[Funding roundup] IITian Chacha, Kritsnam, Dvara SmartGold, GoalTeller, Meraqui, Goldsetu raise early-stage capital & more

YourStory presents daily funding roundups from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Monday, February 7, 2022.
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Edtech startup IITian Chacha raises undisclosed amount from angel investor

Noida-based edtech startup IITian Chacha has raised an undisclosed amount from Laksh Yadav, Director of the Strategic Advisor of the Sunshine group and the Chief Executive Officer of Cocoberry.

In an official statement, the startup said the funding will be used to ramp up technology, physical resources, facilities, administration, and management. 

"I am thrilled and welcome Laksh on this journey. edtech development is definitely necessary and it is great to have more hands join the initiative,” added Dushyant Kumar, Founder, IITian Chacha. 

IITian Chacha was founded by Dushyant Kumar, who is a teacher of chemistry for JEE/NEET and has over 34 million views and over four lakh followers on Youtube. He completed his education with a BTech from IIT-Roorkee and has mentored more than 20,000 students. 

Water security startup Kritsnam raises Rs 6 Cr in pre-Series A round

Hyderabad-based Kritsnam, an IIT Kanpur, SIIC graduated water security startup, on Monday announced that it has raised Rs 6 crore as part of its pre-Series A round. 

The investment, led by IIT Kanpur Batch of 1987 alumni, also saw participation from BVR Mohan Reddy, the Founder Chairman of Cyient Ltd; Ashish Gupta, Founder of Helion Ventures; Kunal Shah, Founder of Cred; Basab Pradhan, former Infosys Executive; Sai Srinivas, Founder of MPL Gaming; Mukesh Maheshwari, Managing Director of Ercon Composites; Vivek Gore, Founder of Primus Technology Consulting, LetsVenture; Shalini Chabra, Managing Partner at 3i Partners and Incipia Advisors, Vikram Karunakaram, Founder of Delta Pure and Sanjiv Verma, former Managing Director of Baxter India.

The latest round of funding will be used to commercialise smart IoT (Internet of Things) and SaaS (software -as-a-service) solutions that help businesses manage their water usage digitally, reduce groundwater footprint, and comply with government regulations.

Founded in 2015 by K Sri Harsha, Prudhvi Sagar, Vinay Chataraju, and Neeraj Rai, Kritsnam provides cutting-edge IoT/AI solutions to water managers for managing their limited and dwindling water resources sustainably. The company’s immediate goal is to help businesses reduce water risks and ensure water security.

Micro savings fintech startup Dvara SmartGold raises $2M from Axilor and Dvara Holdings

Dvara SmartGold, a Mumbai-based micro-savings led fintech startup, has raised $2 million in a pre-Series A round from Axilor, an early-stage sector agnostic seed fund, and Dvara Holdings. 

 

Jaydeep Banerjee, interim CEO of Dvara SmartGold, said, 

“Dvara SmartGold currently has in excess of 70,000 customers and the capital raised will be used to expand pan India footprint for micro-savings and introducing various products with gold as the fulcrum. As part of the Dvara’s larger financial inclusion mission we aim to provide each underserved household in the country, access to relevant financial services that will help in giving them financial independence and respect in society.”

Dvara SmartGold is an initiative of the ‘Dvara Venture Studio’ cohort that supports entrepreneurs working towards large-scale systemic change in the financial inclusion space.

Set up in 2019, Dvara SmartGold’s vision is to allow customers to save in a familiar asset class i.e. Gold, but without any of the inconveniences associated with the traditional channels.

The startup enables customers to save through small flexible installments (SIPs) in the form of grams of pure gold as per customer’s cash availability through designed gold micro-savings plans. It helps households create a financial safety net seamlessly and digitally. Customers have the option to utilise their savings at any time, during times of an emergency or fulfil a short- or long-term life goal at their convenience. 

Fintech startup GoalTeller raises $500K in pre-Series A round 

Bengaluru-based GoalTeller, an automated financial planning startup, on Saturday announced the closure of its pre-Series A funding of $500,000 from existing investors, founders, family and friends. 

Participants in the funding round included Dr Ranjan Pai (Chairman MEMG), Vivek Banka (Co-founder, GoalTeller), Pankaj Fitkariwala and Himanshu Bhagat (senior professionals from the wealth management industry), Vikas Poddar (Co-founder, Ashirvad Pipes and Principal at Vikas Poddar Family Office),  Prashasta Seth (angel investor and Founder, Prudent Inv Managers) and Harsh Chhaparia (Partner, McKinsey and Co). 

  

Other names among the startup's early backers are Rainmatter (Zerodha), Kunal Shah (Founder, Cred), Raghunandan G (ex-founder, TaxiForSure and Founder, Zolve), Vivek Hinduja (Ex-promoter, Gokaldas Exports) and Sousthav Chakravarthy (Founder, Siply).  

With the current capital raised, the company plans to focus on further building the team and ramping up marketing activities. 

“It continues to be our endeavour at GoalTeller to make comprehensive financial planning and high quality advice accessible for everyone at a fraction of the industry cost,” said Vivek Banka and Abhisek Puglia, Co-founders, GoalTeller.  

Founded in 2020 by Vivek Banka and Abhisek Puglia, GoalTeller aims to bring financial planning advice across investments, goals and succession planning to every individual in the country with the help of technology and its proprietary algorithms.   

GoalTeller claims to be one of the first fintech companies to go live with the implementation of the account aggregator platform.    

