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Startup news and updates: daily roundup (October 10, 2022)

YourStory presents the daily news roundup from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Monday, October 10, 2022.

Startup news and updates: daily roundup (October 10, 2022)

Monday October 10, 2022 , 7 min Read

Warburg Pincus to acquire majority stake in Vistaar Finance

Warburg Pincus, a leading global private equity firm focused on growth investments, on Monday announced that an affiliate of private equity funds managed by Warburg Pincus, has entered into definitive agreements to acquire a majority stake in Vistaar Finance, an NBFC lending to MSMEs in India.

Its exiting shareholders include WestBridge Capital, Elevar Equity, Omidyar Network India, and Saama Capital. The transaction is subject to regulatory and certain other approvals. Kotak Investment Banking is the exclusive financial advisor to this Transaction.

Vistaar Finance was founded by Brahmanand Hegde and Ramakrishna Nishtala with the mission to serve small businesses. Vistaar Finance manages an AUM of over Rs 2,600 crore with presence across 12 states and 205 branches. 

Ramakrishna Nishtala, MD and CEO, Vistaar Finance, said, “It is indeed a pleasure to get Warburg Pincus on board. With the support of our existing partners, WestBridge, Elevar, Omidyar, and Saama, we have come a long way over the last decade and established our position as a leading specialist MSME lender. We look forward to continue building on the legacy as we look ahead to the next phase of growth.”

Avinash Punekar

Avinash Punekar

iCreate appoints Avinash Punekar as new CEO

iCreate (International Centre for Entrepreneurship and Technology), a tech innovation-based startup incubator, has announced the appointment of Avinash Punekar as its new Chief Executive Officer, effective from October 1, 2022.

With over three decades of experience in leadership roles across technology and operations in both startups and large businesses, Avinash will lead iCreate’s efforts in incubating breakthrough innovators and startups from across India and indeed the globe.

Avinash Punekar most recently served as the CEO of IIT Mandi iHub & HCI Foundation, a not-for-profit company funded by Government of India, to help make India a global leader in the areas of Human Computer Interaction (HCI) and Brain Computer Interface (BCI) covering the areas of AR/VR, AI, DL/ML, Multisensory systems.

At a time when the world is looking towards India for innovative solutions to some of the most pressing challenges, I am honored to join iCreate in their mission of supporting tech innovators achieve scale in delivering breakthrough solutions. I look forward to working with the entire leadership team, stakeholders, and most importantly, the startup ecosystem to synergise our efforts for their benefit”, said Avinash Punekar.

Real estate brokerage platform Homesfy Realty acquires EQServ

Homesfy Realty has acquired EQServ, a Mumbai-based real estate broking firm that has been facilitating residential property sales for category A+ developers across the city. EQServ claims to have sold almost 390+ units and on boarded 330+ customers so far.

Ashish Kukreja, Founder and CEO, and, said, “Proptech is the next big sector considering the size of the opportunity. There is healthy consolidation and we want to build momentum with forces coming together. This is just a baby step in this direction.”

Homesfy Realty entered the real estate business in 2011 to simplify the home buying process and make the real estate transaction reliable, trustworthy, and hassle-free. Homesfy expanded to facilitating transactions totaling Rs 1,650 crore on its platforms in the last financial year.

Board Infinity acquires aspiring CXO career platform Leadup Universe

Career tech venture Board Infinity has announced the acquisition of aspiring CXO career platform Leadup Universe, which specialises in creating unique learning programs and career pathways for aspiring CXOs.

The move will extend Board Infinity’s offerings beyond its current ones that focus on early careers to mid-senior level executives who are aspiring to be future CXOs. While the deal value and financial details of the transaction have not been disclosed, the company shared that the entire team of Leadup Universe, including its co-founders and investors, will join Board Infinity. The brands, however, will be separately retained.

Founded in 2021 by Mayank Verma and Rashmi Mandloi, Leadup has strong premium university tie-ups, an exclusive CXO Club and Strategic Programs for Executives. Sandeep Sinha from Lumis Partners, Pankaj Bansal Partner at Work Universe & Group CEO of PeopleStrong, Sulbha Rai (CPO at, and NS Rajan, Former CHRO of Tata Sons are the investors and advisors in Leadup Universe.


Mahendra Singh Dhoni

MS Dhoni launches DRONI--a Made-in-India consumer camera drone manufactured by Garuda Aerospace

Indian cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who popularised the 'helicopter shot', has launched a quadcopter consumer camera drone named 'Droni'. The made-in-India camera drone with advanced features is manufactured by Garuda Aerospace, of which MS Dhoni is the Brand Ambassador.

Garuda Aerospace has created a niche for itself by offering drone solutions for agricultural pesticide spraying, solar panel cleaning, industrial pipeline inspections, mapping, surveying, public announcements, delivery services and has now ventured into the consumer drone market with the latest offering--'Droni'. According to the company's founder and CEO, Agnishwar Jayaprakash, the product will be available in the market by the end of 2022.

The event in Chennai also witnessed the launch of a new 'Kisan Drone' that is aimed at the agriculture sector, particularly in spraying applications. This battery-powered drone is capable of carrying out agricultural pesticide spraying over a land area of 30 acres per day.

KarmaLife Strengthens leadership team, appoints Kusha Kohli as Head of Business Development

KarmaLifeAI, an earnings-linked financial solutions provider for the gig and blue-collar workforce, has announced the appointment of Kusha Kohli as Head of Business Development. Kusha will foresee the growth of the business and will focus on expanding Karmalife to 250+ employer partners.

Kusha brings the entrepreneurial experience of 5+ years. Before joining KarmaLife, she was the Co-Founder and COO of DolphinChat (formerly known as CivilCops), an enterprise conversational AI and marketing platform. There she was instrumental in building strategic partnerships with the United Nations, State Governments, D2C eCommerce brands, and BFSI customers.

“India will have more than 200 million workers as part of the gig, and formal temp-staffing by 2029. KarmaLife is tapping this underserved workforce by introducing much-needed financial wellness products. KarmaLife is already the largest player in the market and we are ready to take the Rocketship to the next level” said Kusha Kohli, Head of Business Development, KarmaLife.

Anil Kumble

Anil Kumble with the Onsurity Founders

Anil Kumble backs Onsurity to solve healthcare issues of Middle India

Indian cricket icon Anil Kumble has become strategic advisor at Onsurity, driven by his purpose to work as an evangelist in promoting health and wellness for SME‘s and gig workers in the sports, environment, forest, technology and allied sectors.

Born in the pandemic year of 2020, Onsurity is the brainchild of Yogesh Agarwal and Kulin Shah who were keen to solve the problem of affordability and accessibility in the health and wellness space, with a monthly subscription model for SMEs, MSMEs, and startups that cover their vulnerable workforce with an adequate social security.

On his partnership with Onsurity, Anil Kumble said: “I have personally witnessed and led fundraisers for this vulnerable workforce, who are usually not full-time employees in the ecosystem. These gig workers or off role employees, be it in the sports, manufacturing, services or technology sector, deserve a professional approach to secure their health and wellness needs. This is what I liked about Onsurity, who are in a way democratising access to healthcare benefits through their tech-led platform and B2B associations. Through this collaboration, I am looking forward to raising awareness about the importance of healthcare and wellbeing among employees and their families, which I feel can solve healthcare issues of India’s missing middle.”

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