Startup news and updates: daily roundup (October 26, 2023)

YourStory presents the daily news roundup from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Thursday, October 26, 2023.

Startup news and updates: daily roundup (October 26, 2023)

Thursday October 26, 2023,

10 min Read


Drone tech startup Urban Matrix raises Rs 6 Cr in pre-Series A round

UrbanMatrix Technologies has raised Rs 6 crore in a pre-Series A round led by Inflection Point Ventures for product development, team expansion, and market expansion.

Founded in 2019, UrbanMatrix is a provider of industrial drones and software for various applications, including surveying, surveillance, agriculture, AI-aided inspection, and defence. The company uses advanced quantum encryption technology and cloud integration for data safety, ensuring reliable and efficient drone operations.

It has a 3,000-square-foot commercial space, which it uses for quantum encryption and tamper-proofing for data security and reliability. It has also partnered with ISRO, Paras Aerospace, and ATV.

Urban Matrix

Urban Matrix team (L-R): Rishabh Verma, CEO; Ashutosh Kumar, CTO; Ajay Karthik, Co-Founder; Divyanshu Pundir, CTO

Deep tech IoT startup Datoms raises $1.2M in pre-Series A round

Datoms, an Indian industrial deep tech IoT startup for OEMs, has raised $1.2 million (about Rs 10 crore) in a pre-Series A round led by Yournest Venture Capital. 

The company plans to use the funding to strengthen its product offerings to build various use cases in the construction warehousing industry. It will also focus on enhancing in-house AI/ML capabilities and market expansion across India and the Middle East.

Phoenix Robotix, the parent company of Bhubaneswar-based Datoms, was founded in 2021. It developed a connected operations cloud that consolidates people, processes, and machine operations on a single platform.

The platform enables human-capital heavy sectors such as construction, warehousing, agriculture, mining, and ports to achieve higher efficiency and automate asset maintenance and activity planning.

Datoms' solution can reduce fuel expenses, manage machine fleets, simplify compliance procedures, and streamline communication among stakeholders.

Manastu Space raises $3M in pre-Series A round led by IAN

Space tech company Manastu Space has secured $3 million in a pre-Series A round led by IAN to develop a green propulsion system for satellites ranging from 100 to 500 kg.

The investment will enable the company to implement its eco-friendly propulsion system and autonomous collision avoidance system and further its R&D programme.

It plans to validate its technology during a test flight in the coming year and is also designing a fuel station in space to provide in-orbit refuelling service for satellites that may need to be abandoned after the onboard fuel is exhausted.

The company offers complete propulsion systems for satellite manufacturers, including fuel, engine, tank, and accessories. It also provides in-space services like refuelling, life extension, and de-orbiting at the end of the satellite's life.

Rapid raises Rs 265K funding in pre-seed round

Rapid, an India-based EOR (employer of record) startup, has raised $265K in pre-seed funding from serial entrepreneurs and angels.

The funding partners include early-stage investors and serial entrepreneurs Aswin Choudhury, Deepak Panda, Ashok Padhy, and Hemanth Kavuluru and a few angels.

The startup aims to raise $1 million in pre-seed funds for product and early customer acquisition.

Rapid is an EOR platform that offers value propositions such as compliant office spaces, equipment procurement, passthrough tax benefits, customised brand experience, and a services marketplace. It allows startups to hire and manage Indian talent 24/7 using a simple, scalable infrastructure with privacy controls, thereby increasing employment generation and wealth creation in India at massive scales.

Qdesq secures undisclosed investment from Gruhas

Qdesq, a flexible workspace marketplace and brokerage platform, has secured funding from Gruhas, a VC focused on proptech, consumer need, and climate tech.

The company is also developing an enterprise SaaS platform called Qudify, which digitises enterprises and workspaces with QR-based visitor management, meeting rooms, and complaint management systems.

Qdesq says it has 4,300 centres listed across 100 cities in India and a monthly run rate of 6,500 desk bookings. Qudify SaaS, launched in September 2022, has 125+ clients and aims to grow 3x year on year.

