Startup news and updates: daily roundup (February 27, 2023)

YourStory presents the daily news roundup from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Monday, February 27, 2023.

Startup news and updates: daily roundup (February 27, 2023)

Monday February 27, 2023,

6 min Read

Pilgrim announces first ESOP scheme

D2C personal care brand Pilgrim on Monday announced its first-ever ESOP scheme. 

Founded in 2019, Pilgrim is one of the few companies that have earmarked a double-digit (10%) of its shares to the ESOP pool for 100% of its employees early in its journey. Employees who have spent a year (12 months) in the company (approximately 30 in number) can benefit from this scheme.

With a focus on employee well-being and hence benefits, Pilgrim has seen its employee-benefit-centric expenses grow 2.5X in the last 12 months. It has also doubled its employee strength in the same period.

Xoriant appoints Nithin VJ as Chief Financial Officer 

Xoriant, a global product engineering and digital services company headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, has appointed Nithin VJ as its new Chief Financial Officer.


A finance veteran, VJ brings over two decades of leadership experience working with Wipro’s diverse business units across North America, Canada, India, and the Middle East.

VJ was the Chief Financial Officer of Wipro’s largest strategic market unit—Americas-2—a $3 billion division, where he drove financial transformation, optimising costs, and improving profitability. He is a qualified chartered accountant from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) and an Associate Member of the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada).

Share price of Paytm parent entity rises as SoftBank, Ant Group discuss reducing holding in payments firm

CRED adds frictionless payment options for members

CRED has introduced two new features—Tap to Pay and CRED Flash—to enhance the utility of the CRED platform, drive value for members with additional payment options, and create new opportunities for merchant partners.

CRED members with an NFC-enabled Android device and eligible cards can make credit card payments from their phone with Tap to Pay. Once activated, they can pay with credit cards saved on CRED in two steps.

With CRED's Tap to Pay, members can access account information, view transaction history, and avail of rewards such as CRED coins and exclusive offers. They can access the feature under the Pay tab on the app. 


Further, select members will receive a membership upgrade activating CRED Flash, which they can use for CRED’s ecommerce store, phone, electricity bills, and more, and across 500+ partner merchants when they use CRED Pay as the payment method.

InCruiter goes global with expansion in the US market

InCruiter, an interview solution provider, has forayed into the United States. As per an internal study, the company found the demand for its products—mainly Interview-as-a-Service (IaaS)—is higher in this geography, with 10X price compared to India. As part of this expansion, InCruiter aims to tap into this growth opportunity to scale its business.

InCruiter recently raised Rs 1 crore in revenue-based funding to market its products globally. The company also has plans to expand in Dubai, Singapore, Canada, and the Philippines.

It is also hiring a team of professionals in the United States and focusing on enhancing the current product for the market.

Since its inception in 2018, InCruiter has conducted about 50,000 interviews, engaged over 2,200 interviewers, and completed 1.51 million interview mins in 2022.

CynLr launches Cybernetics HIVE, a research hub for vision, intelligence, and robotics

CynLr, a robotics deep-tech startup building vision and intelligence for industrial robotics and autonomous navigation, launched a new research facility Cybernetics HIVE in Whitefield, Bengaluru. 

The R&D hub spreads across 13,000-sq.ft. research space, equipped to accommodate 16 robot research cells, 25 robots, cutting-edge electronics, camera, and vision laboratory, and infrastructure to train and host 50+ research and development engineers.

The hub will help industries reimagine long-unsolved challenges in automating manual tasks through versatile robots equipped to sense motion and feel objects, enabling them to manipulate objects in their environment effectively. It will essentially help enhance object handling while lowering the overall time of deployment of robots by over 70% and cost by over 30%.

The startup has raised pre-Series A funding of about $4.5 million in 2022, led by Speciale Invest and growX Ventures, with a total funding of $5.25 million to date.

Mastercard, Vesta partner to deliver enhanced digital fraud detection solutions for Asia-Pacific

Mastercard and Vesta, an end-to-end fraud protection platform, have announced a strategic partnership to deliver state-of-the-art fraud management solutions for merchants in the Asia-Pacific region.

The partnership will involve the integration of Mastercard’s Cyber and Intelligence (C&I) products and solutions into Vesta’s transaction guarantee platform, allowing merchants to eliminate online fraud, approve more transactions, and grow their business.


The combination of cyber security solutions, including behavioural biometrics, pre-dispute resolution, and identity verification, and Mastercard’s market expertise, will provide merchants with 100% fraud chargeback protection while incorporating transactional insights such as payment risk scores and pre-emptive chargeback alerts.


The service will be available to merchants in the second quarter of 2023.

Taboola beta tests integration of generative AI, including ChatGPT

Taboola, which powers recommendations for the open web, on Monday said it is experimenting with integrating generative AI, including ChatGPT by OpenAI, into its ad platform.

One application of the new technology will enable advertisers to use AI to generate optimised ads, titles, and content to take their advertising campaigns to the next level.


With this application, advertisers can quickly generate multiple ad variations using natural language processing and machine learning, allowing them to choose creative content based on their queries to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of their campaigns.

The AI-generated ads will also be optimised for high performance using data from tens of billions of engagements, which Taboola’s ads generate every year, ensuring maximum impact and reach for advertisers. The company is also exploring other ways to apply AI to make its business more effective and efficient.


Taboola's new AI-powered ad creation tool is currently in limited beta testing to make it initially available to advertisers later this year.

Agri-tech startup Barton Breeze raises $800k from angel investors

Gurugram-based agritech startup has raised $800k in a pre-series funding round from a group of angel investors including Rajeev Bairathi (Ex CEO, Knight Frank), Neeraj Kumar (DSK Legal), Manish Agarwal and Umang Agarwal (KTL Automotive), and Shishir Poddar (Tridents group).

The company aims to utilise the funds to introduce 20 more SKUs into the FMCG range along with further growth of its farms across the Delhi-NCR.

Founded in 2018 by Shivendra Singh, Barton Breeze focuses on end-to-end supply chain from farm development through to packaging and product delivery. It also sells ready-to-eat salad boxes, dips, and oils through its online stores.

"If you're starting something on your own, you better have a passion for it, because this is hard work - a sustainable agriculture is one which depletes neither the people nor the land," CEO Shivendra Singh said.

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

Edited by Suman Singh