
    • The collaboration aims to develop advanced cryptography solutions to ensure long-term product security, with IDEMIA funding PhD scholars for four years.
  4. LaunchPilot Commences Operations in India to Support Entrepreneurs:
    • Startup school LaunchPilot has initiated operations in India, aiming to support first-time entrepreneurs and working professionals in building and executing their ideas.
    • The firm offers mentorship and connections with experienced professionals and investors, catering to the growing entrepreneurial ecosystem in India.
  5. Corning Launches Digital and IT Center in Pune:
    • American multinational firm Corning has inaugurated its new digital and IT center in Pune, Maharashtra, to attract digital talent and enhance global operations.
    • The center, located near Corning’s existing research facility, is expected to create nearly 100 new jobs in information technology over the next two years.
  6. Classplus Introduces Polaris School of Technology for Industry-Ready Graduates:
    • Edtech startup Classplus has launched Polaris School of Technology, a four-year BTech program focusing on specializations in Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning.
    • The program aims to bridge the gap between industry demands and the job readiness of graduates, offering hands-on experience and personalized mentorship.
  7. JioCinema Records Impressive Reach During Tata IPL 2024:
    • JioCinema, the official streaming platform for TATA IPL, has achieved significant milestones during the 2024 season, with a 53% growth in views compared to the previous year.
    • The platform recorded over 35,000 crore minutes of watch-time, highlighting the increasing popularity of digital streaming platforms for live sports events.
  8. Arahas Partners with UNIDO’s AIM Global Program for Responsible AI Deployment:
    • Geospatial IT and AI firm Arahas has partnered with UNIDO’s AIM Global Program to promote responsible AI deployment in industry and manufacturing.
    • The collaboration aims to develop ethical guidelines and innovative solutions for sustainable and inclusive AI applications, fostering collaboration between private and public sectors.
  9. PhonePe Expands Lending Platform with Marquee Partners:
    • Fintech platform PhonePe has introduced secured lending products on its platform, collaborating with banks, NBFCs, and fintechs to offer a seamless user experience.
    • The platform currently has 15 active partners and aims to expand to 25 by the next quarter, providing users with access to a variety of loan options.
  10. AiDash Launches ESOP Buyback Plan for Employees:
    • Enterprise SaaS firm AiDash has introduced its maiden Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) buyback initiative following a successful Series C funding round.
    • The buyback program enables existing employees to capitalize on the value of their vested shares, enhancing employee engagement and retention.
  11. T-Hub’s T-Recruit 2024 Facilitates Startup Talent Acquisition:
    • Startup incubator T-Hub organized T-Recruit 2024, connecting startups with tech talent to meet recruitment needs.
    • Over 6,000 job seekers engaged with 92 registered companies and 769 recruiters, showcasing the vibrant startup ecosystem’s talent and opportunities.

Indian Startup News & Funding Alert Daily Highlights – 29 May, 2024

Funding News:

  1. EcoRatings Secures $1M Pre-Seed Funding:
    EcoRatings, a sustainability AI company, has successfully raised $1 million in pre-seed funding. Investors participating in this round include We Founder Circle, 888 VC, Vinners, Indigram Labs Foundation, and Google. The investment, comprising equity and grant, will fuel the company’s efforts to enhance its large language model tailored for sustainability. Co-founder Aditi Balbir expressed plans to utilize the funds to advance their Gen AI-powered platform dedicated to Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) requirements. Founded in 2023, EcoRatings aims to develop a Unified Knowledge Platform for ESG, assisting organizations in achieving sector-focused goals.
  2. Nanosafe Raises Rs 3.13 Cr in Seed Funding Round:
    Nanosafe, a material science technology startup, has secured Rs 3.13 crore in seed funding led by the IAN Group, along with participation from IIM Lucknow Enterprise Incubation Centre (IIML EIC). Investors contributing to the round include Uday Chatterjee, Sandhya Vasudevan, Tejinderpal Singh Miglani, and Romesh Sobti. The funding will support Nanosafe’s expansion into new markets, driving growth, and strengthening its market presence. Nanosafe specializes in formulations utilizing active copper to address hygiene and safety needs in water contact and textile healthcare and apparel applications.

