Startup news and updates: daily roundup (Dec 9, 2021)

YourStory presents this daily roundup of the latest startup news and updates from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Thursday, December 9, 2021.


[YS Exclusive] Trinkerr raises $6.6M led by Accel India in Series A investment

Bengaluru-based social trading platform Trinkerr has raised Series A funding of $6.6 million led by Accel India. The total funding raised by the startup now is over $8 million. The key investors in Trinkerr include - India Quotient and Titan Capital, as well as marquee angel investors like Sujeet Kumar of Udaan, Kunal Shah of Cred, Gaurav Munjal and Roman Saini of Unacademy, and Lalit Keshre and Harsh Jain of Groww.

While the team did not reveal its latest valuation, YourStory has learnt that Trinkerr has seen its valuation jump manifolds since its seed round just four months ago. The multi-fold surge in the valuation comes after the launch of its app- and web-based trading platform, which has received overwhelmingly positive reviews and feedback from thousands of its early users. 

MapmyIndia raises Rs 312 Cr in its anchor book from 24 marquee foreign and domestic investors

C.E. Info Systems (MapmyIndia), provider of advanced digital maps, geospatial software, and location-based IoT technologies, has raised Rs 311.88 crore in its anchor book, ahead of its initial share sale that opens for public subscription on Thursday and closes on Monday.

The price band for the Offer has been determined at Rs 1,000 – Rs 1,033 per equity share.

Marquee foreign portfolio investors including Fidelity, Nomura, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Aberdeen, HSBC and White Oak were allocated equity shares by MapmyIndia into the anchor book.

Leading domestic mutual funds such as SBI, HDFC, ICICI Prudential, Birla, Nippon, Tata & Sundaram and life insurance companies such as HDFC Life and Tata AIA Life also participated in MapmyIndia’s anchor book.

The IPO consists of a pure offer for sale of 10,063,945 equity shares by its existing shareholders and promoters, comprising up to 4,251,044 equity shares by Rashmi Verma, up to 2,701,407 equity shares by Qualcomm Asia Pacific Pte Ltd, up to 1,369,961 equity shares by Zenrin Co., Ltd and up to 1,741,533 equity shares by other selling shareholders. The Company will not receive any proceeds from the Offer.

Image source: Pixabay

D2C startup Clensta International raises Rs 20 Cr as Series A from Hem Angels, others

Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) personal and home care products startup, Clensta has raised over Rs 20 crore in a Series A funding from Hem Angels part of Hem Securities Limited, Venture Catalysts and Inflection Point Ventures. N+1 Capital (RBF), the existing investors along with other marquee investors also invested in this funding round, the IIT-backed startup said in a statement.

The funds raised will be used to scale up the company's sales, ramp up brand marketing and expand Clensta’s online and offline presence across India. The brand has achieved a CAGR of over 130 percent and aims to earn Rs 1000 crore revenues in the next 5 years.

The five-year-old startup founded by Puneet Gupta in 2016, started with the flagship products based on Waterless Technology (waterless body bath and shampoo) to enable bathing without the use of water.

Hiring startup Skillr raises $1.2M in its pre-seed round

Skillr, which helps companies identify and hire skilled talent, has raised $1.2 million in its Pre-Seed round. This round of funding is backed by leading angel investors such as Binny Bansal (Co-founder, Flipkart), Caesar Sengupta (Co-founder, Arbo Works, and former VP, Next Billion Users, Google), Kunal Shah (Founder, CRED), Arun Seth (Chairman, NASSCOM), Amrish Rau (CEO, Pine labs), Let’s Venture, Gaurav Girotra (General Manager SEA at Tinder and Match Group), Karan Khara ( Global Director - Growth & Partnerships at Meta Inc.), Pushpendra Singh (Head- New Programs and Mobile Partnerships at Meta Inc.), Bryan Tan (Director, Connectivity Ecosystems at Meta Inc.) amongst others.

Co-founded in 2020 by Ankit Durga and Megha Aggarwal, who are second-time entrepreneurs and leaders in the skilling space, Skillr is a platform that can capture, measure, and predict how people can actually perform in the workplace.

Healthtech startup Astrek raises Rs 75 lakh in funding led by IAN Fund

Astrek Innovations, a healthcare startup working on rehabilitation and assistive robotics, has raised Rs. 75 lakh in a funding round led by IAN Fund. This raise will help the company to accelerate the development of their products, establish clinical trials, and enable early market tests.

The Kannur-based company is incubated by CIE, IIIT Hyderabad and supported by Kerala StartUp Mission (KSUM), Kerala State’s nodal agency for entrepreneurship development.

Founded by Robin Kanattu Thomas and Jithin Vidya Ajith, Astrek has been working on an exoskeleton-based wearable suit, Unik Exo, since its inception in September 2018.

Prior to the recent funding, Astrek Innovations has received multiple grants for various projects over the years, including the Kerala Startup Mission Ideation and Productisation Grants and the Nidhi Prayas Grant from CIE, IIIT Hyderabad.

eMobility service platform EVeez raises $400k in its seed round from ah! Ventures

EVeez, a Gurgaon Headquartered eMobility-as-a-Service platform, has raised $400,000 in its first close of the seed round from ah! Ventures angel platform.

EVeez caters to the mobility needs of the last-mile delivery players, and delivers a tangible profit for its subscribers and many more additional benefits. It focuses on solving the Electric Vehicle adoption problem by providing a full stack solution to delivery partners and aggregators.

"We plan to scale up our operations and unlock operational efficiencies and economies of scale. This will give our subscribers better experience and improve unit economics for us", stated Abhishek Dwivedi Co-Founder EVeez.

