Startup news and updates: daily roundup (November 3, 2022)
YourStory presents daily news roundups from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Thursday, November 3, 2022.
SuperBottoms enters offline retail, targets annual revenue of Rs 250 Cr by FY26
, a D2C brand for eco-friendly baby-care products that recently raised $3 million, on Thursday announced its foray into offline retail business. Founded in 2016 by Pallavi Utagi, SuperBottoms has grown 2X YOY in the last four years.
The brand has opened its first kiosk in Mumbai at Rcity Mall Ghatkopar with the objective of building brand distribution as well as visibility. Along with this, SuperBottoms plans to open six kiosks targeting west and north zones by the end of this financial year, while parallelly building a team for General Trade outlets for their other products.
Being a consumer-first brand, in 2016 SuperBottoms came up with a community--The Parent Tribe, as a platform to resolve cloth diapering queries for its customers. Now over 75,000 parents strong, Tribe has grown and transformed into an authentic platform of organic reviews, honest feedback, and an interactive community. SuperBottoms is aiming to grow the community to 1 lakh parents by the end of this year.
Wakefit.co enables employees to take time off for wellness, No Questions Asked!
, a D2C home and sleep solutions brand, has rolled out a ‘No Questions Asked’ Wellness Leave Policy for its employees.
The Wellness Leave Policy extends a no-questions asked leave to all the employees once a month. These wellness leaves can be availed by the workforce to support their physical, mental, or emotional wellbeing by taking time off to unwind and rejuvenate themselves. Wakefit.co employees can also utilise their wellness leaves to opt for leisurely activities. Through this initiative, Wakefit.co aims to empower its workforce by instilling a wellness-positive practice that contributes to their holistic growth and development while enabling healthy conversations.
The company also unveiled its ‘Right to Nap’ policy in May 2022 to enable employees to take a power nap between 2 and 2:30 pm. Additionally, Wakefit.co also recently launched the flexi work policy for new parents. These initiatives are impactful steps towards enabling a healthy work-life balance among its workforce.
hBits appoints Mayank Jain as Chief Investment Officer
, the real estate company offering fractional ownership to investors in preleased Grade A properties, on Thursday announced that the company appointed Mayank Jain as the Chief Investment Officer.
The appointment aligns with the company's vision to make the Grade A commercial real estate industry available to every individual retail investor in the country. The plan is to acquire new assets like data centres, warehouses, and Grade A office spaces to boost the company's growth across six targeted cities--Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai, and Pune by the end of next year.
Mayank has over 15 years of experience working with focused private equity funds like IndoSpace Capital, Everstone Group and LOGOS Group across investments and asset management, primarily in industrial and mixed-use commercial real estate. His contribution has been instrumental in closing more than 20+ real estate-focused private equity transactions, including primary investments, follow-on rounds, equity divestitures and land monetization, contributing more than $550 million.
PhonePe deploys over 10 lakh SmartSpeakers within 3 months of launch
Fintech platformhas announced that it has deployed over 10 lakh SmartSpeakers to merchant partners across India. The company has also processed over 100 crore (1 billion) transactions via the devices, within just three months of launch. This has enabled the company to further strengthen its offline merchant payments across the country.
PhonePe introduced SmartSpeakers in August this year for efficient payment tracking at the retail outlets.
The PhonePe SmartSpeaker comes with dedicated data connectivity and is easy to operate without requiring any configuration, and it gets automatically linked to all the QRs in the merchant's store. It also has a dedicated battery level LED indicator for ease of use, along with audio alerts for low battery level, a dedicated replay button for the last transaction, and supports multiple languages.
UK-based fintech Revolut appoints Arjun Mehta as Chief Financial Officer for India
One of the UK’s highest valued companies, Revolut, announced the appointment of Arjun Mehta as the Chief Financial Officer for India. In his new role, Arjun will focus on growth, channel development, expense management, and revenue planning. The company had announced the appointment of Paroma Chatterjee as the CEO of India in April, 2021.
Arjun has an expansive career of over 19 years with brands like Apple, American Express and Max Life Insurance. With strong experience in revenue planning and business growth, Arjun has worked on business finance, strategy, P&L management, advisory, and various other facets of finance.
On joining one of the biggest unicorns in the UK, Arjun said, “I am excited about Revolut’s vision to address the current challenges and evolving customer needs in the financial services sector. India presents a huge long-term opportunity and an established fintech ecosystem. I look forward to being a part of this journey and introducing our products and services to the Indian consumers.”
Awign rolls out its first ESOP buyback worth Rs 4 Cr
On-demand work fulfillment platform,has announced its first employee stock option plan (ESOP) and buyback programme worth Rs 4 crore. Under this programme, eligible employees will be able to participate in this ESOP buyback and liquidate their part of vested stock in the company.
ESOPs or employee stock ownership plans are an add-on benefit that provide employees ownership in the company in the form of stocks. With this ESOP buyback programme, Awign aims to attract, retain and create value for employees by recognising their contribution towards the organization. Employees, both past and present will be given the option to liquidate a portion of their stock to drive wealth creation.
The initiative follows after the company’s recent Series B fundraise of $15 million from Bertelsmann Investments India, Amicus Capital, MyNavi Corporation, along with existing investors. It has raised a total of around $22.3 million as of date.
Founded in 2016, Awign enables 100+ large enterprises with on-demand work fulfillment across 9 core enterprises functions through a community of 1 million+ gig partners.
BattRE raises seed fund led by Agility Ventures
Two-wheeler mobility startup BattRE raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding from a group of investors led by Agility Ventures along with former Tata Motors’ top executive, Gajendra Chandel.
The firm said that the funds will drive its next phase of growth.
“BattRE Electric was born out of a foresightful idea in the 2W space with need for electrification that brings differentiated products and unparalleled service to the customers. Its discerning customer experience helped build a widespread network of dealerships across the country, making the products available in every town, serving the customers’ needs on real-time basis,” Gajendra Chandel, Chairman of BattRE," said in a media statement.
BattRE was founded in 2017 by Nishchal Choudhary and Pankaj Sharma.
Hitwicket raises $3M in funding from Prime Venture Partners
Multiplayer cricket gaming app Hitwicket raised $3 million in funding from Prime Venture Partners.
The startup said it will use the fresh funds to add more features that revolve around multiplayer access where gamers can strategize in real-time and play against each other. It also launched Hitwicket Superstars, an immersive multiplayer cricket strategy game.
“Hitwicket is pushing the envelope on innovation in gaming by hosting India’s first and one-of-a-kind Esports Mobile Gaming Cricket Tournament for Cricket fans from across the globe. We are delighted to be a part of Hitwicket’s journey to create a global gaming franchise out of India,” Shripati Acharya, Managing Partner," Prime Venture Partners, said in a media statement.
Founded in 2015 by Keerti Singh and Kashyap Reddy, Hitwicket requires gamers to plan their strategy to win instead of a swipe-action, where gamers play on every “ball” and score accordingly.
Edited by Megha Reddy