Other Startup News:

  1. mPokket Appoints Sanjay Kar as SVP of Data and Analytics:
    Digital lending platform mPokket has named 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 role aims to enhance risk management, operational efficiency, and business growth strategies for mPokket.
  2. Cashaa Promotes Amjad Raza Khan to CEO:
    Cashaa, a neobank for crypto businesses, has appointed its Chief Technology Officer, Amjad Raza Khan, as Chief Executive Officer. This strategic move aligns with Cashaa’s shift in business model towards introducing an all-in-one wallet. Khan’s immediate plans include rolling out Cashaa’s wallet service with AI-driven earn and borrow programs across multiple markets.
  3. Eloelo Appoints Sagar Gaonkar as Chief Technology Officer:
    Live social media platform Eloelo has appointed Sagar Gaonkar as its Chief Technology Officer. With expertise in video streaming and OTT technology, Gaonkar will lead innovation and technological strategy at Eloelo, which boasts over 75 million users in India.
  4. Razorpay POS Launches ‘Q-Zap’ Payment Solution:
    Razorpay POS has introduced ‘Q-Zap’, a payment solution for retailers aimed at facilitating faster checkouts. This solution, integrated with Razorpay POS hardware and software, supports various payment methods and aims to reduce billing time by 40%, allowing customers to complete payments from anywhere within the store.
  5. GatewAI Launches AI-Powered Solutions:
    GatewAI, a tech-enabled service solution startup, has launched AI-powered solutions to establish talent, technology, and innovation hubs in India for large corporates, MNCs, and global startups. Targeting mid-to-small-size companies across industries, GatewAI aims to catalyze innovation and empower multinational corporations in India’s market.
  6. Aditya Birla Group’s TMRW Partners with Google Cloud:
    TMRW, a brand under the Aditya Birla Group, has partnered with Google Cloud to enable users to create custom designs on t-shirts through using Generative AI. This collaboration leverages Google’s ‘text to image’ first-party model Imagen, enhancing user personalization and creativity.
  7. Amazon India Announces Fourth Edition of ML Summer School:
    Amazon India has announced the registration dates for the fourth edition of Machine Learning (ML) Summer School. The programme aims to provide students with essential ML skills and technologies through immersive learning sessions conducted by Amazon scientists.
  8. HostBooks Unveils MFG 360° Solution for Manufacturing Industry:
    HostBooks has launched MFG 360°, a comprehensive solution designed to transform the manufacturing sector by automating and integrating various production aspects. This solution aims to enhance financial management, optimize operations, and streamline inventory, supply chain, procurement, and sales processes.
  9. Sleepwell, Kurlon Partner with Unicommerce for Ecommerce Ops:
    Mattress brands Sleepwell and Kurlon have partnered with Unicommerce to drive their ecommerce operations. Leveraging Unicommerce’s multichannel order management system, both brands aim to automate order processing across their brand websites and multiple marketplaces.
  10. iThink Logistics Introduces Weight Discrepancy Management Dashboard:
    iThink Logistics has launched a weight discrepancy management dashboard to help ecommerce sellers manage and resolve weight discrepancies efficiently. Integrated with existing ecommerce platforms and logistics systems, this tool offers instant notifications of weight mismatches for immediate resolution during billing.


Indian Startup News & Funding Alert Daily Highlights – 28 May, 2024

Funding News:

