Startup news and updates: daily roundup (September 11, 2023)

YourStory presents the daily news roundup from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Monday, September 11, 2023.

Startup news and updates: daily roundup (September 11, 2023)

Monday September 11, 2023,

8 min Read


JITO Incubation and Innovation Foundation invests in Navars Edutech

JITO Incubation and Innovation Foundation (JIIF), a community-based angel network, has invested an undisclosed amount in Navars Edutech, a space education, product development and research-focused startup. It had earlier raised an angel funding round through Faad Network. 

The startup, founded in 2019, claims to have reached out to over one lakh students across 1,000 schools in 13 countries, enabling astronomy and space education through its advanced courses for K12 and undergraduate students, space lab setups at schools, global contests in student satellite programmes, and national space innovation challenge.

Dinesh Prasad, Co-founder of Navars Edutech, said, “This partnership reaffirms our commitment to shaping the future of space education and underscores the collective determination to empower the next generation of space leaders. With JIIF's investment, we are poised to accelerate our efforts, making significant strides towards transforming dreams into astronomical achievements.”

Atypical Advantage raises Rs 1.6 Cr seed round

Hiring platform for people with disabilities, Atypical Advantage, has raised Rs 1.6 crore from a group of existing and new investors, including Ravi Venkatesan (former Chairman, Microsoft India) and Nachiket Shelgikar (Co-founder, Micro Housing Finance Corporation Limited). The company will use the funds to strengthen its team and technology.

The company, founded by IIM Bangalore alumnus Vineet Saraiwala in 2020, had earlier raised Rs 1 crore from angel investors, including Mohan P Alexander (Co-founder, Amba), Rohan Bhansali (Co-founder, Gozoop), Sadashiv Nayak (CEO, Future Retail Limited), Lokesh Bharwani (Founder, Mad Over Donuts), Sashi Rajamani, and Revati Sharma Singh, among others. 

From sourcing, skilling, and post-placement support, Atypical Advantage is an end-to-end platform that works with corporates to increase the representation of people with disabilities in the workforce.

It has worked with firms like Brookfield Properties, Vedantu, Burger King, Tokyo Edelweiss, Accenture, Annarock, Arvind Mills, RMZ Galleria, Tata Steel, Thoughtworks, Zensar, and The Man Company. 

“The only way to end the stigma and marginalisation faced by people with disabilities is by generating dignified income for them. We are grateful to all our investors for placing their trust in our vision,” said Founder and CEO Vineet Saraiwala.

Smart ventilator maker Noccarc secures investment from SIDBI

Smart ventilator maker Noccarc secured an undisclosed investment from the Small Industries and Development Bank of India (SIDBI) under its seed equity support scheme launched in March 2023. 

The healthtech startup, incubated at IIT Kanpur, said the latest funding round will help expand its existing operations and make progress in developing a smart ventilator solution for a global market.

The company's entry-level ventilator, V310, played a critical role during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is now launching Noccarc V730i, a smart ventilator, which allows connectivity to the cloud via GSM, Wi-Fi, and LAN, allowing doctors and intensive care specialists to remotely monitor the patient data on Noccarc’s digital platform and enable hospitals to digitise their ICU data and workflows.

DevDynamics secures $600K funding to build AI co-pilot for engineering leaders

DevDynamics, an engineering analytics platform, has raised $600,000 in its first funding round led by Powerhouse Ventures and other investors, including Sunn91 Ventures and PointOne Capital, along with a few angel investors. 

Founded in 2022 by Pruthviraj Haral and Rishi Saraf—former senior executives from Disney and Wingify—DevDynamics is building a co-pilot for software engineering leaders to drive peak performance at all levels.

The Delaware-headquartered company has an entity in India (Devstash Technologies Private Limited) and claims to have customers across retail, fintech, and online marketplaces. 

The platform assists engineering leaders in optimising engineering operations by using research-backed metrics like the DORA and SPACE framework. By identifying bottlenecks throughout the software development lifecycle, the product provides actionable insights to improve developer productivity and shipping velocity. 

Other news

Food delivery platform JustMyRoots acquires The State Plate to expand portfolio

Intercity food delivery platform JustMyRoots has acquired The State Plate (TSP), which operates in the non-perishable packaged food segment.  

The deal is a part of the former’s plan to increase its presence in the packaged intercity food market across India.

TSP was featured on Shark Tank India Season 1 and went on to receive funding from Lenskart CEO Peyush Bansal. The company has also raised pre-seed capital from venture capital fund Antler India at nearly a $2 million valuation. In July, former Indian cricketer Sourav Ganguly also picked up a minor stake in JustMyRoots. 

Under the terms of the deal, TSP founders Muskaan Sancheti and Raghav Jhawar will integrate into the JustMyRoots team and will continue to spearhead and manage the TSP brand.

