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Startup news and updates: daily roundup (July 5, 2023)

YourStory presents the daily news roundup from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Wednesday, July 5, 2023.

Startup news and updates: daily roundup (July 5, 2023)

Wednesday July 05, 2023 , 8 min Read


Denim wear brand Freakins raises $4M from Matrix Partners India and Blume Ventures

Freakins, a denim fashion brand targeting Gen Z women in India, has raised $4 million in a seed funding round led by Matrix Partners India and Blume Ventures. The company plans to use the funds to expand its omnichannel presence, strengthen operations, and increase its visibility among consumers.

The seed round saw participation from over 30 angel investors such as Revant Bhate, Navin Agarwal, Chakradhar Gade, Utkrishta Kumar, Asish Mohapatra, as well as influencers Aayush Wadhwa, Tarini Shah, and Agastya Shah.

Founded by Puneet Sehgal and Shaan Shah, along with partner Sachin Shah, the brand offers a range of over 1,500 styles of denim clothes, catering to diverse body types, preferences, and occasions.

Ronin Wines raises $675k as part of pre-Series A round of funding

Ronin Wines, the Pune-based alcoholic beverage startup and maker of Moonshine Meadery, has raised $675,000 from Rainmatter Capital and Grip Invest as a part of its larger pre-Series A funding. The other investors in this round were Auxano Capital, Supermorpheus, Anthill Capital, and a clutch of existing and new angel investors.

The capital will be used to increase the brand’s depth in existing markets while helping the business expand the honey and bee-keeping focussed brand, Moonshine Honey Project.

Started in 2021, MHP has focused on the sale of honey via both B2C and B2B routes, and has recently taken up Bee conservation as a key focus area by launching ‘Bee Hotels’ in May this year. These artificial homes have been created to support bees, whose habitat has come under strain due to mass urbanisation and deforestation.

Nitin Vishwas, Co-founder, Ronin Wines, said, “We are very excited to have the two investors join us as we build Moonshine. Rainmatter's commitment to tackling climate change and supporting sustainability ties well with our mission to support the dwindling bee population in the country. With Grip Invest joining our team, we now have access to numerous alternate financing solutions that we will need as we scale our alcobev business.”

ZuPay’s edtech sister company ZuAI raises Rs 4 Cr

Bengaluru-based GenAI startup ZuAI has raised Rs 4 crore in seed funding led by Prime Venture Partners. The funding will help ZuAI provide personalised and effective learning experiences to students in India.

ZuAI was founded by Anubhav Mishra and Arpit Jain, who discovered the potential of Generative AI while building ZuPay. The recently-launched ZuA is used by more than 4,500 students a day, with the highest usage observed among students in grades 7 to 10.

The company plans to introduce more advanced tools in the future, allowing learners to generate a study lecture on any topic within five minutes. It will also offer adaptive test series to track learners' progress in specific topics.

Bhumi Pednekar invests in Chrome Asia Hospitality's first boutique hotel in Goa

Bollywood star Bhumi Pednekar has partnered with Mumbai-based Chrome Asia Hospitality to invest in its first boutique hotel in Goa. The group has developed 100,000 square feet of hospitality space in India and launched five new restaurants in Mumbai under the Chrome Hospitality brand.

With the new venture called KAIA, Chrome Asia Hospitality is entering the hotel space. KAIA by Chrome is designed for travelers seeking relaxation and embraces the concept of slow living. Bhumi Pednekar's investment in KAIA investment aims to create a haven that combines luxury, comfort, warmth, and cultural immersion.

Chrome Asia Hospitality, launched in 2019 by Nikita Shahri, Dhaval Udeshi, and Pawan Shahri, is a full-scale hospitality company focused on creating experience-driven restaurants across India. The group owns, manages, and consults for restaurants, bars, and boutique hotels in the country.

chrome asia bhumi

Knocksense partners with Lucky Ali

Music veteran Lucky Ali has invested in Knocksense, a hyperlocal content-driven commerce platform. This partnership marks a significant milestone for Knocksense as it continues to revolutionise hyperlocal content, commerce, and live entertainment.

Speaking on the development, Lucky Ali said, “I am truly impressed by their innovative business model that merges hyperlocal commerce with pop culture. Knocksense is fostering an authentic community that connects the youth in smaller cities with greater opportunities through engaging content and commerce.”

Started by Vibhore Mayank and Varul Mayank, Knocksense is actively raising $1 million in its pre-Series A round from investors, including Nitish Mittersain, Mohit Satyanand, AvnishSabharwal, Alok Nath De, We Founders Circle, Lets Venture, Mumbai Angels Network, and ImperierHoldings.