  1. Solinas Raises Undisclosed Funding: Water and sanitation-focused robotic solutions startup Solinas has secured investment from Neev II Fund managed by SBICAP Ventures Ltd, along with private sector capital from Zerodha Founders investment arm, Rainmatter Capital. The undisclosed funding will be used to enhance product range, expand market presence, and strengthen water and sanitation infrastructure resilience. Established in 2018, Solinas aims to address issues like pipeline defect detection and manual scavenging elimination.
  2. Inspeq AI Raises Rs 9.1 Cr: Responsible AI development platform Inspeq AI has raised $1.1 million in a pre-Series A investment round from Sure Valley Ventures, Delta Partners, Plug and Play, and several other angel investors. Founded in 2023 in Dublin, Ireland, Inspeq AI plans to utilize the funds to expand its product development team and extend its marketing and sales operations in India, Ireland, and the UK.
  3. Gravity Raises $1M: Personalised 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. The startup, launched in 2024 by former bankers Satish Krishnaswamy and Rohit Maroo, will utilize the funds to develop its technology further.
  4. Maxvolt Energy Raises $1.5M: Lithium battery manufacturer Maxvolt Energy has raised $1.5 million in funding from multiple angel investors. The funds will be used to develop fast-charging batteries for electric vehicles (EVs), with plans to launch the final product by the end of 2024.
  5. AbleCredit Raises Seed Funding: AI credit underwriting company AbleCredit has raised $1.25 million in a funding round led by Merak Ventures, with participation from Venture Catalysts and Helios Holdings. The funding will aid in scaling AI operations and business growth.
  6. Skippi Raises Pre-Series A Round: Ice pop brand Skippi IcePops has raised Rs 10 crore in a pre-Series A funding round led by Hyderabad Angel Network and Venture Catalysts. The funding will be allocated for marketing, product development, and hiring leadership personnel.

Other Startup News:

  1. InCred Appoints COO: Financial services company InCred has appointed Vikram Agarwal as its Chief Operating Officer. Agarwal brings over 25 years of experience to the role, including tenure as COO and CRO at Julius Baer India.
  2. Paytm Insider Appoints New COO: Entertainment platform Paytm Insider has named Varun Khare as its new Chief Operating Officer. Khare, who previously led the company’s business division, will now lead operational strategies for growth and innovation.
  3. WinZO and DPIIT Partner for Gaming Startups: 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 platform for Indian gaming startups to showcase their creativity and technological prowess globally.
  4. Ecom Express and Skye Partner for Drone Deliveries: 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, aiming to enhance delivery speed and efficiency.
  5. Gamerji Expands into Southeast Asia: Esports tournament platform GamerJi has launched its operations in Southeast Asia, starting with Indonesia and the Philippines. The company aims to add a million users from the region to its platform over the next 12 months.
  6. SaralSCF Disburses Rs 940 Cr in FY24: Supply chain financing vertical SaralSCF, part of BlackSoil Group, has disbursed over Rs 940 crore across 1.46 lakh invoices in FY24, up 30% from the previous year.
  7. Yubi Appoints Independent Board Director: Debt fintech startup Yubi has appointed industry veteran Anil Mehta as an independent director to its board.
  8. Ace Turtle Names New CBO: Tech-retail startup Ace Turtle has named Karandeep Singh Jaiya as its new Chief Business Officer, who will lead the business operations of a cluster of brands.
  9. Algorand Launches Developer Training Platform: Algorand, along with NASSCOM, has launched a new developer course on NASSCOM’s FutureSkills Prime platform, aiming to help students learn how to develop applications using Algorand’s blockchain technology.
  10. Tide Enables Bill Payments for SMEs: Business finance platform Tide has launched a bill payments feature in partnership with Setu, allowing SMEs to make payments seamlessly across platforms.
  11. Nykaa Parent Appoints Independent Director: FSN E-Commerce Ventures, parent company of Nykaa, has appointed Santosh Desai as an independent director for a term of three years starting July 15, 2023.
  12. Oben Electric Expands Operations: Bengaluru-based e-motorcycle startup Oben Electric will be expanding to Delhi, Pune, and Kerala, aiming to launch 50 new showrooms and service centers in 12 cities across the year.
  13. Modenik Appoints Executive Chairman: Essential wear company Modenik has appointed LV Vaidyanathan as executive chairman, following the retirement of Sunil Sethi from the role.


