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Startup news and updates: daily roundup (May 23, 2023)

YourStory presents the daily news roundup from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Tuesday, May 23, 2023.

Startup news and updates: daily roundup (May 23, 2023)

Tuesday May 23, 2023 , 11 min Read

Funding

Battery-tech startup EMO Energy raises $1.2M in seed round

EMO Energy, a battery-tech startup, raised Rs 10 crore ($1.2 million) in a seed round led by Transition VC and Gruhas.


Founded in February 2022 by Sheetanshu Tyagi and Rahul Patel, EMO is a deeptech energy startup that aims to implement battery-powered solutions in high-power and high-energy applications.


The brand offers battery packs for light EVs, which are powered by ZEN, a proprietary cell-agnostic tech platform that allows fire safety, 20-minute fast charging, and improvement in battery life.

EMO Energy

Kalaari-backed Mozark raises venture debt from BlackSoil

Mozark, a Singapore-based deeptech company raised undisclosed funding from Mumbai-based alternative credit provider BlackSoil. This investment is in line with BlackSoil's strategy of focusing on new-age businesses in the deeptech sector.

Mozark has developed a synthetic observability platform that assists businesses in identifying issues within their digital supply chain and enhancing the quality of user experience. Further, it has experienced a 2X growth in recurring revenue over the past year and has onboarded clients, including Disney+, Sony, Globe, Marina Bay Sands, Orange, and Carrefour.

The platform uses a GAI engine that helps enterprises obtain insights to make improvements and deliver a rich experience to end customers. Mozark works with digital infrastructure providers, apps, and enterprises to enhance digital experience, thus ensuring alignment across ecosystems.

Kreo raises Rs 6.5 Cr in seed round

Kreo, a consumer electronics brand catering to gamers and creators, completed its seed round worth Rs 6.5 crore in a combination of equity and debt financing.

The round was led by Sauce.VC, a consumer venture capital fund, besides other investors, including the Chona Family Office, Revant Bhate (Co-founder, Mosaic Wellness), Bala Sarda (Founder, Vahdam Teas), and Nikhil Bhandarkar (Co-founder, Panthera Peak Capital).

Founded in 2022 by Ishan Sukul, Niraj Chitnis, and Himanshu Gupta, Kreo is set to launch over 50 solutions for gamers and creators in the next 12 months, with a growing portfolio of 10 cutting-edge products.

The funding will fuel brand building, facilitate product development, support growth initiatives, and enable the expansion of the Kreo team.

Insurtech startup Covrzy raises Rs 3.2 Cr pre-seed funding

Insurtech startup Covrzy raised Rs 3.2 crore in a pre-seed funding round led by Antler and Veda VC.

The startup aims to make business liability insurance simple, personalised, and accessible for over 60 million MSMEs and startups across India. Its full-stack platform is designed to aid product discovery and boost insurance penetration in startups and SMEs.

Within a month of launch, Covrzy has more than 50 customers, including companies like Karbon Cards and Volopay, and partnerships with leading insurers like ICICI Lombard.

Founded in 2023 by Ankit Kamra and Veera Thota as a part of Antler’s Residency Programme, Covrzy is transforming the way liability insurance is sold to startups and SMEs.

Other news

Giottus, TaxNodes partner to enable easy crypto tax compliance for investors

Crypto assets platform Giottus and leading tax solutions provider TaxNodes have partnered to provide a safe and reliable solution to customers trading and investing in virtual digital assets (VDAs).

With both companies sharing a common goal of investor education and compliance around crypto taxation in India, the partnership reinforces their commitment to empowering investors in the VDA space.

Giottus customers can easily access and use the TaxNodes platform to compute their tax obligations accurately for all transactions done on the platform. Additionally, TaxNodes will offer comprehensive support for customers who had opted for various Giottus products such as fixed rewards and staking.

Shadowfax joins ONDC to offer end-to-end logistics services in over 700 Indian cities

Shadowfax, an on-demand crowdsourced 3rd party logistics platform recently came on board ONDC to provide last-mile delivery. After a successful and smooth operation in 50 cities, the company is all set to scale its services to over 1200+ cities, allowing more businesses and customers to access their reliable and efficient delivery services.

This expansion is a testament to the commitment of Shadowfax and ONDC to advancing digital commerce in India and making logistics accessible to everyone, the company stated.

