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Startup news and updates: daily roundup (April 13, 2023)

YourStory presents the daily news roundup from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Thursday, April 13, 2023.

Startup news and updates: daily roundup (April 13, 2023)

Thursday April 13, 2023 , 9 min Read


Shark Tank featured Proost Beer raises Rs 8.5 Cr

Delhi-based beer brewing company Proost Beer has raised Rs 8.5 crore in a Pre-Series A funding round led by Mumbai Angels, Hyderabad Angels, and other prominent angel investors. 

The funds will be utilised to expand the company's production capacity, venture into new markets, and fulfil its working capital requirements. Proost Beer's existing investors also participated in the round. It earlier raised $0.36 million in seed funding from Dauble PTE and Dev Punj in January 2022.

Vijay P Sharma, MD and Co-founder of Proost Beer, said that the company now expects 300% growth in FY24. “This latest investment is part of a larger fundraising plan,” he said. 

Proost Beer which was recently featured on Shark Tank India. It was founded in 2017 by Vijay P Sharma and Tarun Bhargava. According to the company, it is present in more than 18,000 stores and has sold 10 million units till now.

Men’s apparel brand Barcelona raises Rs 5 Cr from GetVantage

Ahmedabad-based men’s apparel brand, Barcelona, has raised Rs 5 crore equity-free capital from GetVantage, a fintech platform that offers growth solutions to entrepreneurs. 

The IPO-bound company will use the funds to open 50 outlets across the country this fiscal besides using it on marketing costs. To promote the brand outside of metro areas, Barcelona has also appointed Sonu Sood as its brand ambassador.

GetVantage is an equity-free funding marketplace that provides capital to small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

“Businesses like us are capital intensive and we are constantly looking for equity-free and collateral-free working capital. Fortunately, revenue-based finance in India is gaining popularity and helping SMEs like us grow exponentially,” said Jasmin Gupta, Managing Director, Barcelona. 

She added that the company got funds in just a few days without any hassle. “Such alternate finance helps us to focus on our business instead of chasing funds,” she said.

According to the data provided by the company, it has over 130 Exclusive Brand Outlets (EBOs) in 70+ cities.

Other news

BookMyShow Stream, VROTT to make global content available in Indian languages

BookMyShow Stream, BookMyShow's streaming platform, has partnered with VROTT, a subscription-based OTT network by VR Films and Studios, to expand its catalogue and provide global content dubbed in Indian native languages.

BookMyShow and BookMyShow Stream consumers will get first access to VROTT’s popular global titles, the company said in a statement. 

The dubbed content will be made available in languages like Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu besides being available in its original language (English, French, Russian, Finnish, Flemish, and Hungarian).

The first lineup of recent VROTT titles that will be available on BookMyShow Stream from April to July this year comprises of TV shows such as Welcome to Texas, Over Water, and Victor Lessard, as well as films such as Burial, Red Ghost, and The Grandson.

“The appetite and palate of the Indian consumer has grown and evolved to encompass global content across various genres, blurring geographies significantly," said Ashish Saksena, COO-Cinemas, BookMyShow.


Image source: Shutterstock

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Cignal TV to extend Cignal Play service and launch new sports app using Quickplay

Cignal TV, a Filipino media and telecommunications firm, is expanding its use of Quickplay’s cloud-native OTT platform to provide more content and access options for Filipino viewers in the Philippines and overseas, the two companies said on Thursday.

It is working on extending its Cignal Play video streaming service besides a new sports app.

The Cignal Play expansion will allow subscribers in the Philippines to access an all-in-one entertainment platform with multiple tiers of live and on-demand content from Cignal TV, in addition to third-party apps and streaming services, regardless of a subscriber's broadband provider. 

The sports app, meanwhile, will be a single source for live events, timely sports news and information, interactive experiences, besides other unique content that caters to the varied interests of Filipino fans around the world.

“The Quickplay platform has the agility and high performance that we need to quickly and efficiently provide the big screen viewing experience and live sports action that our subscribers want,” said Jane Basas, President and CEO, Cignal TV. 

HDFC ERGO partners with WhatsApp to facilitate vehicle self-inspection for lapsed policies 

HDFC ERGO General Insurance Company has partnered with Meta to launch a new feature for WhatsApp Business, allowing customers to renew their break-in motor insurance policies through WhatsApp without downloading an app.

The offering will assure a hassle-free vehicle inspection experience to even less tech-savvy customers while reducing the turnaround time, the company said in a statement. 

“Given that WhatsApp is one of the most popular messaging apps with extensive reach, we are delighted to partner with Meta to drive insurance penetration and financial inclusion in India,” said Parthanil Ghosh, President - Retail Business, HDFC ERGO. 

To initiate the renewal of their lapsed policy, a customer needs to register on the company’s website. A WhatsApp message with a link will be sent to the customer’s registered mobile number. The customer then needs to capture a 45-seconds video using the given instructions.

