Startup news and updates: daily roundup (August 29, 2023)
YourStory presents the daily news roundup from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Tuesday, August 29, 2023.
India Index raises $500,000 in pre-seed round
India Index, a B2B supply chain marketplace, has raised $500,000 in a pre-seed funding round from investors including Parth Jindal (JSW Group), Vaaman Sehgal (Motherson Group), Robert Lansing (Westminster Capital) and other private investors.
With the funds, India Index will build capacities to optimise the platform, going beyond search, evaluation, document review and workflow management solutions, Samir Kapadia, Founder and CEO of India Index said.
“The United States has long been a valuable trade partner for India, but small and medium-sized companies across our country lack the tools and resources to access those export markets. India Index will help democratise access for all Indian companies that want to participate in global trade,” Jindal noted.
Launched in 2022, India Index is a B2B supply chain marketplace that connects Indian suppliers with the world. Helmed by Samir N. Kapadia, India Index is a cloud-based platform that helps international buyers and Indian suppliers search, filter and vet supply chain partners through a seamless and cost-effective process.
Rupid secures undisclosed pre-seed funding
Fintech startup Rupid has completed its pre-seed funding round, securing an undisclosed amount from We Founder Circle, PedalStart, and Beej Network.
The funding will fuel Rupid's mission to address the financial challenges faced by India's employed workforce and further enhance its earned wage access and employee financial benefit platform, the company said.
Founded in 2022, Rupid is a new-age fintech company co-founded by Gowtham Alluri, PC Varma, and Karishma Chowdary. Rupid's earned wage access solution focuses on enhancing the financial well-being of employees.
Through Rupid, employees at partner companies can conveniently log in, review their accumulated income, and withdraw a portion of their salary corresponding to the days they have worked.
ScrapUncle raises Rs 3.7 Cr in pre-seed funding round
ScrapUncle, a reverse logistics and digital platform, has raised Rs 3.7 crore in a pre-seed funding round led by the family office of Madhuram Papers' promoters and also saw participation from angel investors including Bharat Jaisinghani, Executive Director of Polycab, facilitated by Bestvantage investments.
“This funding marks a pivotal moment in ScrapUncle's journey. With this infusion of resources, we are well-equipped to enhance our current operational scale, thus making a substantial contribution to the company's overall revenue,” Mukul Chhabra, Founder of ScrapUncle, said.
Founded in 2019 by Chhabra, ScrapUncle enables users to sell scrap materials for recycling at a pre-quoted price. The Delhi-based startup functions as a digital-age 'kabadiwala' (scrap dealer).
Cashfree Payments appoints Chetan Yadav as Senior VP of HR
Cashfree Payments, a payments and API banking solutions company, has appointed Chetan Yadav as Senior Vice President of Human Resources.
Yadav will oversee both the comprehensive HR operations and HR strategy at Cashfree Payments. His focus will be on driving transformational efforts through the lens of people and culture, enhancing capabilities, nurturing leadership, and aligning HR processes, the company said.
Yadav brings over 20 years of industry experience in handling key aspects of HR functions. He has experience working for various industries, leveraging his knowledge across sectors like tech products, robotics, ecommerce, finance, IT, and operations-intensive setups like hospitality and ITES.
Yadav’s appointment, which expands the senior leadership team, is part of the company’s efforts to get ready for the next phase of growth and expansion, according to the firm.
Earlier this year, Cashfree Payments strengthened its top leadership with the appointments of Ramkumar Venkatesan as Chief Technology Officer, Arun Tikoo as Chief Business Officer, Parveen Kumar as Vice President of operations and Vijay Ravisekar as Vice President of Product Management.
ZebPay unveils CryptoPacks to streamline crypto investments
Crypto asset exchange ZebPay has unveiled CryptoPacks to enable crypto enthusiasts to effortlessly invest in well-balanced, thematic portfolios of crypto assets.
The portfolios are designed to allow investors to take a sectoral approach to investing.
CryptoPacks will help users evaluate the risk and reward dynamics of their investments effectively, the company said. Users can access the CryptoPacks feature directly through ZebPay’s mobile and web applications.
Founded in 2014, ZebPay’s mission is to help its members achieve financial freedom in the Web3 economy. ZebPay also operates an exchange in Australia and Singapore, serving 162 countries.
Digikore Studios announces IPO plans
Digikore Studios Limited, a visual effects (VFX) studio in India, has announced its plans to enter the primary market with an initial public offering (IPO).
It has filed its Draft Red Herring Prospectus (DRHP) with NSE Emerge in preparation for the SME IPO segment. The IPO includes 17,82,400 equity shares, comprising a fresh issue of 12,60,800 equity shares and an Offer for Sale (OFS) of 5,21,600 equity shares.
Sarthi Capital Advisors Private Limited has been appointed as the Book Running Lead Manager to the offer, while Bigshare Services Private Limited will serve as the Registrar.
Digikore also concluded its pre-IPO funding round with investments from investors including Nikhil Vora, Mrinal Singh, and Pramod Kasat.
The funds will provide Digikore with substantial financial resources that will be strategically utilised to further enhance its operations, expand its capabilities, and drive its growth trajectory, the company said.