ONDC is enabling interoperability and unbundling in the digital commerce space in India, allowing Shadowfax to expand its services to more cities and regions through ONDC’s pan-India presence, a strong network of partners, and trusted digital infrastructure.

With a robust delivery network and intercity and intracity capabilities, Shadowfax is a one-stop solution for businesses across categories and sizes.

Boddess Beauty onboards global beauty brands for retail expansion

Boddess Beauty, a beauty retailer onboards global brands Etude House, Dermalogica Cosrx, Klairs, Valentino, Ralph Lauren, Azzaro, and OGX under their robust retail expansion plans with a host of product categories and SKUs under the same at both the Boddess offline and online stores.

"In line with evolving consumer preferences, we want to share the best global experience with our consumers," said Ritika Sharma, Founder and CEO of House of Beauty/Boddess. "We are thrilled to welcome them to our store as well as the online platform and are glad to offer the Indian consumers the best from the world of K-beauty and other internationally renowned brands."

Social travel commerce platform Alike.io appoints Nathan Johny as VP of Growth Marketing

Alike.io, a social travel commerce platform, today announced the appointment of Nathan Johny, as its Vice President of Growth Marketing.

Nathan brings extensive experience in online and offline marketing and customer acquisition to the Alike team. He will lead the growth marketing efforts for Alike, including customer acquisition, engagement, retention, and community management.

Boon eyes expansion in ASEAN nations, aims to invest $10M to eliminate single-use plastic

Boon, an IoT-enabled global water-tech startup, is expanding its horizons in ASEAN countries, namely, Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines after establishing its roots in Africa and the Middle East regions. This expansion strategy aims to preserve the sensitive ecosystem of the ASEAN region to eliminate plastic wastage to reduce the carbon footprint across the region.

To amplify this project, Boon has already started its operation by collaborating with Anantara Hotel based out of Thailand and continues to partner with various stakeholders in other countries. The company has deployed its WaterCubes, an AI-based water purifier that delivers hydration by eliminating single-use plastic waste at the Anantara hotel premises.

Headquartered in Singapore, Boon has showcased exponential growth across India and significant International markets and has become the largest supplier of glass water bottles in the world. As a part of its expansion plans in the ASEAN region, Boon is eyeing an investment of up to $10 million, with an estimated revenue expectation of around $50 million in the

YES Bank’s Saif Khan joins PayNearby as Chief Growth Officer

PayNearby announced the addition of Saif Khan to the executive team as Chief Growth Officer (CGO). The latest appointment is tactically aligned with the company’s plans to drive growth, through Distribution as-a-service (DaaS), across emerging businesses and channel partners.

Saif will aid in accelerating and expanding PayNearby's footprints by identifying market needs and opportunities to scale the business while delivering greater value to stakeholders.

He will work in tandem with PayNearby’s sales team to achieve growth momentum on planned and new initiatives. By enabling the best strategies to digitise Bharat and bridge the urban-rural divide, he will be responsible to make PayNearby the benchmarked financial service provider in the country.

The ePlane Company receives Design Organisation Approval by DGCA

The ePlane Company, a developer of Electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft, has received Design Organisation Approval (DOA) from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). The DOA is a crucial first step in the aircraft certification process, and it paves the way for ePlane to begin commercial production of its e200 eVTOL aircraft.

The guests present at the ceremony included Vikram Dev Dutt, Director General of Directorate of Civil Aviation (DGCA); Prof V Kamakoti, Director of IIT Madras; Indranil Chakraborthy, Deputy Director General of DGCA; Meenu Kapil, Director—Aircraft Engineering; and Jai Simha, Director, DGCA Chennai.

The DGCA team also visited the National Centre for Combustion Research and Development (NCCRD) at the IIT Madras Campus to gain insights into ePlane's ongoing work and progress. Subsequently, they toured the ePlane Manufacturing Facility followed by the Director General’s address and a small celebration to mark the occasion at the IITM Discovery Campus in Thaiyur.

eplane

Emids appoints Ram Singampalli as its Chief Delivery Officer

Emids, a technology-led transformation and digital engineering solution for the healthcare and life sciences industry, appointed Ram Singampalli as its Chief Delivery Officer. Based in India, Singampalli will lead Emids’ global delivery teams to build delivery systems and operations for the company. He will join the Emids Executive Leadership Team.

