Startup and funding news: daily roundup (March 25, 2022)

YourStory presents daily news and funding roundups from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Friday, March 25, 2022.
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Bounce Infinity forms partnership with BattRE

Bounce Infinity, the electric vehicle (EV) battery swapping network, has entered into a partnership with EV two-wheeler maker BattRE.

Under this partnership, customers of BattRE can rely on the network of battery swapping stations which would be set up by Bounce Infinity. Bounce aim to deploy minimum of 300 battery swapping stations in every major city. The battery swapping structure is a pod-like automated unit that houses multiple batteries and keeps them charged and ready for use.

On the partnership, Bounce Co-founder and CEO Vivekananda Hallekere said, “This partnership is a step forward in our goal of building smart electric solutions for India. We have doubled-down on our efforts to transform mobility with advanced technologies and services that ties-up with our mission of ‘access to mobility’ for all.”

BattRE founder Nischal Chaudhary said, “BattRE’s 380 plus strong dealership network and Bounce’s charging infrastructure will prove to be a fruitful synergy for both the companies and bring forth the best value propositions for the customer.”

SparkCognition acquires Integration Wizards

US-based AI startup SparkCognition has acquired the Bengaluru-based Integration Wizards for an undisclosed value.

Founded in 2014, Integration Wizards has developed expertise in the area of visual AI technology where it leverages diverse data sets including CCTV feeds, drone footage, video from handheld devices, and existing camera infrastructures to develop solutions for safety, security, visual inspection, productivity, and situational awareness. It has clients such HPCL, Reliance, Xerox, Novo Nordisk, Johnson Controls etc.

“With advanced visual AI that can recognise complex scenes and activities we further amplify the value we deliver to our customers while leveraging existing infrastructure investments,” said Amir Husain, Founder and CEO of SparkCognition.

Kunal Kislay, CEO and Co-Founder, Integration Wizards, said, “The breadth of SparkCognition’s AI solutions and services, coupled with our extensive experience in deploying Visual AI capabilities to Fortune 500 customers, will be a game changer.”

Bodhi AI acquires Skoolstream

Edtech startup Bodhi AI has acquired Kota-based start-up SkoolStream for an undisclosed value. SkoolStream is an AI-based learning management system that enables coaching institutes and teachers to go online .

Bodhi AI was founded in 2017 assists teacher to coach online and connect with the students. It has onboarded over one lakh teachers and is looking to foray into Middle East.

The teams of Bodhi AI and SkoolStream

Bodhi AI founder and CEO Prashant Pandey said, “The team at Skoolstream already have expertise in the education sector and our collaboration with them will help us become a marketplace for teachers who face issues with delivering standardised content to their students.”

Skoolstream, Founder, Parveen Garg said, “We as a team are equally excited to be a part of Bodhi AI family and looking forward to building innovative products together for the education stakeholders.”

MedPiper acquires MedWriter

Medpiper, a Y-Combinator and MeitY backed healthcare company has acquired MedWriter, an AI-writing assistant for doctors, for an undisclosed value.

MedWriter is a product designed and built by Lonere Labs, a Bengaluru-based product lab run by Abhijeet Katte, who will now lead new product initiatives at MedPiper.

A statement noted that this acquisition is in line with MedPiper's focus to enable healthcare practitioners to express themselves better in the public domain. Already, 1,000-plus doctors and healthcare researchers have signed up to use MedWriter.

“It becomes more and more important for helping qualified doctors and healthcare researchers become creators and become a direct and important source of medical information for the public”, said Nitthin Chandran, CEO and Co-founder, MedPiper.

MedPiper aims to create an ecosystem of products and services connecting healthcare professionals and healthcare institutions to improve efficiency and capacity of the Indian healthcare ecosystem.

Skillbee raises $3.2 million in seed round

Skillbee, the app that helps overseas migrant workers scout for jobs, has raised $3.2 million in seed round of funding led by Good Capital and Vibe Capital.

This funding round also saw participation from Access Bridge Ventures and Wamda Capital, besides other angel investors. With the latest round of funding, Skillbee aim to further expand its base among the worker and companies.

Founded by Gautham Vinjamuri and Ujjawal Chauhan in mid-2020, Skillbee connects international migrant workers to job opportunities. The app was launched in the UAE amidst COVID-19 to help Indian and other migrant workers find work.

Acording to Skillbee, it has over 500,000 migrant workers as registered users, and more than 20,000 companies have signed up to the app from 16 nations.

“Going beyond connecting workers with the next aspirational, international job, Skillbee will soon offer tailor-made services like credit and insurance,” said Ujjawal Chauhan.

WCube raises funds from Mumbai Angels

WCube, a B2B procurement enablement solution for large and mid-sized enterprises has raised an undisclosed round of funding from Mumbai Angels. This round also saw participation from x10xventures, FAAD Network and other angel investors, as well as family offices.

Founded in 2019 by Udit Karan Chandhok and Akash Narain Mittal, WCube enables companies to procure IT products, office supplies, cleaning supplies, industrial supplies, and pantry products through the platform. The startup currently serves over 250 clients, sells over 30 categories and has over 50 million products.

Udit said, “Today with over 30 categories of products, WCube is fast expanding its national footprint. We are delighted to have prominent and strategic investors join our journey of creating stronger value,”

StockGro becomes brand partner for RCB

Social investment platform StockGro has become the brand partner for T20 cricket team – Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). In addition to frequent advertisements on the Hotstar app, StockGro will deepen its partnership with the help of brand collateral where the organisation will distribute company merchandise like miniature bats and replica jerseys. All these merchandises will be signed by the RCB players. 

