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

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

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

Thursday April 20, 2023 , 9 min Read


Mesa School of Business raises Rs 34 Cr from Elevation Capital, others

Mesa School of Business has raised Rs 34 crore in a funding round from Elevation Capitaland angel investors, like Kunal Shah, Vidit Aatrey, and Abhiraj Bahl.

Using these funds the company said it will look to build a cutting-edge, hands-on, and application-based curriculum, designed and delivered in partnership with startup leaders and potential future employers for a founding cohort of just 60 handpicked students.

This will be a 12-month, full-time PG programme in startup leadership, based out of Bengaluru. At the end of the programme, students will get access to opportunities for leadership roles at top startups and technology companies in the country, the firm said.

“We believe there is a clear opportunity to build new age, outcome-focused higher-ed institutes in India. Therefore we could immediately relate to Ankit and Varun's vision of building a business school of the future, focussed on entrepreneurship and the start-up ecosystem,” Mukul Arora, Managing Partner, Elevation Capital, said.

Mesa School of Business was Co-founded by Ankit Agarwal, a former Urban Company executive, and Varun Limaye, a former Amazon executive.

Mesa School of Business co-founders: Varun Limaye and Ankit Agarwal

Mesa School of Business co-founders: Varun Limaye and Ankit Agarwal. | Image credit: MSB

Cognecto raises Rs 4 Cr in a seed round

AI solution firm Cognecto has raised Rs 4 crore in a seed round led by Inflection Point Ventures.

The company said that it plans to use the funds to develop Regenerative Artificial Intelligence technology that is aimed at providing valuable business and operational insights for the mining and construction sectors. 

“The utilisation of AI technology in the mining and construction sector is a significant advantage. These industries require real-time data to optimise time and resources effectively,” Vikram Ramasubramanian, Partner, Inflection Point Ventures, said in a statement.

Founded in 2020, Cognecto is a deep-tech-centric platform that uses IOT-based edge devices and performs analytics on the large data received to provide business insights for heavy equipment.

ACIC-BMU announces $1M funding for startup enthusiasts

The Atal Community Innovation Centre at BML Munjal University (ACIC-BMU) has announced $1 million funding for startup enthusiasts at Propel Pitchfest23.

Propel Pitchfest23, a two day event on April 27 and 28, 2023, will witness startups and student ventures from across India pitch their ideas to a jury of investors and founders, receive feedback, gain recognition, and win prizes.

The startups participating in the event will have the chance to pitch to investors for funding. The participating investors have collectively created an investment chest of $1 million.

The participating investors include Lead Angels Network, Indian Angel Network, 100X.VC, Campus Fund, ah! Ventures, Venture Catalysts, Fluid Ventures and Agility Ventures.

Tricog raises $8.5M in Series B2 funding

Health AI firm Tricoghas raised $8.5 million in a Series B2 funding round from OMRON HEALTHCARE, Japan and Sony Innovation Fund, Japan. 

Existing investors UTEC (The University of Tokyo Edge Capital), Japan, Inventus Partners LLP and SG Innovate, Singapore, participated in this round. The round marks a total raise of $30 million. 

“With this round, we are committed to expanding our reach to Asia and Africa and our footprint in the US healthcare market. In addition, our strategic partnerships will allow us, for the first time, to address the needs of heart patients at home, the direction where healthcare will be,” Dr Charit Bhograj, Founder and CEO of Tricog Health, said in a statement.

Tricog has recently developed the TriCare platform, an integrated solution for chronic disease management. It enables remote management of heart disease using medical data from connected devices at home and wearable devices.  

Founded in 2015 by Dr Charit Bhograj, Dr Zainul Charbiwala, and Dr Udayan Dasgupta, Tricog aims to help doctors save more lives by providing a system for fast and accurate diagnosis and management of heart disease powered by AI and medical experts. 

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Other news

OYO to open 50 hotels in Ayodhya

Global hospitality technology company Oyohas announced that it will add 50 properties in Ayodhya in 2023 amid a rise in tourist arrivals in the city.

Of these, about 25 will be homestays run by homeowners and 25 will be small and medium hotels with between 10 to 20 rooms each. 

The company said that it is collaborating with Ayodhya Development Authority and Uttar Pradesh State Tourism Development Corporation for its expansion plans in Ayodhya.

OYO noted it is betting big on religious corridors like Ayodhya to boost its expansion plans in India in 2023. The government expects that Ayodhya tourism will increase ten times by 2024, it added.

“Ayodhya is the top spiritual city in our plans of expanding OYO footprints across major religious corridors in India,” Anuj Tejpal, Chief Merchant Officer of OYO, said in a statement.

Bhavik Rathod

Bhavik Rathod, Head of Scaler School of Technology. | Image credit: Scaler

Scaler appoints Bhavik Rathod as Head of its School of Technology

Tiger Global-backed edtech firm Scalerhas appointed Bhavik Rathod as a Senior Vice President and the Head of the recently launched School of Technology

As the program head of the 4-year residential UG programme in Computer Science, he will be instrumental in building the programme's foundation designed to provide an integrated learning experience to aspiring engineers nationwide, the company said.

