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

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

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

Thursday April 27, 2023 , 8 min Read

Funding

QuickReply.ai raises $1.14M in seed round led by Leo Capital

QuickReply.ai, a WhatsApp marketing and automation startup, has raised $1.14 million in a seed funding round.

The funding was led by Leo Capital, which invested $0.75 million, with additional participation from Pentathlon Ventures, GSF, and several entrepreneurs and angel investors, including Deepak Diwakar, Azhar Iqubal, and Dinesh Agarwal.

QuickReply.ai plans to utilise the seed funding towards talent acquisition, product development, bolstering its tech infrastructure, research and development, marketing, and global expansion.

"WhatsApp has already established itself as a major customer engagement and retention tool, entirely superseding emails and other traditional mediums in some sectors. Businesses that are capable of leveraging this tool in an interactive manner are poised to have a competitive edge," said Leo Capital Partner Dinesh Singh

quickreply.ai founders

Aksum raises $1M led by Inflection Point Ventures for its B2B SCaaS platform

Aksum, a business-to-business (B2B) platform that provides supply-chain-as-a-service (SCaaS) solutions to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and large corporates, has raised $1 million in a Pre-Series A funding round led by Inflection Point Ventures (IPV). The funds raised will be used to expand the company’s operations geographically and reinforce its technology framework.

“This fundraise will help us grow the business 2X and provide access to cost-efficient working capital solutions through Indian and foreign financial institutions. Our aim is to remain profitable and grow steadily," said Ankit Jain, Co-founder of Aksum.

Aksum’s platform offers procurement automation, supply chain optimisation, and logistics management. The company is on track to achieve a Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) of over Rs 250 crore in the financial year 2023-24, according to Vikram Ramasubramanian, Partner at Inflection Point Ventures.

Indian luxury brand Louis Stitch raises Rs 5 Cr from Bijli Group's Logistics arm

Indian luxury fashion brand Louis Stitch has secured Rs 5 crore in a Pre-Series A funding round at a pre-money valuation of Rs 100 crore.

The funding comes from Bijli Group's logistics arm, ATC Logistics, and will be used to expand the brand's offline presence through exclusive brand outlets across key Indian cities, as well as to expand its product lines and strengthen its production and distribution capacity.

Louis Stitch aims to create a Rs 100 crore topline in FY24.

Founded in July 2019, it sells through its website and ecommerce platforms such as Myntra, Amazon, Flipkart, and Nykaa.

“With over a million customers served so far now, we plan to launch luxury apparel series of Polos, shirts, and trousers," said Amol Goel, Founder and CEO of Louis Stitch. "The funding will be a huge boost for us to expand our production and distribution capacity, and reach all the prominent markets with our new products.”

Louis Stitch shoes

Other news

Stashfin appoints Priyadarshi Dutta as Chief Risk Officer

Lending and credit solutions fintech platform Stashfin has appointed Priyadarshi Dutta as its Chief Risk Officer to manage and mitigate risk while guiding the company through an ever-changing regulatory environment.

Dutta has more than 18 years of experience in risk analytics, and decision analytics. He previously held senior positions at RBL Bank and American Express.

Stashfin recently raised $100 million in a debt funding round, attracting participation from Trifecta Capital, Innoven Capital, and several domestic lenders, and is looking to expand its presence in the Indian fintech market.

The company provides access to fair, fast, affordable, and transparent financial products for millions of borrowers in India, including those with limited credit footprints.

Settl. to expand co-living business with 1,500 new beds in Delhi-NCR by FY 24

Settl, a Bengaluru-based co-living operator, plans to open four new centres in Gurugram, with a total capacity of about 300 beds in the next month.

The move is in response to the rising demand for rental accommodations from working professionals in Delhi-NCR. Settl. already has seven operational co-living properties, with approximately 700 beds in Gurugram and is set to open four new properties with around 300 beds in the next month.

Besides Gurugram, the company currently has 1,200 beds in Bengaluru and 300 in Hyderabad.

The co-living operator plans to launch a total of 1,500 beds in NCR during FY24 and touch 2,200 beds in Delhi-NCR and 5,000 across India by March next year

"The rising demand for managed rented co-living accommodation is a testament to the need for community living and convenience," said Settl. Co-founder Bharath Bhaskar.

IOCL, Tesla Power USA partner for battery distribution in India

Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) and Tesla Power USA have announced a strategic partnership to distribute and service automotive batteries at IOCL petrol pumps across India.

Marking the first national-level tie-up between Indian Oil Corporation Ltd and a battery distribution company, the move comes as part of IOCL's commitment to achieving net-zero emissions by 2070.

