Startup news and updates: daily roundup (May 31, 2023)
YourStory presents the daily news roundup from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Wednesday, May 31, 2023.
Cooling solutions firm Tan90 raises Rs 11.32 Cr
Cooling solutions companyhas raised Rs 11.32 crore in a pre-Series A investment round co-led by Blue Ashva Capital and Capital A. The round also saw participation from 3i Partners and a clutch of angel investors based in Singapore, the Middle East, and India.
The company plans to use the capital for overseas expansion, particularly in Southeast Asia, to enter Tier II cities, and invest in R&D, specifically in the areas of space cooling and data centre cooling.
Tan90 said it is exploring options to enter the European Union markets where carbon credits are in place. Earlier, the company had entered the Philippines, in collaboration with USAID.
Founded in January 2019 by PhD graduates from IIT Madras, Soumalya Mukherjee, Rajani Kant Rai, and Shiv Sharma, Tan90 offers proprietary energy-efficient passive cooling solutions for transporting perishables, including food and pharmaceuticals. The company says it has cut down carbon emissions in processes by more than 25% and reduced operational costs for clients by 40%.
Going forward, Tan90 aims to expand to thermal management of batteries, industrial cooling, and space cooling. It also plans to double down on its cold chain model 'Cooling as a Service', wherein it offers cooling solutions on lease to businesses that do not own blast freezers required to freeze the panels, i.e. thermal batteries.
AstraZeneca India appoints Bhavana Agrawal as CFO
Biopharmaceutical companyPharma India Ltd (AstraZeneca India) has appointed Bhavana Agrawal as the chief financial officer (CFO) with effect from October 1, 2023, following a transition period. She succeeds Rajesh Marwaha, who is retiring as CFO and full-time director of the company, from the close of business hours on September 30, 2023.
A chartered accountant, Agrawal has been a strategic finance partner for businesses for over two decades. Her last role was as CFO of the services business at GE Healthcare for the Middle East, Africa and Russia, where she was responsible for revenue, costs, cash, planning session, and financial closing activities in more than 30 countries.
At AstraZeneca India, Agrawal will oversee the company's financial strategy and operations, planning and analysis, and investor relations.
YieldWiseX appoints Sangeeta Shah as VP of legal and compliance
Neo-realty investment platform YieldWiseX, formerly MYRE Capital, has appointed Sangeeta Shah as the vice president of legal and compliance.
YieldWiseX is a subsidiary of Aurum PropTech, under the Aurum WiseX vertical.
The appointment is in line with the company's vision to build a cutting-edge proptech investment platform and strengthen its senior leadership team, said YieldWiseX.
A seasoned company secretary with over 10 years of experience, Shah has worked with brands such as PolicyBazaar, CarDekho, and A2Z group.
Aurum WiseX aims to build and run global neo-realty platforms for the digital age. Its first platform is YieldWiseX, which claims to have facilitated investments worth over Rs 275 crore, with fractional ownership products across Delhi-NCR, Bengaluru, Mumbai, and Pune, along with structured debt investment offerings.
Aryaman Vir is the CEO of Aurum WiseX.
Dairy SaaS platform Mr Milkman expands into B2B ecosystem
, a SaaS platform for diary and milk brands, has launched a comprehensive platform called 'Distribution Management Solution', as it expands into the B2B ecosystem for agriculture, food, and beverage products.
The platform is designed to eliminate unnecessary wastage and inefficiencies by automating demand generation and order tracking and optimising fulfilment, said the company. It would offer three primary software components—a business portal, a distributor app, and a field app, which are designed to optimise and enhance the entire distribution process for the said segments.
The business portal would enable business owners to map key performance indicators and get real-time monitoring and reporting insights into the distribution system, order status, delivery schedules, and product movement.
The distributor app would allow distributors to create, modify and process orders directly with the company in real time.
The field app is for field agents to manage routes, deliveries, and customer information on the go.
