Startup news and updates: daily roundup (Aug 4, 2023)
YourStory presents the daily news roundup from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Friday, August 4, 2023.
EMTECH Solutions Inc raised $4M from Matrix Partners India
Fintech startup EMTECH Solutions Inc secured $4 million in funding from Matrix Partners India, along with global investors like BTN, VestedWorld, Equity Alliance, and Lofty Inc.
The startup, backed by Noemis Ventures, Octerra Capital, and 500 Global, among others, provides modern infrastructure tools to connect central banks and fintech companies. It currently has six central banks onboard.
EMTECH has developed Regtech and CBDC stack solutions by harnessing distributed ledger and blockchain technologies. The four-year-old startup will use the funds to advance the development of these solutions. Additionally, the company will prioritise developing a broader range of innovative financial services products.
Brick and Byte raises Rs 10 Cr debt from Red Fort Capital
Sheet metal fabricator Brick and Byte Innovative Products has secured funding of Rs 10 crore from Red Fort Capital. This financial injection will support the company's working capital requirements.
With a two-decade presence in the industry, Mumbai-based Brick and Byte works in precision manufacturing and rapid prototyping services. The company serves corporate clients, including Bharat Electronics India, EON Global, Vertiv Energy, and Tokheim, among others.
Parry Singh, Founder and CEO, Red Fort Capital, said, “With Brick and Byte, we saw the potential of the business model, commitment of the promoter, and the potential value it can create through this loan of ₹100 million.”
By infusing this debt into its working capital, Brick and Byte aims to double its revenue. Meanwhile, Red Fort Capital aims to further expand its loan portfolio over the coming two quarters, with a focus on providing financial support to Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
Ramaiah Evolute unveiled RE Cohort 3, to invest $1M in startups
Ramaiah Evolute, a startup wing of MS Ramaiah Group, has launched Cohort 3 of its RE Programme for 2023. The programme will invest up to $1 million in pre-seed and seed capital across 10 cross-disciplinary early-stage startups.
Through the programme, the participants will gain access to funding, expert mentorship, and exposure to a network of investors. Selected companies will receive comprehensive assistance, guidance, and resources over a 12-month period.
The startups will also get the opportunity to present themselves to a select group of angels and venture capital funds. The link for registration is available on Ramaiah Evolute’s website.
Savi Soin appointed president of Qualcomm India
Savi Soin is appointed as Senior Vice President and President of Qualcomm India. In his new role, Soin will oversee the implementation of Qualcomm's strategic initiatives within the country, building relationships with industry partners and the government across various sectors, including mobile, automotive, semiconductor, industrial and IoT, and communication infrastructure.
Soin will be reporting to Jim Cathey, Chief Commercial Officer at Qualcomm Technologies. Earlier, soin led the Strategy and Business Development division at Qualcomm Technologies' semiconductor segment, overseeing strategic planning and execution.
He also headed the Global Strategic Partnerships and Business Incubation team at Qualcomm Technologies, where he drove new business ventures and managed strategic relationships.
As part of a transition, Rajen Vagadia, who has served as Qualcomm India's President for the past five years, will be relocating to Qualcomm headquarters in San Diego.
Vagadia will assume the role of Vice President, leading Global Distribution and Global Carrier Strategy.
Cult.fit onboards Ranveer Singh as brand ambassador
Health and fitness brand Cult.fit has onboarded actor Ranveer Singh as its brand ambassador. The partnership will involve utilising the actor's captivating social energy, along with his dedication to a healthy and active lifestyle, in a range of fitness initiatives and campaigns.
Through this collaboration, Cult.fit aims to tap into Ranveer's mass appeal to promote the significance of leading an active lifestyle and the advantages of selecting Cult.fit as a reliable companion in the wellness journey.
Singh will be featured across various creative formats spanning the brand's physical locations and digital platforms, including the Cult.fit app, centres, and social media.
Talking about the collaboration, Singh said, “I am delighted to be associated with Cult.fit, as a brand ambassador and shareholder, as we strive towards breaking stereotypes around fitness and making it more accessible to all.”
Ascendion acquires Pune-based Nitor Infotech
Ascendion, a US-based digital engineering services provider, has acquired Nitor Infotech, a Pune-based software product engineering firm. This move will enhance Ascendion's generative artificial intelligence (AI) capacities and extend its footprint within the Indian market.