Rathod will closely work with the Co-founders to set up the campus, structure the curriculum with industry veterans, and build a team of admission counsellors, instructors, mentors, success managers, and leaders.

“Bhavik's experience in building and scaling diverse businesses and his passion for engineering education make him the perfect fit to lead this exciting new venture,” Abhimanyu Saxena, Co-founder of Interviewbit and Scaler, said in a statement.

Rathod spearheaded Uber Eats in India and South Asia, which scaled to over $300 million in revenue before being acquired by Zomato. Bhavik also founded EmployeeSocial, a social rewards and recognition solution for large enterprises. He was also the Co-founder and CEO of DIY, a social learning app.

3i Infotech unveils NuRe Bharat Network

Global IT firm 3I Infotech Ltd unveiled a consortium entity NuRe Bharat Network, in a partnership with RailTel Corporation of India’s WiFi monetisation project as the lead consortium partner. 

NuRe Bharat Network aims to connect all urban, semi-urban, and rural regions, further connecting India to the digital medium by offering free captive WiFi solutions across the Indian Railway network. 

The WiFi captive portal will allow a user to access free WiFi for the first thirty minutes at railway stations across India, after which, the user may or may not extend the free service by watching advertisements. Then, the portal will switch to the paid medium. 

“The captive portal and application will open the space for advertisers to connect with the growing India, primarily rural Bharat demographics, thereby utilising a huge untapped opportunity,” Sax Krishna, Head of NuRe Bharat Network, said in a statement.

Nextiva buys AI firm Simplify360

Conversation platform Nextiva said it has bought Simplify360, an AI customer experience platform in a deal the value of which was not disclosed.

Simplify360 uses AI and automation to enable global businesses to deliver customer support across multiple channels, including email, live chat, social media, online reviews and ecommerce.

“The acquisition of Simplify360 accelerates our companies’ shared mission by adding social media, reputation management, live chat and helpdesk CRM to Nextiva’s offerings,” Tomas Gorny, Co-founder and CEO of Nextiva, said in a statement.

Backed by Goldman Sachs, Nextiva was valued at $2.7 billion dollars by latest financing round in late 2021. 

JM Financial, Google Cloud announce partnership

GoogleCloud and JM Financialhave revealed a strategic collaboration to help the latter build its retail digital customer base and improve its digital customer experience strategy. 

JM is building a new technology platform, BlinkX, that will help it offer a wide range of products and services to digital retail consumers. The platform works on Google Cloud as the primary backbone of its infrastructure and analytics capabilities. 

JM said it will leverage Google Cloud’s data and analytics capabilities to better understand its customers and deliver personalised experiences and help reduce customer churn and increase customer engagement. 

Google Cloud Partners, Niveus, Thoughtworks, and Lumiq would be the key enablers in bringing these services live on the BlinkX platform.

cloud computing

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Payoneer collaborates with Zoho for payments

Fintech firm Payoneerhas collaborated with Zoho, a global technology company which provides a range of software solutions to businesses. 

The collaboration will enable Payoneer to provide innovative payment solutions to businesses using Zoho Books, the cloud accounting platform. It will benefit small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and freelancers working globally in India, Australia, New Zealand, the UK, and the Philippines, the firms said in a statement.

“Businesses will be able to perform core accounting functions, send professional invoices, accept cross-border payments, and automate payment reminders, enabling them to operate more efficiently, and tap into new international markets with ease,” said Prashant Ganti, Head of Product Management, Zoho Finance and Operations Suite.

Motherhood Hospitals launches virtual NICU network

Motherhood Hospitals has implemented a remote patient monitoring technology and system to provide virtual life-saving neonatal care to newborns admitted in nursing homes and hospitals in semi-urban and rural areas which do not have proper Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU).

With the remote monitoring technology, critically ill newborn babies in remote areas can get access to the expertise of Motherhood’s Neonatology Care Team round-the-clock. Many birthing facilities do not have access to on-site neonatal care, and NICU Live aims to bridge this critical gap for preterm newborns or critically ill newborns. 

In the first phase of this initiative, Motherhood Hospitals have set up a Central Care Centre (Hub), which is connected to 5 remote NICUs located in Anantapur, Hindupur, Madanapalle, Patna and Hisar. 

Motherhood Women and Children’s Hospital network is a speciality hospital network with 21 hospitals in 10 cities and over 1200 gynaecologists, paediatricians and neonatologists across the country associated with the hospital network. 

ZS announces 2023 healthcare innovation award winners

Management consulting and technology firm ZS has revealed the winners of the second edition of ZS PRIZE, a healthcare innovation award. 

ZS claims this initiative received over 25,000 registrations. From these, the top 20 and top eight entries were chosen. The top eight teams presented their ideas to a jury that selected the ZS PRIZE winners this year.

These eight teams won awards totaling Rs 1.5 crore, along with mentorship and funding. The winning team received Rs 75 lakh, followed by runner-up teams that received Rs 25 lakh each. The two special mention teams won Rs 10 lakh each and the remaining three teams won Rs 2 lakh each.

​​The winning team was Briota. The runner-up teams were Ayati Devices and Urvogel Bio. The two special mention teams were Team NeoDocs and Primary Healthtech Pvt Ltd.

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

Edited by Akanksha Sarma