FreshBus, Melvano, LoanKuber raise funding

YourStory presents daily funding roundups from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Thursday, February 16, 2023.

FreshBus, Melvano, LoanKuber raise funding

Thursday February 16, 2023,

3 min Read

FreshBus raises Rs 26Cr seed funding from ixigo

FreshBus, a Bengaluru-based EV bus startup, has secured Rs 26 crore in seed funding from ixigo (Le Travenues Technology Limited). 

With this, the company is looking to launch premium inter-city electric bus services across India. The service would commence simultaneously from Hyderabad and Bengaluru with the launch of 24 electric buses. The operational routes would be announced by March. 

The EV bus startup plans to scale up its operations to over 1000 buses pan-India in the next 2-3 years, it said in a statement. 

Founded by Sudhakar Reddy Chirra, who earlier built bus aggregator Abhibus (acquired by ixigo in August 2021).

“We will offer a more environment friendly and affordable alternative to existing inter-city public transport which is currently dominated by fossil-fuel buses. A single FreshBus will save over 90,000 litres of diesel and reduce close to 200 tonnes of CO2 emissions in a span of one year. That is equivalent to the effect of almost 10,000 trees on the environment,” the founder said.  

Edtech startup Melvano raises Rs 1.3 crore, plans to launch upskilling platform 

Edtech startup Melvano on Thursday said it has received an investment of Rs 1.3 crore from Tyke Invest, as it looks to grow its new platform in the upskilling segment—Skillbary.

The IIT Madras-incubated startup was founded in 2018 by Taran Singh and Sachin Sanodiya. The learning app offers personalised coursework for IIT-JEE and NEET aspirants, based on the student’s assessment.

It has further created a reward system for students which gives out Melvano coins each time they complete a chapter or take a test on the app. These coins can be later redeemed while purchasing any premium services of Melvano like live classes and personal mentoring by IIT alumni. 

With the new capital, Melvano intends to enter the upskilling market with new platform Skillbary, to be launched in March. 

“We are witnessing more and more graduates who have completed bachelor’s programme but are unable to find employment. The vast disparity between the skills taught in colleges and those needed for current occupations is the cause of this. We all have witnessed the unpredictable recession to affect even the best professionals. Given that, majority of upskilling platforms only cater to working professionals,” said CEO Taran Singh. 

Skillbary would offer micro-certification courses for college students or fresh graduates who are aiming to upskill themselves in fields of product management, sales, operations, data science etc. This includes live projects, mock interviews, internships, and job opportunities upon course completion.


Mortgage platform LoanKuber raises $2 million led by Inflection Point Ventures

Lending platform LoanKuber has raised $2 million as part of its ongoing Series A round led by Inflection Point Ventures. The round also saw participation from Accolade Holdings, LetsVenture, family offices, and angel investors including Prashant Tandon (Founder, 1Mg ), Pankaj Vermani (Founder, Clovia), and Vishal Gupta (Director, TA Associates). 

The company plans to use the funds to scale AUM, improve the existing technology stack and expand the team.

LoanKuber was founded by Saurabh Nagpal, an alumnus of IIT Delhi and New York University, who was earlier part of the founding team of Lehman Brothers/ Nomura in India.

The digital platform offers mortgage loans to micro SMEs, through co-lending partnerships with regulated entries (REs) and also via its own NBFCs. The company claims to have achieved profitability and aims to build an AUM of Rs 200 crores in the next 15 months as part of its expansion plan.