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Startup news and updates: daily roundup (September 1, 2023)

YourStory presents the daily news roundup from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Friday, September 1, 2023.

Startup news and updates: daily roundup (September 1, 2023)

Friday September 01, 2023 , 7 min Read

Turbostart announces winners of AI Innovation Challenge 

Turbostart concluded its AI Innovation Challenge today by announcing its four winners–AutoFlow, Skille AI, Pixage, and Augmatrix

Augmatrix offers an AI platform that simplifies AI adoption with pre-built components, MLOps integration, and a model marketplace. Skille AI is a personalised tech learning platform that tailors hands-on content to users' unique experiences, goals, and time constraints.

Pixage, on the other hand, has developed a marketing analytics tool that seamlessly integrates with major advertising platforms to provide valuable insights into campaign performance and scalability.

Meanwhile, Autoflow specialises in building AI solutions for automating app testing. Its tool identifies app flows, generates test cases, and assists in code improvement through a user-friendly visual interface, adaptability to code changes and debugging support, ultimately optimising test performance.

After a rigorous selection process, 12 startups earned the opportunity to present their solutions, with four ultimately selected as eligible recipients for investments of up to Rs 1 crore. 

U GRO Capital Limited appoints Om Sharma as Chief Operating Officer 

U GRO Capital has appointed Om Sharma as its Chief Operating Officer (COO) and he will provide strategic supervision to the technology operations team.

Sharma, an MBA graduate from the Indian School of Business and a Mechanical Engineer, brings 20-plus years of experience in strategy and digital transformation.

Formerly Chief Digital Officer at AU Small Finance Bank, he now aims to boost U GRO Capital's presence in the MSME sector. His career includes roles at Digiflynt, Emirates NBD, BCG, and IBM Global Business Services.

Healthysure introduces Bharatsure to revolutionise group insurance distribution

The founders of Healthysure introduced their new brand, Bharatsure. This venture is aimed at revolutionising group insurance distribution by integrating cutting-edge technology, personalised pricing solutions, and operational support. 

Bharatsure empowers insurance intermediaries with customised group benefits distribution through its Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) platform, offering white-labelled technology, integrations, and centralised operations capabilities.

Bharatsure offers robust post-sales support, ensuring effective member management and round-the-clock claims assistance. This facilitates a seamless post-sales experience for partners and their clients. Bharatsure also seamlessly integrates group insurance and healthcare into partners' existing offerings, simplifying access for users.

Bharatsure uses partner data to provide customised insurance coverage and pricing, making it easier for people to get the protection they need through various consumer touchpoints. While India currently has around 10% of the population covered through group insurance, Bharatsure will be playing an important part to see this number go beyond 50% in the coming years.

Mahindra Logistics and Flipkart collaborate for integrated line haul solutions

Mahindra Logistics Limited, an integrated third-party logistics service provider, has collaborated with Flipkart for integrated line haul solutions that will enhance operational efficiency and consistency as well as reinforce both companies’ shared commitment to innovation.

Mahindra Logistics will provide a fleet of heavy commercial vehicles, route management, and advanced analytics nationwide. They'll operate 32ft vehicles with Daimler India Commercial Vehicles on various routes, ensuring safety with Advanced Driver-Assistance systems and driver comfort features.

Mahindra Logistics' fleet will mainly support Flipkart's ecommerce parcel transport between hubs, enhancing Turnaround Time (TAT), safety, and fleet management. 

gradCapital launches $6M fund to invest $40K in student-led startup 

gradCapital, started by BITS/ IIMA alumni, has launched its second fund with a total fund size of $6M to invest in student startups.

gradCapital supports students with a $40,000 investment for a 4% equity stake. Funded students will also get to participate in a four-week cohort in Bengaluru, where they can meet accomplished individuals like Tarun Mehta (Co-founder, Ather Energy); Shashank Kumar (Co-founder, Razorpay), and Kailash Nadh (CTO, Zerodha), who will provide guidance and advice. 

Most companies raise their next round post-gC cohort, and follow-on investors include Lightspeed & Rainmatter Capital. They fund 20 teams a year and get around 3,000 applications. 

venture capital, investor, early stage, funding, money, startup idea

Credit: Shutterstock

Red Bangle appoints Vivek Chandra Shenoy as VP of marketing and strategy

Red Bangle, a film and video agency, has appointed Vivek Chandra Shenoy as Vice President of Marketing and Strategy. 

Vivek has more than a decade of marketing and strategic experience, gained from working at top agencies like JWT, Ogilvy, and McCann in Bengaluru.

As the head of strategy and planning, he will oversee the development of innovative communication and content strategies for the agency's key clients and brands. He will be using his expertise to address brand challenges as well as elevate the effectiveness of content. As the head of marketing, he will spearhead transformative marketing initiatives to drive significant growth for the company.

Tier II cities shine as per foundit Insights Tracker for August 2023

Talent platform foundit (formerly Monster APAC & ME) has published the foundit Insights Tracker (fit), presenting the latest findings on hiring trends for August 2023.


According to the report, hiring dipped 3% month-over-month and e-recruitment activities in India fell by 5% in August 2023. Shipping (+58%), Travel & Tourism (+44%), and Advertising (+22%) saw the highest Y-o-Y job posting growth while Media & Entertainment (-18%) and IT - Hardware, Software (-17%) saw a drop.

Among Tier II cities, Kolkata (+7%), Ahmedabad (+5%), Baroda (+4%), Jaipur (+4%), and Kochi (+3%) exhibited a positive incline in job activity in August 2023. While Bengaluru saw a 16% dip, Hyderabad noted a 14% drop in job postings, followed by Mumbai at 9% and Chennai at 8%.


With a 13% increase in online hiring activity, hospitality, and travel roles topped the list of job functions. There was a downward trend in hiring for Customer Service positions (-24%), followed by Senior Management positions (-13%) and Arts/Creative positions (-13%).  


Mastercard's solution will enhance online payment security for both merchants and consumers

Mastercard launches solution to enhance security of guest checkout transactions

Mastercard has launched a solution for guest checkout transactions–ALT ID. It is a custom-made capability developed by Mastercard to create an alternate identifier for the real card numbers provided by cardholders during guest checkout transactions on ecommerce platforms. 

The solution will enhance online payment security for both merchants and consumers, said a statement by the company. The solution is meant for cardholders who carry out transactions without saving their cards, also referred to as guest checkout.  

The ALT ID solution offers several benefits, like not storing card numbers on merchant websites and safeguarding against data breaches. For merchants and payment service providers, it's an easy way to protect card numbers with minimal development work and enhance the payment process for customers.

56 Secure launches India’s first ultra-fast SOS system in Bengaluru

56 Secure, a security platform, has launched ultra-fast SOS system. The initial rollout consists of 70 pincodes in Bengaluru.

The SOS feature, which is more than just a panic button, is integrated with 56 Secure's smart location technology, Cerebro. This system processes over seven million location data points daily to make sure safety agents are where they need to be, when they need to be there, said a statement by the company. 

Other than this, Cerebro identifies unusual activities and sends alerts. The system also uses real-time geolocation analytics to give safety agents the information they need to respond quickly to emergencies. 

When a user presses the SOS button, the process begins immediately, connecting them to the nearest safety agent. The Command Centre keeps a close eye on the situation, whether it's a medical emergency, personal safety concern, theft, or women's safety. 56 Secure ensures that help arrives within minutes. Backup agents are also ready to assist if needed.

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