Inner-wear brand Bummer raises $180K in funding from Singapore’s BeeNext

Bummer, the Ahmedabad-based new-age essential wear company has raised $180K from Singapore-based BeeNext. The funding will be used to offer a wider variety of products and further build its team.

Speaking on the occasion, Sulay Lavsi, Founder, Bummer, said, “The funding from BeeNext comes at an exciting time as we seek to expand our markets to embrace more millennials and strengthen our backend logistics & delivery capabilities. At Bummer, we are focussed on disrupting the innerwear space by offering sustainable, eco-friendly innerwear in bold colours and funky designs to millennials."

Surat-based pet supplies platform Zoivane Pets raises $100K in seed round from We Founder Circle 

Pet supplies brand Zoviane Pets raises $ 100,000 in its seed round from We Founder Circle. The brand focuses on problem-solving pet products as well grooming supplies. The seed round witnessed participation from esteemed angel investors including Hitesh Dhawan (Founder of Neuronimbus), Dhrumil Patel, Joy Gnanamony and Abhishek Gupta (CEO, APAC & Middle East of Turbotic).

The brand plans to exhaust a part of the fund in scaling the team and tech development. In addition to this, the startup also aims at utilizing the fund infusion on marketing and creating awareness.

Started by two serial entrepreneurs Nishma Singhal and Kshitij Singhal in 2019, Surat-based Zoivane Pets is selling its product online through its website as well as on marketplaces like Amazon, Nykaa, Myntra, Meesho, Flipkart and offline too. Zoivane has registered more than 6 times the growth in sales since the last financial year.

Xscale Accelerator invests in deep-tech startup SecurWeave

Xscale, an accelerator programme for Indian startups, has recently onboarded and invested an undisclosed sum in SecurWeave Research Labs – a Hardware Enforced Security solution provider headquartered in Bengaluru. The deep tech startup has developed CHESS -(Configurable Hardware Enforced Security Solution) India's first and fully indigenously built state-of-the-art platform to detect, report, and mitigate advanced cyber threats. 

SecurWeave has exclusively developed CHESS that leverages hardware virtualization extensions of processors to ensure robust security infrastructure in cyberspace. Moreover, the company has developed the first and only RISC-V-based hypervisor for kernel-mode protection in the world. Its x86 variant is already released and installed in IIT-M, while the RISC-V variant is still under the final testing stage. In addition, it is developing enhanced functionality for the embedded world (edge devices, aeronautics, automotive, defence), which will be released in 2022.

As part of the accelerator programme, Xscale will build a go-to-market plan, including geographic coverage, target industries, sales channel design, and pricing for SecurWeave. Xscale will also help set up a demand generation engine, i.e., creating a funnel from India and then creating an onsite distribution channel in the form of resellers, partners, or the company's own sales force to make the sales happen in international markets.

Mergers and Acquisitions

BICS Group acquires telephony startup MOBTexting

Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS) MOBtexting (3m Digital Networks) has agreed to be acquired by BICS Singapore, a 100 percent subsidiary of the international communications enabler BICS, for an undisclosed amount. The deal is subject to customary closing conditions. 

This deal will enable MOBtexting to enhance its current offering by capitalising on BICS’ global telecommunications footprint and services. At the same time, it will accelerate BICS’ strategy to become an integrated communications platform company.

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eBikeGo acquires manufacturing and marketing rights for ‘Muvi’, a 4th generation European e-scooter from Torrot

Electric two-wheeler mobility platform, eBikeGo recently acquired the product license rights to manufacture ‘Muvi’ Electric Vehicles of leading Spanish automotive company Torrot in India. This electric vehicle will be manufactured and sold in India and across the world.

Muvi is an IoT and AI-enabled electric vehicle with well-connected features and can be easily controlled and monitored via a smartphone.

MyGate acquires MyCommunity Genie to strengthen community commerce play

MyGate, India’s largest community app, has announced its acquisition of MyCommunity Genie, a Bengaluru-based community commerce platform, in a part-cash, part-equity deal.

MyGate’s community commerce vertical has been growing at 50 percent month-on-month. MyCommunity Genie’s strong technology infrastructure and its team’s expertise in the space will enable MyGate to further accelerate this growth.

MyCommunity Genie powers group buying for 100s of communities and has over 150 sellers across Bengaluru. This acquisition would provide MyGate with the necessary tools to bring scale to its long-term plans in community commerce, enabling its 25,000+ communities to unlock the power and savings of group buying.

General News

RPSG Capital Ventures announces first D2C Accelerator – Basecamp

RPSG Capital Ventures, an early-stage consumer venture capital fund, has announced the companies that are a part of its first-of-its-kind D2C accelerator held in partnership with Little Black Book (LBB). The seven Basecamp companies are eligible for an initial seed investment of up to Rs 1.5 crore, it stated.

Companies selected as part of the accelerator are also eligible for distribution, marketing and brand building support from LBB; and mentorship from leaders in the consumer space. The first cohort of the accelerator includes CurryIt, Born Good, Eat with Better, Bartisans, Plow, House This and Vivinkaa.

RPSG Capital Ventures plans on doing more such D2C accelerators over the next two years. Few of these companies are expected to be eligible for future investments to the tune of $4-5 million each. The vision is to encourage more entrepreneurs in this space and support companies from an early stage.

Soon, UPI payments can be done through feature phones: RBI

Crores of feature phone users will soon be able to make digital payments as the Reserve Bank on Wednesday proposed to introduce UPI-based payment products for such handsets. Unified Payments Interface (UPI) has emerged as a popular mode of payment through smartphones.

India has a large mobile phone consumer base of about 118 crore users (TRAI, October 2021). Of this, a significant number of users are still on feature phones. As per Statista, in July 2021, about 74 crore users have smartphones.