Founded in 2000 by Abhishek More, Digikore Studios is among a select few VFX studios in India to have worked on over 200 Hollywood films and TV series.
YieldWiseX appoints Habeeb Khan as Head of People and Culture
YieldWiseX, a neo-realty investment platform, has appointed Habeeb Khan as the Head of People and Culture.
Khan joins with a decade of experience in HR leadership in startups and organisations. He has worked with Home Credit India, and Pristyn Care, and most recently, he served as Head of HR at Quality Council of India.
Khan’s appointment is in line with the company’s vision to build a pioneering proptech investment platform and further develop a dynamic and inclusive employee culture, YieldWiseX said.
YieldWiseX, formerly MYRE Capital, is a subsidiary of Aurum WiseX. The platform aims to democratise ownership of commercial real estate along with structured debt opportunities through lease rental discounting and loans against property.
MSDE focuses on training 1,500 aspirants in cloud skills
The Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE), in collaboration with Generation India Foundation (GIF) and Amazon Web Services India Private Limited (AWS India), is providing ‘cloud’ skills training to 1,500 learners and connecting them to employment opportunities, under project AMBER.
The initiative has been undertaken under the SANKALP programme of MSDE with a focus on women to improve gender diversification in the tech industry and underprivileged groups.
Co-funded by MSDE (under the SANKALP programme) and private philanthropy, project AMBER aims to train 30,000 youth, 50% of whom will be women.
As part of this collaboration, the learners take part in AWS (re/Start), a workforce development programme for unemployed and underemployed individuals, that covers fundamental AWS cloud skills as well as practical career tips, including resume writing and interview preparation.
Through real-world scenario-based exercises, labs, and coursework, learners are trained in multiple technologies, including Linux, Python, networking, security, and relational databases.
AWS re/Start brings entry-level talent into the workforce and helps individuals launch successful cloud careers.
Technip Energies collaborates with IIT Madras
Technip Energies, an engineering and technology company for the energy transition, has partnered with the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) to explore opportunities under various domains of energy research.
With this partnership, Technip Energies will pursue its strategic objective of accelerating the development of new technologies to meet the pressing needs of a fast-growing energy market, driven by sustainability goals.
The Energy Consortium is an initiative established by IIT Madras to foster collaboration between industry, academia, and government in accelerating the development of technologies crucial for the transition towards a sustainable, low-carbon future.
The other industry founding members of The Energy Consortium include Shell, Baker Hughes, FLSmidth, Aditya Birla, Cummins, Chevron Tech Ventures, Infosys, and Chennai Petroleum Corporation Ltd (CPCL).
Rejové Aligners acquires majority stake in 32 WATTS
Rejové Aligners, a Delhi-based clear dental aligner company, has acquired a majority stake in 32 WATTS, a clear aligner brand for an undisclosed amount.
This strategic acquisition will enable both companies to foster healthy and state-of-the-art dental care practices.
Rejové Aligners' alliance with Dental Ceramist followed by this move outlines its vision of consolidating the dynamic and fast-growing aligner market in India.
“Combining the strength of both companies will enable us to provide a far stronger value proposition to dentists and patients alike. This is a major step forward in realising our vision of providing optimal, accessible and service-oriented orthodontic treatment options to patients using state-of-the-art technology and a doctor and patient-centred approach,” Captain Vikram Kumar, Co-founder of Rejové Aligners, said.
Meta announces new WhatsApp app for Mac
Meta has launched a new WhatsApp app for Mac users that enables them to make group calls from Mac for the first time, connecting with up to eight people on video calls and up to 32 people on audio calls.
The new app allows users to join a group call after it's started, see call history and choose to receive incoming call notifications even when the app is closed.
The app is redesigned to be familiar to Mac users. It allows users to share files by easily dragging and dropping into a chat.
The new app is available to download now from WhatsApp.com and coming soon to the App Store.
Earlier this year, Meta introduced a new WhatsApp app for Windows desktops.
Proxgy launches Kadi UPI smartwatch
Named 'Kadi', which translates to 'Link' in Hindi, is a sub-Rs 1,000 smartwatch that enables real-time payment alerts through patent-pending DSP, based on 4G NarrowBand Internet of Things.
Kadi features a single-button QR display, real-time QR payment sound notifications and dynamic payment gateway selection. Other benefits include health tracking features, optional insurance, and the ability to toggle between different dynamic QR codes based on specific fintech offers and schemes.
Additionally, Proxgy is in the process of developing a standalone app designed for existing Android smartwatches. The app will serve as an alternative to soundboxes and other additional devices, essentially converting any smartwatch into a new UPI node.
XED announces second edition of Cornell Maha60 Accelerator Programme
XED, in partnership with Cornell University and the Maharashtra government, has announced the commencement of the second edition of the Cornell Maha60 Accelerator Programme.
The Cornell Maha 60 Accelerator Programme’s class of 2023-24 for aspiring entrepreneurs and pioneering startups domiciled in Maharashtra is scheduled to run from September 2023 to August 2024.
The programme has received 10,000 registrations and over 650 verified applicants. It will offer a blend of online and offline learning.
(The story will be updated with the latest developments throughout the day.)
Edited by Affirunisa Kankudti