Startup news and updates: daily roundup (October 10, 2023)

YourStory presents the daily news roundup from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Tuesday, October 10, 2023.

Startup news and updates: daily roundup (October 10, 2023)

Tuesday October 10, 2023,

7 min Read

Funding news

Cricketer Yuvraj Singh invests in F&B startup Greto

Former cricketer, entrepreneur, and philanthropist Yuvraj Singh invested an undisclosed amount in the Gurugram-based FMCG brand Greto, a part of Mahu Tasty Foods Pvt. Ltd. Besides being a stakeholder in the company, Singh will also support the brand in its promotional activities.

Singh added, “My journey in the world of sports has taught me the importance of dedication, perseverance, and teamwork, and I can see all these values resonate strongly with what Greto represents. Investing in Greto is not just about endorsing a brand; it is about supporting a vision."

Mahu Tasty Foods has ambitious plans for its Greto brand. Over the next 6-12 months, the company intends to establish a franchise network, commencing with Delhi-NCR and aims to inaugurate 100 Greto franchises.

iSprout raises Rs 40 Cr from Vivriti Asset Management 

Co-working company iSprout secured Rs 40 crore through its first secured bond issuance from Vivriti Asset Management (VAM). It will use the investment to expand iSprout's assets and enhance its presence in Hyderabad and Bengaluru. Proprietary technology development for process automation is also a key focus of the investment.

Established in 2016 by Sundari Patibandla, Sreeni Tirdhala, CA Sesshaa Prasad, and Vijay Oddiraju, iSprout addresses the demand for managed office spaces among startups and established firms. 

“iSprout’s core strength lies in providing premium managed office solutions with five-star rated services. The faith shown by Vivriti Asset Management in our vision to create a better and more inviting work environment has resulted in helping us fund our dreams of slow but steady expansion across India,” CEO and Co-founder Sundari Patibandla said.

Meolaa raises $2M in seed round

D2C brand Meolaa raised a seed funding round worth $2 million led by Turbostart. Founded by 23-year-old Ishita Sawant, Meolaa boasts an impressive portfolio of over 1,500 brands and an assortment of 125,000+ products spanning six diverse categories.

Ganesh Raju, Founder of Turbostart, said, "This marks an exciting milestone as one of Turbostart’s initial investments with many more to follow in the ecommerce space. Current trends show that Generation Z prioritises sustainable buying decisions over brand names, making a compelling case for Meolaa’s potential. Beyond financial support, Turbostart is strategically poised to aid Meolaa's global expansion, with a specific emphasis on regions including the Middle East and Africa, the United States, and Singapore.”

Nawgati raised undisclosed seed funding led by All in Capital

Noida-based fuel aggregator startup Nawgati raised undisclosed seed funding from All In Capital, a pre-seed venture capital fund.

Co-founded by Kushal Bhagia and Aditya Singh, All In Capital is renowned for its founder-centric approach and unwavering commitment to supporting early-stage entrepreneurs.

Although the specific terms of the investment were not disclosed, Nawgati intends to use the capital to expedite its expansion efforts. The primary focus of Nawgati will be to onboard over 2,000 fuel stations onto its retail operations platform, Aaveg—a vertical SaaS solution that offers comprehensive oversight of each fuel station through a real-time dashboard.

With this initiative, Nawgati plans to extend its presence in Tier I and II cities, including but not limited to Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Bhopal, Chennai, Pune, Lucknow, Patna, and Jaipur, over the next six months.

eské raises Rs 12 Cr in pre-Series A round

Eske´, a Mumbai-based D2C)lifestyle brand specialising in premium handbags, briefcases, and accessories, secured $1.5 million (Rs 12 crore) in a pre-Series A funding round led by Mistry Ventures and existing investor Fluid Ventures.

Founded five years ago, eské has swiftly gained significant traction, emerging as a prominent supplier for international luxury brands. It offers a diverse range of handbags, briefcases, and accessories, catering to the modern global consumer with products priced between Rs 3,000 and Rs 10,000.