Other news

Incubate Fund Asia elevates Rajeev Ranka, Dave Kwong to partners

Incubate Fund Asia, a Japanese venture capital fund specialising in seed-stage investment, has promoted Rajeev Ranka and Dave Kwong to partners.

Ranka and Kwong, Partners of Incubate Fund Asia, have been instrumental in the success of India-focused startups. They will continue to work closely with founders and entrepreneurs, shaping their startups' future and managing the fund's investment strategy.

Incubate Fund Asia, a fund backed by Incubate India, aims to foster innovation and startup growth in Asia. It has supported 27 Indian companies in various sectors, with an average deal size of $500,000 to $1.5 million. It aims to build a portfolio of around 20 startups with its third fund targeting a $50-million corpus.

10club pivots to to organise home & kitchen industry

Fireside Ventures-backed startup 10Club has pivoted to in its next phase of growth to organise the unfragmented $30 billion home and kitchen industry.

Led by Bhavna Suresh, the company with a revenue run rate of Rs 100 crore, has consolidated its businesses into one robust brand that will now cater to India’s value segment in the home and kitchen space.


10club team

10Club is also expanding its offline presence in phase one by partnering with Wakefit and Pepperfry and with flagship stores in metro cities in phase two.

Co-working startup Innov8 to double its coworking centres in FY24

Co-working startup Innov8 plans to double its footprint in FY23-24 by adding five new centres in key business cities and launching five more in the current quarter.

With ongoing expansion, Innov8 and its partners will invest over Rs 100 crore to add about 8,000 seats and 300,000 sq. ft of co-working space across Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru, and Chennai.

The company will also set up 10 additional centres in the last quarter, bringing its total to 20. Innov8 had 20 centres across nine cities at the beginning of 2023.

Its '5 mins to a metro station' strategy has driven growth, with over 90% occupancy, high demand, and healthy rentals in its co-working centres across India.

Zomato introduces maternity insurance for female delivery partners

Zomato has launched a maternity insurance plan for its female delivery partners, which will cover expenses related to pregnancy, birth, and any maternity complications, providing financial security and assurance to the partners and their families.

Acko will provide the insurance. The plan extends to female delivery partners who have completed 1,000 deliveries on the Zomato platform and have been active since the last 60 days on the date of intimation for the maternity insurance plan.

The coverage includes normal and cesarean deliveries for up to two children and maternity complications such as miscarriage and abortion.

Logistics SaaS provider Shipsy acquired Stockone

Shipsy has acquired Stockone, a cloud-based warehouse management system and inventory management solution provider.

The acquisition expands Shipsy's product portfolio, offering a comprehensive end-to-end logistics technology platform for diverse enterprise customers. The extended product suite will cover transportation, warehouse management, and fulfilment, enabling businesses to optimise costs, enhance customer experience, and automate operations.

The integration of warehousing capabilities positions Shipsy as a holistic logistics solution provider, enabling data-driven decision-making across the entire supply chain.

Gen Z fashion brand Foundry launches on AJIO

Foundry, a Gen Z fashion brand from Cover Story Clothing Limited, has launched on AJIO. It plans to expand its collection from 1,500 to over 6,000 styles by next year. The brand offers a wide range of fashion basics, including top wear, dresses, bottom wear, co-ord sets, and outerwear.

The brand also offers accessories such as jewellery, caps, hats, bags, phone cases, hair accessories, scarves, and socks. With 50 new styles launched daily, Foundry aims to provide customers with the latest trends at affordable prices.

NASSCOM selects Shorthills AI in its Gen AI Foundry programme

NASSCOM has selected Shorthills AI as one of the generative AI companies for the first cohort of its GenAI Foundry programme. The company specialises in using GenAI technologies and LLMs to transform unstructured data into actionable insights.

