Startup news and updates: daily roundup (September 27, 2023)
YourStory presents the daily news roundup from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Wednesday, September 27, 2023.
PierSight raises $600,000 in pre-seed funding led by All In Capital
PierSight, an ocean surveillance startup, has raised $600,000 in a pre-seed round led by All In Capital. Early-stage startup investment firm and accelerator Techstars, along with entrepreneurs, and angel investors like Andreas Klinger, Vismay Agrawal, and Nikunj Jalan also participated in the round.
The Ahmedabad-based startup will use the funds to advance its satellite subsystems by strengthening its talent pool and procuring essential electronic components for integration and comprehensive testing. It also plans to enhance its technology readiness level and is looking to partner with social and environmental agencies for solutioning, developing prototypes, and collaboration on studies.
“stands out as an extraordinary combination of profound technical expertise and sharp business insight. We are particularly excited about their pioneering approach in harnessing defence technology, specifically SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar), to achieve persistent ship monitoring,” Kushal Bhagia, Founder of All In Capital said.
Co-founded by Gaurav Seth (Ex-ISRO) and Vinit Bansal (Ex-National Instruments), PierSight is on a mission to provide persistent ocean surveillance through a constellation of SAR imaging and Automatic Identification System satellites. SAR allows for high-precision imaging in all weather conditions and even at night. PierSight’s objective is to provide continuous monitoring of maritime operations in 30-minute intervals.
Zeron secures $500,000 in seed funding led by Varanium Capital
The Mumbai-based startup will use the capital to fuel its ongoing research and development initiatives, advancing the frontiers of AI-powered cybersecurity, and expanding its global presence.
“Zeron’s approach to cyber risk posture management aligns perfectly with the evolving needs of organisations globally today. We believe their AI-powered innovative solutions will significantly impact the cybersecurity landscape,” Vikram Pandya, Head of Research at Varanium Capital, said.
By contextualising cyber risks and harnessing the power of artificial intelligence, Zeron empowers clients to make well-informed decisions.
In January, 100X.VC was the first institutional investor to invest in Zeron. This was followed by investments from angels such as Anoop Mathur, Founder and President at Core Media and Partner at AM Capital, and K.R.S. Jamwal, Executive Director of Tata Industries.
Flow Sports Life raises undisclosed seed funding led by Inflection Point Ventures
Flow Sports Life has raised an undisclosed amount in a seed round led by Inflection Point Ventures.
The funds will be utilised for team expansion, operations and marketing, technology development, and infrastructure improvements.
“Flow Sports Life is actively extending its support to the athletes with the best tech-enabled coaching facility. This academy is on a mission to inculcate sports among children and produce at least 4 Olympians in the coming years. IPV aims to extend their strategic guidance and help Flow in its aim to make sports accessible to as many kids as possible,” Madhukar Bhardwaj, Sr. Vice President, Inflection Point Ventures said.
Flow Sports Life, co-founded by Amit Mongia and Sumit Garg, is jointly led by both co-founders. It aims to transform one million children into lifelong athletes and reshape India's sports culture through advanced coaching in badminton and football.
Figr secures $250,000 pre-seed funding from Antler India
Figr, a startup leveraging AI to transform the product design process, has secured $250,000 in pre-seed funding from Antler India.
The funding will be used to develop Figr's AI-powered platform that acts as a co-pilot for design teams to streamline ideation, design research, interface design, and front-end development.
“Design discoverability space has largely lacked innovation but the recent developments in Generative AI present an opportunity to reimagine it from the ground up. We are excited to partner with Moksh and Chirag who are using their deep experience in product design and AI to build a one-stop product design ecosystem, from research to development,” Rajiv Srivatsa, Partner at Antler India said.
Figr was founded by Moksh Garg and Chirag Singla in 2023 to reduce the friction in creating digital products by using AI to strengthen design research, rapidly iterate interfaces, and enable collaboration to make product design more accessible.