Indian Startup News & Funding Alert Daily Highlights – 27 May, 2024

Key Points:

  1. CoverSure Funding: CoverSure, an InsurTech startup, raised $4 million in pre-series A funding led by Enam Holdings. The investment is aimed at fueling CoverSure’s expansion and growth in the Indian insurance market.
  2. CirclePe Funding: Property tech platform CirclePe secured close to $1 million in pre-seed funding led by OTP Ventures. The funding round saw participation from notable industry players, highlighting confidence in CirclePe’s “Smart Renting” solution.
  3. Yatra’s AI Tool: Yatra Online launched a Generative AI-backed travel expense management tool to streamline expense tracking for businesses. The tool utilizes artificial intelligence to enhance accuracy and efficiency in expense management.
  4. Plum’s HR Appointment: InsurTech company Plum appointed Priya Sunil as Chief Human Resource Officer, leveraging her expertise to drive human resources initiatives and support company growth.
  5. Recyclekaro’s EPR Registration: Recyclekaro registered on the government’s EPR portal for e-waste recycling, emphasizing its commitment to sustainable waste management practices.
  6. IIT Guwahati’s MoUs: IIT Guwahati signed two MoUs to foster entrepreneurship and innovation in the Northeast region, supporting startup growth in sectors such as agriculture and sustainability.
  7. Sebamed’s Appointment: Skincare brand Sebamed appointed Philip Kuncheria as Senior Vice President and Country Head for India, signaling strategic expansion and market innovation.
  8. Zomato’s Compliance Initiative: Zomato organized awareness camps in New Delhi to comply with the city’s disclosure guidelines for motor vehicle aggregators and delivery service providers, demonstrating commitment to regulatory compliance.
  9. Glance and Star Sports Contest: Glance and Star Sports celebrated the success of the ‘Star Nahi Far’ contest, engaging millions of cricket enthusiasts across India through interactive campaigns.

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

CoverSure, an InsurTech startup, announced a significant milestone today as it successfully closed a $4 million pre-series A funding round. The funding was spearheaded by Enam Holdings, marking a crucial step forward for CoverSure’s expansion plans. With this injection of capital, CoverSure aims to develop a consumer-centric insurance engagement platform tailored to the needs of the Indian market. Founded in January 2023, CoverSure has swiftly emerged as a key player in the insurance sector, offering personalized advisory services and innovative insurance solutions.

CirclePe Raises Close to $1M in Pre-Seed Round

CirclePe, a property tech platform, secured close to $1 million in a pre-seed funding round led by OTP Ventures. This funding round also saw participation from prominent industry players, including 1947 Rise, iSeed, IIT Delhi, and Venture Catalyst. CirclePe’s unique “Smart Renting” solution, designed to simplify the rental process for urban tenants and landlords, has garnered attention in the FinTech space. The company plans to utilize the funds to further develop its platform and expand its market reach.

Other Noteworthy Updates:

  • Yatra Online unveiled a cutting-edge Generative AI-backed travel expense management tool aimed at streamlining expense management for SMEs and large enterprises. This innovative solution harnesses artificial intelligence to enhance accuracy and efficiency in travel expense tracking and analysis.
  • Plum, an InsurTech company, appointed Priya Sunil as its Chief Human Resource Officer. With her extensive experience in talent acquisition and organizational development, Sunil is poised to drive Plum’s human resources initiatives forward.
  • Recyclekaro registered on the government’s Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) portal for e-waste recycling, signaling a commitment to sustainable waste management practices.
  • IIT Guwahati forged two Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) to foster entrepreneurship and innovation in the Northeast region. These partnerships aim to support startup growth and development in sectors such as agriculture, women’s development, and sustainability.
  • Sebamed announced the appointment of Philip Kuncheria as Senior Vice President and Country Head for India, underscoring the brand’s commitment to strategic expansion and market innovation.
  • Zomato conducted awareness camps in New Delhi to comply with the city’s disclosure guidelines for motor vehicle aggregators and delivery service providers. These initiatives reflect Zomato’s dedication to regulatory compliance and responsible business practices.
  • Glance and Star Sports celebrated the success of the ‘Star Nahi Far’ contest, engaging millions of cricket enthusiasts across India and highlighting the power of interactive campaigns in driving user engagement.

As startups continue to innovate and evolve, these developments underscore the dynamic nature of the startup ecosystem and its impact on various industries.