"We have a deep understanding of the supply chain challenges. Expanding into the B2B segment was a natural progression, driven by our extensive knowledge of the dairy industry, where perishability is a critical concern," said Samarth Setia, Co-founder and CEO of Mr Milkman.
Manappuram Finance launches digital money lending app
Kerala-based Manappuram Finance has launched Ma-Money, a digital lending platform.
The app aims to provide customers with all the financial products offered by Manappuram Finance under one umbrella, said the company in a statement.
The company hopes the app will help it scale up its digital business and reach a wider audience.
Ma-Money is primarily targeted at customers in Tier II and III cities. It offers a range of loans, including personal loans, business loans, car loans, home repair loans, loans for consumer durables, and loans for the healthcare industry, food industry, and small-scale industry.
The launch of Ma-Money is part of Manappuram Finance's broader strategy to expand its digital footprint and provide customers with innovative and convenient financial products, said the company.
Karbon Card launches expense management card for startups
expense management card for startups and small businesses for their day-to-day operations., a B2B payment solution provider, has launched a mobile-based
Card ++ allows payments on platforms such as Google, Amazon, Swiggy and Ola. It comes with a two-click sign-up process, provides uncapped cashback offers, and is free to use, as of now.
"We expect over 5000 businesses to start using this in the next 12 months,” said Kartik Jain, Co-founder at Karbon Card.
Founded in 2019 by Amit Jangir, Kartik Jain, and Sunil Kumar, Karbon Card provides services such as corporate cards, payout, and invoice management. It has raised close to $27 million in two rounds so far. Its clients include Unacademy, Zepto, and CRED.
Travel tech firm TravClan ties up with Middle East government bodies
, a B2B travel tech platform, has entered into partnerships with the government bodies and tourism boards of Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Oman, and Saudi Arabia for tourism opportunities.
The travel tech firm claims to work with over 15,000 travel agents to enable them to build their digital capabilities, along with other on-ground travel services. The company is expecting a potential 20% revenue growth in the next three years for its partner agents through the new partnerships.
“Through the partnerships, TravClan aims to increase the awareness amongst the travel professionals regarding the vast choice of on-ground travel services and unique experiences these destinations have to offer," said Chirag Agrawal, Co-founder of TravClan.
The company would undertake joint marketing campaigns with the said nations.
Microsoft, Accenture announce third cohort of social impact startup programme
and have announced the third cohort of the Project Amplify programme, which will support 13 Indian startups focused on clean tech, circularity, regenerative agriculture, education and skilling.
The initiative aims to offer hands-on support to startups to scale emerging solutions and business models for lasting societal and environmental benefits.
The project will support the 13 startups with testing and validating proof-of-concepts, reimagining the impact of their solutions through design thinking sessions, access to the latest technologies, and guidance from experts at Microsoft and Accenture. The startups will also have access to go-to-market resources and Microsoft’s technology solutions.
Launched in 2020, earlier cohorts of the programme have concentrated on addressing challenges in food safety, livelihood, education, sustainability and skilling.
“The dual crisis of biodiversity loss and climate change poses a threat to the health of our planet,” said Sanjay Podder, Managing Director and Technology Sustainability Innovation lead at Accenture. “Businesses have a critical role to play by joining hands with the vibrant startup ecosystem to advance innovative solutions that can help address these pressing challenges,” he said.
The startups in the third cohort are CogniTensor Technology, WEGoT Utility Solutions, Clairco, RootsGoods, Neo San, Pyse, Respirer Living Sciences, Calculus Carbon, Carbon Trail, UBreathe, Maithri Aquatech, SNAS IoT Laboratories, and Futurescape.
Sequoia-backed dental care startup Smiles.ai rebrands as Dezy
Bengaluru-based dental care startuphas rebranded itself as Dezy, with an ambitious plan to launch 300 clinics and clock in an annualised revenue of Rs 300 crore by FY25.
The dental care company claims to have over 150 partner and 24 signature clinics in India. It says it's nearing $1 million of monthly revenue, with a strong presence in the dental cosmetics and dental implantology markets.
