[Funding roundup] bitsCrunch, Bhanzu, Kalvi, aastey, and more

Here are the companies that announced early-stage rounds during the day.
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bitsCrunch raises $3.6M in an oversubscribed private round 

bitsCrunch, a Blockchain analytics firm focusing on providing secure services using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to safeguard the NFT Ecosystem, announced today that it has raised $3.6 million in a private round of funding from lead investor Animoca Brands.

The new funding announced today will be utilised to expand the team in India that can focus on securing many prominent blockchains like Solana, Polkadot, Algorand and others. We also plan to have dedicated teams for our securing services like Scour, Liquify and Crunch DaVinci.

In addition to Animoca Brands, the round had participation from Coinbase Ventures, Crypto.com Capital, and Polygon Studios, the round also saw participation from Borderless Capital, Bison Funds, Mapleblock, Morning Star Ventures, Shima Capital, GravityX, Thykeblock Ventures, and Spark Digital Capital. 

Angel investors from Ex-CxO Huobi, CxOs of Biconomy, Frontier, and experts from JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, and Facebook also backed the project. 

Vijay Pravin, Founder and CEO of bitsCrunch, commented, “We are glad to be backed by some of the best-in-class investors like Animoca Brands, Coinbase Ventures, Crypto.com Capital, Polygon Studios, and other leaders in the blockchain industry.”

Bhanzu raises $2 million in seed round 

Bhanzu, an Indian math edtech startup, has raised $2 million in seed funding, led by Lightspeed with participation from prominent angel investors such as Nitin Gupta, CEO of Uni; Maninder Gulati, Global Chief Strategy Officer at Oyo; Ashish Gupta, ex-Helion MD; Gaurav Munjal, CEO of Unacademy; Kunal Shah, CEO of CRED; and Biswa Kalyan Rath (stand-up comedian), among others.

Founded in 2020 by Neelakantha Bhanu Prakash who broke Shakuntala Devi’s record to become the ‘World’s fastest human calculator’, Bhanzu is a math-learning platform with a meticulously designed curriculum that helps students become 4x quicker and better at math by nurturing their cognitive abilities and building their core math acumen.

This funding will be utilised to scale Bhanzu’s live classes in multiple geographies like the US, Canada, the UK, and the Middle East. Bhanzu will also use the funds to accelerate hiring highly specialised tech and product teams, who will contribute to the learning curves for students and make math learning highly engaging.

Neelakantha Bhanu, Founder and CEO of Bhanzu says, “We are on our pathway to achieve the same, at global scale by questioning the very first principles of how students learn, perceive and apply math in the world around them.”

Kalvi raises $1.7 million in seed round 

Kalvi raises $1.7 million in a seed round of funding from more than 30 founders of unicorns and global corporate leaders. 

The fundraise saw participation from Nithin Kamath (Zerodha/Rain Matter), Sujeet Kumar (Udaan), Kunal Shah (Cred), Rahul Chari (PhonePe), Ankit Bhati(Ola/Amnic), Dr Kumar Muthuraman (University of Texas, Austin), and Anupam Mittal (People Group). 

Founders and CXOs from startups like Haptik, BYJU'S, Unacademy, 1MG, Rapido Bike Taxi, Zolve, Rupeek, Increff, BrightCHAMPS, Yellow.ai, iZooto, Onsurity, Oyo etc also chipped in. Global leaders from Microsoft, Google, Flipkart have also joined this funding round, as per the confirmation from the co-founders of the company headquartered in Bengaluru.

“The Liberal Engineering program introduces students to big picture thinking and helps them naturally build the empathy to think about the ‘why’ instead of blindly executing theory-based learning. In a way, work-integrated liberal engineering will build their technical knowledge and make them great at executing. This will also build empathetic leaders of the future who will work as a team to get to the root of a problem and then solve it,” said Rajesh Kumar, CEO and Co-Founder, Kalvi.

Shobitam raises seed funding round of $ 1.5 million

Shobitam raised a seed funding round of $1.5 million from Hearth Ventures and leading angel investors from the ex-Amazon Leadership team.

Serving the finest weaves of the Indian handmade industry to a global audience in 30+ countries, Shobitam, Inc is one of the fastest-growing global D2C online platforms for ethnic fashion brands. Started by Aparna and Ambika, the founders of Shobitam are experienced technology executives with a passion for beautiful fashion and making a difference to the artisans and weavers who make them.

Aparna Thyagarajan, Co-founder of Shobitam shares on their partnership with Hearth Ventures “We are thrilled by the support of Hearth Ventures and our angel investors who are also very purpose-led and see the huge potential of digital transformation across the handlooms, arts and crafts industry.

"I am excited to work with the entire Shobitam team. People welfare over profits has been the Shobitam mantra and I believe this will go a long way in sustaining the various arts and crafts in India. I love this thought process and am ready to do my part,", said Girish Lakshman, Former VP of Global Logistics at Amazon.com

aastey raises $1.3 million in seed funding 

aastey, a sustainable athleisure wear brand for women of all body types has announced that it raised $1.3 million seed round funding from CXXO, a Kalaari Capital initiative. 