QuriousBit raises $2M in seed funding from Lumikai fund, General Catalyst
QuriousBit, a casual puzzle gaming studio, has raised $2 million in a seed initial funding round led by Lumikai, a VC fund in India specialising in gaming and interactive media, with General Catalyst joining as co-investors.
The company aims to utilise the funds to create a new benchmark in innovative puzzle games built in India for global audiences. The founders will be investing heavily in curating a team to build a high-quality casual mobile gaming studio.
“A fresh and innovative approach both in game design and distribution is imperative to achieve category-leading success in the highly competitive global casual gaming market given current market conditions. Ram and Shubham’s deep thinking, category expertise, and design orientation deeply impressed us,” Salone Sehgal, Founding General Partner, Lumikai said.
QuriousBit was founded by Ramakrishna Reddy Y L and Shubham Joshi in Bengaluru. The studio aims to produce high-quality casual puzzle games for mobile platforms from India for the world.
Vyapaar Vistaar Tech secures undisclosed pre-Series A funding
Vyapaar Vistaar Tech Private Limited, a B2B tech-based distribution start-up, has secured an undisclosed amount in pre-Series A funding from investors like Deepak Agarwal, MD of Bikaji Foods International Ltd., Sunil Chordia, Chairman and MD of Rajratan Global Wire Ltd., Authum Investment and Infrastructure Ltd. and Ajay Gupta, a start-up investor.
This funding round will strengthen the firm’s distribution network in the existing markets of Central and North India and expand in South India. It will use the raised capital to enhance the technology platform and bolster private-label brands.
The company has set its sights on increasing its rural retailer base to 1.5 lakh outlets by March 2024, tripling expansion from the current 50,000.
Vyapaar Vistaar Tech’s centralised tele-order booking solution connects retailers directly to the platform, enabling brands to digitise sales by executing plans and strategies at the village level.
Flipcarbon appointments Amulya Sah as Partner - North
Flipcarbon, a full-stack business consulting firm has appointed Amulya Sah as Partner - North. Sah will be responsible for heading all of Flipcarbon’s Centers of Excellence (CoEs) in the northern market.
These include Startup and SME COEs viz Fractional Chief Human Resources Officer, Fractional Chief Financial Officer, and Fractional Chief Business Officer, as well as Enterprise Consulting and Capability Transformation verticals like Flipconsult, Flipsearch and UniverCT.
With over two decades of experience in leadership roles, Sah will help accelerate Flipcarbon's presence and offerings in the northern market, the company said. He has worked with firms such as HCL, Birlasoft, Samsung, and Team Computers.
Founded in 2014, Flipcarbon is a full-stack consulting firm. It builds and executes tailor-made strategies across Strategy, HR, Finance, ESG and Digital Transformation that drive business growth.
Makers of 'Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah’, foray into gaming, ecommerce
Neela Films, maker of the television show 'Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah,' (TMKOC) has announced a digital foray into gaming, animation, and e-commerce with its new venture Neela Mediatech Pvt. Ltd.
The company has infused Rs 24 crore along with the rights to the valuable IP, TMKOC. With this, the company will diversify and extend the country’s biggest IP going beyond show production. The new venture aims to reach 100 million game downloads by March 2024.
The gaming vertical has debuted with 15 games and over 5 million downloads, while the YouTube Rhymes/ Baalgeet Channel has already crossed 1.5 million subscribers, according to the company.
The portal will host free-to-play games, cloud-based adventures, and blockchain-powered quests to virtual reality odysseys for the show audience. It will also have animated shows and rhymes catering to children.
Merisis Wealth appoints Shobit Gupta as Head of Fund Management
Merisis Wealth, the wealth management business unit of the investment banking firm Merisis Advisors, has appointed Shobit Gupta as Head of Fund Management to strengthen its leadership team.
Gupta will spearhead the fixed-income strategy and will be responsible for curating and managing debt portfolio management service strategies for institutional, UHNI, and family office clients at Merisis Wealth.