 

In his previous role, Singampalli served as the Chief Operating Officer at Hexaware Technologies, where he led global delivery, talent management, engineering and operations, and internal IT. Before joining Hexaware, he was associated with Syntel and Atos Syntel for more than 26 years. At Atos Syntel, he served as the Chief Delivery Officer, overseeing $2 billion in global delivery across various service offerings and talent management.

Allen adds Meta's Abha Maheshwari in its leadership team

Allen Career Institute Private Limited has appointed Abha Maheshwari as the Chief Executive Officer of Allen Digital. Abha brings over 20 years of experience in product management, growth, and partnerships in consumer technology. She will build and lead Allen’s digital and technology teams in Bengaluru, creating digital-first products to enhance the delivery of outcome-based learning to students.

 

Maheshwari previously served as the Director and Head of Commerce and Payments, Product Partnerships for India at Meta, in the San Francisco office. She led strategy, product development, and execution of commerce platform integrations and scaled it to a global programme. She was also part of the core leadership team that built and scaled Facebook's Ads developer ecosystem to a multi-billion-dollar programme.

Paytm launches UPI SDK 

One97 Communications, the parent company of Paytm, launched Paytm UPI SDK, which will allow customers to make UPI payments directly and inline from the merchant's mobile app without getting redirected during checkout. With this, customers can pay directly from their bank accounts by entering their UPI pin without leaving the merchant app.


With Paytm UPI SDK, customers can enjoy 4X faster UPI payments through a 5X reduction in the number of taps and a 100% elimination of any external redirection, where customers have to switch between merchant and payment apps to complete transactions, leading to fewer clicks, faster transactions, far higher success rates, and increased customer retention. 

MobiKwik launches MobiKwik Wallet UPI on 100 million QR codes

MobiKwik, a digital banking platform, launched MobiKwik Wallet UPI to transform the UPI payment experience for its users. The feature will allow MobiKwik users to make super-fast, one-click UPI payments without the need for any UPI pin. It will also work even when the user's bank server is down, enabling them to complete transactions with ease. 

MobiKwik Wallet UPI also eliminates the clutter in the user’s bank/card statements caused by small-value transactions and provides users with the true power of credit on UPI.

To activate the feature, users can load their MobiKwik wallet using any credit card, debit card, or bank UPI. The new MobiKwik Wallet UPI supports all banks in India and credit card networks, including Visa, MasterCard, Diners, Amex, and Rupay. It also offers several benefits, including a transaction limit of up to Rs 1 lakh and a maximum balance limit of up to Rs 2 lakh. 

Louis Stitch diversifies its product offering with the launch of the men’s clothing line

Men's Luxury fashion brand Louis Stitch has expanded its product portfolio beyond premium shoes and accessories with the launch of the men’s clothing line. The collection is made in India and the company aims to launch 150-200 unique designs every month.

Louis Stitch is sourcing its raw materials for this collection Egyptian Giza cotton, German Gutermann threads, Freudenberg collar fusing, and natural buttons. Each product will be crafted and created in the company’s state-of-the-art manufacturing facility based in Gurugram.


Founded in 2019, Louis Stitch has a pan-India presence through its website and leading ecommerce platforms like Myntra, Amazon, Flipkart, and Nykaa. It claims to have sold more than one million pairs of premium leather shoes in a very short span of time.

Healthtech startup MedRabbits appoints Rana Bhattacharyya as General Manager, International Business

Pune-based healthcare tech startup MedRabbits appointed Rana Bhattacharyya as its new general manager of international business.


Bhattacharyya brings with him 23 years of cross-industry experience, much of which involved catalysing growth in the MVT segment for brands like Aditya Birla Hospital (Pune) and Narayana Health (Bengaluru). In his role at MedRabbits, he will be responsible to identify a few cost-effective international locations for medical treatment for Indian domestic clients. In addition, he plans to further promote the government’s Heal In India’ mission, where India is positioned to act as a premier destination for high-quality medical treatment.

Founded in 2017, MedRabbits is a tech-based home healthcare platform that brings fast, convenient and cost-effective home healthcare to the customer’s doorstep.

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


Edited by Suman Singh