Ajay Lakhotia, Founder and CEO, StockGro said, “We want to build our association with the team and build a rapport with their fans to harness their interest in the stock market and financial sector”.

Speaking of the partnership, Rajesh Menon, Vice President and Head of Royal Challengers Bangalore said, “Royal Challengers Bangalore is a cutting-edge Gen Z millennial lifestyle brand, and it is our pleasure to partner with a progressive new-age fintech brand, StockGro.”

DealShare appoints Santana Ramakrishnan as HR head

DealShare, the social commerce unicorn, has announced the appointment of Santana Ramakrishnan as Chief Human Resources Officer. She will be in charge of implementing the company's people strategy, building capability for expansion, profitability and enabling culture frameworks.

Before joining DealShare, Santana Ramakrishnan worked as Head of Human Resources at Udaan. She has previously worked at Goldman Sachs, AXA, Genpact, and GE Capital. Santana will join the company's senior management team and report to Vineet Rao, the company's founder, and CEO.

DealShare HR head Santana Ramakrishnan

On the appointment, Vineet Rao, Founder and CEO of DealShare said, We are delighted to welcome Santana Ramakrishnan as our Chief Human Resources Officer. DealShare is at an exciting inflection point right now: we are rapidly scaling our business, expanding into new markets, enhancing the e-commerce experience for Bharat's consumers, and empowering local communities & manufacturers. Hiring the right talent and engaging them effectively will play a crucial role in this journey. In the coming year, our talent pool will grow exponentially.”

Santana said, “It is indeed exciting to be a part of DealShare. The scale and scope of the yet to be tapped market presents us with a unique opportunity to build a retail-relevant ecosystem.”

ReshaMandi hires Ritesh Kumar as CFO

Reshamandi, the digital platform for natural fibre ecosystem, has appointed Ritesh Kumar Talreja as the Chief Financial Officer. In his new role, Ritesh will lead the company’s finance function where he will manage corporate development looking into debt raising and M&A.

Ritesh has over 14 years in advising businesses on matters pertaining to fundraising, mergers and acquisition, structuring private equity investments and other corporate transactional matters in public and private space. Previously, he was with IndusLaw, and EY India.

ReshaMandi CFO Ritesh Kumar Talreja

ReshaMandi Founder and CEO Mayank Tiwari said, “His extensive experience in corporate law and financial control will enable us to chart a solid growth path. I am confident that his expertise will help our company grow by huge leaps.”

Ritesh said, “I will be working closely with the Founders on significant areas like establishing an effective financial infrastructure, ensuring compliance, leading fundraising conversations, financial planning and analysis, and cash flow tracking.”

Siply launches gold savings scheme

Micro savings app Siply has launched a gold saving scheme under the monthly installment format. In this scheme, users can choose to buy a gold coin that weighs either 0.5gm or 1 gm. Installments start at Rs 450 per month for a 1gm gold coin and Rs 250 for a 0.5 gold coin. These installments need to be paid over a period of 10 months.

Siply co-founder and CEO Sousthav Chakrabarty said, “Users can enjoy the twin benefits of getting a good discount and the option of breaking down their monthly payments into smaller amounts over the entire month.”

Netcore Cloud acquires Unbxd

SaaS company Netcore Cloud has acquired majority stake in Unbxd, a search personalisation tech startup.

Founded by Pavan Sondur and Prashant Kumar in 2012, Unbxd has developed an AI-powered product discovery platform that enables ecommerce companies to improve retention and conversion of its customers. It has around 120 employees.

Netcore Cloud is a provider of customer communication company focused on e-mail marketing. Leveraging Unbxd's AI-powered search expertise, Netcore Cloud aims to deliver a real-time recommendation to its online ecommerce/app-first brand and retailer.

Netcore Cloud Group CEO Kalpit Jain said, “Unbxd's AI/ML tech stack will empower our customers to track their shopper’s interactions with search and implement site-wide Personalisation, merchandising, along with shopper-focused recommendations. This will enable brands to optimise their entire customer journey, providing the best-in-class customer experience.”

The founders of Unbxd in a joint statement said, "With our unique combination of personalisation solutions and Netcore's robust full-stack marketing automation tech platform, it's a perfect partnership that can capture cross-selling opportunities and scale the business globally.”

Actyv.ai appoints new head of marketing and biz development

Bengaluru-based tech startup Actyv.ai has announced the appointment of Chandru K Sambasivan as the Head of Marketing, Business Development, and Strategic Initiatives. He will be part of the executive management team at the company.

With over 20 years of experience in the field of sales and marketing, business development and content strategy, Chandru will be responsible for driving Actyv.ai’s strategic partnerships and initiatives in addition to marketing and communication spanning across enterprises, SMBs and banks/financial institutions across the world.

Chandru Sambasivan - head of marketing, business development & strategic initiatives, Actyv.ai

Actyv.ai is an enterprise SaaS low-code no-code platform. It is used by large enterprises (like Britannia, Nivea, Adani Wilmar and others) to transform their supply chains and to empower their partners with an intuitive platform and financial products. Actyv Score enables financial institutions like Kotak Mahindra Bank, Axis Bank and others to provide unsecured, low-interest, closed-loop credit (BNPL for B2B) for SMBs.

Edited by Kanishk Singh

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