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Startup news and updates: daily roundup (July 18, 2023)

YourStory presents daily news roundup from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Tuesday, July 18, 2023

Startup news and updates: daily roundup (July 18, 2023)

Tuesday July 18, 2023 , 8 min Read

Funding

Factors.ai raises $3.5M in a pre-Series A round led by Stellaris

Factors.AI, a B2B visitor intelligence, account analytics, and revenue attribution platform, has raised $3.6 million in a pre-Series A funding round led by Stellaris Venture Partners.

Existing investors Elevation Capital and Emergent Ventures, along with prominent angel investors, also participated in the round.

"With our industry-leading solutions, we are poised to make a profound impact by facilitating efficient pipeline growth, bridging the gap between sales and marketing, and delivering unparalleled value to our customers. Looking ahead, we plan to achieve profitability and expand our customer base," Srikrishna Swaminathan, Co-founder and CEO of Factors.ai, said in a statement.

Gurugram-based footwear brand Solethreads secures $3.7 M in Series A funding

Solethreads, a casual footwear brand headquartered in Gurugram, has successfully raised $3.7 million in its Series A funding round.

The funding round was led by Fireside Ventures, a new investor, and also saw participation from existing investors, including DSG Consumer Partners and Saama Capital. Angel investors Nihir Nalin Parikh and Dhaval Nalin Parikh also contributed to the funding.

The injection of fresh capital will enable Solethreads to strengthen its design innovation lab and research and development (R&D) centre to bolster its product launch pipeline and explore new categories within the casual footwear space.

Crypto wallet connector 0xPass raises $1.8M pre-seed round

0xPass, a startup working in the crypto and NFT space, has successfully raised $1.8 million in a pre-seed funding round.

The round saw participation from notable investors, including Alliance, Hashed Emergent, Alchemy Ventures, Soma Capital, Cory Levy/Z Fellows, Balaji Srinivasan, Signum Capital, Nonce Classic, Formulate Ventures, and Blockchain Builders Fund.

0xPass serves as a wallet connector that integrates multiple wallets and wallet types into a unified authentication flow for dApps. By simplifying the integration process, developers can easily authenticate and manage users, and sessions, and even construct user profiles based on verifiable third-party sources.

While currently operating as a wallet connector, 0xPass aims to become a user experience (UX) infrastructure provider.

Other news

PhonePe launches new health insurance plans

PhonePe Insurance Broking Services, a wholly owned subsidiary of PhonePe Pvt Ltd, has launched new health insurance plans, with monthly payment options, in partnership with insurers.

These health insurance plans, which come with coverage up to Rs 1 crore, allow users to choose any hospital room without cap/limit, and come with some bonus features. The company said it offers pre- and post-sales assistance to help users make informed decisions, file claims, and access other services.

PhonePe says it has sold about 5.6 million policies to date and served over 200 million vehicle insurance quotes, it said in a statement.

“One of the biggest barriers in buying health insurance has been affordability and we have solved the same by creating India’s first health insurance marketplace focused on monthly payments. We believe this will drive deep penetration with users being able to pay in monthly subscriptions with a much lower financial burden,” said Hemant Gala, Vice President of Financial Services at PhonePe.

CHARGE+ZONE launches cloud platform to manage EV charging stations

EV charging company CHARGE+ZONE has launched ChargeCloud, a network operating software solution for managing EV charging stations. ChargeCloud aims to optimise revenue, maximise charger utilisation, and provide real-time data insights to charging station operators.

One notable aspect of ChargeCloud is its strong compatibility with a diverse range of electric vehicles (EVs) from different manufacturers. This ensures that drivers can enjoy seamless services at charging stations, regardless of the type or brand of their EV.

The ChargeCloud mobile application further enhances interoperability, enabling charging station owners to attract a wider customer base and cater to the needs of a diverse EV user community.

In addition, ChargeCloud introduces a dedicated team called ChargeMasters. These experts are responsible for ensuring the smooth operation and maintenance of chargers. By having a specialised team in place, charging station operators can rely on professional support to address any technical issues promptly and ensure that the chargers are consistently available and in good working condition.