"As the market for regional food is also highly unorganised, no single brand exists for many local staples, spices, pickles, snacks, etc. We are building a business model suited perfectly to meet the needs of the highly diverse Indian community, each with its own food habits, cultures, festivals, and traditions," Sancheti SAID.

MobiKwik launches Account Aggregator-backed feature Lens   

Fintech firm MobiKwik launched a new feature on its app—Lens—which allows users to get a 360-degree view of their money across investments, insurance, and pension funds. 

Lens leverages the Account Aggregator (AA) framework that helps users share data across financial institutions in a secure and efficient manner. The platform claims to use advanced technology and data science to make complex financial data "digestible and actionable".

“Lens addresses the fundamental aspects of financial wellness–awareness and control over one's money. Our research showed that it’s difficult for individuals to monitor their financial inflows, outflows, and transactions at a granular level. Lens empowers informed decision-making, enabling users to make proactive choices about their finances,” said Co-founder and CEO Bipin Preet Singh. 

Users can have an overview of their net worth with transaction details, smart categorisation of incoming and outgoing money, and trends of bank account balance, spending, investments, and repayments. They can download their bank statements and understand their upcoming bills, recurring payments, and expenses to better budget their monthly spending. 

Venture Catalysts exits automotive marketplace Koovers with 2.1X returns

Venture Catalysts, an early-stage investment firm, has announced a full exit from its portfolio Koovers, a B2B ecommerce platform for auto spare parts, with 2.1X returns in 1.5 years.

The VC firm, whcih had invested in Koovers in early 2022 in its pre-Series A round, exited its investment post the startup's acquisition by Schaeffler India, an industrial and automotive parts maker and listed subsidiary of German automotive major Schaeffler Group, in August 2023.

The deal was closed at Rs 142.4 crore and other investors included Inflection Point Ventures, Canbank Venture Fund, and JPIN.

Koovers, founded in 2015 by Vinayak YB, Sandeep Begur, and S Prem Kumar, clocked a revenue of Rs 77 crore in the financial year 2022-23. It supplies to over 7,000 workshops and has a portfolio of around 1.8 million parts from various manufacturers.

Nutraceutical firm OmniActive looks to increase collaboration with farmers 

Global nutraceutical player OmniActive Health Technologies, which partners with farmers in Karnataka to grow marigold and paprika, is planning to explore states like Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu for similar collaborations, a senior company executive said.

The company extracts lutein from marigolds and zeaxanthin from paprika, which are used in eye health supplementation.

The company is also exploring the cultivation of its hybrid seed programme by including crops such as alpinia, galanga, blue ginger, ashwagandha, and turmeric ginger, among others, Executive Chairman and Managing Director Sanjaya Mariwala, said.

Talking about the business, Mariwala said, the company has 15-20 products mostly used by pharmaceuticals and FMCG companies for manufacturing health supplements.

"The majority of our business is derived from exports (90%) to developed markets like the US, Europe, Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea. We provide 15-20 products. The domestic market (10%) is still very small. However, the Indian nutraceutical market is growing," he said.

Alliance Insurance Brokers partners with over 25 renewable energy companies for insurance

Alliance Insurance Brokers has joined hands with over 25 companies in the renewable energy (RE) sector to provide new-age insurance products in the sector.

The insurance products would be designed to provide financial protection to the energy project developers and owners in case the project fails to meet its performance targets.

It will also provide parametric solutions to companies in case of large catastrophic events like drought, earthquakes, cyclones etc that can lead to complete destruction of solar power installations and/or wind farms. 

“The firm has secured reinsurance support from Aerial Re, a reputable US-based reinsurer and Axa Climate, a leader in providing parametric covers,” it said in a statement. 

“The RE sector needs immense protection from risks related to natural disasters, supply chain issues, equipment failures, policy and regulatory changes and political instability. We have thus announced providing innovative insurance solutions to RE projects and promoting long-term sustainability,” said Co-founder and Director Aatur Thakkar.  

Instahyre launches recruitment tech stack in global markets

Instahyre, an AI-driven HRTech platform, has unveiled its recruitment tech platform in international markets, including the US (San Francisco Bay Area-Silicon Valley), UK, Germany, and Southeast Asia.

As part of the global expansion business strategy, the firm plans to achieve growth by increasing enterprise clients in ITeS, BFSI, and non-tech verticals along with its core internet product domain. Its AI-driven solutions, from sourcing to efficient hiring, will enable revenue growth while maintaining its commitment to high quality and effectiveness, it said in a statement. 

Instahyre has also launched new product lines like Intshayre Internships, Instahyre ATS, and Instahyre Drives and is expanding the offerings to non-tech roles and other industries. It claims to have strategic partnerships with enterprises such as Google, Amazon, Walmart, VMware, and Uber. 

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

Edited by Suman Singh