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Startup news and updates: daily roundup (May 16, 2023)

YourStory presents the daily news roundup from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Tuesday, May 16, 2023.

Startup news and updates: daily roundup (May 16, 2023)

Tuesday May 16, 2023 , 10 min Read

Funding

Leumas raises Rs 7 Cr in pre-seed funding from Capital 2B, Anicut Capital, and Capital A

Leumas, a digital manufacturing solution for brands, has raised Rs 7 crore in a pre-Seed funding round led by Capital 2B, Anicut Capital, and Capital A.

The startup will infuse the funds towards technology development, team building, and GTM rollout to help brands move to digital manufacturing for enhanced business outcomes.

The funds will also be allocated towards building an ‘A Team’ to support growth of the company in areas of GTM, technology, manufacturing, and Ops. The GTM strategy will pilot and co-create with D2C brands to help them launch new product lines, scale existing product lines, and streamline product manufacturing. The company will also use the funding to expand the company's digital factory capacity that will be utilised by partner brands.

Leumas said it intends to re-imagine the legacy factory system by leveraging advancements in emerging technologies viz. industrial robotics, IIoT, and cyber-physical systems. The future technology roadmap involves commercial deployment and productisation of the Leumas Digital Factory suite. The company will also work towards the addition of process-line capabilities to its nano-factories and strengthening the Leumasware platform with the ultimate vision of becoming the new factory order for process industries.

Meet7 raises $300,000 in seed round of funding

Meet7, a dating platform for singles, has raised $300,000 in seed round funding from Z1N Capital, Narendra Murkumbi, and Suhas Chandak. This dating app claims to have 60,000 users on the app, and aims to hit a million users over the next 12 months.

According to Meet7, it is a fresh take on the concept of online dating, especially in India, where fake profiles, catfishing, and cyberbullying are rampant. The skewed gender ratio along with these issues has made online dating a frustrating experience. The app uses deep learning technology to match users based on what they say, not just what they do. It also has a social referral feature and live video interaction.

Meet7 Co-founder Saurabh Awasthi said, “We will use the funds raised to scale up from the current proof of concept stage and add more features to the product to make it even safer for women, while also reinforcing the differentiation from current ‘swipe’ apps, which only focus on gamification, not genuine interactions”

Healthcare startup Varco raises undisclosed funding in seed round

Delhi-based healthcare startup Varco Leg Care has raised an undisclosed amount in seed round led by Neeraj Garg, Ex-CEO, Hindustan Coca-Cola; Dr Mohit Lalvani, Mascot, Spincontrol India Pvt Ltd; Simple Juneja, Global Business leader, Ex- Coca-Cola; Bacardi, LVMH, and other angels in medical, top consultant companies, FMCG, and infrastructure.

The startup plans to use the funds to broaden its range of products, with a particular focus on enhancing leg health. It will also invest in advanced technology to improve retention and discoverability and enhancing its distribution channels.

Varco intends to recruit additional key opinion leaders, scale up its business operations in the United States and UAE, and allocate substantial resources to research and development efforts.

Giverly raises pre-seed funding led by India Accelerator’s iAngels Network

Social-impact and payments platform Giverly has raised a pre-seed round of funding led by India Accelerator’s iAngels Network. The round also saw participation from seasoned angel investors and corporate leaders.

The platform plans to use the funds to strengthen its technology platform, brand positioning, and also expand its leadership team.

Founded in 2022, Giverly offers VISA powered pre-paid cards issued in partnership with Transcorp International Limited that give users an opportunity to make cost-free donations towards some of India’s most pressing social issues. The pre-paid card comes along with a variety of exclusive discounts and offers on fashion brands, dine-out venues, travel and entertainment.

The company plans to expand its user base to the corporate space by offering convenient and rewarding pre-paid cards for employees while also instilling the culture of giving back to society within the organization. Offering a fuss-free way to tackle essential payments such as bonuses, rewards, gifts, reimbursements, and even salaries, corporates would be an expansive user space.

Locofy.ai secures $4.25M in seed II funding round

Locofy.ai, a front-end development acceleration platform that uses AI to convert designs to code, has landed one of Southeast Asia’s largest Seed ll funding rounds of 2023.

The company raised $4.25 million in its latest funding round from investors such as Northstar Ventures, world class engineers and angels such as Arash Ferdowsi (Co-founder CTO of Dropbox), Nattu Adnan (Co-founder CTO of Lottiefiles), CxO of Tinder, Co-founders of Zopim, Paysense and Betterhalf.ai; along with top-ups from existing investors Gold Gate Ventures, Accel, January Capital among others who have witnessed the rapid rise of the startup.

So far, Locofy.ai has raised a total of $7.3M since its incorporation in 2021.

Locofy.ai’s platform leverages AI to convert web and mobile app designs into several frontend coding languages, eliminating hundreds of hours of grunt work form frontend and fullstack developers. In under two years, Locofy.ai has garnered over 1,00,000 sign-ups across 195 countries.

Other news

Ayekart appoints Vaibhav Joshi as Co-founder, CBO, and Global Head, BFSI

Ayekart, a fintech and integrated digital technology platform for the food and agri value chain, has appointed Vaibhav Joshi as its Co-founder, Chief Business Officer (CBO), and Global Head-BFSI.


With this move, the company aims to strengthen its leadership team, lead fintech empowerment for SMEs and MSMEs, and drive innovation in business during Ayekart's current growth phase.