Goldsetu raises $1.2M led by Village Global, iSeed, Titan Capital, Better Capital, others

 

Gold Setu Private Limited, a mobile-first micro SaaS platform for jewellery retailers, has raised $1.2 million in a seed round of funding led by Village Global, Better Capital, Titan Capital, iSeed and Anjali Bansal for Avaana Seed.

The startup will use the capital to fuel go-to-market initiatives and launch new products on its platform.

 

Gold Setu, founded by Vikas Verma and Anuj Sachdev claims to operate a fintech and commerce SaaS Platform for jewellery retailers.  The platform helps jewellers instantly launch their digital storefront with digital ordering and digital payments.

Creating a digital storefront through the platform is hassle-free, takes around 30 seconds, and requires no technical skills, the startup says. It also helps them digitally manage their store through smart dashboards, product and customer analytics, priority lists, and CRM tools.

Retailers can also launch jewellery purchase schemes with fully digital onboarding, tracking, collection, and management along with a digital passbook for customers. The product also comes with in-built marketing tools to help jewellers grow their business.

 

The company said it intends to leverage the funding to add more products and expand into newer markets.

 

The round also saw participation from angel investors like Kunal Shah, Suhail Sameer and Revant Bhate, amongst others.

 

Vikas Verma, CEO and Co-founder, Goldsetu, said,

“The funds will further accelerate our mission of becoming the de-facto operating system for the jewellery value chain”.

HRtech startup Meraqui raises $1M from HNI investors in seed round

Meraqui, a Mumbai-based tech-enabled, grey and blue-collar work resource management platform specialising in employee lifecycle management, has raised $1 million in seed funding from HNI investors.

 

The startup will use the capital to accelerate its journey to $20 million gross revenue by expanding to more cities in the next six months, launching new modules, and developing the next generation of technology services to make experiences immersive and effective.

 

The startup Co-founder Shalin Maheshwari said,

“We enjoy the stature of being the first-ever tech-powered workforce as a solution (WaaS) platform that helps hire, manage talent as well as offer relevant gigs for the 450 million strong blue collar workforce of our country. We manage over 1.5 million man hours each month on our platform with a Gross ARR of Rs 100 crore.”

Since its beginning three years ago, the firm claims to have expanded at a rate of over 200 percent each year, with positive unit economics. With a pan-India presence in over 25 states and 82 cities, the firm wants to expand greatly in the next few years and contribute to the government's objective of a $5 trillion economy.

 

Meraqui was launched by Shalin Maheshwari and Lalit Singh in January 2019.

 

Arvog picks up stake in Nemo, a neo-bank for MSMEs

Arvog, smart-tech-enabled diversified finance, and venture growth investment company, has invested in the rising neo-banking player Nemo. Based out of Hyderabad, Nemo enables growth for small businesses through a combination of tools, capital, and services on a single web-based platform. 

Jeevan Gopisetty, Co-founder and CEO, Nemo, said,

“Our partnership with Arvog marks yet another milestone for our growth. As a born-in-the-cloud company, it is a shot in the arm for our vision, which is to provide to small businesses those financial tools, products, and services that are traditionally accessible to large corporations. We unify banking, accounting, credit, and operations, basically everything that an MSME needs.”

Since its inception more than two-and-a-half years ago, Arvog has invested in 27 tech-based Indian startups through its venture funding arm ‘Arvog Ventures’. Arvog’s investments are aimed at enabling the company to develop a comprehensive digital financing platform for its customers through products and services that are simple, useful, and relevant.

Priyank Kothari, Director – Operations at Arvog, added,

“Small and medium businesses in India are often seen as the country’s growth engine. We also see in them India’s innovation engine. They need readily available, flexible, and customised financial products. Fintech companies are the solution. We are directing our venture funding capacity towards cherry-picking such solutions and like-minded founders, and boosting them with our strategic partnerships.” 

Nemo is a discovery platform enabling customers to discover the right solutions for their specific needs. It will also provide the relevant financial and advisory services that small businesses need – such as accounting, loans, operations, taxes, compliances, and more - but often prove to be costly, thus hindering growth. Nemo claims to provide these services at competitive prices. 

B2B procurement startup H3Mart raises $500K in pre-seed round

 

H3Mart, a B2B procurement platform for the hospitality industry, has raised $500,000 in pre-seed funding. Investors like Vineet Saxena (Co-founder, Myntra), Akash Gehani (Co-founder, Instamojo), Anuj Rathi (Product SVP, Swiggy), Sachin Agarwal (Co-founder, Bizongo, Karan Tanna (Founder, Ghost Kitchens), Sunder Nookala (Co-founder, Kwench) and Comdex Solutions amongst others backed the company.

The startup will utilize these funds to upscale its full-stack online procurement platform and increase product offerings.

Founded by Daksh Asija and Arjun Wadhwa in April 2021, H3Mart aims to disrupt India's traditional B2B procurement landscape through its tech-enabled supply chain automation and supply chain financing. After six months of operations, the startup claims that it continues to grow with 60 percent growth MOM and expects to hit an annual GMV of $2 million by the end of March 2022.

Daksh Asija, Co-founder and CEO, said, 

"Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, B2B SaaS solutions have seen significant adoption due to remote working conditions and serious changes in business consumption patterns. With supply chains struggling to survive, our resilient technology platform helps businesses to streamline product discovery, seller selection, and payment cycles in the game. We believe that this is the perfect time for us to penetrate the market and expand rapidly."
Edited by Affirunisa Kankudti

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