[Funding roundup] Pi Beam Electric, Seekho.ai, UPCRED, TrustCheckr raise early-stage capital

Here are the Indian startups that announced early-stage funding rounds on March 30, 2022.
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EV startup Pi Beam Electric raises $1.7M in pre-Series A led by Inflection Point Ventures

The round also saw participation from family offices, including Sattva Group and Nanavati family, syndicates, including Sincere Syndication and Conscience Multi-family Office.

Industry stalwarts Arshad Sayyad (former India Head Fidelity Investments), Vijay Ratnaparke (CIO of Robert Bosch), Shaji Koshy (former SVP Royal Enfield), and Ashok Jhunjhunwala (Institute Prof IIT Madras and President IITM Research Park, IITM Incubation Cell, and RTBI) also participated in the round, besides the existing investors.

The startup will use the capital to develop the deployment platform, expand its team, scale operations to multiple cities, and develop new products.

Pi Beam — a vertically integrated "EV as a Service" platform for logistics and commute applications — was founded by Visakh Sasikumar and Manu Iyer in 2013. The startup had pivoted to build an EV ecosystem platform with deep EV knowledge gained by selling over 1000+ EVs in the B2B market.

 

It has a presence across Bengaluru and Chennai, with 100+ EVs in the fleet. By the next financial year, it plans to expand to Hyderabad, Mumbai, and Delhi, and increase the fleet to 2,000.

Seekho.ai raises $3M in pre-Series A round

Seekify-owned Seekho — a career accelerator that combines live learning, mentorship, and employment — said it raised $3 million in pre-Series A funding, which saw participation from the Family Office of the JM Financial Group, LetsVenture, Trica, Super Morpheus, Yuj Ventures, Sequoia Capital India’s Surge, and angel investors Varsha Rao and Amit Ranjan. 

The Delhi-based edtech startup will deploy the capital to grow its business model — all-inclusive access to career-related courses and workshops delivered live by industry mentors.

Arihant Jain, Co-founder, Seekho.ai, said,

“We believe in bringing world class career education at affordable prices to Indians. We believe that Stanford/Harvard level of quality content and an application based learning approach is the need of the hour to solve India's demographic dividend problem. Our vision is super large and we’re just getting started.”

Launched in April 2021 by Divya Jain, Ajeet Singh Kushwaha, and Arihant Jain, Seekho.ai helps job seekers get into marketing, finance, analytics, product, etc., and succeed in the dynamic world of work. 

It is developing an AI engine to make learning more personalised and job matching more relevant. Seekho claims its 525,000 users have already learned from over 460 industry gurus and over 10,000 have got jobs at over 300+ corporations.

The startup claims to touch a revenue run rate of $5 million and expects to enable seven million users by the end of 2023.  

Creator marketing platform UPCRED secures Rs 3.3 Cr in pre-seed round

The platform designed for brands and creators raised Rs. 3.3 crore in a pre-seed round from angel investors, including entrepreneur Syed Firdous Hussain and Gayatri Nikkam. 

UPCRED will use this funding for MVP product development and prepare the platform for market launch.

Founded in 2021 by Sanjay Choudhary, Dharmpal Chaudhary, and Aditya Bhattacharjee, UPCRED aims to be a global platform that empowers creators and businesses to advertise, learn, and create monetisable content through paid promotions and affiliate marketing programmes.

It aims to enable the creator economy through a unified platform, creating open earning opportunities for creators and providing end-to-end influencer marketing services for brands.

Syed Firdous Hussain and Gayatri Nikkam said,

“With 2022 touted as the Year of Creators, we believe UPCRED is going to be at the forefront of the creator economy. We believe the products we are building will empower millions of creators.”

IIFL Fintech Fund makes significant investment in TrustCheckr 

Early-stage fintech fund IIFL Fintech Fund has made a significant investment in TrustCheckr — a Bengaluru-based fraud analytics solution provider — founded by IIM Lucknow alumnus Adhip Ramesh and University of Liverpool alumnus Shivraj Harsha in 2017.

  

TrustCheckr will use the capital to scale its usage across banks, NBFCs, fintechs, payment companies and bureaus in India. Additionally, it will invest in enhancing its existing social scoring and social fraud detection capabilities to further reduce digital frauds.

 

Going ahead, the company plans to further enhance its social scanning technology, which has multiple use cases like fraud pre-emption, customer profile enrichment for auto approvals, targeting, and recommendation use-cases.

Adhip Ramesh, Founder of TrustCheckr, said, “Digital frauds are increasing rapidly in the online world, a robust, fool-proof framework is the need of the hour. Companies should look into alternate data gathered from social media, websites, etc., and use them efficiently to preempt fraudsters right at the stage of onboarding. TrustCheckr is at the fore-front to help companies to achieve this.”

TrustCheckr has a proprietary algorithm tested on over one million data points and used in AI and ML in image comparisons. It assigns a trust score to the user based on phone number, Facebook or email ID. The company has already completed over 10 million TrustChecks, to date, across more than seven clients.

 

Mehekka Oberoi, Fund Manager, IIFL Fintech Fund, said, 

 “We have been using TrustCheckr in our digital lending business, and the solution has aided us in identifying digital frauds. In today’s era, where technology is going to the driver for financial services — mitigating frauds will take center stage. TrustCheckr is well placed, and has an early mover advantage in this space.”
Edited by Suman Singh

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