Startup news and updates: daily roundup (March 17, 2022)

YourStory presents daily funding and news roundups from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Thursday, March 17, 2022

Looppanel raises $1 million in pre-seed

Looppanel, which allows product and design teams to analyse and share insights from Zoom-based user interviews in minutes, has raised $1 million in a pre-seed round led by Speciale Invest.

The startup has received additional funding from First Cheque, angel investors, and a grant from Sequoia Capital India as part of the Sequoia Spark program.

“We realised there was a big challenge for anyone building digital products today, in the age of Canva and Miro, if users don’t see the value of a product immediately they’ll take their business elsewhere. But how do you build a product users value and love when it’s so hard to run interviews & test your prototypes with them?” said Kritika, CEO and Co-Founder of Looppanel.

Founded in 2021, Looppanel helps teams analyse and share their findings from Zoom-based User Interviews in minutes by offering intelligent transcripts, one-click sharing of video clips, and time-stamped note-taking.

MoEVing launches India’s first new-age multi modal EV Charging Space

MoEVing inaugurated its electric vehicle charging space in Yeshwanthpur, Bengaluru.

Spread across 12,000 sq ft, this charging space will have high volume electric vehicle (EV) charging points, both fast and slow charging, EV battery swapping stations, EV maintenance stations and EV experience & learning center, all under one roof. 

Agnostic across OEMs (original equipment manufacturers), vehicle types, and charging technologies, MoEVing is present in 11 cities nationally, having established 300+ charging points across 40 charging spaces. These charging spaces are both MoEVing spaces as well as network spaces in collaboration with partners. 

Speaking about the new EV Charging facility, Vikash Mishra, CEO & Co-founder, MoEVing, said, “We are excited for the launch of the first futuristic EV charging space in India. At MoEVing, we have always been bullish about accelerating EV adoption.”

Cloudera’s Global AI study “Limitless: The Positive Power of Artificial Intelligence”

Cloudera today launched its Global AI study: “Limitless: The Positive Power of Artificial Intelligence”. 

The study examines the shift in attitude towards Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) and Data Analytics across key business decision makers, including C-Suite and knowledge workers.

The enterprise data cloud company reveals more than one quarter, 29 percent, of business decision-makers in India, are increasing investment in environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) ahead of increasing market share (27 percent) or accelerating financial growth (24 percent). Additionally, knowledge workers believe as much as 60 percent of the data their business uses on a day-to-day basis should be focused on doing good for the communities it serves. This is a sentiment 58 percent of business decision makers agree with — a clear indication that profit and ESG are no longer mutually exclusive pursuits

These findings are revealed in Cloudera’s Limitless: The Positive Power of AI Study, which surveyed 2,213 enterprise business decision makers — including 54 percent C-Suite representation — and 10,880 knowledge workers in the USA, EMEA, India and APAC. 

It shows that ESG is identified as a top priority for business leaders and those who fail to act for the good of communities put business growth and talent at huge risk. The study also examines the shift in attitude towards AI, Machine Learning (ML) and Data Analytics across enterprise decision makers, including C-Suite, and knowledge workers. 

A majority of Indian business decision-makers plan on implementing new AI (93 percent), ML (84 percent), or Data Analytics (87 percent) programmes and solutions in their organisation in the coming year or so. The data shows that all the pieces are in place for this to be the right moment for companies to accelerate their AI/ML strategy.

NoBroker and ElectricPe partner to set up EV charging points in residential communities

NoBroker, India’s first proptech unicorn, has partnered with ElectricPe, an EV charging platform, to set up 100,000 electric charging points at residential communities this year.

The alliance will see charging stations set up across NoBroker residential welfare societies (societies that have onboarded NoBrokerHood society app), including apartments, gated communities, and standalone buildings, making it more convenient for consumers to access EV charging in their vicinity.

The vehicle charging is not only made accessible but also becomes seamless as vehicle owners can scan and pay instantly or have the bill added to their electricity bill via NoBrokerHood app. 

“We are excited to partner with ElectricPe to provide our customers easy access to charging points. Through this partnership, ElectricPe charging points will be provided to residents and visitors, giving a boost to clean, affordable, and smart electric mobility. All this at the click of a button!,” said Saurabh Garg, Co-Founder & CBO, NoBroker.

“We are delighted to partner with NoBroker, a company that’s also thinking ahead to enable EV adoption by bringing EV charging infrastructure, right to consumers’ doorsteps. Through strong partnerships like this, we hope to bridge the infrastructure gap currently prevalent in the country,” said Avinash Sharma, Co-Founder & CEO, ElectricPe.

