Startup news and updates: Daily roundup (September 5, 2023)

Your Story presents the daily news roundup from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Tuesday, September 5, 2023.

Startup news and updates: Daily roundup (September 5, 2023)

Tuesday September 05, 2023,

12 min Read


Anicut Equity Fund receives Rs 50 Cr from SIDBI

Anicut Capital, an alternative investment firm, has secured an investment of Rs 50 crore from the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) for its Anicut Equity Fund.

The investment comes through the Fund of Funds for Startups (FFS) launched under the Startup India Initiative by the Government of India. This is aimed at boosting early growth-stage companies that are part of Anicut’s Equity portfolio.

Anicut Equity Fund launched its Grand Anicut Fund 3 in June last year with a total targeted corpus of Rs 500 crore, with an additional Rs 250 crore green shoe option. The investment firm has successfully closed two-thirds of the fund and has also received a commitment of Rs 75 crore from Self Reliant India Fund.

"We are excited to welcome SIDBI as an investor through the FFS initiative. It further energises our mission to identify and invest in game-changing businesses and empower the next generation of Indian entrepreneurs," said Dhruv Kapoor, Partner, Anicut Equity Fund.

"This generous commitment from SIDBI not only provides us with the capital to invest in innovative startups but also solidifies our commitment to adding value to the burgeoning Indian startup industry," he added.

Ellipsol raises Rs 2.5 Cr seed funding from Capital A, others

Ellipsol, a company developing solar energy solutions, has raised Rs 2.5 crore in a seed funding round led by Capital A. The funding round also saw the participation of Grand Anicut Fund and other individuals.

The investment raised would be used to take the prototype developed by Ellipsol to the production level. It would also be used for some of the pilot projects in the initial stages. The company will also focus on expanding capacities and is set to raise more funds during the expansion stage.

India has immense solar energy potential with approximately 5,000 trillion kWh of annual energy incident on its total land area. This averages to 4-7 kWh of solar power per square metre per day in most parts of the country.

“Renewable energy sources are a way to achieve the greener, healthier world we deserve. Despite their prevalence, they are difficult to control. At Ellipsol, we aim to bridge this gap and make renewable energy available at will. Our patented technology will help harness 100% more energy from the solar panels installed in your premises,” said Samarth Jain, CEO and Co-founder, Ellipsol.

Mappls KOGO raises Rs 9 Cr from MapMyIndia

AI travel expert app Mappls KOGO has received a second round of funding worth Rs 9 crore, infused by MapmyIndia (CE Infosystems Ltd), a provider of digital maps, geospatial software, and location-based IoT technologies. It had earlier raised Rs 10 crore from MapMyIndia.

Mappls KOGO was founded by Raj K Gopalakrishnan and Praveer Kochhar to help people plan their travel in minutes, with expert recommendations generated by AI, and save money in the process.

Mappls KOGO aims to revolutionise travel and hyper-local experiences with its proprietary AI technology, geospatial intelligence, and real-time travel data.

“We thank MapMyIndia for their continued support. Their industry leadership will continue to strengthen the real-time locational intelligence of our data. This funding reaffirms MapmyIndia’s trust in our AI stack’s potential to disrupt the travel sector,” said Gopalakrishnan, CEO, Mappls KOGO.

Brillio announces investment by The Orogen Group

Digital transformation services and solutions provider Brillio has announced a significant addition of The Orogen Group as a strategic investor. Financial terms of the private transaction were not disclosed.

The investment comes as Brillio continues to expand its capabilities in next-generation technologies such as data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) to empower global clients to become more competitive and future-ready. Orogen’s expertise and broad network in the financial services industry will also support Brillio’s offerings in key verticals, including banking, financial services, and insurance. Brillio will continue to be led by the current management team.

“This strategic investment not only strengthens our ability to accelerate innovation for our clients in a dynamic technology environment but also brings us a visionary partner who shares our passion for technology-led transformation,” said Raj Mamodia, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Brillio.

Flipspaces raises $4M in pre-Series B funding in mix of equity and debt

Tech-driven interior design venture Flipspaces has successfully secured $4 million in funding from its existing investors, with Prashasta Seth, former CEO of IIFL AMC, leading the investment consortium. The funding round saw participation from other prominent family groups and funds.

Flipspaces is backed by Carpediem Capital as a key supporter, a growth-stage PE fund that focuses on mid-sized ventures.

Flipspaces aims to disrupt the interior design space by becoming a one-stop-shop that efficiently manages interior designers, product suppliers, and contractors for SMEs.

