Startup news and updates: daily roundup (August 17, 2023)

YourStory presents the daily news roundup from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Thursday, August 17, 2023.

Startup news and updates: daily roundup (August 17, 2023)

Thursday August 17, 2023,

9 min Read

Funding news

Jewellery savings app Plus raises $350K in seed round

Plus, a jewellery savings app, has received a $350,000 seed investment from multiple investors like WFC, VCats, and angel investors, including EvolveX. 

Notable investors, including We Founder Circle, Venture Catalyst, JITO, and angels such as Vineet Saxena (Ex-founder, Myntra, CEO, Card91), Abhishek Gupta (Venture partner, WFC), Sunil Singhvi (CEO, South Handlooms), Vijay Rajagopal (Head, Amazon Pay), Abhay Tandon, Shiva Mohandas, Sachin Shetty (Founder, Giva), among others, also participated in the round.

Having drawn investor interest during EvolveX's Cohort 2 in September 2022, Plus allocated the funds to expand its operations. With a current roster of 270+ jeweller partners, the company is in the user acceptance testing (UAT) phase ahead of its B2C launch.

Plus empowers Indian homemakers to save effortlessly for jewellery, earning an attractive 10% annual interest. The platform also offers exclusive deals and discounts from top jewellers.

Travel tech startup Teleport raises $500K in pre-seed round

Teleport, a travel tech startup, has raised $500,000 in a pre-seed round from investors, including entrepreneur Kunal Shah, Vidit Aatrey, Kishore Ganji, Appreciate Capital, Superb Capital, 888vc, and FAAD Network.

This funding is in addition to the $100,000 grant it received from PeakXV (formerly Sequoia) Spark programme in early 2023.

The funding will drive Teleport's mission to simplify travel visas and transform cross-border experiences. This strategic capital injection will advance technology, build a dynamic team, and enhance distribution strategies. The platform aims to process 1,00,000 visas within 2023.

Prepaid card solution BizPay raises undisclosed seed round 

Bizpay has raised an undisclosed seed round led by Inflection Point Ventures. The company plans to use 20% of the funds for product development, 60% for marketing, and 20% for other purposes.

Bizpay provides an integrated prepaid card and advanced SaaS software solution that simplifies expense management for businesses. With analytics and policy enforcement, it operates in India and plans to expand to the Middle East and North Africa, aiming to offer its innovative solutions globally.

Speech AI startup Contiinex raises $2M in pre-Series A funding

Contiinex, a Bengaluru-based startup in the Speech AI segment, has raised $2 million in a pre-Series A round from YourNest and Refex Capital. The fundraise was advised and supported by ICBC as investment bankers of Contiinex. 

The company plans to use the funds to strengthen its technology team and expand its presence in the US market.

Contiinex, founded by Prateek Mehta and Vijay Krishna BS in December 2020, is looking to target English speaking global speech market. It plans to extend GenAI into unstructured data mediums like voice, chat, email, videos, and visuals. Utilising in-house LLM capabilities, it aims to expand to banking, retail, and utilities, revolutionising customer engagement. 

Other news

Moveworks appoints new engineering and HR leadership 

Moveworks, an AI copilot platform for enterprises, has made two appointments at its Bengaluru office. Mayank Khanwalker is the new director of engineering, and Rajesh Anandaramu is the director of human resources. 

Khanwalker and Anandaramu will play a pivotal role in expanding the Bengaluru team. This team is central to advancing Moveworks' AI copilot platform for enterprises, with a strong focus on research and development, said a statement.

With 15 years at Microsoft and Google, Khanwalker has led teams in technical and leadership roles. At Moveworks, he drives India's growth. Anandaramu brings over 20 years of HR excellence, fostering a positive culture and driving diversity at Moveworks.

Licious launches reward-based programme for its consumers

Licious launched Licious Infiniti—an exclusive rewards-based programme for its consumers—which will deliver boundless perks to subscribers, devoid of any terms. Users will receive a guaranteed 10% cashback on all orders, irrespective of value, accompanied by free delivery and a money-back guarantee, enhancing the value proposition.

Exclusively on the Licious app, Licious Infiniti offers three, six, or twelve-month subscriptions for tailored choices. The moneyback guarantee ensures a refundable fee based on savings.

GravityX Capital and CoinSwitch Ventures launch a Web3 scale-up program 

GravityX Capital, an early-stage Web3 venture capital firm, and CoinSwitch Ventures, the investments arm of CoinSwitch, have launched a Web3 scale-up programme called LevitateX.

The programme will empower early-stage Web3 companies in launch readiness, traction, and operational excellence, where GravityX Capital and CoinSwitch Ventures will offer comprehensive support, enhancing growth prospects, and connections.


It will provide valuable insights to help startups scale in the Web3 realm, focusing on branding, marketing, community activation, and strategic partnerships. It will also aid in building effective teams aligned with growth strategies and establishing operational excellence.

PeopleStrong generative AI to boost HR efficiency by 40% 

HR Tech platform PeopleStrong will integrate generative AI (GenAI) across the entire employee lifecycle to harness advanced intelligence to simplify tasks, including generating OKRs, coaching new joiners with nudges, creating comprehensive reports, and offering recommendations drawn from existing enterprise-wide people data. 

The company offers a range of advanced applications, including performance management, succession planning, and core HR. It enables AI-generated goal setting and democratises HR with talent coaching, empowering employees to plan careers and access skill-enhancing courses.

