Startup news and updates: daily roundup (September 13, 2023)

YourStory presents the daily news roundup from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Wednesday, September 13, 2023.

Startup news and updates: daily roundup (September 13, 2023)

Wednesday September 13, 2023,

6 min Read

Funding news

IIFL's fintech fund invests in Xtracap Fintech

IIFL Group's early-stage investment vehicle IIFL Fintech Fund invested an undisclosed amount for a majority stake in a supply-chain finance platform Xtracap Fintech.

"Supply chain finance is ~Rs 10 lakh crore total addressable market of which ~Rs 1.2 lakh crore is served today. This is a huge addressable market, especially for distributors which are not served by the banks," said Mehekka Oberoi, Fund Manager at IIFL Fintech Fund.

"A tech-enabled solution can help reach the tail end of these distributors and give them access to finance," Oberoi added.

The IIFL Fintech Fund, set up in 2021 with a corpus of Rs 210 crore, has invested in companies such as Trendlyne, Leegality, FinBox, DataSutram, Multipl, Finarkein, TrustCheckr, Finvu, Insurance Samadhan, and EasyRewardz.

Oral care startup SALT raises undiclosed funding

Oral care brand SALT raised an undisclosed amount in a pre-seed round at a valuation of Rs 18 crore from angel investors such as Dr Viraj Doshi and others. The company said it will use the funds for manufacturing and marketing automation.

Founded by Karanraj Kohli and Viraj Kapur, SALT offers oral care products like tooth powders, mouth sprays, mouthwash, toothbrushes, toothpaste, etc., with unique ingredients.

"With a fusion of advanced science, innovative technology, and the brands' dedication to being SLS, paraben, toxic, triclosan and peroxide free, this brand is at the forefront of redefining the standards of oral care," said Dr Doshi.

Deeptech startup ThinkMetal raises $300K

Deeptech hardware startup ThinkMetal raised $300,000 in a pre-seed round led by 100X.VC, BSE-listed SAT Industries, KRS Jamwal, and others.

The startup will use the funds to enhance its compact metal 3D printer, which will help manufacturers create metal parts faster and more efficiently.

"We have set our sights on tapping into the (Indian tooling market), specifically targeting Tier I toolmakers and prototype manufacturers serving Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs). This strategic approach translates to a sizable total addressable market (TAM) of approximately $700 million, representing just a fraction of the overall market potential of metal additive manufacturing," said Sabyasachi Ghosh, Co-founder and CEO of ThinkMetal.

Founded in 2021 by Arushi Sharma and Ghosh, ThinkMetal is a Chennai-based startup that sells compact metal 3D printers to print metal parts.

Netcore Cloud launches $1M accelerator programme

Martech and customer experience company Netcore Cloud launched a new startup acceleration programme for direct-to-consumer (D2C) startups in India, in partnership with Headstart Network Foundation and AIC-Nalanda Institute of Technology Foundation.

Startups selected as part of the programme will be given access to essential platforms, mentorship from D2C experts, networking opportunities, and $3,500 for consulting and onboarding apart from Netcore credits.

"Early-stage startups often grapple with challenges such as securing funding, finding product-market fit, navigating intense competition, acquiring the right talent, and understanding complex regulations to name a few. Through the D2C Blaze programme, we intend to empower entrepreneurs in their early stages, steering them towards profitability," said Kalpit Jain, Group CEO at Netcore Cloud.

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Other news

Razorpay launches products for D2C companies

Razorpay launched a new product suite for businesses to deal with challenges throughout the ecommerce lifecycle.

Razorpay stated that its new D2C suite is designed to assist brands in a wide range of tasks—from identifying and engaging with new customers to ensuring exceptional shopping experiences, guarding against fraud, and enabling seamless checkouts.

The suite also offers a smooth post-purchase journey for customers and empowers businesses to create meaningful, personalised connections with their customer base.

"We believe that our comprehensive suite will enable ecommerce, particularly D2C businesses, to achieve exponential growth and significantly enhance the customer experience at every stage," said Khilan Haria, SVP and Head of Payments Product at Razorpay.

AlgoBharat sets up India Advisory Committee to fuel blockchain in India

AlgoBharat—an initiative by the Algorand Foundation focused on India—has set up an India Advisory Committee to create an inclusive economy via increased blockchain adoption.

The committee will be chaired by six members, including RS Sharma, a former civil servant, and Indu Bhushan, CEO of Ayushman Bharat, Anuradha Mitra, among others.

"Blockchain technology holds immense potential to support India's growth narrative, and this step to establish an India Advisory Committee underscores the Algorand Foundation’s commitment to achieving this potential," said Sharma.

The committee will aim to achieve several key objectives, including guiding the strategic direction of AlgoBharat's India activities, with a focus on growing the developer community and supporting blockchain solution development.

Additionally, it will offer thought leadership on blockchain applications aligned with the foundation's impact goals and provide strategic insights for public sector initiatives that can promote social equity and enhance access to essential services.

Auto ID Systems inks deal with WOW RFID

Auto ID Systems, a secure ID issuer in India, has signed a deal with WOW RFID, a Middle Eastern company, to introduce its products in India.

Part of Centena Group, Auto ID will also be responsible for marketing, sales, implementation, and support for WOW RFID in India.

"The RFID solution market in India is vast, and we see a significant gap in addressing the needs of our customers," said Sri Venkatesan, Director of Auto ID Systems.

"Unlike many players in India offering solutions based on traditional UHF technology and focusing on specific verticals, Auto ID Systems is bringing the latest IoT technologies like Angle of Arrival (AOA) in BLE and high-precision UWB to the forefront, with a broad focus on multiple sectors," he added.

Auto ID has created a host of identification products in India, including ID card printers and biometric delivers.

AWS ties up with ISRO and IN-SPACe to bolster India's space capabilities

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has signed a strategic Memorandum of Understanding with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe) to support space-tech innovations through cloud computing in India.

This collaboration will give space startups, research institutes, and students access to cloud technologies that can accelerate the development of new solutions in the space sector.

The three will collaborate to nurture and grow startups in the space-tech sector in India, where AWS will provide eligible space startups tools, resources, and expert technical support at no cost through its AWS Activate programme.

The AWS Space Accelerator programme will offer startups valuable access to its resources and leverage its extensive global experience in crafting aerospace and satellite solutions.

"After the Chandrayaan-3 moon landing and Aditya L-1 mission, it is time we leverage the limitless potential of space technology and cloud computing to propel India's space sector to new heights," said Dr Vinod Kumar, Director at IN-SPACe.

The organisations will additionally work with each other to train students and educators in cloud computing, AI/ML, and analytics.

Disclaimer: Corrects SALT's funding news to say it raised an undisclosed amount at Rs 18 crore valuation, and not it raised Rs 18 crore.

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

Edited by Suman Singh