Gupta joins Merisis Wealth from Exide Life Insurance where he last worked as the SVP and Head of Fixed Income. He comes with 26 years of work experience and has worked with marquee brands such as Kotak AMC, Reliance AMC, Principal AMC, and ABN AMRO Bank.
Merisis Wealth is a Mumbai- and Bengaluru-based wealth management firm offering advisory and financial services to entrepreneurs, corporates, professionals, and NRIs.
EY launches fourth edition of college campus challenge Techathon 4.0
EY has launched the fourth edition of its flagship college campus challenge Techathon 4.0.
Focused on the theme of Generative AI (GenAI), the competition aims to address real-world challenges focused on revolutionising, transforming, and enhancing the working world using the power of AI technologies.
Students will be provided access to EY proprietary technologies to help them develop GenAI-based solutions to solve problems across the healthcare, banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI), education, retail, and media and entertainment sectors.
This year’s Techathon is focused on Generative AI, a disruptive technology which is changing the future of work and gaining significant adoption among businesses. Aspiring participants are invited to register along with the team details and problem statement(s) they aspire to solve.
The winners will be awarded cash prizes, mentorship by industry and EY leaders, and an opportunity to intern with EY India.
YES BANK appoints Manish Jain as Country Head of Wholesale Banking
YES BANK has appointed Manish Jain as Country Head – Wholesale Banking. He will be responsible for spearheading the Wholesale Banking business at YES BANK encompassing the bank’s large corporate portfolio.
Jain will report to Prashant Kumar, Managing Director & CEO, YES BANK.
Jain is a seasoned banking professional with over three decades of experience within the Banking and Financial Services industry. He joins YES BANK from Standard Chartered Bank, where he last served in the capacity of Managing Director and co-head, CCIB Client Coverage, India & Corporates, South Asia.
In his previous roles, he has been associated with organisations like Ernst & Young Consulting India, GE India and Maruti Suzuki. He has worked in several geographical locations across India serving diverse client segments.
Rajasthan accounts for 76% of bookings for culture, heritage travel:’s report
Rajasthan accounts for 76% of the bookings for culture and heritage travel, with Jaipur observing over 60% of the total bookings, according to OYO’s World Tourism Day report.
As per the data analysed between January 2023 and June 2023, Jaipur has emerged as the top cultural and heritage destination, followed by Agra, Mysore, Udaipur, and Jodhpur.
In terms of growth, Thekkady, situated near Periyar National Park in Kerala, takes the lead with a 103% increase in bookings compared to the same period last year, followed by Mysore at 42%, showcasing a growing preference among travellers for the Southern states.
The spiritual travel category is also witnessing steady growth in India. Among the top spiritual destinations, Varanasi continues to take the lead with 33% of the bookings, followed by Tirupati, Puri, Amritsar, and Haridwar. Compared to H12022, Puri has clocked the maximum growth this year at 22%, followed by Haridwar and Amritsar at 18% and 11% respectively.
AWS announces 35 generative AI startups selected for ML Elevate 2023
AWS, in association with Accel, launched the AWS ML Elevate programme in July 2023. It received over 400 applications from startups across India, out of which, 35 were selected.
Indian startups selected for AWS ML Elevate 2023 are:, Dashtoon.ai, , , OpeninApp, , , , , Embedchain, , , Phot.ai, , ChatMan, , , , Frammer, , , , , , Segmind, Simplismart, , Garvik AI, , Personate.ai, REimagineHome, VisualDub, Counsello, Jhana.ai, and Collectiv.
The programme offers the selected startups technical and business mentorship, and guidance from experts, along with access to a community of industry leaders, entrepreneurs, and VCs.
The AWS ML Elevate 2023 cohort participants will also receive access to impactful AI models and tools, the AWS Activate Programme, and up to $200,000 in AWS credits.
The cohort will also have the opportunity to scale production-ready generative AI applications on Amazon SageMaker JumpStart and get access to curated resources and one-on-one office hours, supplemented with networking with founders, operators, and experts in the AI/ML domain.
(This article will be updated with the latest news throughout the day.)