Shivam Khanna, Founder and CEO of eské, said, “Humbled to partner with Mistry Ventures this early in our journey. Their long-term approach and patient capital will allow us to build eské into a world-class brand, with robust unit economics. India has long been known as a product exporter and brand importer. We will change that. Leveraging our decades of manufacturing expertise producing for the world’s finest brands, we will unleash our manufacturing capabilities, combining them with technology, to build a globally recognised lifestyle brand from India.” 

Other news 

Spice Money, NSDL Payments Bank partner to revolutionise rural banking

Fintech startup Spice Money has partnered with NSDL Payments Bank to facilitate the opening of zero-balance accounts in rural India.

Through this strategic alliance, Spice Money intends to empower rural citizens by enhancing their financial inclusion, granting them access to essential banking services, and nurturing economic growth in these regions. By offering the convenience of zero balance accounts, a larger number of individuals in rural India will gain entry into the formal banking system, thereby unlocking the potential for improved financial stability and expanded opportunities.

Speaking on the partnership, Sanjeev Kumar, Co-founder, Executive Director, and CEO at Spice Money, said, "We are thrilled to collaborate with NSDL Payments Bank, a significant milestone in our mission to revolutionise banking accessibility for rural citizens in India."

Manappuram Finance inks MoU with JCB India

Manappuram Finance recently signed an MoU with construction equipment manufacturer JCB India to provide financing solutions for the latter's extensive range of equipment and engineering products.

According to the terms, the financing options will be made available across the entire country, promising significant benefits for both parties involved. "This partnership is poised to drive substantial growth in volume for both partners, enabling us to capitalise on each other's strengths in our respective markets," said VP Nandakumar, MD and CEO of Manappuram Finance.

He highlighted that the deal will allow Manappuram Finance to expand its branch network and enhance the reach of JCB India's dealership network throughout India. He added that this move is a pivotal step towards diversifying its portfolio and entering new verticals to stimulate business growth, particularly in the field of construction equipment finance. 

OYO elevates Rakesh Kumar to deputy CFO

OYO has elevated Rakesh Kumar to deputy chief financial officer (CFO), where he will be responsible for overseeing critical operational finance functions, including treasury, controllership, shared services, execution of results, etc., and will be reporting to CFO Abhishek Gupta.

Kumar joined OYO five years ago as the head of financial reporting. Through his strategic acumen, he has developed risk and control matrices, defined standard operating procedures, established accounting manuals and policies, and helped prepare the company for public listing from a financial reporting standpoint.

"Rakesh's journey at OYO has been nothing short of remarkable. From spearheading our financial reporting efforts to leading complex acquisitions and driving our finance function's strategic transformation, his dedication and expertise have played an instrumental role in the growth of the company. I look forward to his continued leadership and partnership," Abhishek Gupta, CFO of OYO, said.

Amazon India onboards 12 new entrepreneurs through its DSP programme

Amazon India has added 12 new aspiring entrepreneurs to its Delivery Service Partner (DSP) programme in Telangana, Karnataka, Delhi NCR, and Maharashtra. This strategic move aims to bolster Amazon India's last-mile delivery network in preparation for the upcoming festive season.

The DSP initiative empowers individuals with limited to no prior logistics experience to establish and launch their own delivery enterprises, ultimately offering employment opportunities to numerous delivery associates. These fresh business proprietors benefit from Amazon's 20-year operational expertise, cutting-edge technology, and a comprehensive suite of exclusively negotiated services and resources essential for the secure and efficient delivery of Amazon packages.

Through the DSP programme, Amazon India has collaborated with nearly 300 SMBs to ensure prompt package deliveries to customers while also paving the way for their growth.

In the past two years, Amazon India has onboarded nearly 100 new DSPs, with plans to further expand opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs in the future. In total, the Amazon India network comprises approximately 2,000 delivery stations either owned by Amazon India or in partnership with its associates, spread across more than 750 cities.

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

Edited by Suman Singh