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Startup news and updates: daily roundup (March 20, 2023)

YourStory presents the daily news roundup from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Monday, March 20, 2023.

Sayan Sen

Pooja Malik

Startup news and updates: daily roundup (March 20, 2023)

Monday March 20, 2023 , 7 min Read

India has 45,000 AI jobs, says TeamLease Digital Report

The recent surge of artificial intelligence (AI) enabled tech has led to a surge in job openings across various industries. There are currently 45,000 AI-enabled job openings in India according to a report by TeamLease Digital.

The report analysed the potential of AI in different industries and identified key job roles such as Clinical Data Analysts in healthcare, Edtech Product Managers in education, and Industrial Data Scientists in manufacturing. The report also estimated the salaries for freshers and experienced professionals, with data engineers earning up to Rs 14 lakh per annum and ML engineers up to Rs 10 lakh.

The survey conducted by TeamLease Digital revealed that 37% of organisations prefer to provide their employees with relevant tools to build an AI-ready workforce, while 30% of organisations stated that AI learning initiatives are mandatory to unlock hidden talents in the workforce. The majority of employees also agreed that "upskilling and reskilling" initiatives are necessary to have a future-ready workforce.

Mahindra & Mahindra acquires 100% stake in MITRA Agro Equipment

Mahindra & Mahindra's Farm Equipment Sector (FES) has acquired 100% stake in MITRA Agro Equipment Private Limited (M.I.T.R.A), making it a fully-owned subsidiary of the company.

Mahindra earlier had a 47.33% stake in M.I.T.R.A. Apart from Mahindra, agritech fund Omnivore had a stake in the business, which has now been acquired by Mahindra. This marks Omnivore’s second exit in a little over six months, after exiting aquatech startup Eruvaka in August 2022.

Mahindra's acquisition of M.I.T.R.A is expected to strengthen the company's position in the agriculture sector.


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Blume Ventures promotes Arpit Agarwal and Sajith Pai to Investment Partners

Blume Ventures has announced the promotion of two senior members of its investment team, Arpit Agarwal and Sajith Pai, to Investment Partners at the firm. The move follows the closing of Blume's Fund IV, which raised $290 million from institutional investors, making it the firm's largest fund to date.

Agarwal joined Blume in 2012 with his first investment in Cashify in 2015. His area of expertise include EVs and Climatetech. Meanwhile, Pai joined Blume in 2018 and has invested in companies across edtech, HRTech, B2B Marketplaces, workforce enablement, and other consumer internet business models.

Blume Ventures has raised over $600 million, with its fourth fund closing at $290 million. The fund will focus on early-stage, technology-led startups in a range of sectors, including fintech, robotics, AI, healthcare, and conglomerates. The fund will be managed by an experienced team of over 15 investment professionals, including Ashish Fafadia, who heads Fintech and Agri, and Karthik Reddy, who leads Domestic Consumer Internet and B2B Marketplaces.

Hi Fabrique acquires Italian luxury fabric producer Tessitura Monti India arm

Bengaluru-based cotton fabric manufacturer, Hi Fabrique Group, has announced the acquisition of Tessitura Monti India Private Limited (TMIPL), an Indian subsidiary of Tessitura Monti Spa, Italy. The Italian company manufactures processed luxury and high-value cotton fabrics and serves international brands such as Gucci, Polo Ralph Lauren, and Tommy Hilfiger.

With the acquisition of TMIPL, Hi Fabrique Group will gain access to these international brands and expand its product portfolio and enable backward and forward integration of the business. TMIPL has a facility at Kolhapur, Maharashtra, and is staffed with over 900 employees who make premium yarn-dyed fabrics, supplying global brands such as Calvin Klein and Thomas Pink.

Singhvi Dev & Unni acted as the sole financial advisor for the transaction, representing Hi Fabrique Group. The acquisition is expected to create new opportunities for Hi Fabrique to expand its product range in the luxury cotton fabrics sector and tap into the growing demand for premium products

ParkMate reaches 60,000 users

Indian smart parking startup ParkMate has gained more than 60,000 users since its launch in Lucknow eight months ago. The Moradabad-based firm aims to go deeper into northern India, with a goal of serving 75,000 customers by the end of the year.


ParkMate's products include Trishool, a three-tier parking management system, which integrates FASTag, ANPR and UniPay systems to scan licence plates and permit vehicle entry. The company also offers a valet service to its users. ParkMate's application allows users to search and visit parking lots, with the aim of eliminating illegal roadside parking and easing traffic congestion in major markets.

Its services were launched in partnership with Lucknow Nagar Nigam and Hazratganj Trader Association. The company plans to automate major parking areas in Uttar Pradesh in the coming years.

Speciale Invest appoints Vishnu Rajeev as Investment Principal

Mumbai-based seed-stage venture capital firm, Speciale Invest, has appointed Vishnu Rajeev as its new Investment Principal. With over a decade of industry experience, Rajeev has previously served as Investment Principal at Avaana Capital and as mobility and climate lead at Micelio and Axilor Ventures. In addition, he has held board-level positions at several companies in the electric vehicle and energy sectors.

Rajeev will be responsible for identifying and evaluating opportunities in the mobility, climatetech, and energy sectors. His experience in leading investments in companies such as The ePlane Company, ElectricPe, and RACEnergy, among others. promotes Subhrajit Mohanty to Vice President

AI-ML startup has promoted Subhrajit Mohanty as Vice President and Head of Engineering. Mohanty, who has over a decade of experience in data science, machine learning, and artificial intelligence, will head the team responsible for developing Katonic's AI product roadmap strategy.

He was part of the founding team at and helped create the company's flagship product, the Katonic Machine Learning Operations Platform, which has received several awards.

Mohanty has previously worked for General Electric, Infosys, Grant Thornton, TEKsystems, and Cerebronics., which has offices in India, Australia, and Singapore, is an AI-ML ISO 27001 company backed by Artesian Investments and Boab AI.

BikeWo launches ‘BikeWo Shield’ to benefit EV customers

Hyderabad-headquartered BikeWo launched BikeWo Shield—a 5 years warranty aimed to increase the EV adoption by giving confidence to the customers regarding the safety and reliability of the EV’s.


Some of the renowned 2 wheeler EV brands that BikeWo has partnered with for EV display and sales in its showrooms includes Battre, Pure Ev, Gemopai, Jitendra Ev, Evtric, GT force, E-Motorad, and Gear head motors. BikeWo is facilitating the customers with a five-year warranty for the motor, controller, and converter. In contrast, the other players in the industry only offer one year warranty.

Under the BikeWo showroom, customers will be able to avail the best offers, access to the nearest charging stations.

Axis Bank partners with Autotrac Finance Limited to offer new tractor loans

Axis Bank revealed its strategic partnership under the co-lending model through the Yubi Co.Lend platform. Through this partnership, both lenders will offer new tractor loans for agricultural and allied activities to cater the financial needs of the rural segment in the country.  


This partnership will use the wide customer experience of AFL and deep financial expertise of Axis Bank to enable easy credit availability for farmers at an optimal interest rates. AFL has an advantage of ready access to a robust customer base and dealers across rural and semi-urban regions (RUSU) in 18 states and it will further continue to maximize its network to ensure that farmers whole heartedly embrace advanced farming technologies.

This partnership will also empower Axis Bank and AFL to reach out to potential customers who are unable to derive advantages of a formal lending structure. Backed by tech platform Yubi, this partnership will offer seamless processing of loans as per co-lending guidelines.

Edited by Megha Reddy