Lucky ali

Other news unveils machine learning system on a chip (MLSoC) platform for OEMs and system integrators

Machine learning company has launched its partner programme with key vendors in the ML edge marketplace to accelerate AI innovation at the edge and expand its solutions in priority verticals.

The programme will provide access to SiMa's Machine Learning System on a Chip (MLSoC) platform for OEMs, ODMs, Sensor vendors, System Integrators (SIs), Independent Software Vendors (ISVs), and AI/ML tools vendors to develop solutions that facilitate customer ML adoption. aims to enable AI and computer vision deployment on a massive scale and has built the necessary hardware and software platform. The partner ecosystem includes various solutions and uses cases to embed intelligence in the edge market. is a machine learning company focused on delivering a software-centric, purpose-built MLSoC platform. Its technology allows customers to address computer vision problems with ease and achieve high-performance ML deployment at the embedded edge.

Drs.OnCalls heads for India launch

Drs.OnCalls, a US-based telemedicine platform, is expanding in the Indian market. With a focus on convenience, accessibility, and high-quality healthcare services, the startup aims to bring its expertise and experience to India's growing telemedicine sector.

The platform offers global real-time consultation services 24/7, connecting patients with experts worldwide. This feature aims to provide advanced medical expertise to individuals across the country, transcending geographical limitations.

The telemedicine platform also offers house medical calls, virtual telemedicine services, and concierge medical to a network of experienced, licensed, and board-certified healthcare professionals.

Lloyds Banking Group appoints Sirisha Voruganti as CEO

Lloyds Banking Group, a UK-based financial services group, has appointed Sirisha Voruganti as the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of its new Lloyds Technology Centre in Hyderabad, where she will lead the centre during an important phase of Lloyds Banking Group's digital transformation.

Voruganti brings with her three decades of experience in technology transformation, IT architecture, data engineering, and fintech innovation. She joins Lloyds Technology Centre from JCPenney, where she served as the Managing Director and a board member.

She has held senior technology positions in various global firms and is recognised as the first woman Managing Director for JP Morgan Chase in Technology in India. She also served as an executive vice president of architecture, data, and shared services for Mastercard.

DRONECO targets 10 lakhs drone-based deliveries by 2023 end

DRONECO, the logistic arm of drone tech startup TSAW Drones, aims to complete over 10 lakhs deliveries in 2023. With a track record of 8,400+ successful package deliveries to date, DRONECO is steadily expanding its reach. It has covered a total distance of more than 6,920 kms and delivered a cumulative weight of over 620 kg.

Starting in November 2022, DRONECO runs three routes in two states. It is clocking a 10% month-on-month delivery growth rate.

DRONECO, currently serving Kolkata and Nizamabad and a pilot run in the Noida-Meerut (NCR) route, aims to extend its delivery services to two new states with two new routes, including Delhi-NCR and Uttar Pradesh.

It is witnessing high deliveries from the medical sector and aims to add ecommerce, Qcommerce, agriculture, and defence deliveries in services. Its client roster comprises Medvolant, TATA 1MG, GIMS, and Kanhaiya Life Care Medicine.


Financial services, technology, and administrative sectors lead hiring trends for fresh graduates: LinkedIn Finds

LinkedIn released new data on the fastest-growing roles, industries, functions, and skills in India for fresh graduates entering the job market. According to LinkedIn's data, design, analytics, and JavaScript are the top skills in demand for entry-level positions in India.

The data also highlights a positive trend for those seeking flexible work arrangements. Companies in India are increasingly embracing flexibility, with solely on-site roles declining by 10% and hybrid positions surging by 60% for entry-level roles compared to 2022. This shift provides fresh graduates with a wider range of work arrangements to choose from.

The top industries hiring in India include financial services, administrative and support services, technology, information and media, and accommodation. These sectors offer promising opportunities for fresh graduates with bachelor's degrees. Even for those without a bachelor's degree, there are emerging opportunities in the administrative and support services, accommodation, and financial services industries.

LinkedIn's data reveals a diverse range of fast-growing jobs for professionals with different educational qualifications. For bachelor's degree holders, roles like risk consultant, investment manager, and finance administrator are experiencing significant growth.

MBA graduates can explore positions such as technology associate, catalogue specialist, and business integration analyst. Those without a degree can find fulfilling careers in roles like placement coordinator, user interface designer, and application engineer.

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

Edited by Affirunisa Kankudti