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Startup news and updates: daily roundup (May 15, 2023)

YourStory presents the daily news roundup from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Monday, May 15, 2023.

Startup news and updates: daily roundup (May 15, 2023)

Monday May 15, 2023 , 9 min Read


AZAD engineering bags funding from Sachin Tendulkar

Sachin Tendulkar has made a strategic undisclosed investment in AZAD Engineering, an engineering and technology solutions provider for global OEMs in industries including clean energy, aerospace, defence, oil and gas, etc.

"We are thrilled to have Sachin Tendulkar as an investor, and it is a tremendous honour for us. As a company dedicated to promoting complex manufacturing and self-reliance, AZAD will focus on our vision and create more growth and innovation opportunities for India," said Rakesh Chopdar, Founder and Managing Director of AZAD Engineering.

The company works with marquee global clients like Boeing, GE, Mitsubishi, Siemens Energy, Honeywell, Eaton, GE Aerospace, and Baker Hughes, and domestic giants like HAL, Godrej, TATA, and Mahindra Aerospace, among others.

azad engineering

Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty invests in healthy food startup WickedGud

WickedGud, a direct-to-consumer (D2C) startup focusing on healthy indulgent food products, has raised Rs 2.25 crore investment from Bollywood superstar and fitness guru, Shilpa Shetty. The funding was secured by its parent, Mumbai-based company 100Percent Nourishment Pvt Ltd.

Shetty, known for her healthy lifestyle advocacy and serial startup investments, joins a list of notable investors in WickedGud, including Titan Capital, Mumbai Angels, NB Ventures, Dholakia Ventures, Venture Catalyst, and other prominent founder angels.

WickedGud garnered additional exposure through its participation in Shark Tank India Season 2's grand finale episode, leading to a successful expansion into international markets such as the UAE, Singapore, Mauritius, and Nepal. Customers can purchase WickedGud products directly from the company's website and through popular ecommerce platforms such as Amazon, Blinkit, BigBasket, Swiggy Instamart, Zepto, and Flipkart.

Jarvis secures funding from Bestvantage Investments, Hem Securities

Jarvis, an AI-based investment company, has concluded its latest funding round with investments from Bestvantage Investments and Hem Securities Ltd.

"We are thrilled with the outcome of this funding round and grateful for the support of our investors. This investment will enable us to further enhance our AI-powered investment platform and provide our clients with even more accurate and efficient investment solutions," said Sumit Chanda, CEO of Jarvis.

Jarvis' model uses 40 million data parameters to generate data-backed insights and aims to democratise access to sophisticated investment strategies and deliver superior returns to its clients through the use of AI-based technology and data-driven insights.

Other news

RuPay to offer CVV-free payments

India's domestic card network RuPay will offer Card Verification Value (CVV) free payment experience for its debit, credit, and prepaid cardholders who have tokenised their cards on the merchant application or webpage.

Tokenization is a technology that ensures the security of card transactions by protecting customers' card details from cyber fraud.

When a cardholder chooses to save their card for a domestic ecommerce transaction, they authenticate it by providing their card details (card number, CVV, and card expiry date) as a one-time activity. They then enter a One-Time Password (OTP) for two-factor authentication. The details are tokenized and securely stored with the merchant, eliminating the need for the actual card details to be saved. In subsequent transactions, customers can complete the payment process by simply entering the OTP, without having to enter the CVV or other card details again.

To ensure a smooth payment process, RuPay has collaborated with RazorPay and other major payment aggregators/gateways like PayU, CyberSource, Firstdata, and Paytm. The CVV-less payment experience is now available on platforms such as Rapido and Porter, and efforts are underway to extend this feature to other merchants.

Credit debit card

Virat Kohli collaborates with Trion to launch one8 fitness app

Virat Kohli, in collaboration with Trion, has launched the one8 Fitness app, aiming to provide personalised workout programmes and comprehensive support for users to achieve their fitness goals.

Available on both Android and iOS platforms, the one8 Fitness app is designed to cater to the diverse needs of fitness enthusiasts. It features personalised workout programmes that adapt to the user's fitness level and individual preferences.

Whether users are new to fitness or have an advanced training background, the app offers tailored programmes to suit their requirements. It covers various training types, including strength, mobility, and athletic performance, empowering users to elevate their fitness levels, whether they are at the gym, at home, or on the go.

Users can also receive motivational messages from the cricketer during their training sessions and access exclusive content showcasing Virat's fitness regimes.

"I have always been passionate about fitness and have personally experienced the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. With the one8 Fitness app, I aim to provide a platform that encourages people to make fitness a part of their daily routine," Kohli said at the launch.

