[Funding roundup] iDreamCareer, Staqu, Sateeq, GoPaani, VS Mani & Co, Hydenmet and Actlogica raise early-stage capital

Here are the Indian startups that announced early-stage funding rounds on April 26, 2022.
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iDreamCareer raises Rs 12.5 Cr from Menterra, Artha Impact & GMC

New Delhi-based iDreamCareer (iDC), an edtech venture delivering a one-stop personalised career navigation solution, on Tuesday announced that it has received Rs 12.5 crore in a round led by Menterra Social Impact Fund. The round also saw participation from Swiss-based Artha Impact and follow-on participation from existing investor US-based Gray Matters Capital (GMC).

iDC will use the funds to add features like a one-stop university application, scholarship and financing to its offering, expand the leadership team and implement advanced technology interventions which, supported by a best-in-class counselling programme, will widen and deepen the impact of its work.

Founded by Ayush Bansal in 2012,  iDreamCareer (iDC) helps students effectively navigate their higher education and career options through a one-stop personalised career navigation solution. The startup works with high school and undergrad college students via its full-stack career and college guidance product that includes 1,000+ hours of content on careers, colleges, exams, scholarships, reliable and validated psychometric assessment tools, and personalised counselling.

Staqu raises Rs 11 Cr in pre-Series A round

Staqu, an AI (artificial intelligence) implementation enabler who works in audio-video analytics and management solution on existing CCTV, on Tuesday announced that it has raised Rs 11 crore as part of its pre-Series A funding from Mount Judi Venture and SIS Limited. IAN (Indian angel network), the existing investor in Staqu, took partial exit in the round.

 

In addition, the startup executed an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) buyback worth Rs 1.5 crore to recognise and reward its employees’ contributions to the company’s growth.

 

Staqu will be utilising the freshly infused funds to fulfill the current demand for its innovative AI-based audio-video analytics technology JARVIS in the international and domestic markets. The newly raised capital will also be used to bolster the brand’s presence globally, build powerful AI propositions to solve the safety, security, and analytics problems.

 

Staqu is an audio-video analytics and management (A-VA-VMS ) company founded By Atul, Anurag Saini, and Pankaj Sharma. The startup intends to bring AI into day-to-day decision-making across industry using their ever-evolving research and engineering products JARVIS.  

Sateeq, a 16-year old’s startup, raises angel funding 

Sateeq, an investing platform founded by 16-year-old Krishna Maggo, has raised an undisclosed angel round from a clutch of founders and angel investors.

 

Some of the prominent angels and entrepreneurs include young founders such as Himanshu Periwal, Founder, unlu; Sarthak Goel, Founder, Y-Combinator backed InVoid; Vaibhav Jalan from smallcase; Nikunj Jain, Forbes 30-Under-30; Amitesh Sinha, Partner SIMA Funds, among others have invested in Sateeq.

 

Krishna, a 12th grader from Delhi, and a 2X entrepreneur, started Sateeq in 2021 with an aim to democratise angel investing, by making it accessible to every Indian so that maximum number of people can invest in startups in a safe, secure and informed manner.

 

Krishna’s larger vision is to build a “Super App” where retail investors can participate in all kinds of private investing such as startup equity, real estate, asset backed tokens and other asset classes.

GoPaani raises seed funding from 3One4 Capital & others 

Indore-based water delivery business management startup GoPaani has raised $600,000 in seed funding from investors such as 3one4 Capital, PointOne Capital, and a host of angel investors including Mukund Jha (Dunzo Co-founder) among others. 

The seed funding round also saw participation from the leadership team of 3one4 Capital and PointOne Capital. The other angel investors include Rohit Gupta, CEO, Dream Game Studios; Sharath Gururaj, India Head, Cermati.com; Devendra Laulkar, Co-founder, Avoma; Satish Thakur, AVP, Swiggy; and two US-based investors Dan Clay Ellis, Founder, RallyTeam; and Kaushal Lahankar, Head of Machine Learning, S&P Global. 

Ankit Ranka, Co-founder, GoPaani said, 

“We started GoPaani to solve the problems faced by over 1.2 million water delivery businesses in India like product loss, billing issues, poor customer service. We have seen adoption with other delivery businesses facing similar problems like milk and tiffin delivery. With GoPaani already present in 15 states across India and eight different languages, we plan to focus on water delivery businesses and build the product for a wider set of delivery businesses starting next year.” 

Founded by childhood friends Ankit Ranka and Arpit Sharda, GoPaani is a one-step solution for every daily water service provider to manage their business in a hassle-free way.

The startup aims to be a complete app-based solution for daily delivery businesses in India. Starting with water jar suppliers, its app allows businesses to keep track of product inventory from dispatch, delivery, collection and unloading. 

Employees of these businesses get their app login to make delivery entries, and the business admin can track and generate real-time reports on employees’ work. Customers are also able to keep track of deliveries, make bill payments, give star ratings to deliveries, order additional products and message business owners. 

Arpit Sharda, Co-founder, GoPaani said, “Before GoPaani, I was into plastic sourcing, manufacturing and trading for over eight years. I saw the pain points of delivery businesses such as water and milk suppliers very closely, and every now and then got requests for technology help from these businesses. When I discussed this with Ankit, we decided to launch a digital representation of the daily sheets that these businesses carry - that was the starting point for us. From there on, we kept on building what our customers needed.”

As of now, GoPaani has started with its initial network of water suppliers contacts in central India and used existing online listings to reach a more comprehensive network all over the country. In addition, the startup has connected with water suppliers from every region by becoming a part of their WhatsApp groups, which has helped them reach many customers at once. 