Ghazal Alagh and Varun Alagh, cofounders, Mamaearth

Honasa Consumer appoints Ms. Anuja Mishra as Chief Marketing Officer

Honasa Consumer, parent company of Mamaearth, and The Derma Co., has appointed Anuja Mishra as Chief Marketing Officer.

In her new capacity, Anuja will oversee the marketing strategy for Honasa Consumer group brands – Mamaearth, The Derma Co., and Bblunt.

Anuja brings with herself over 17 years of experience across Marketing and Sales. She has led Brand Management, Innovation Strategy and Sales across 3 of the largest blue- chip FMCG organizations and some of the world's most loved brands. As the CMO of Honasa Consumer, she will be responsible for accelerating the brand's awareness and growth across the D2C ecosystem.

Anuja will be taking the baton from Sambit Dash, who has been elevated to head Brand Factory Team where he will be responsible for crafting, launching, and building new brands business for Honasa.

Glance Active User Base Surges To 173 million In Q4 2021; Further Boost Expected In 2022 From New OEM Deals

Glance’s active user base in India surged to 173 million in Q4 2021, according to Counterpoint Research’s Quarterly Mobile Application Tracker. The platform added 33 million total active users to grow 24 percent from Q1 2021 to Q4 2021.

Commenting on Glance’s performance, Research Analyst Arushi Chawla said, “Pioneering the use of the smartphone lock screen, Glance has become the first touchpoint for users interacting with their devices, removing barriers such as search and multiple app downloads. This has uniquely positioned Glance for growth driven by high engagement. In addition, the AI capabilities of Glance have been helping users discover relevant content, further increasing stickiness to the platform.”

Arushi noted, “Glance has been diversifying across genres and languages. Glance has accumulated content from top creators and developers across categories including sports, fashion, gaming, fitness, commerce and entertainment to enhance the experience for users. Glance has also made a foray into the live interactive content category, further diversifying its offerings. This is becoming even more relevant, as content consumption and creation on smartphones are on the rise.”

Glance has been expanding its partnerships with top brands and devices across price segments. In October 2021, Glance partnered with the third-largest smartphone brand in India – realme. Further, as of Q4 2021, two-thirds of the newly launched smartphones in India had the Glance lock screen platform preinstalled.

In terms of share across price bands, $150-$250 continued to be the largest segment for Glance with close to two-thirds of Glance’s active user base in this price band. 

Looking forward, Glance will continue to expand its OEM partnerships in India. It has signed an agreement to raise $200 million from Jio Platforms. Concurrent with this funding deal, Glance has entered a partnership with Reliance Retail Ventures under which Glance’s lockscreen platform will be integrated into Jio’s Pragati OS (the JioPhone Next operating system). This will further expand its market reach. Glance will also seek to strengthen user touchpoints and expand to key international markets beyond Asia.

Mishry announces Consumer Stock Option Plan on investment platform Tyke as part of its Pre Series A funding

Mishry, India’s Product Review Platform, has announced the Consumer Stock Option Plan (CSOP) launch to enable its users to invest in the company. 

The CSOP is currently live on Tyke for the next 12 days, and users can invest less than Rs 5000. Mishry CSOP on Tyke is a part of its larger ongoing preSeries A funding activity.

Launched in April 2019 by Tanu Ganguly, Mishry is a woman-lead startup that aims to make shopping for kitchen-related products better, with specific and credible content.

Mishry plans to use the funds raised through Tyke to extend its review catalog and launch a marketplace model for reviews.

Commenting on this new and innovative way of fundraising, Tanu Ganguly, Founder of Mishry, stated, “Our community has always been an integral part of our growth story. Our brand is built largely through word of mouth, and  the community has been at the forefront of spreading our message,”

Tanu further added that “It made a lot of sense to extend an invite to our evangelists to become a part of our next growth phase. Tyke kind of platform has made this easy and accessible for users to invest in new-age startups and democratized angel investing.”

Career Launcher partners with ApplyBoard to help students find study-abroad opportunities

CL Educate Ltd.'s EdTech arm, Career Launcher, has joined hands with ApplyBoard, one of the world's largest online platforms for student recruitment.

Under the partnership, CL will operate as a recruitment partner, using its network of over 150 centres across India to recruit students for various study abroad programmes.

CL will employ its test-prep expertise, the network of partners across India, and relationships with schools and universities to drive incremental UG and PG admissions internationally. The arrangement would strengthen CL's international education offering and boost the admission consulting practice for study abroad programs.

Talking about the partnership, CL Educate Executive Director Nikhil Mahajan said, "We are ecstatic to have ApplyBoard on board as our International Education partner. This can be a major step in our mission to assist Indian students accomplish their education and career goals."


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