“We’ve seen rapid growth in the US market combined with robust India numbers. Leveraging this momentum, our impetus is to enhance our focus on tech to enable processes at scale and double down on building on our supply chain capability to serve global demand," said Kunal Sharma, Founder and CEO of Flipspaces.

PrintBrix raises pre-seed funding from EvolveX

PrintBrix, a startup focused on the branding and promotional industry, has raised an undisclosed amount in a pre-seed round of funding from EvolveX, an early-stage programme founded by We Founder Circle.

The capital will be utilised for the development of PrintBrix's technology platform aimed at providing end-to-end solutions, and for expansion into multiple cities.

PrintBrix’s innovative approach of seamlessly integrating branding elements struck a chord with us as investors. The ability to provide a comprehensive solution for printing, designing, and delivering promotional items, while effectively bridging the gap between offline and online marketing, is truly compelling,” said EvolveX Co-founder Bhawna Bhatnagar.

Other news

Ranveer Singh is BGMI's brand ambassador

Ranveer Singh, brand ambassador, BGMI

Ranveer Singh, brand ambassador, BGMI

Krafton India has announced Bollywood actor and youth icon Ranveer Singh as the official brand ambassador for Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI).

The partnership aims to bring together the thrill of gaming and the charisma of Ranveer Singh to engage and deliver elevated experiences for gamers across the country, said the company.

With this collaboration, KRAFTON will launch the Play Pure campaign as part of which players will be urged to be bold and celebrate their authenticity in the Battlegrounds.

"Ranveer Singh's magnetic persona and unrelenting spirit align seamlessly with the essence of BGMI ... This collaboration opens up a new avenue to bring exciting and engaging content that will resonate with gaming enthusiasts across the nation," said Sean Hyunil Sohn, CEO, KRAFTON India.

"As an artist, I find gaming to be an extension of my creative expression. BGMI has evolved into a cultural phenomenon by creating a platform that brings together individuals from diverse backgrounds, transcending borders through their shared passion for gaming," said Singh.

Luminous Power appoints Shikha Gupta as HR chief

Shikha Gupta, CHRO, Luminous Power Technologies

Shikha Gupta, CHRO, Luminous Power Technologies

Luminous Power Technologies, the energy storage solutions provider, has appointed Shikha Gupta as its new chief human resources officer (CHRO). Gupta joins Luminous from Schneider Electric, where she served as the Director of HR and DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) for India and South Asia.

In the new role, Gupta will be reporting to Preeti Bajaj, CEO and Managing Director, Luminous Power Technologies. She will spearhead the human resource function and build the people function to effectively support the overall business plan and growth of Luminous Power Technologies. She will also be in charge of CSR and administration duties at Luminous.

“As we navigate the dynamic, high-potential energy sector, my focus will be on evolving the people strategy to support our growth and transformation,” said Gupta.

Daimler India Commercial Vehicles appoints president & chief business officer

Sreeram Venkateswaran, President & Chief Business Officer, Daimler India Commercial Vehicles

Sreeram Venkateswaran, President & Chief Business Officer, Daimler India Commercial Vehicles

Daimler India Commercial Vehicles (DICV), the wholly owned subsidiary of Daimler Truck AG, has appointed Sreeram Venkateswaran as president and chief business officer of domestic sales and customer service.

In his new role, Venkateswaran will spearhead BharatBenz in India and be responsible for driving domestic business growth, nurturing strategic partnerships, expanding BharatBenz's sales and service network, and strengthening brand credibility and the BharatBenz product range among Indian customers.

"His understanding of the brand since inception and his extensive experience in marketing, sales and customer service in the transportation industry makes him a worthy leader to take the brand and our domestic business to the next level," said Satyakam Arya, Managing Director and CEO, Daimler India Commercial Vehicles.

"Joining DICV after many years is a homecoming for me. I have been tracking the developments around BharatBenz over the years and I am pleased to take on the responsibility of growing the BharatBenz business in India, engaging with stakeholders and be ahead of the curve,” said Venkateswaran.

PowerSchool acquires edtech Neverskip

PowerSchool, a cloud-based software for K-12 education, announced its acquisition of Chennai-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) software company Neverskip. With the acquisition, PowerSchool aims to create a unified technology platform for schools in India that optimises operations, elevates student and staff success, and increases overall family engagement. PowerSchool has also expanded its reach to over 900 schools and 1.2 million students in India with the takeover.

PowerSchool reported $630 million in revenue in 2022 with a valuation of $4.3 billion and forecasts a revenue target of approximately $690 million for 2023. The brand’s learning management

system (LMS), Schoology Learning, supports over 60,000 schools globally.