Founded in 2021 by Kanupriya Mundhra and Jeevika Tyagi, it aims to grow into the category leaders in sustainable athleisure wear.

 aastey seeks to create a one-of-a-kind platform where women find comfort in what they wear. Performance wear in India has traditionally catered only to a certain body type, not only excluding a majority of women but also perpetuating body image issues. 

“This funding will help us build our supply chain to scale aastey, while setting the foundation for marketing our brand to propel growth. Our R&D will focus on continuously innovating with sustainable fabrics and making original blends that create the best experience for our tribe,” says Jeevika Tyagi, Co-founder & CEO of aastey. 

“While we have already optimised our products to suit the Indian market, we want to further our action plan to create a standardised size chart across the subcontinent. This is a massive challenge because of the population diversity that this region boasts,” says Kanupriya Mundhra, who is also the co-founder & CCO at aastey. 

The investment was backed by Kalaari Capital through its $10 million CXXO programme that seeks to build a vibrant community of women leaders to champion the next generation of women founder-CEOs for inclusive growth and opportunities to reach the top. 

BOSON Whitewater raises $458,000 investment

BOSON Whitewater, a sustainable water management startup has raised $458,000 in a funding round led by IAN (Indian Angel Network).  

The round was led by veteran lead angel Nagaraja Prakasam, who also will join the board. 

The Bengaluru-based company aims to utilise the freshly infused investment to grow its team, grow its water delivery infrastructure and expand operations across Bengaluru to recycle 500 Cr litres per year. The funding will also contribute towards launching an awareness and marketing campaign, so every citizen can reuse and recycle water to make NEWater of Singapore possible in Bengaluru.

Founded in 2011 by Vikas Brahmavar and Gowthaman Desingh, the company makes water softeners, industrial water treatment systems and recently Water Recovery Boson Whitewater system. BOSON Whitewater System is working with IT parks, malls, industries and apartment complexes to recover potable water from their STP treated water.

 Vikas Brahmavar, Founder, BOSON Whitewater said, “At BOSON Whitewater, we focus on recovering potable/highest quality water from wastewater and we believe it will reduce groundwater exploitation.”

Nagaraja Prakasam, Lead Investor at IAN, said, “We are excited to invest in BOSON, which has turned an environmental mission into a business model.” 

The company is currently setting up an advanced water recovery system with a reliable water delivery infrastructure. BOSON will be introducing its advanced 11 Stage water recovery system (patent pending) to produce potable quality water.

Accelero Vehicles raises $233,000 in seed investment 

Accelero vehicles, a Delhi-based EV startup offering clean motorised transport solutions, raised $232,618 in seed round led by Social Alpha and LetsVenture.

The proceeds of the current investment will support the company’s growth through product development, pilot opportunities, enhancing production capacity, expanding to new geographies, and strengthening the sales and marketing team.

Founded in 2017,  The company is involved in designing, developing, and manufacturing affordable electric bicycles ‘eBik’ and retrofittable engines ‘eBik Smart’ that convert ordinary bicycles into electric vehicles.

Anant Jain, the founder of Accelero, said, “We aim to make electric mobility accessible to every household, especially to the underprivileged. With robust build quality, patented technology, financing options and life-time customer support, we believe we are uniquely placed to scale rapidly in the coming years.”

Accelero will also use the rapid prototyping lab and other facilities at Social Alpha’s Clean Energy International Incubation Centre (CEIIC) in Delhi. CEIIC is a joint initiative of the Government of India and Tata Trusts, in partnership with the Department of Biotechnology, BIRAC, Tata Power and TP-DDL.

GoSats receives Y Combinator backing

GoSats, India’s first Bitcoin Rewards Platform has been accepted into the prestigious Silicon Valley-based accelerator Y Combinator program. 

They will be part of the Incubator’s Winter 2022 batch and will be receiving $125,000 in funding as part of the program.

On being selected in the YC Programme, Roshan Aslam, CEO and Co-founder at GoSats, says “As we embark on the next phase of our growth, with the imminent launch of our Bitcoin rewards card, we are thrilled to partner with Y Combinator at this stage. Much of our company building experience came from watching YC videos on Youtube. We were looking forward to applying and being part of the YC family.”

Furthermore, GoSats was also a part of the first cohort run by the Accel Atoms programme, the Diwali batch, launched in October 2021.  

Label Shaurya Sanadhya undisclosed amount 

Direct-to-consumer (D2C) online fashion clothing brand Label Shaurya Sanadhya has raised an undisclosed amount from Velocity.in..

This is the third round of financing Shaurya Sandhya raised from Velocity.in.

Founded by Instagram influencer Shaurya Sanadhya, a multi-faceted Pune-based fashionista-turned-entrepreneur, the brand offers ethnic wear, western wear, festive wear, accessories, etc for women at attractive prices.

"The funds raised from Velocity.in will be used to expand our product line as well as generate more brand awareness," says Shaurya, Founder, Label Shaurya Sanadhya.

Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta

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