Vaibhav will work towards the company's business strategy and drive revenue growth. He will leverage his deep industry knowledge and extensive network to forge strategic partnerships, expand its fintech's market presence, and drive innovation in the fintech space.

Wakefit.co appoints new senior leadership to spearhead key business verticals

Wakefit has appointed Anil Arya as Chief Financial Officer and Compliance Head, Kaustabh Chakraborty as Sr. Vice President, Operations, and Chetan Sharma as Vice President, Online Revenue and Demand, effective immediately. 


The move comes as part of the company's strategic plan to strengthen its leadership team, drive business growth, and further accelerate the company’s momentum.


With the addition of these new leaders, the company aspires to grow its revenue stream.

Rario partners with Royal Challengers Bangalore

Rario has struck a partnership with Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) to bring exclusive, blockchain-powered collectibles that will take people's love for cricket to new heights.


With this, users can immerse themselves in the world of cricket by collecting and trading digital cards that feature their favourite RCB players. But that's not all, these cards provide an opportunity to access an array of priceless experiences, such as meeting their favourite players, taking stadium tours, acquiring signed merchandise, and much more.


RCB is now part of Rario's growing roster of IPL teams, which already includes Punjab Kings, Gujarat Titans and Kolkata Knight Riders, a testament to the company's dedication to advancing the future of cricket fandom. 

Homeschooling platform Birla Brainiacs plans to touch more than 1,000 cities 

Hybrid homeschooling platform Birla Brainiacs is looking to expand its footprint all over the country and boost employment in these cities. For this, the company is onboarding more than 500 teachers.

The company said in a statement, the growth will bring about new employment opportunities while providing the cities with existing job opportunities. 

Founded in 2019 by Nirvaan Birla, Birla Brainiacs provides online and hybrid learning choices to balance guided listening and self-study in collaboration with Birla Open Minds. With 150 hybrid centres pan-India, it offers courses on coding, communication skills, financial literacy, vlogging, and more.

The platform also enables students to plan their time efficiently for both academics and extracurricular activities.

Daalchini elevates Ayush Rastogi to CTO

Daalchini Technologies announced today that it had promoted Ayush Rastogi to the position of Chief Technology Officer (CTO).

For the last five years, Rastogi has played a crucial role in building company's technology stack and heading its technology team as AVP-Technology.

In his new role as CTO, he will continue to drive the development of cutting-edge technology solutions that enable its clients to optimise their operations, increase efficiency, and enhance customer experience.

He will also be leading efforts to use AI and Machine learning to improve the company's current tech stack AI-based ordering tool, fresh food projection engine, and others. Additionally, he will lead the company's technology strategy, ensuring that it aligns with the company's overall mission and goals.

Mobile Premier League forays into Africa

Mobile Premier League (MPL) has officially launched its app in Nigeria, marking its first foray into the African gaming market. With this move, it is now present in four continents--Asia, North America, Europe, and Africa.

In Nigeria and beyond, it offers gamers the opportunity to monetise their skills as they engage in paid competitive gaming (PCG). This will allow users to participate in low-to-high stakes skill-based gaming contests, going beyond traditional games.

To ensure a more localised and engaging gaming experience, MPL has partnered with Carry1st, Africa's mobile gaming publisher, to launch in the continent. This partnership allows MPL to tap into Carry1st's extensive knowledge of the 270 million African gaming market.

IAMAI Members Flag Concerns Regarding Ex-ante Regulations

In their written submission to the Committee on Digital Competition Law (CDCL), the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) members voiced their opposition to ex-ante regulations for digital markets in India. 


According to IAMAI, size or scale-based applicability of regulations under an ex-ante digital competition policy will impact larger players in the market in their growth trajectory, while also limiting the growth potential of startups.


Regulations that kick in as soon as certain financial and size-based thresholds are met will disincentivise Indian tech companies from scaling to avoid additional regulations. It is pertinent to note that ex-ante regulations may affect Indian companies even before they can achieve scale to compete globally or achieve profitability. This, in turn, will reduce value creation and valuations.

WhatsApp announces chat lock feature

Mark Zuckerberg announced a new WhatsApp feature called Chat Lock, which lets you protect your most intimate conversations with a password, secures them in a separate folder, and when someone messages you and you have that chat locked, the sender’s name and the content of the message will also be hidden.

Over the next few months, WhatsApp will add more options for Chat Lock, including locking for companion devices and creating a custom password for your chats so that you can use a unique password different from your phone’s. 

 

Locking a chat takes that thread out of the inbox and puts it behind its own folder that can only be accessed with your device password or biometric, like a fingerprint. It also automatically hides the contents of that chat in notifications too. 

Social Alpha teams up with FedEx Express for sustainable mobility ventures

Social Alpha, a venture development platform for science and technology startups, has teamed up with FedEx Express (FedEx), a global logistics company, to launch the ‘FedEx and Social Alpha Accelerator for Sustainable Last-mile Logistics’.


The programme will support innovative ventures that are working towards creating a vibrant mobility space to serve marginalised and underserved communities. The programme was rolled out to specifically identify and accelerate startups that have showcased promising innovation in the area of electric bicycles.


Based on the entries received, two ventures, Mag9 Energies and Accelero Vehicles, have been selected as the final cohort satisfying the programme parameters of sustainability, innovation, and pricing. 

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


Edited by Megha Reddy