With this acquisition, PowerSchool and Neverskip will now support schools including, D.A.V Group of Schools, Ekya, Maxford, Future Kids, Manipal School, and SBOA Group of Schools with its products.

“Our acquisition of Neverskip is an instrumental step in our journey to provide personalized education to all and we are excited to welcome their employees and customers to PowerSchool,” said Hardeep Gulati, Chief Executive Officer of PowerSchool.

Tata CLiQ Luxury launches online store of contemporary homegrown brands

Indi Finds by Tata Cliq

Indi Finds by Tata Cliq

Lifestyle brand Tata CLiQ Luxury has launched Indi Finds to scale up the presence of Indian labels and homegrown fashion brands on the platform. The store offers curated finds from niche homegrown brands in the women’s fashion category.

In the first phase of the launch, the store will primarily cater to women’s apparel with a selection that is focused on ethnic wear, including kurtas, co-ord sets, suit sets, and more for the upcoming festive season. It will also include a section for menswear. Apart from the existing assortment, 15 new homegrown brands in the festive fashion category will be launched in the store. They include Anuja Banthia, B’infinite, Ek Katha, Grass and Sunshine, Karaj Jaipur, Khamaj India, Ganga Fashions, House of Manna and Monojolika, among others.

“With the launch of Indi Finds, our aim is to provide a platform for women consumers to discover contemporary homegrown brands and elevate their shopping experience by featuring occasion-based curations to make the exploration of these brands a delightful experience,” said Gopal Asthana, CEO, Tata CLiQ.

BluSmart crosses Annual Revenue Run Rate of Rs 400 Cr

BluSmart, the EV ride-hailing service and EV charging superhub infrastructure operator, has crossed an Annual Revenue Run Rate (ARR) of Rs 400 crore as of August 2023.

Since its inception in 2019, BluSmart has achieved a milestone of 5,000 EVs, operating in two cities—Delhi NCR and Bengaluru. The EV fleet has significantly contributed to a reduction of 20+ million kgs of CO2 emissions, having completed over 8.4 million trips covering a distance of 270+ million clean kilometres.

“2023 has been a transformative year for us, accelerating our growth exponentially. Next year, we aim to grow very rapidly. We've witnessed robust demand for our service, reaffirming the continued growth of electric mobility,” said Anmol Singh Jaggi, Co-founder and CEO, BluSmart.

Neon fund onboards SaaS expert Gagan Josan as General Partner

Neon, a $25-million fund dedicated to accelerating the growth of B2B SaaS companies globally, appointed Gagan Josan as General Partner this week. He comes with a decade of leadership experience spanning SaaS entrepreneurship and sales, and Neon said will help portfolio companies get to $10 million in annual recurring revenue (ARR).

Prior to Neon, Josan founded Nittio Learn, an enterprise SaaS company in the learning management space. After its acquisition by Whatfix, he served as Head of Sales of Industry Solutions, scaling the business exponentially in the US and Europe. His past experience also includes product leadership roles at Amazon and Nokia Networks.

“I was pulled towards Neon by their refreshing approach toward early-stage investments—not only working with the best SaaS startups across the country but going above and beyond to help accelerate their journey to $10 million ARR,” Josan said.

Flipkart launches Virtual World Shopping Experience

Flipkart Flipverse

Flipkart Flipverse

Flipkart has announced its foray into the immersive shopping experience domain with Virtual Worlds to enhance customer experience and engagement. Following the launch of 3D and AR features in 2021, and the introduction of beauty/makeup try-ons, Flipkart now allows users to visualise products in a more lifelike manner, increasing engagement through interactive and fun elements and eventually leading to a more informed purchasing decision.

Flipkart offers two immersive shopping experience formats: the first consists of dedicated, customised virtual worlds created by brands like Coca-Cola, Mondelez etc on the Flipkart app. The second format includes co-tenancy of brands within Flipkart's own virtual world, known as Flipverse. Additionally, Flipkart has launched its own laptop virtual showroom, letting users explore 45-50 laptops in an immersive setting similar to an offline store.

Flipkart's ecommerce metaverse activation, Flipverse, allows people from across 2,300 cities to come together virtually to discover products in a unique manner and immerse themselves in the experience.

“We launched the Virtual World Metaverse experience on our platform to lead an immersive shopping experience. In this 3D environment, users can explore products, try them on, and experience the excitement of shopping. Brands have the opportunity to virtually present their unique characteristics, forging closer relationships with customers,” said Ravi Krishnan, Head, Flipkart Labs.

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

Edited by Swetha Kannan