Awign Expert witnesses 78% rise amid cost-cutting and layoffs

Awign Expert, a division of the work-as-a-service platform Awign, has experienced a significant increase of 78% in the participation of high-skilled workers in the gig economy. This rise coincides with a remarkable 157% growth in demand from the IT sector during the first two quarters of 2023.

The gig economy has emerged as a solution for companies dealing with cost-cutting and layoffs, allowing them to tap into a highly skilled workforce on a project basis and reduce fixed costs. The majority of the demand is for mid-level and senior positions in tech roles, with 2-7 years of experience, such as Java, Python, React, Vue, Angular, data science, and full-stack development.

In the current landscape of cost-cutting, business optimisation, and layoffs, we are witnessing a surge in high-skilled gig workers' participation in the gig economy. Enterprises recognise the advantages of tapping into this talent pool for highly-skilled professionals on-demand, leading to cost savings and operational efficiency. Our platform enables businesses to leverage high-skilled gig workers across industries, transforming work dynamics and providing meaningful opportunities in these challenging times."

Oyo launches new luxury-focused brand called Pallete

OYO has introduced a new category called "Palette" to cater to the evolving needs of modern travellers. Palette resorts offer elegantly designed rooms, serene spaces, fine dining experiences, and recreational activities.

As a pilot project, OYO has launched 10 Palette resorts in cities like Jaipur, Hyderabad, Digha, Mumbai, Chennai, Manesar, and Bengaluru. By the second quarter of FY 2024, OYO plans to add 40 more Palette resorts to its portfolio, expanding to destinations such as Delhi-NCR, Kolkata, Amritsar, Shimla, Goa, Udaipur, Pune, Mussoorie, Srinagar, and Kochi.

"Today, travellers are seeking more than just a place to stay; they are craving unique and memorable experiences. This paradigm shift, fuelled by rising disposable incomes, has prompted us to diversify our portfolio and introduce Palette brand," Anuj Tejpal, Chief Merchant Officer, OYO said.

Asia-Pacific faces $250B GDP loss due to employee-caregiver trend: BCG

The Asia-Pacific region faces a significant threat to its GDP amid the rise of employee caregivers. By 2035, this trend could put up to $250 billion in GDP at risk across six countries, as per a BCG report. The number of employee-caregivers is set to increase dramatically, with a projected total of 1.2 billion by 2035.

These caregivers already report lower levels of well-being and are more likely to worry about their physical and mental health. Without proper support, there could be a mass exodus of caregivers from the workforce, resulting in a potential GDP loss of $125 billion to $250 billion, the report added.

Employers must implement programs and policies focused on career development, diversity, equity, and inclusion to support and retain caregivers, BCG.

Wagr introduces AI-powered petcare chatbot Toto

Wagr, a pet-tech startup, has launched 'Toto,' an AI-powered petcare chatbot with an aim to transform pet care guidance in India. Toto provides 24x7 AI-guided support and has already assisted over 3,000 pet parents, with a goal of reaching one million within the year.

The demand for accurate pet care information is evident, as Indian pet parents conduct approximately 50 million pet-related Google searches each month. Powered by advanced algorithms, GPT-4 vector embedding, and machine learning, Toto offers round-the-clock advice by combining individual pet details, health records, and up-to-date information on pet health.

The chatbot provides free guidance on various topics such as pet nutrition and behavior. The Wagr app complements Toto's services, offering real-time AI chatbot support, veterinary consultations, prompt delivery of pet care products, engaging content, and digital pet health records.

Toto covers a wide range of queries related to nutrition, vaccinations, behavior, training, health, and general care. The most common topics are nutrition, health, and grooming, with cat parents seeking advice twice as often as dog parents.

LoanTap, Mufin Green Finance partner to fuel electric two-wheeler financing

LoanTap Financial Technologies and Mufin Green Finance have joined forces to promote the growth of electric two-wheeler financing in India.

This collaboration aims to offer attractive loan options and empower consumers to adopt sustainable mobility solutions. With the strategic partnership, Mufin Green Finance will extend loans for electric vehicles, charging infrastructure, and swappable batteries, further promoting the EV ecosystem.

By making funds more accessible and promoting financial inclusion, Loan Tap and Mufin Green Finance aim to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles in India while promoting environmental well-being.

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


Edited by Affirunisa Kankudti