Startup news and updates: daily roundup (March 16, 2023)

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

Sujata Sangwan

Pooja Malik

Startup news and updates: daily roundup (March 16, 2023)

Thursday March 16, 2023,

6 min Read

Athera Venture Partners appoints Rajiv Mehta as General Partner

Athera Venture Partners, an early-stage seed to Series A venture capital firm, has appointed Rajiv Mehta as ist general partner. 

Mehta will work closely with the Athera Venture Partners' founding team of Samir Kumar, Parag Dhol, and Rutvik Doshi, and bring first-hand operative experience to the fund’s portfolio companies.

With over two decades of experience in leadership and entrepreneurship, Mehta has previously worked with Arvind Sports and Fashion Brands as its CEO, and before that, he was the managing director of Puma, South Asia, for nearly 10 years.

Most recently, he was the CEO of Stove Kraft, a kitchen and home appliance company, where he took the company public and turned it into a profitable business. Additionally, since 2011, he has been an active investor and mentor to startup founders.

Solartech platform Aerem raises $5M in pre-Series A round led by Avaana Capital

Davaindia makes three new appointments to leadership team 

Davaindia, a private generic pharmacy retail chain, has added three team members to its management team.

Victor Bhadra has joined as Business Head FOFO and Operations; Adheesh Mukerji as Business Head COCO; and Ashish Arora has joined as Business Head B2C and Technology. They will be based out of Surat.

Bhadra has previously worked with Reliance Retail Ltd. (Netmeds), Apollo Pharmacy, and others. In his new role, he will be in charge of the franchisee business and operational efforts.

Mukerji, who has previously worked for Swiggy, Apollo Pharmacy, Tata Communications Payment Solutions Ltd, and many other companies, would be taking charge of Davaindia’s company outlet business.

Arora, who has worked in IT and ecommerce for Aster Pharmaceutical India, Accenture, Sonata Software Ltd., PWC, and others, will be in charge of the company's B2C and IT projects.

Chqbook, ICICI Lombard collaborate to offer financial protection to shop owners, merchants

Chqbook, a neobank for small business owners, has launched a specially designed shop insurance cover for its digital current account customers, which it launched in association with ICICI Lombard. 

Under this insurance, losses incurred by shop owners due to floods, earthquakes, lightning, storms, cyclones, fire, and other climate risks will be covered, including any loss due to burglary of contents in the shop.

Small businesses in India account for 30% of the GDP and often lack access to financial services, including insurance. The lack of access and low awareness leaves them vulnerable to climatic risks and other man-made risks, forcing them to either take loans or use their savings to cover the losses, potentially pushing them into poverty.

Looking at this massive under-penetration and the need to safeguard this community from unforeseen losses through inclement climatic activities, Chqbook will bear the first-year premium towards this shop insurance.

Ayekart Fintech appoints Anand Mugad as Chief Marketing Officer

Ayekart, an integrated technology platform for the food and agri value chain, has appointed Anand Mugad as its Chief Marketing Officer. This move aligns with the company's aim to strengthen its leadership team and lead the scaling-up of marketing, communication, and brand building for further transformation and innovation in business during this growth phase of Ayekart.

Mugad brings over 24 years of experience in corporate communication, marketing, and business development, having worked with companies such as DBS Bank India, Axis Bank, ICICI Bank, and Nestle India Ltd. 

Before joining Ayekart, he was the vice president-group strategic marketing and communications at DBS Bank India. He played a pivotal role in enhancing the bank's corporate reputation through effective communication strategies.

At Axis Bank, he was instrumental in establishing the corporate communications department, where he managed the PR function of the bank and its subsidiaries.

WinZO partners with Amaha to provide access to mental health consultants

WinZO has partnered with Amaha, a tech-led omnichannel mental health platform, to provide WinZO’s employees with access to mental health consultants, online counselling, and therapy services, and organise workshops to improve their understanding of user behaviour and build better products.


Through the partnership, WinZO employees will have 24x7 access to 100% private and confidential online and offline consultations, including psychiatric support, diagnosis and medication, and self-help tools.

AirAttix partners with ORIX and Mahindra First Choice

AirAttix collaborated with a Japanese car leasing company ORIX and Mahindra First Choice. ORIX will use the AirAttix platform to identify suitable parking spaces in various cities to park its vehicles. On the other hand, Mahindra First Choice’s collaboration with Airattix is host-centric, which will involve offering its extensive network of parking spaces to probable customers.

With AirAttix's advanced technology and user-friendly platform and Mahindra First Choice's extensive network of parking spaces across India, AirAttix's customers can now search for and book parking through the platform. 

ORIX has booked car parking spaces through the AirAttix portal across four major cities, including Bengaluru, Chennai, Mumbai, and Pune. Mahindra First Choice has listed its privately owned parking yards across 16 cities in India to rent them out to customers looking for secured parking spaces on AirAttix platform.


Cleartrip launches bus services in over 90 cities

Cleartrip launched bus services on its app to ensure greater travel connectivity. The new bus booking business will address critical user needs. Some of the key features include a 24x7 voice helpline, no hidden costs, quick refunds, and easy cancellation.

It has an inventory of 10 lakh bus connections and plans to build the largest bus network in India. The company has partnered with multiple state road transport corporations and private bus operators nationwide.

G.O.A.T Brand Labs announce strategic partnership with THG Ingenuity

G.O.A.T Brand Labs and THG Ingenuity, the unified commerce platform specialising in taking brands direct to consumers globally and scale, have announced a strategic partnership.   

The alliance between G.O.A.T Brand Labs and THG Ingenuity will see the companies work together to develop localised digital capabilities to help India’s leading consumer brands scale up their ecommerce businesses, representing a significant step towards future-proofing the robust growth of the Indian D2C ecosystem.

Furthermore, as a leading D2C player in India, G.O.A.T Brand Labs’ partnership with THG  Ingenuity will provide it with additional services to help homegrown D2C brands make mindful, data-backed decisions to expand their reach to global audiences via ecommerce channels. 

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

Edited by Suman Singh