Startup news and updates: daily roundup (August 30, 2023)

YourStory presents the daily news roundup from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Wednesday, August 30, 2023.

Startup news and updates: daily roundup (August 30, 2023)

Wednesday August 30, 2023,

4 min Read

Social community platform Pankhuri acquires learning app Palash

Social community platform Pankhuri has acquired women-focused education platform Palash at an undisclosed amount. 

Founded by Pallavi Patil and Jaydeep Pawar, Palash offers skill development video courses to women, community engagement, and micro-business opportunities on its platform to women across Tier II cities and beyond. It claims to have 100,000 registered users and over 200 trainers. 

“The acquisition aligns with Pankhuri's vision to lead women's education and skill development in India. The platform will inherit Palash's user base, trainers, and technology infrastructure, enhancing Pankhuri's offerings. Palash will be rebranded as the Pankhuri Community and will relaunch the technology and the app for the combined user base and trainers,” the company said in a statement. 

In July 2021, Pankhuri raised $3.2 million in funding led by Surge, a rapid scale-up programme by Sequoia Capital India.

The platform provides networking, learning, and shopping through live streaming, interactive chat, and cohort-based sessions, it said. It aims to garner 10 lakh registered users and 2,000 experts in the next two years. 

Capital Small Finance Bank elevates Munish Jain as Whole Time Director 

Capital Small Finance Bank Limited has appointed Munish Jain as the Whole Time Director (designated as Executive Director). The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has approved his appointment for a period of three years with effect from August 28, 2023. 

In his new role, Jain will contribute to the bank's strategic growth and play an important role in shaping its growth landscape. He has been associated with Capital Small Finance Bank since 2000, previously serving as the Chief Operating Officer (COO). 

With over 22 years of experience, Jain's career spans various facets of banking, including finance, compliance, treasury management, strategic decision-making, and the successful execution of strategic initiatives.

ACMIIL upgrades its investment app 

Asit C Mehta Investment Intermediates Ltd (ACMIIL), a brokerage house and subsidiary of Asit C Mehta Financial Services Ltd (ACMFSL), launched an upgraded version of its stock broking app—BAT (Best Application to Transact). 

BAT is a part of the company’s wider platform—investmentz—which hosts multiple apps dedicated to mutual funds, fixed income, IPOs, stock broking, and stock portfolios. In addition to BAT, multiple other integrations too are added for a better user experience. 


“The launch of our new BAT app will help in channelising the larger investor pool driven by investors beyond metros,” said Deena Mehta, Managing Director, ACMIIL. Mehta was among the first women to enter the trading ring of BSE and had co-founded the firm with her husband Asit Mehta.

The founders of Pantomath Group, a mid-market investment banking firm, had recently acquired a significant stake in the company.

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Former Meta executive launches social app 

Former Meta (formerly Facebook) product specialist Tanvi Gupta, along with her co-founder Rishabh Gupta, has launched a social app—vvibe—that utilises generative AI and Avatars to connect users globally. 

The app combines avatars, voice, and GenAI technology to connect like-minded people, addressing the shortcomings of mainstream social media platforms that often prioritise physical appearances, it said in a statement. 

“Having been at the heart of product development at Meta, particularly for Messenger and Instagram, I identified a gap. Mainstream platforms, while immensely popular, often miss the mark when it comes to fostering deep, genuine connections," said Gupta. “With vvibe, our goal is to create a realm where authenticity and relationships thrive, unhindered by the biases of physical appearances.”

Originally conceived as SwoonMe, an avatar and voice-first dating platform, the app was rebranded as vvibe.

"The pivot wasn't just a strategic shift but a response to a growing yearning for authentic social engagement amongst the youth," Gupta added. 

Yes Bank

YES Bank goes live with UPI interoperability on CBDC

YES Bank has gone live with Unified Payments Interface (UPI) Interoperability on the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) app.

With this move, users will now be able to scan any UPI QR code through the YES Bank Digital Rupee app and undertake transactions in a seamless manner, the bank said in a statement.

The first pilot in the Digital Rupee—Wholesale Segment (e-Rupee-W) commenced on November 1, 2022. It was followed by the first pilot for retail digital rupee (e-Rupee-R) was announced on December 1, 2022.

Retail digital rupee offers features of physical cash like trust, safety and settlement finality in digital mode.

This initiative introduced a digital currency system built on a unique QR code mechanism for conducting transactions, it said.

By integrating CBDC with UPI QR codes, e-Rupee will gain a broader platform to become a staple in daily transactions, it said, adding that this strategic move enhances not only the strengths of the e-rupee but also seamlessly integrates with the widely-adopted UPI system, presently having an overall merchant base of 150 million.

(The story will be updated with the latest developments throughout the day.)

Edited by Kanishk Singh