Anurag Ramdasan, Partner, 3One4 Capital, commented,

“GoPaani is having a significant impact on Water Jar delivery or daily delivery business in general. Daily delivery businesses serve billions of customer every day but still rely on pen and paper for collections and inventory management which results in inefficiency and pilferages.”

VS Mani & Co raises $370K from angel investors

Speciality South Indian food brand VS Mani & Co has raised $ 370,000 in an angel funding round, from angel investors including Haresh Chawla, Partner, True North Co; Anupam Mittal, Founder and CEO, People Group and Judge on Shark Tank India; Ashish Hemrajani, Founder and CEO, BookMyShow; Sidharth Rao, Group CEO, DentsuMB; Rajan Navani, Founder and CEO, JetSynthesys; actor-producer Rana Daggubati; and Sattva Group’s family office. 

The startup will use the fund raised to take its online-first business into other channels and expand its product line to include South Indian snacks. 

“Many South Indian foods are popular across the country. But there are hardly any pan-India players who have consolidated this opportunity into a comprehensive, ready-to-consume range of South Indian delicacies. We want to create a ‘national South Indian brand’, so to speak - and we have a strong brand story to facilitate this,” said GD Prasad, Founder of VS Mani & Co.

Founded by GD Prasad in 2020, the Bengaluru-based FMCG brand  offers authentic South Indian packaged foods and beverages. Its current product line includes popular instant filter coffee and various spice blends, available on its website and various online marketplaces.

Yashas Alur, Co-founder and Head of VS Mani & Co, said, “As of now, almost 90 percent of our sales come from our own channel. We have acquired customers profitably - and with healthy repeat rates, have also proven that we have a solid product.”

“Now, the plan is to scale via online marketplaces and offline retail - not just in India, but also abroad, where there is a significant diaspora to cater to,” added Rahul Bajaj, Co-founder and Head of Operations of VS Mani & Co.

Hydenmet raises $150K through ah! Ventures angel platform

Bengaluru-based agritech and environmental intelligence startup Hydenmet on Tuesday announced that it has raised $150,000 from angel investors through ah! Ventures angel platform. 

Bhaaskaran Rangarajan, Founder and CEO of Hydenmet, said,

“When we started in 2019, the idea was just to provide hyperlocal weather intelligence through a dense network of weather stations and other sensors, but it was shaped into agritech and other allied support services for small and marginal farmers, combined with the long-term vision of creating an environment-sensitive next generation solution.”

Hydenmet (formerly Qihou Solutions)  was incorporated in 2019 and won the state of Bihar as their customer in August 2019 when they developed a mobile application called “Indravajra” for detection and early warning of lightning and dangerous thunderstorms.

The startup has three distinct offerings: providing hyperlocal environmental intelligence and crop advisory to farmers, through STAGE (Smart Technology-Based Agriculture Enabler); providing lightning and dangerous thunderstorms alerting to people with the idea of saving lives through VYOMET (alerting mobile app); and providing environmental technology and education to school students through CLASS (Climate Learning and Student Safety) with the idea of creating future generations who are sensitive to saving the environment.

Hydenmet plans to capture the majority of the small and marginal farmers segment, which has been ignored by most large agritech players by creating a unique per acre per year pricing model for a range of support services offered to farmers working with farmer producer organisations (FPOs). 

Hydenmet has three year contracts signed with over 25 FPOs covering 50,000 acres of cultivation spread over three states since February 2021. Of the 100 million acres of cultivation in India by small and marginal farmers, even if Hydenmet gets five percent in the next few years, they can see revenues of Rs 2000 crore per year.

Karan Rajani, Deal Lead - Hydenmet and Venture Partner at ah! Ventures said,

“Working with FPOs formed by small and marginal farmers is a unique business engagement model and Hydenmet has already proved that they can generate Rs 4000 per acre per year from these organizations by providing access to good quality inputs, access to finance and access to market, combined with technology services.”

Actlogica raises Rs 3 Cr in seed funding

Actlogica, a wealth and investment management platform, has secured Rs 3 crore in seed funding from Zerodha backed Rainmatter Capital.

Husband-wife duo Ameet Ayare and Archana Anoor founded Actlogica with a mission to help investors achieve their financial goals by empowering wealth managers and investment management professionals. 

The startup’s first product for wealth management – FinFlo Enterprise, is an investor centric product with process flexibility and CFA inspired reporting standards. Its goal with FinFlo is to ensure that the user will be able to place orders, settle, report, and charge fees (in the case of RIAs) all in one place without having to use multiple systems.

Its other product, Investa, is an API-first mutual fund CAS analysis and reporting freemium software. Anyone with a CAS statement can instantly upload, analyse and generate a performance report for the investments in the CAS file.

Ameet Ayare, Co-founder and CEO, Actlogica, said,

“Our mission has always been to help accelerate financial inclusion in India by providing scalable tech infrastructure to wealth managers and investment professionals. We strongly believe that they are a catalyst in this mission. We’ve built an ecosystem of software tools that are interconnected. These can be plugged into each other to create a customised version of the software that can cater to business needs.”

The team at Actologica now looks to continue building a B2B SaaS product suite to provide an affordable and effective technology stack to investment professionals and advisors. Through this, investment professionals can provide consistent, transparent and high-quality service to clients. The investment management specialists would also be able to grow their wealth business multifold which would help them stay ahead in the highly competitive wealth management space. 

 

Nithin Kamath, Founder and CEO at Zerodha, said,

“At Rainmatter, we are constantly looking out for innovative tech companies that are working on enabling and encouraging financial inclusion. We are happy to partner with Actlogica team as we strongly believe that the tools and platforms that the team at Actlogica is building can empower a generation of Indian advisors and other financial intermediaries.”

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