Nitor Infotech has a dedicated technology centre of excellence specialising in generative AI, along with a team of over 700 professionals working in product engineering. This acquisition will help Ascendion to offer enhanced support to sectors like health tech, retail tech, and supply chain tech, the company said.
Talking about the acquisition, Karthik (KK) Krishnamurthy, CEO, Ascendion, said, “Coming together strengthens our engineering power, unlocks new markets and talent pools, and grows our capabilities in serving software product-focused companies."
India’s first MeitY chair on AI to be set up at IIT Jodhpur
India’s first MeitY chair on AI will be established at IIT Jodhpur, Alkesh Kumar Sharma, Secretary, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), announced on IIT Jodhpur’s Foundation Day.
In addition, funding of Rs 33 crore has been allocated for the establishment of an IoT setup dedicated to sensing applications at IIT Jodhpur. Another grant of Rs 155 crore has been designated for a programme focused on perception and cognitive engineering.
Sharma inaugurated the Student's Innovation Exhibition and appreciated the institute's vision towards emerging technologies and technology-led inclusive progress. He also acknowledged the initiatives undertaken by IIT Jodhpur in effectively executing many government schemes.
Gupshup launches Click-To-WhatsApp Ads Manager
, a conversational engagement platform, has launched Click-To-WhatsApp Ads (CTWA) Manager. According to the company's statement, this tool allows brands to obtain performance insights and efficiently manage all aspects of their advertising process from a single platform.
With the CTWA Manager, qualified leads are automatically directed to a customer data platform along with their conversation history and relevant meta-data. This enables brands to collect valuable first-party data. The tool also offers the analysis of campaign performance and return on ad spend (ROAS) by combining data from Meta Ads Manager and Gupshup. As a result, it is expected to boost conversion rates for brands.
Gupshup's Co-founder and CEO Beerud Sheth said that the product has received positive feedback during its beta phase and is now available for all brands, agencies, and partners worldwide.
ONDC, Dhiway collaborate to build a distributed ledger network
and , a Web3 technologies provider, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate on building an interoperable distributed ledger network as a scoring repository.
Distributed ledger technology helps in a seamless flow of data across different networks securely.
The MoU establishes a framework for cooperation between the two parties in building open, secure, and transparent digital ecosystems using CORD. CORD is an open-source, layer-one distributed ledger framework that focuses on data security and privacy.
“Diway’s proven track record in developing secure and transparent digital ecosystems will help us establish trust and reliability in every transaction on the ONDC Network,” T Koshy, MD and CEO, ONDC, said.
Home appliances company Blue Star joins ONDC
Home appliances company Blue Star Limited has joined Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC). The company has gone live on the platform with its range of room air conditioners. Blue Star expects to generate 10% of its sales through the ONDC network.
It has joined the network as a seller app to sell across India and it will follow a multi-hub model where it will dispatch and fulfil orders from its multiple hubs across India, the company said in a statement.
“The ONDC Network will indeed pave the way for standardisation and democratization of digital commerce in India, and hence Blue Star is very excited to join and tap the opportunities which this Network will unfold,” said B Thiagarajan, Managing Director, Blue Star Limited.
Tata Capital launches a generative AI powered chatbot
Tata Capital, the financial services arm of the Tata Group, has introduced generative AI technology within its chatbot, known as 'TIA', to enhance customer engagement. It has integrated Chat GPT capabilities into its Chatbot, to enable seamless conversational experience, the company said.
The integration of ChatGPT is anticipated to significantly amplify TIA's proficiency to understand and address customers' queries, delivering personalised responses, and providing immediate support.
The upgraded version will be accessible through both the mobile app and the website. It will also make the chatbot capable of answering queries in Hindi and Hinglish to connect with a wider audience.
Pristyn Care onboards 600 new employees
Healthcare providerhas hired 600 new employees in the last quarter. It has brought on board 500 care coordinators and 100 professionals for different departments like patient care, operations, insurance, technology, and medical roles.
This move is aimed at extending its footprint and presence in Tier II and III cities, and making quality secondary surgery care accessible to more people.
According to Harsimarbir Singh, Co-founder, Pristyn Care, the company has created 20,000 jobs so far. "At Pristyn Care, our strategic focus is on creating diverse opportunities within the healthcare industry,” he said
(This article will be updated with the latest news throughout the day.)
Edited by Suman Singh