WIKA appoints Vikram Dhingra as AVP-Sales

WIKA India, owned by WIKA Global, a German company that manufactures pressure and temperature measuring equipment, has recently appointed Vikram Dhingra as Associate Vice President, Sales who will be leading the marketing outreach of the company.

WIKA has decided to focus on India for a major market penetration—both domestically and as a base to neighbouring countries, the company said in a statement.

Announcing the appointment of Dhingra, Gaurav Bawa, Senior Vice President, WIKA India, said "he is an experienced Strategy Architect with expertise in the implementation of product roadmaps backed by analysis of business performance, situation, and possible bottlenecks."

"These insights help the management in taking relevant decisions and continue to grow during challenging times,” he added

Dhingra has worked for companies like Crompton Greaves, Larsen & Toubro, Kirloskar, BCH Electric Limited, and Polycab among others.

T-Hub, Atal Incubation Centre selects 20 startups for their 3-month program

T-Hub, an innovation hub and ecosystem enabler, in collaboration with Atal Incubation Centre (AIC), has announced the selection of 20 startups for its 3-month program focused on the automobile industry. 

Out of 230 applications, 20 startups were selected on the basis of the founder's qualifications, business models, and products. Triolt, Etric, Vihaan, Electrix, and Pigyu, are some of the selected startups. 

The program aims to provide startups with exclusive one-on-one mentoring, group sessions, investor connections, and market pilots to help them find their first customers, interact with investors, access government incentives and grants, and structure their companies with new business models. 

The program commenced on April 5 and it focuses on automotive technologies, connected vehicles, fleet management, clean mobility solutions, electric vehicles, and emerging vehicle technologies.

"We are confident that this program will play a crucial role in helping startups scale their businesses and drive innovation in the automobile industry," said Rajesh Adla, CEO, AIC T-Hub Foundation.

Recur Club, ah! Ventures partner to provide non-dilutive capital of Rs 50cr+ to startups 

Recur Club, a trading platform has partnered with ah! Ventures to provide non-dilutive growth capital of around Rs 50 crore to ah! Ventures portfolio companies. Recur Club and ah! Ventures aim to invest and nurture over 100 start-ups by the end of 2024, particularly those in the subscription and recurring revenue space.

The collaboration aims to create a pool of investors to help early-stage start-ups navigate through their entrepreneurial journey. 

“Our collaboration with ah! Ventures Network will allow us to support a diverse array of startups. We look forward to helping startups navigate the current economic climate and support their growth together," said Eklavya Gupta, Founder and CEO, Recur Club. 

Amit Kumar, Cofounder, ah! Ventures, said that the collaboration will help them reach and support a diverse array of startups. “We eagerly anticipate the potential outcomes of this collaboration, particularly for startups in the subscription and recurring revenue space," he said. 

According to the data provided by the company, ah! Ventures has facilitated a total raise of around Rs 300 crore for over 100 startups across sectors.

Molbio Diagnostics, SigTuple partner to build diagnostic testing devices

Molbio Diagnostics is collaborating with SigTuple, a MedTech startup, to build AI-enabled point-of-care diagnostic testing devices for many routine but critical tests. 

These devices will enable testing to be performed at point-of-care like a doctor’s chamber or a public health center, without having to send samples to central laboratories. The companies are working to develop AI-powered, battery-operated, portable devices for many diagnostic tests in the fields of Hematology, Biochemistry, Electrochemistry, and others. 

The testing process will be extremely simplified, and will not require a trained laboratory technician to perform the tests, the companies said in a statement. This collaboration builds on the strengths of the two organizations to drive cutting-edge technology which can make high-quality diagnostics accessible to everyone.

“While our other products are meant for the clinical laboratories, with this new product, we will be able to push the boundaries of diagnostics much nearer to the end patient,” said Tathagato Rai Dastidar, Founder & CEO, SigTuple. 

Yatra appoints Shakti Goel as Chief Architect and Data Scientist

Online travel agency Yatra announced the appointment of Shakti Goel as the company’s Chief Architect and Data Scientist with a view to accelerate its adoption and innovation in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Data Science. 

Goel comes with over 25 years of experience across industries like travel, banking, transport and logistics, retail, financial markets, and pharmaceuticals. A Doctor of Science (Sc.D.) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), he has worked with many Fortune 500 companies like American Stores and Oracle. Prior to joining Yatra he was involved in building an enterprise-wide data warehouse across businesses in the travel domain. 

“With AI seen as the next technology frontier and a core driver for innovation in travel going forward, Dr. Goel will be a valuable contributor in leading our Data and AI Initiatives as we continue to lead the path for business travel innovation in India,” said Dhruv Shringi, announcing the appointment. 

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

Disclaimer: This copy was updated to correct a factual error.

Edited by Megha Reddy