With experience in various industries, Shorthills AI is a Microsoft Gold partner and provides top-grade enterprise solutions globally. NASSCOM's GenAI Foundry programme aims to harness the growing GenAI technology trend and propel GenAI companies from initial stages to advanced levels of development.

NASSCOM has established partnerships with governmental entities like the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing and offers six months of complimentary GPU power to selected companies.

The programme also provides additional resources, including data access, connections to the venture capital ecosystem, and collaborations with global technology firms like AWS and Microsoft.

RBI grants in-principle authorisation to Zaakpay to act as online payment aggregator

MobiKwik's payment gateway, Zaakpay, has been granted in-principle authorisation by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to operate as a payment aggregator.

This will enable Zaakpay to onboard new merchants for efficient online payment processing.

The platform, which operates with leading brands in e-commerce, mobility, and bill payments, offers over 100 payment methods across UPI, debit and credit cards, net banking, and mobile wallets. It adheres to PAPG compliance standards and is powered by developer-friendly APIs for easy integration with digital storefronts.

Zaakpay boasts of a 99.9% system uptime for smooth payment processing for businesses with high transaction volumes.

Razorpay expands its reach, secures licence to onboard merchants in Malaysia

Razorpay has acquired a licence to acquire merchants in Malaysia for Curlec, a full-stack payments and banking platform for businesses.

Curlec by Razorpay is now a non-bank member of Payments Network Malaysia Sdn Bhd (PayNet), the national payments network and shared central infrastructure for Malaysia's financial markets.

The 'Curlec by Razorpay' payment gateway is now regulated by Bank Negara Malaysia and is committed to being a fully compliant organisation.

Razorpay has been working towards building the financial backbone for businesses in India and will now take this legacy into Malaysia, working with Curlec to build a safe, customer-first, and innovative payment infrastructure.

Escrowpay Secures Digital Escrow Authorization from IFSCA

Escrowpay, a innovator in the escrow banking – fintech industry, has been granted the digital escrow regulatory fintech authorisation from IFSCA, Gift City. The company provides digital escrow services to over 3,000 clients across India.

Escrowpay, a company backed by investors like Tano India Opportunities Fund, Zenith Global Group, We Founder Circle, JB Ventures, Angel List, Inflection Point Ventures, and Chhattisgarh Investments, has raised over $6 million in a Series A capital raise programme of $15 million.

The company plans to increase its focus on cross-border transactions and onshore presence in overseas geographies like the UAE. Escrowpay has seen rapid growth over the last two years, collaborating with multiple large regulated banks to build a proprietary, open architecture stack for SMEs. The company plans to integrate with five large UAE banks next year.

Okta strengthens India presence with new leadership appointments

Okta has appointed Atul Agarwal as the regional vice president and country head for Okta India, and Nikhil Hasija as the head of the India Innovation Center, marking a significant step towards the company's expansion into the Indian market and enhancing its digital transformation and customer support.

Agarwal will lead Okta's sales operations in India, focusing on cybersecurity and digital identity. With expertise in various domains, he will drive Okta's mission to deliver secure digital experiences to Indian businesses and government agencies.

Hasija will lead the Indian Innovation Center, inaugurated in Bengaluru, which will develop cutting-edge identity solutions. As the vice president of engineering, he will oversee the identity orchestration and identity management product portfolios.

Aurionpro Solutions elevates Ashish Rai to CEO

Aurionpro Solutions Limited has appointed Ashish Rai as its new CEO. Rai, a veteran of the fintech industry, has over two decades of experience in leading enterprise software businesses globally.

He will be instrumental in developing innovative solutions to address industry challenges and shaping the company's growth strategy.

Rai focused on building sales channels and growing a robust sales team of industry veterans. His increased investor engagement has yielded positive outcomes for the company, and he will continue to drive these initiatives in his new role as CEO.

Aurionpro Solutions Limited is a Mumbai-based company that offers advanced and accelerated platform-led transformation (ADAPT) solutions for the banking, mobility, payments, and government sectors.

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

Edited by Suman Singh