Startup news and updates: Daily roundup (October 18, 2023)
YourStory presents the daily news roundup from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Wednesday, October 18, 2023.
Tap Invest raises $2M from Turbostart
Bengaluru-based Tap Invest, a platform for fixed-income investments, raised $2 million in a seed funding round led by Turbostart. The round also saw participation from Snow Leopard Ventures, Kunal Shah (Founder, Cred), and Kashyap Shah (CEO, Creditstar UK), among others.
The startup will use the funds to expand its market presence, pursue growth, and diversify its range of services on the debt investment side. It is also working to raise category awareness among young and traditional investors about the sector and plans to drive more conversations around it with relevant stakeholders.
Formerly known as Leaf Round, Tap Invest was co-founded by Nishchay Nath, an IIT Kharagpur and IIM Ahmedabad alum, with Soumya Kushwaha, an IIM Ahmedabad alum, and Himanshu Chowdhary, an IIT Kharagpur grad.
Insurtech startup Alwrite raises Rs 10 Cr in seed funding
Insurtech startup Alwrite has secured Rs 10 crore in seed funding through contributions from several venture capitalists and angel investors—Apurva Parekh (Executive Vice Chairman, Pidilite Group), Viral Thakker (Partner and Lead in Strategy, AI, Analytics, and M&A at Deloitte India's World Climate division), and Amit Sheth, Sanjay Bhagat, Shrenik Shah, and Sumit Bohra.
Alwrite has reported positive feedback from insurance brokers, insurance agents, insurance corporate agents, and banks engaged in insurance sales, including major insurance companies, the company said in a statement.
The company operates as a business-to-business (B2B) technology platform designed to help insurance companies, brokers, agents, corporate agents, and banks expedite the quote placement process, resulting in more efficient insurance services.
It offers solutions that encompass quote procurement and placement, underwriting, user management, and knowledge and risk management tools. These capabilities aim to simplify the insurance process and enhance overall insurance market penetration.
VideoVerse acquires Optikka
Mumbai-based VideoVerse, an AI-powered video solutions company, has acquired Optikka to enhance its real-time content automation platform, Magnifi.ai, expanding its media, design, and publishing capabilities. This move marks the transformation of Magnifi into a comprehensive post-production automation platform.
The acquisition brings two key hires to the company with experience across multiple Disney business divisions: Charles Duncan, a creative technologist, and Nick Arciero, a global creative strategist.
VideoVerse aims to leverage these resources and its advanced Magnifi AI to help customers convert numerous assets into fully designed, consumer-ready content in real-time, across various formats, including video, broadcast, XR, and the metaverse. VideoVerse will share more information on Optikka and Magnifi’s integrations at the NAB Show in Las Vegas in April 2024.
UK-based Wowtickets.com begins operations in India
Wowtickets.com, an online airline ticketing platform founded in the United Kingdom by British entrepreneur Dmitrijus Konovalovas, has officially begun operations in India.
It is a wholly-owned subsidiary of UK-based Airnme Limited, and intends to achieve 10,000 downloads and 100,000 users in the next two quarters in India. It aims to facilitate 25,000 flight tickets in the region by next quarter. It aims to establish an Indian team soon.
Wowtickets.com is currently available in five countries, and customers can book flights from more than 400 airlines such as Etihad, Turkish Airlines Emirates, Lufthansa, low-cost carriers such as Indigo, Ryanair, and Southwest Airlines among others for various destinations across the world.
PedalStart launches the second edition of its flagship cohort
PedalStart, a startup founders' community and accelerator, is launching the second edition of its outcome-driven cohort for early-stage startups, Zero-to-One 2.0. The application deadline is October 19, 2023, and the program starts on November 1, 2023.
PedalStart will invest a total of Rs 5 crore in the cohort startups, along with providing credits worth Rs 2.2 crore and various other resources to support their growth and success.
The first Zero-to-One cohort, launched last year, has already seen success, says PedalStart in a statement. Out of the 50 startups in the first cohort, three have secured funding, while the others are continuing to be accelerated. The funded startups are Newtral.i0 (climate tech), Rupid (fintech), and Betterspace (health tech).
Arya.ag launches agri loans on blockchain
Arya.ag, a Noida-based company offering post-harvest services to farmers, including warehousing, has introduced blockchain-based agricultural loans. In collaboration with Newrl, a decentralized trust network blockchain, Arya.ag seeks to facilitate quicker and more secure transactions, benefiting both large businesses and smallholder farmers.
Warehouse receipt loans provided through its fintech division and NBFC, Aryadhan, will be processed on its blockchain, ensuring users experience a high level of trust and transparency.
Arya.ag has tokenized commodities stored in its warehouses, allowing it to incorporate loan disbursements into the blockchain. This shift to blockchain technology not only expedites transactions but also significantly enhances security and trust among all involved participants, according to the startup.
(This article was updated to correct a spelling error)
Edited by Suman Singh