Startup news and updates: daily roundup (Aug 14, 2023)

YourStory presents the daily news roundup from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Monday, August 14, 2023.

Startup news and updates: daily roundup (Aug 14, 2023)

Monday August 14, 2023,

4 min Read


Bollywood actor Bhumi Pednekar invests in EcoSoul Home

EcoSoul Home, a home essentials products startup, has onboarded Bollywood actor Bhumi Pednekar as its investor and brand ambassador.

The announcement comes a few months after the startup raised $10 million in a Series A funding round led by Accel and Singh Capital Partners.

The company, founded by Rahul Singh and Arvind Ganesan in 2020, seeks to offer a range of eco-friendly home essential products, including cleaning supplies, kitchenware, and personal care products. North America is its biggest revenue driver, followed by Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, UAE, India, China, and Vietnam. 

“She (Pednekar) has a two-year term with EcoSoul. She will have the option of converting her entire professional fee into EcoSoul equity at a fixed current valuation. The final amount range will depend on the scale of the business in India and our valuation,” Co-founder Singh told YourStory

EcoSoul Home

(L-R) Rahul Singh, Co-founder, EcoSoul Home; Bhumi Pednekar, Bollywood actor; Priyanka Aeron, India MD and Head of Global HR & Tech, EcoSoul Home

With the appointment of a brand ambassador, the team looks to accelerate global adoption of its products.

“Bhumi is a widely respected figure in the climate action community, recognised for her unwavering dedication to environmental causes and her efforts in promoting sustainable lifestyle choices," said Singh.

"By joining forces, she will further advocate for conscious consumption and the importance of choosing environmentally friendly alternatives to single-use plastics,” he added.

Other news

Narayana Group appoints ex-Unacademy VP as chief academic officer

Hyderabad-based education group Narayana, which operates schools, professional colleges, and coaching centres, among other educational facilities across India, has appointed Ashish Arora as its chief academic officer. 

Arora comes with three decades of academic experience in educating physics stream aspirants, preparing them for JEE and NEET exams.

In his previous roles, he has worked as a department and academic head across institutions such as Bansal Classes, Resonance, FIITJEE, Allen, and edtech firm Unacademy. He also runs a popular YouTube channel ‘Physics Galaxy’, which has nearly 11.5 lakh subscribers.

The group, which currently operates 649 educational institutions across 20 states, of which 364 are schools, recently announced plans to increase its offline presence by opening academic institution across states. It has earmarked Rs 200 crore for the same. 

As per recent reports, the education group also plans to acquire the stakes held by private equity investors Morgan Stanley Private Equity Asia and BanyanTree Finance in its subsidiary Nspira Management Services in a deal valued at around Rs 1,400 crore.

JioCinema partners with Krafton to livestream Battleground India Series

Mukesh Ambani-owned OTT platform JioCinema has partnered with South Korean gaming company and BGMI maker Krafton to livestream its popular esports tournament in India, Battleground India Series (BGIS) 2023. 

The development comes after the platform acquired rights to livestream IPL, international cricket matches, and HBO content. The latest partnership is expected to boost its user base.

"Esports has evolved beyond its niche origins and emerged as a mainstream experience, with a consistent surge in popularity. We are excited to deliver an exhilarating experience to a broader audience across the country with BGIS 2023," said Hursh Shrivastava, Head of Strategy, Partnerships and Acquisitions, Viacom18 Sports.

BGIS will feature Hindi and English commentary for all preliminary matches and culminate in a grand finale. The tournament will witness over 2,000 teams competing for a prize pool of Rs 2 crore.

“With this partnership, we hope to transform the consumption of esports in the country and inspire the next generation of esports champions,” said Sean Hyunil Sohn, CEO of Krafton India. 

Krafton, which has invested close to $140 million across Indian companies such as Kuku FM, Nodwin Gaming, Loco, Pratilipi, and Lila Games, recently announced that it would pump in $150 million over the next two to three years in India. 

Krafton's games Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI) and PUBG were banned by the Indian government owing to security concerns. BGMI later made a comeback in May this year after seeking a three-month approval from the government during which time it was supposed to be closely monitored by the officials.

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

Edited by Suman Singh