Rapido Auto offers micro-loans, family health insurance, and pick-up charge compensation to auto captains in Bengaluru

Rapido, an aggregator platform which provides auto services, as part of its ongoing Auto Dost initiative, is launching new benefits, including unlimited cancellations, customer cancellation incentives, and a transparent fare price policy, at the recent rewards and recognition (R&R) event in Bengaluru. 

These measures are aimed at benefiting five lakh Rapido auto captains who are currently based out of Bengaluru city. It will also improve efficiency, financial stability, and overall satisfaction for both passengers and Auto Captains, the company said.

Rapido Auto is also rolling out a series of transformative initiatives, including micro-loans, travel time charge compensation, and family health insurance in the coming months. These initiatives are strategically designed to empower Bengaluru's Auto Captains, fostering financial independence within the dynamic auto-rickshaw community.  

Shiprocket partners with Skye Air unveiling its drone delivery service

Logistics company Shiprocket has joined hands with Skye Air, a SaaS-based drone delivery solution provider, to offer efficient drone logistics for quicker urban order fulfilment, minimising disruptions and enhancing shipping capabilities, ensuring customer satisfaction in B2B and B2C operations.

The partnership integrates Skye Air's drone delivery as a logistics option for merchants. The plug-and-play Skye UTM solution connects fleets to airspace, ensuring compliance, adaptability, and safety for Shiprocket's operations.

This innovative partnership will debut in Gurugram with over five drones. The introduction of drone delivery services will not only provide Shiprocket sellers with the ability to offer same-day and next-day deliveries but will also make the delivery process more efficient, eco-friendly, and customer-centric.  

Turbostart launches AI Innovation Challenge

Turbostart opened its Innovation Challenge to founders of early-stage AI  startups and idea-driven entrepreneurs. 

To commemorate its fourth anniversary and commitment to fostering innovation in artificial intelligence, Turbostart will invite 10 startups to pitch. The top three startups will be considered for an investment of up to Rs 1 crore–with one startup representing each of the following three key themes–design-development-delivery, efficiency and productivity, marketing and communications.

The application window for startups to participate in the upcoming Turbostart Innovation Challenge opened on August 14 and will remain open until August 23.

Turbostart will conduct a multilevel selection process on September 1 in Bengaluru, featuring a grand jury panel. The event will also include the Sparkplug startup forum with expert discussions and keynotes, culminating in the announcement of winners and investment details.

Narayana Educational Institution appoints Ashish Arora Joins as chief academic officer

Narayana Educational Institution has appointed Ashish Arora as its Chief Academic Officer.

With a distinguished 30-year career, Arora holds leadership roles in education at Bansal Classes, Resonance, FIITJEE, Allen, and Unacademy. His YouTube channel 'Physics Galaxy' has an impressive 11.5 lakh subscribers and over 23 crore views. He has also written books that cater to students, reflecting his passion and influence in education.

ReFit Global launches D2C platform

ReFit Global, a Delhi-based re-commerce marketplace, is venturing into the direct-to-consumer (D2C) segment and will offer a diverse selection of smartphones, featuring renowned brands like Apple, Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo.

Besides phones, customers can expect a wide range of electronic products, including televisions, laptops, and appliances. ReFit Global has also partnered with Flipkart, followed by Amazon and other partners.

Founded in 2017, the company's revenue doubled to Rs 200 crore in 2022. Anticipating double-digit margins next fiscal year, it refurbished and sold around 1.5 million phones, leveraging a vast retail network of 50,000 retailers for year-on-year growth of 100%.

The launch of ReFit Global's website aims to enable customers to conveniently access premium refurbished electronics and also contribute to a sustainable future by reducing electronic waste and promoting a circular economy.

TresVista welcomes Anupam Singhal to its Board of Directors

Anupam Singhal has joined TresVista, a high-end outsourced service provider, as a new member of its Board of Directors.

An alumnus of Harvard Business School, Singhal co-founded and led Monaeo, a location-based data analytics and compliance automation platform. He brings private equity experience from SilverLake and General Atlantic, and M&A insights from Morgan Stanley. He is currently responsible for driving strategic top-line growth initiatives as the Chief Strategic Partner Officer at Topia, a leading Global Talent Mobility platform.

Flipkart launches an app-in-app fashion destination for Gen Z

Flipkart has launched SPOYL, a new app-in-app fashion destination specifically curated for Gen Z shoppers. It will offer over 40,000 products, including Western wear, accessories, and footwear, targeting this audience and their aesthetics. 

SPOYL aims to redefine India's fashion shopping with captivating visuals and innovative unisex navigation, catering to Gen Z's style preferences and individuality. Today, over 25% of Flipkart Fashion’s customer base comprises Gen Z, and the brand believes tremendous untapped potential lies in this segment. 


With SPOYL, Flipkart offers gender-neutral styles, Korean-inspired designs, and college wear, supporting 'Make in India' through tech-driven trendspotting and seller empowerment.

OYO signs MoU to create job prospects for the youth in Europe

Hospitality tech company OYO has signed a memorandum of understanding with Shri Vishwakarma Skill University, Haryana Kaushal Rozgar Nigam Limited , and the Foreign Cooperation Department to create job prospects for young individuals in various roles within the hospitality sector in European nations such as Denmark.

Selected youth will receive job-specific training from Vishwakarma Skill University, followed by overseas employment support from the Foreign Cooperation Department. The students will also be given an allowance for this entire programme.

Aligned with government initiatives such as Skill India and Vishwakarma Scheme, the programme aims to elevate students' skills, expand their horizons, and prepare them for success in the global arena.

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

Edited by Suman Singh