The TBA (Tyre Battery Accessories) concept of placing batteries at petrol stations has the potential to offer significant benefits to customers, including the convenience of getting battery replacement or new purchases along with refuelling their car.

Initially, Tesla Power USA batteries will be available at IOCL fuel pumps in the Delhi-NCR region, which will later be expanded to other states.

Customers will receive a free fire extinguisher worth Rs 600 with every purchase of four-wheeler batteries.

Blue Dart partners with what3words to improve delivery precision in India

Blue Dart and Deutsche Post DHL Group’s DHL ecommerce solutions division, has partnered with what3words to provide customers with more precise delivery options. Customers can add a what3words field at checkout or specify their what3words address on Blue Dart's My Blue Dart App, website, and On the Move platform, allowing couriers to deliver to any 3m x 3m square.

India's address system is based on pin codes that cover broad areas, leading to difficulties for customers to specify precise locations for deliveries and for drivers to find them. What3words has solved this problem by dividing the world into 3m x 3m squares and assigning each square a unique combination of three words, creating a what3words address. The technology is available offline and in 54 languages, including 12 South Asian languages.

Blue Dart's retail customers can find their unique what3words address via the what3words app or online map and save it to Blue Dart's customer and delivery platforms. This integration aims to help customers with more power and flexibility over their deliveries, increasing delivery efficacy by reaching the precise location specified by the customer.

Blue Dart's retail customers can find their unique what3words address via the free what3words app or online map and save it to Blue Dart's customer and delivery platforms.

what 3 words and blue dart

KSH Distriparks expands fleet to increase market share in Pune

KSH Distriparks, a logistics service provider in Pune, will acquire 40 new trailers to upgrade its existing fleet of 80 trailers.

KSH Distriparks caters to the trailer transportation needs of OEMs, shipping lines, and forwarders. The new vehicles will enhance serviceability across hinterland locations in Ahmednagar, Supa, Aurangabad, Kolhapur, and more.

"Addition of 40 trailers is a significant investment for us, and we believe it will help us serve our customers better and also expand our reach in the region," said Malcolm Dsouza, Chief Commercial Officer, KSH Distriparks. "The new trailers are GPS-enabled to provide real-time visibility into container movements and are equipped with the latest safety features to continuously deliver reliable, efficient, and secure transportation services."

“India’s container market is on a growth trajectory and we are inclined towards increasing our efficiencies and capabilities to tap a major market share and grow our business in and around Pune in Maharashtra in the ICD segment,” he further added.

The company aims to achieve a throughput of 120,000+ TEUs by the end of 2023.

KHC distriparks, logistics, trucks, trailers

CHUK's compostable tableware now available on Zomato's Hyperpure platform

Compostable tableware brand, CHUK, has partnered with Hyperpure, Zomato’s marketplace that provides food ingredients and food packaging supplies to restaurants. Through this collaboration, CHUK aims to make its compostable delivery and dine-in range available to sustainability-focused restaurants across the country.

The brand is ramping up on sales channels and partnering with several quick commerce companies to bolster its footprint across the country.

The compostable delivery and dine-in range of CHUK’s products are currently live in Mumbai, Pune, and Ahmedabad. Launched in 2017 in Ayodhya, CHUK is 100% compostable and biodegradable tableware. It makes its toxin-free products using sugarcane pulp.

Swiggy, apna partner to create 10,000 delivery jobs in Tier II cities in India

Jobs and professional networking platform Apna has partnered with Swiggy to create 10,000 hyperlocal opportunities in deeper Bharat for its quick commerce grocery service, Instamart, in 2023. This partnership aims to address the soaring demand for delivery personnel across India, particularly in Tier II cities.

With an estimated delivery workforce of 23.5 million by 2029-30, Swiggy aims to strengthen its delivery fleet by partnering with apna to tap into their expertise in finding talent in Tier II and III cities.

Apna has a database of more than 30 million users across 70-plus cities in India.

“The partnership with apna has helped in augmenting our delivery fleet to cater to the growing demand on Instamart in smaller cities. We’re glad that it is creating more income opportunities for delivery personnel and contributing to the growth of the economy," Kedar Gokhale, VP of Operations at Swiggy,

Founded in 2019, apna facilitates job opportunities for organizations to help them expand their presence in Tier II and III cities. With more than 300,000 employers on the platform, apna aims to become the predominant platform assisting organisations in their hiring requirements across industries and pan-India.

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


Edited by Kanishk Singh