"Almost every city has a dental clinic with the keyword ‘smile’. To differentiate our brand from others, we decided to adopt the name Dezy," said Prasantha Vadan, Founding Partner, Brand & Growth, Dezy.
Last year, Dezy had raised $23 million in a Series A investment round led by Alpha Wave Incubation, with participation from Sequoia Capital India, Chiratae Ventures, MBX Capital, and Wami Capital.
Quint Digital Media clocks Rs 80 Cr revenue in FY23
Quint Digital Media Limited, a media tech company, has clocked a consolidated revenue of Rs 80.62 crore, for FY23, witnessing a growth of 31% over FY22 (Rs 61.55 crore).
Quint's standalone revenue for FY23 grew 20% to Rs 44.72 crore, from Rs 37.16 crore in FY22.
There was an increase in profitability and EBIDTA on a sequential and full-year basis in a tough economic environment, said the company.
The media tech operations of Quint continued to grow as revenues increased by 150% to Rs 22.49 crore in FY23, compared to Rs 9 crore in FY22.
The company completed the divestment of a 49% stake in BQ Prime to AMG Media for Rs 47.83 crore. Cash and cash equivalents as on March 31, 2023 stood at Rs 156 crore.
S Chand records Rs 576 million net profit in FY23
Education content and book publisher S Chand Publishing has recorded a net profit after tax (PAT) of Rs 576 million for FY23. This is its highest PAT in the past five years, said the company, reflecting a year-on-year (y-on-y) increase of 616%.
The operating revenues touched Rs 6,103 million, a y-o-y increase of 27%, while EBITDA was Rs 963 million, its highest in the past five years, showing a y-o-y growth of 57%.
In July last year, S Chand exited its minority stake in Testbook, realising a return of 7.8x, amounting to Rs 180 million. In December, it took another exit in iNeuron, earning a return of 2.1x, totalling Rs 138 million.
“We have achieved our goal of becoming a net debt-free company in April through consistent efforts on working capital management. Our strategic partnerships and collaborations have allowed us to expand our offerings and meet the changing needs of customers,” said Himanshu Gupta, Managing Director of S Chand and Company Limited.
“We look forward to fuel the next leg of growth for our company on the back of the National Curriculum Framework announcement in CY2023 by providing high-quality content and expertise to students,” he added.
IIT Madras entities, Reserve Bank Innovation hub join hands
IIT Madras Research Park and IIT Madras Incubation Cell have joined hands with the Reserve Bank Innovation Hub to work on voice-driven banking solutions.
The objective is to address language barriers, a key challenge in financial inclusion for millions of Indians.
The voice-based banking solution aims to perform basic banking transactions through voice commands in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu, to start with, in addition to English.
The innovation will assist people who are illiterate and visually impaired, in their banking services and help the underbanked population in overcoming language barriers during their banking activities.
“There are over 600 million low- and middle-income individuals in India without access to digital banking. We aim to help more than half of such underbanked population to overcome their challenges in banking services with voice banking in the next few years," said Rajesh Bansal, CEO of Reserve Bank Innovation Hub.
Leads Connect Services, Ensuredit form joint venture
Leads Connect Services, an agritech data, risk management, and financial services company, and insurance solutions to farmers and agribusinesses., an AI-based platform for insurance distribution, have formed a joint venture to offer
In the initial phase, following the formation of the joint venture named Leads Ensuredit Private Limited, the focus will be on expanding service offerings in national and international markets.
“We aim to make a positive impact by providing farmers with innovative agri-fintech solutions that enhance their productivity, mitigate risks, and improve the overall ecosystem," said Amit Boni, CEO of Ensuredit.
“By combining our agricultural expertise with Ensuredit’s technological prowess, we are confident that we can deliver ground-breaking financial inclusion that will empower everyone and contribute to the sector," said Navneet Ravikar, Chairman and Managing Director, Leads Connect Services.
(The copy will be updated throughout the day with the latest news.)
Edited by Swetha Kannan