Startup news and updates: daily roundup (April 6, 2022)

YourStory presents daily news roundups from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Wednesday April 6, 2022.
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Actor Varun Dhawan invests in Curefoods

Actor Varun Dhawan has invested an undisclosed amount in cloud kitchen company Curefoods as part of the company’s recent round of funding in which it raised $62 million from the likes of Iron Pillar, Chiratae Ventures, Accel Partners and others. With the investment, Varun Dhawan will also be the brand ambassador for the largest brand under Curefoods, EatFit.

Curefoods recently announced the launch of its direct-to-consumer multi-brand food ordering platform for its food brands. 

“The intersection of food and lifestyle has always been an area that excites me. In an age where the need for an active healthy lifestyle is more pronounced than ever, food – especially healthy food – definitely requires more attention. I strongly resonate with Curefoods and Eatfit's mission to provide access to multiple food categories while featuring healthy options. I look for the same while eyeing my fitness goals,” said Varun Dhawan in a statement issued by the company.

Curefoods operates as a house of brands and houses brands like Frozen Bottle, Sharief Bhai, Aligarh House Biryani and CakeZone among others. It has a network of 150 kitchens across 15 cities in India. 

Supply chain transparency startup TraceX raises $1 million from NABVENTURES Fund

Agritech company TraceX Technologies which uses blockchain technology to provide supply chain traceability and transparency has raised $1 million in a pre-Series A round of funding led by NABARD backed NABVENTURES Fund. Family office Paipal Ventures and angel investor Sunil Kumar also participated in the round.

Founded in 2019 by Srivatsa Sreenivasarao and Anil Nadig, TraceX operates a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform on a subscription model, providing information on sustainable sourcing, food handling and other processes. The platform brings all stakeholders in the agri supply chain on to the blockchain network and works with companies across segments of livestock, poultry, seafood and agri.

It works with over 30 food companies including Olam, MTR Foods, Slay Coffee, Blue Tokai as well as the Government of Telangana.

Mumbai Angels welcomes Eaglewings Ventures as its newest partner

Investment firm Mumbai Angels has welcomed its new Co-Investment Partner, Eaglewings Ventures, onboard. Eaglewings Ventures is an integrated investment and incubation platform for technology-based ventures that offers funding support services to startups and early-stage companies in India.

Launched in 2021 by Mumbai Angels, the Co-Investment Program has roped in multiple investment networks and accelerators to back a few chosen high-potential startups. These startups benefit from numerous exclusive opportunities and benefits, including unrestricted access to Mumbai Angels’ Multiplier Program, an exclusive marketplace for its portfolio companies. The services provided under this program include advertising, cloud storage and marketing solutions, among others. 

90 percent of Indians would like to order farm-fresh veggies, reveals Otipy survey

Agritech startup Otipy, known for its community group-buying startup for fresh farm produce, recently conducted a survey to understand the demand for farm-fresh products and their wastage in Delhi/NCR. The survey revealed that given a choice 90 percent of the people would opt for buying farm-fresh vegetables instead of getting stored food delivered from supermarkets and other vendors.

The survey was based on data from 2,000 respondents. More than 90 percent of people prefer to cook fresh food daily. In the same vein, it has been found out that almost 50 percent of people prefer not to consume refrigerated food and only 7.89 percent of people consume it frequently.

Simple Energy partners with C4V to set up cell manufacturing in India

Electric vehicle and clean energy startup Simple Energy ON Wednesday has signed an MoU with C4V, a Lithium-ion battery technology company for setting up a Lithium-ion cell manufacturing ecosystem in India.

Lithium-ion battery cells are the central unit of any electric vehicle. In addition to leading the build-in India initiative, this strategic partnership utilizes cells with industry-leading safety, higher energy density than LFP, faster charging, and a longer life cycle based on C4V’s patented technology.

This MoU is also an extension of C4V's continued efforts to stabilise a comprehensive domestic supply chain in India, bringing along the most advanced Lithium-ion battery technology which powers Simple Energy's upcoming two-wheeler and four-wheeler form factors by leveraging C4V's Technology- which does not suffer from the fire or explosion risk plagued by competitors, resulting in Industry-leading safety as developed in their state-of-the-art facilities, internationally.

LEAD Co-founder Smita Deorah conferred ‘Power of Women Award 2022’

Smita Deorah, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of EdTech unicorn LEAD, was recognised with the ‘Power of Women (POW!) 2022’ award at the ASU+GSV Summit, an annual event that brings together global leaders who are transforming the future of education and work. Smita is the only leader from India to win the prestigious POW! award this year.

The POW! awards ceremony was held in San Diego, California earlier this week.

The awards recognise female CEOs leading and achieving successful outcomes for companies at scale in the learning and talent technology sectors. Each year, the ASU+GSV summit is attended by global Learning and Workforce technology CEOs, investors, Pre K-12 leaders, higher education leaders, Chief Learning and Talent Officers, policymakers and social entrepreneurs.

BluSmart launches intercity rides on EVs

Electric ride-hailing platform BluSmart Mobility on Wednesday launched EV intercity rides from Delhi NCR to Chandigarh and Delhi NCR to Jaipur. The company is offering MG ZS EV, the premium electric SUV to its customers for these intercity rides.

The intercity rides are currently available for Blu Prive members, which is the BluSmart loyalty program. The company plans to make it available for all its customers in a few months.

With this launch, the company aims to cover long-distance routes with EVs and lead the EV penetration in our country. BluSmart has been setting up charging infrastructure in Delhi NCR to aid EV fleets.

With the introduction of Intercity ride, BluSmart aims to create charging infra along major national highways for private and public EV owners so as to promote EV adoption.

BluSmart says it operates a fleet of more than 1,000 electric cars in Delhi NCR ranging from the likes of major OEMs such as Tata, MG and Mahindra. So far, BluSmart claims to have completed 1+ million all-electric trips and has covered 35 million+ clean km since launch.

M2P Fintech expands leadership team with key appointments

API infrastructure company M2P Fintech has named two seasoned professionals to key leadership positions. The company welcomed Sriram KS as Head of Engineering and Sujay Vasudevan as Head of Risk and Compliance. These appointments to the leadership team will further strengthen the technology leadership capital of the company and help realise its vision to be a global infrastructure business from India.

While Sriram was part of the founding team at M2P Fintech and was instrumental in the development of the platform in the company’s early journey; Sujay was previously with firms like Mastercard, Visa, and Citibank.

"We are delighted to have seasoned leaders join us at a crucial stage and are certain that with their domain expertise we will be able to enhance our offering as well as get ready to serve customers globally from India” said Prabhu Rangarajan, Co-Founder, M2P Fintech.

The M2P fintech team is further bolstered by the appointments of Parani Raja as Director of Platform Engineering and Sairam Krish as the Director of Data Engineering.

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