Startup news and updates: daily roundup (Jan 21, 2022)

YourStory presents daily news roundups from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Friday, January 21, 2022.
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Toothsi raises $9M in venture debt from Stride Ventures

Toothsi, a clinical beauty tech firm, raised $9 million in venture debt from Stride Ventures, according to a statement shared by the company.

The startup will use the funds to improve technology and automation. Currently present in 11 cities across India, Toothsi also plans on increasing its geographic footprint.

Founded in 2018 by Dr Arpi Mehta, Dr Pravin Shetty, Dr Manjul Jain, and Dr Anirudh Kale, Toothsi offers at-home dental services including dentist appointments, delivering aligner kits and in-house orthodontist visits. The claims to have attended more than 65,000 dental appointments. The funding amount will be sanctioned from Stride Ventures’ recently raised Venture India Fund II.

LegalKart raises Rs 4 Cr from Mumbai Angels and IIM Udaipur Incubation Center

Gurugram-based LegalKart raised Rs 4 crore in Pre-Series A round from Mumbai Angels and IIM Udaipur Incubation Center. 

The funds will be utilised to develop the product further with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) capabilities

Founded in 2018 by Dr Arvind Singhatiya, a National Law University (Jodhpur) graduate, LegalKart claims to provide affordable and round the clock advice on law in eight Indian languages including Hindi and English. 

So far, the legal-tech firm has raised Rs 3.5 crore from a group of angel investors. LegalKart currently has 100,000 customers using the app across 900 locations in India.

Pumpkart raises $2 million from the Government of Karnataka

Grow India Ventures Pvt Ltd-run Pumpkart raised $2 million from the Karnataka Government under the Samruddhi Scheme. 

Based in Chandigarh, Pumpkart was founded by KS Bhatia in 2014. The firm sells farming equipment to other businesses. Under the Samruddhi Scheme, Pumpkart will set up at least 100 stores across backward areas of Karnataka. So far, the firm has successfully handed over more than 75 stores to applicants across the state.

The B2B player has recently signed an agreement in Uttar Pradesh to open 1,200 stores across the state.

Agrowave raises $2 million from OYO’s Ritesh Agarwal

AgroWave, an agritech startup, raised $2 million from Aroa Ventures, which is OYO founder Ritesh Agarwal’s family office. The firm plans on building around 40,000 mobile pickup stations using the funds. 

Founded in 2017 by Anu Meena, an Indian Institute of Technology (IIT-Delhi) graduate, Agrowave is an agritech startup, which creates a first-mile delivery farm-to-market supply chain through a network of mobile pickup stations. 

As of December 2021, Agrowave claims to have scaled to approximately Rs 15 crore in gross merchandise value (GMV) and operates in over 150 villages across India. 

D2C unicorn Mamaearth achieves gender balance with 51 pc women workforce

Ghazal Alagh and Varun Alagh, cofounders, Mamaearth

Honasa Consumer Pvt Ltd, the parent company of consumer brand Mamaearthachieved gender-balanced employment of 51 percent women workforce, the company's co-founder Varun Alagh announced on LinkedIn today.

"For any position in the company, the relevant CVs that HR generates must have a 50:50 representation. We did this over two years and the numbers corrected for themselves," Varun said, adding it was not treated as an "agenda or targets for people or talk about 'diversity' in board rooms."

Amidst the rising debate on the impact of gender diversity on company performance, Harvard Business Review conducted a study of 1,069 leading firms across 35 countries and 24 industries which stated that countries and industries that view gender diversity as important are more productive in terms of market value and revenue.

India smartphone market logs 169M units shipment in 2021, highest till date: Counterpoint

India's smartphone market registered its highest-ever shipments at 169 million units in 2021, according to a report by Counterpoint Research.

Preliminary data from Counterpoint Research's Market Monitor service said India's smartphone shipments crossed 169 million units in 2021 to register 11 percent year-on-year growth from about 152 million units in 2020.

The market showed high resilience in a year that witnessed a second and more virulent COVID-19 wave as well as supply disruptions and price increases due to the ongoing component shortages, it added.

The report said increased adoption and demand for 5G smartphones was one of the key factors for high shipments in 2021.

5G smartphones contributed to about 17 percent of the overall shipments in 2021, registering 6x growth compared to 2020, it added.

Over 2,250 startups added in 2021, raised $24.1B in 2021: Nasscom-Zinnov report

More than 2,250 startups were added in the year 2021, over 600 more than what was added in the previous year, a report by NASSCOM and Zinnov.

The study titled 'Indian Tech Start-up Ecosystem: Year of The Titans' said with rising investor confidence, startups leveraging deep-tech, and tapping unexplored talent pool, the Indian tech startup base continues to witness steady growth.

As per the report, startups raised $24.1 billion in 2021, a two-fold increase over pre-COVID levels.

In comparison to 2020, there was a 3X increase in the number of high-value deals (deals more than $100 million), demonstrating investor confidence with a pool of active angel investors of more than 2,400 and a readiness to take significant risks, it said.

Binance Lab announces Jan 25 'BUIDLer Day' to conclude its third season of incubation programme

Binance Labs, the venture capital arm and innovation incubator of Binance, concluded the third season of its incubation programme that focused on promising blockchain projects across the world. In eight weeks of incubation, participants gain access to resources, industry exposure, valuable networks, and mentorship.

Launched in 2018, the incubation programme has incubated 25 projects including such as Polygon, Perpetual Protocol, Dune Analytics, and the end of the current season will be marked as a BUIDLer Day.

While nine incubated projects from the current season are set to formally pitch their progress and traction to an audience of investors, mentors and other industry figures on BUIDLer Day, the programme is actively recruiting candidates for the upcoming season.

“The Binance Labs Incubation Programme nurtures budding entrepreneurs that can bring mass adoption of crypto and innovation within the blockchain ecosystem,” Bill Chin, head of Binance Labs Fund, said.

Omega Seiki Mobility and SUN Mobility sign MoU to deploy 10000 Commercial EVs

Anglian Omega Group’s Omega Seiki Mobility (OSM) has inked a strategic alliance with Bengaluru-based EV technology solutions company SUN Mobility to launch 10,000 commercial electric vehicles with swappable batteries across the country.

Omega Seiki Mobility will gain access to SUN Mobility’s nationwide network with advanced Quick Interchange Station (QIS’) and real-time visibility through its energy infrastructure management platform. The alliance will also enable quick and easy battery swapping for users.

“The ability to quickly get a new set of charged batteries will play a pivotal role in the adoption of EVs in a market like India. More so for the ecommerce and logistics segments without having to worry about the energy infrastructure,” Uday Narang, Founder and Chairman, Omega Seiki Mobility said.

MemeChat launches NFT marketplace The Meme Club

Meme creating platform MemeChaton Friday launched The Meme Club, an NFT marketplace that will provide meme creators, collectors, and other interested parties to buy and sell memes globally.

“With the launch of The Meme Club, every NFT that is minted by the creator acts as a pass into the club to receive added benefits. The biggest advantage lies in being a part of a community with access to MemeChat’s viral tools. The community can play a decisive role on viral content as the members can collectively vote on viral memes,” Kyle Fernandes, co-founder and CEO of MemeChat said.

Edited by Kanishk Singh

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