Startup news and updates: daily roundup (September 7, 2022)

YourStory presents the daily news roundup from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Wednesday, September 7, 2022.
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Agnikul Cosmos receives patent for 3D-printed rocket engine

Chennai-based rocket builder and launcher Agnikul Cosmos has announced that the Government of India has awarded it a patent for its unique 3D-printed rocket engine called Agnilet. Tested successfully in 2021, the Agnilet is a single piece of machinery, rather than a series of components as is the norm for spaceship engines.

“Rocket engines usually have 1000s of parts in them starting from injectors that inject fuel into the engine, to the cooling channels that cool the engine, to the igniter that is necessary to ignite the propellants. Designing Agnilet as a single piece of hardware has not been an easy ride, but our team has proved it to be otherwise. This patent is a testament to the world-class designed-in-India and made-in-India deeptech engineering that the Agnikul team is able to do," says Co-founder and CEO Srinath Ravichandran.

Fintech investment remains "robust": KPMG report

A new report by big four consulting firm KPMG says that the global fintech market saw $107.8 billion in investments in 2,980 deals in the first half of 2022, with $52.6 billion coming from venture capitalists. The latter's investment dropped from $66.5 billion in H1 2021, but remains "robust" considering market conditions.

While the Americas saw the largest amount of investment with $27.2 billion, Europe, Middle East and Africa region (EMEA) set a six-month high for funding with $16.6 billion. In the Asia-Pacific region, which includes India, companies have hit an annual record of $41.8 billion in 607 deals in just the first 6 months of the year.

Payments firms receive the bulk of the investments totaling $43.6 billion, while crypto firms took a hit compared to H1 2021, only receiving $14.2 billion in the first half of 2022 due to declining market conditions. The report predicts that B2B solutions aimed at improvement of infrastructure or on the optimisation of operational activities could dominate the market.

Health-tech firm Orange Health and meat retail brand Nandu's announce employee ESOP benefits

Health-tech startup Orange Health, which has been in the news recently following its strong brand campaigns around at-home testing with same-day results, has announced a $1 million ESOP buyback opportunity for their employees.

In a press release, founders Dhruv Gupta and Tarun Bhambra said that the buyback was a "token of gratitude" for earliest team members who are eligible for taking a chance on the company during the early days. Orange Health raised $25 million in a Series B round earlier this year.

Similarly, the online meat retail brand Nandu's has decided to launch its first tranche of ESOPs for its employees, diluting 5% of its ownership pool. Nandu's was first founded in 1963 as a business of organised poultry and livestock farming.

Dream Sports' DreamSetGo ties up with Manchester United

Mumbai-based Dream Sports has announced that its sports experience and travel vertical, DreamSetGo, has tied up with Manchester United to become the globally known football club's "supporter travel supplier" for India.

The company said this is a first-of-its-kind partnership to deepen fan experiences with the English club. Monish Shah, founder and chief business officer of DreamSetGo, said, "Our partnership will give these [Manchester United] fans an opportunity to visit the legendary Old Trafford stadium, create memories for a lifetime by creating customised and unique experiences."

Last October, DreamSetGo announced similar fan and travel experience partnerships with two other English football clubs, London-based Chelsea F.C. and United's cross-town rivals, Manchester City.

Rebalance Accelerator announces 7 companies in its 4th cohort

Rebalance Accelerator, which aims to address gender diversity issues at the founder level of startups, has announced its fourth cohort consisting of seven startups. The accelerator invests up $150,000 in its startups, and partners with 150+ VCs from India, Southeast Asia, the USA, and Europe to help companies with at least one female co-founder.

Startups accepted into the current cohort include natural condiments producer Boombay, device-less PCR test innovator Dnome, plant-based nutrition firm Plant Power, credit card stack Hyperface, real money gaming platform Superlative, female health test provider Haemetrics, and ayurvedic personal care brand Zoi.

Rebalance particularly pointed out the achievements of Hyperface, led by founders Aishwarya Jaishankar & Ramanathan RV and based out of Bengaluru, who raised $9 million in a seed round led by 3one4Capital alongside Flipkart Ventures, 021 Capital, Groww, Better Capital, and notable angels such as Kunal Shah.

(This article will be updated with the latest news throughout the day.)

Edited by Affirunisa Kankudti

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