IAN welcomes Priyank Garg as Managing Partner of IAN Alpha Fund

Priyank Garg, an entrepreneur and active early-stage investor, has joined IAN (Indian Angel Network) as the Managing Partner of the IAN Alpha Fund, the second fund in the series of IAN Group's funds.

The new managing partner comes with over 26 years of experience in sectors such as cleantech, manufacturing, healthtech, SaaS, and technology.

"As an angel investor, I have been investing with IAN for 14 years across sectors and have really appreciated the depth of engagement, quality of portfolio founders, and focus on governance and returns. Having tried many others, this is the only platform that puts the health of the Indian startup ecosystem at the heart of its work from the day of its founding to today," said Garg.

A graduate of Stanford and IIT Delhi, Garg has invested in over 60 companies in India and overseas during his 15-year tenure as an angel investor. In 2019, he co-founded IOTomation, a building IoT company, and currently serves as the President of the Delhi Chapter of ISHRAE (Indian Society of Heating Refrigeration and Air-conditioning Engineers).

Additionally, he is actively involved with various startup and early-stage platforms, including NASSCOM Emerge, India Innovation Initiative, and Samsung Innovation.

AI solutions provider Staqu Technologies introduces heat mapping technology

Staqu Technologies, an AI solutions provider, has introduced a heat mapping feature for their JARVIS platform, which utilises real-time camera feeds to track human movement.

JARVIS heat mapping provides insights into customer behaviour, demographics, consumer preferences, and store layout optimisation. It also enhances inventory management, analyses sales and customer metrics, and identifies potential revenue generators.

"By providing comprehensive data analysis and insights, we can help businesses enhance their customer experience and create effective business strategies to achieve the best revenue growth," said Atul Rai, the CEO of Staqu Technologies.

Beyond retail, JARVIS and its heat mapping feature find applications in smart cities, real estate, manufacturing, and airports. It aids in safety hazard prevention, tracks unlawful activities, identifies fire hazards, and provides valuable analytics.

The Gurugram-based AI startup aims to solve real-world problems through technology. Established in 2015, the company specialises in image recognition, language-independent proprietary speaker identification, and text processing.

Ericsson successfully completes charging consolidation programme for Vodafone Idea, streamlining operations

Telecommunications giant Ericsson has announced the successful completion of a charging consolidation program for Vodafone Idea Ltd. (VIL), marking the first implementation of its kind. This consolidation program involves replacing three existing Online Charging Solutions (OCS) with Ericsson charging, which now serves as the single OCS solution across the country. Notably, this installation marks one of the largest and most successful implementations of its kind in the industry to date.

The consolidation of the online charging solution, combined with an integrated data policy architecture, will enable Vodafone Idea to launch products faster and optimise its operational efficiency. With a simplified prepaid charging stack and a unified architecture for charging and data policy, the company will experience greater uniformity in customer experience, life cycle management, product modeling, configuration, features, and functions.

The unified architecture and streamlined operations will also empower Vi to control credit while providing users with more flexibility in managing their costs through customised packaging, bonuses, and discounts.

IIT Madras launches Centre for Responsible AI to drive ethical development of AI solutions

The Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) has established the Centre for Responsible AI (CeRAI), an interdisciplinary research centre dedicated to promoting the ethical and responsible development of AI-based solutions in real-world applications.

The centre aims to become a leading research institution at the national and international levels for both fundamental and applied research in Responsible AI, with a focus on deploying AI systems within the Indian ecosystem.

Google has become the first platinum consortium member of CeRAI and has contributed a substantial sum of $1 million to support the centre's initiatives. To mark its inauguration, the Centre for Responsible AI organized a workshop on 'Responsible AI for India' on May 15, 2023.

The workshop was formally inaugurated by Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Honorable Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology and Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Government of India.

The primary objectives of CeRAI are to produce high-quality research outputs, including research articles, white papers, and patents. Additionally, the centre aims to develop technical resources such as curated datasets (both universal and India-specific) and software toolkits related to Responsible AI.

IAMAI gears up for election to shape future leadership

Eighty-three members of the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) are set to compete in the election for the 24-member IAMAI Governing Council. The top three firms, based on the votes received, will assume the positions of Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, and Treasurer, forming the Executive Council.

IAMAI conducts elections every two years, and both the Governing Council and Executive Council serve for a term of two years. The election results will be announced by the end of May 2023, and the newly-elected Governing Council will assume office after the Annual General Meeting in June 2023.

All IAMAI members, totalling over 500, except for a few companies less than two years old, are eligible to contest and vote in the elections.

IAMAI boasts a diverse membership, consisting of both large global and Indian companies, as well as smaller entities. Currently, 65% of the membership comprises Indian companies.

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

Edited by Megha Reddy