Startup news and updates: Daily roundup (November 29, 2023)
YourStory presents the daily news roundup from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Wednesday, November 29, 2023.
SustVest raises $250,000 led by WEH Ventures to expand its sustainable investment Platform
Gurugram-basedrecently raised a fund of $250,000 in a round led by WEH Ventures. This financial infusion is expected to fuel SustVest’s growth, with the company aiming for Rs 100 crores in Assets Under Management (AUM) within the next six-twelve months.
Co-founded in 2022 by 25-year-old BITS Pilani alumnus Hardik Bhatia and 24-year-old Devansh Shah, SustVest is a sustainable investment platform enables users to purchase fractional ownership in renewable energy projects like solar with an inventive minimum ticket size of Rs 25,000. Users also benefit from a lucrative 10%-12% Post-Tax Extended Internal Rate of Return (XIRR) on energy income.
SustVest has already sold INR 20 crore worth of solar projects, and generated Rs 1 crore in energy income to its expanding user base.
Sunicon Ventures leads the funding round for Suind
Sunicon Ventures, an India-focused venture capital firm, has led the seed funding round of Rs 5 crore for dronetech startup SUIND. The round also saw participation from Zetta Farms and other prominent angel investors.
SUIND says it is revolutionising agriculture through AI and offers a comprehensive solution for real-time crop monitoring and treatment. The agriculture technology startup was founded in 2020 by Kunal Shrivastava and Kevin Kleber.
The infusion of newly raised capital will empower SUIND to accelerate technological advancements, enhance the scalability of its AI-driven crop protection platform, and expand its market penetration in both the Indian and European markets.
Heat Cure secures undisclosed funding from angel investors
Heat Cure, a Japanese nano-technology-based transparent liquid coating for all types of glasses, secured undisclosed funding from angel investors, which will be instrumental in driving Heat Cure's expansion plans, enabling the company to make its product available to a wider audience across India.
It will also use the funds to expand its team, bolstering Heat Cure's capabilities with experienced professionals in distribution and accelerating Above the Line (ATL) marketing campaigns.
The company is poised to be available in the top 42 cities of India, with a target of onboarding about 5000 partners.
Mitgo Group Invests $1.2 Million into Innovative Cashback App
Check Rewards, an innovative cashback service fuelled by cutting-edge machine learning technology, has received a $1.2 million investment from the Mitgo Group in an aim to redefine the cashback experience for both users and businesses.
The cashback and coupons marketplace in India is valued at over Rs. 500 crores and increasing. The rising popularity of e-commerce and the increasing consumer preferences for these platforms for shopping are major trends in the cashback apps market. The cashback and coupon industry stimulates online shopping, boosting digital payment adoption, and influencing consumer behavior.
Along with financial backing, Mitgo Group will provide wide-reaching networking opportunities
and regional expertise, reflecting both the potential of Check Rewards and Mitgo Group's dedication to fostering innovative tech businesses.
ONDC marketplace Bitsila raises pre-seed funding from Antler
Bitsila, the seller marketplace on ONDC, has raised pre-seed funding from Antler and Phanindra Sama - also the Co-Founder of Redbus.
The startup is founded by Dasharatham Bitla, Sooryah Pokkali and Likhma Ram who previously built Bitla Software.
As a Technology Service Provider (TSP) on ONDC, Bitsila provides the fastest platform for non-digital sellers to establish an online presence, creating branded websites and mobile apps to create customer reach. Bitsila also empowers a diverse ecosystem including large retail houses, brands, logistics service providers, online retail aggregators and entrepreneurs to become a seller network participant on ONDC.
“Our journey on ONDC parallels the UPI moment for digital commerce, poised to rewrite traditional business rules. A 30-minute onboarding of any seller on Shopify to ONDC is under development and could be the QR Code moment for ONDC. We aim to empower 500+ large enterprises as network participants in the next 18 months, enabling a million merchants on their digital commerce journey through ONDC,” said Dasharatham Bitla, Founder and CEO of Bitsila.
Deloitte India partners with Ramco Systems to redefine the landscape of payroll transformation
Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India LLP, has entered a strategic partnership with Ramco Systems Limited, a leading global payroll technology provider. This partnership leverages Ramco's innovative payroll platform in conjunction with Deloitte's expert advisory and managed services.
The partnership presents organisations with the chance to harness a full spectrum of services i.e., risk reduction through seamless integration, faster delivery, performance optimisation, and improved visibility. It further empowers businesses to achieve ongoing, self-sustained governance, driving efficiency, scalability, and innovation in the digital landscape.
“Through this partnership, our objective is to offer a comprehensive spectrum of end-to-end payroll services that cater to the employer requirements leveraging technological innovations such as AI and Machine Learning (AI-ML), chatbot integration, seamless tech-enabled communications, and central hubs,” says Tapati Ghose, Partner, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India LLP.
IBM partners with The University of Chicago Trust for new sustainability project
Ahead of COP28, IBM has announced the latest investments in its effort to advance environmental sustainability through its social impact programs. A new set of environmental initiatives pioneering water solutions will be scaled through the IBM Sustainability Accelerator to benefit local communities across India in collaboration with The University of Chicago Trust. Simultaneously, a first-of-its-kind roadmap of sustainability skills courses, available for free through IBM SkillsBuild, will empower future climate action.
“With nearly half of the global population vulnerable to significant environmental distress, new strategies to help create a sustainable future are essential," said Justina Nixon-Saintil, Vice President and Chief Impact Officer, IBM. "This means scaling solutions to help people immediately, while also cultivating a pipeline of future leaders at the intersection of technology and sustainability across industries.”
Gupshup’s GSPay payment volumes soar 70% month-on-month
GSPay, the UPI 123 Pay-powered payment app for feature phone users by, saw a 70% monthly increase in payment volume since its launch in June 2023. Also, the app's active user base is rising by 80% month on month.
Built by Gupshup.io, the app harnesses the power of SMS messaging to deliver an easy-to-use UPI payment experience, without the need for a data plan or internet connectivity.
The company saw a significant increase in P2P transfers just before Diwali and also prior to Dussehra.
While the average ticket size stood above Rs 650, there was an increase during the end of every month attributed to salary day spending.
The distribution of transaction amounts revealed that transactions below Rs 100 constituted 56% of the total payments, while those between Rs 100 and Rs 500 accounted for 22.31%. Transactions between Rs 500 and Rs 1000 made up 6.49%, and those above Rs 1000 constituted 15.68% of the total.
Satkam Divya joins PolicyBoss as Chief Business Officer, Digital
InsurTech companyhas appointed Satkam Divya as its Chief Business Officer, Digital.
An insurtech professional with over two decades of experience in building and scaling digital tech-driven consumer businesses, Satkam has previously founded consumer-tech companies Rupeetalk and KlinicApp.
He has also been a part of the leadership team in PolicyBazaar and NetAmbit and worked with ICICI Bank and Times Internet.
Commenting on his appointment, Satkam said, “We are keen on creating an ecosystem and changing the perception of insurance by providing customers with simple, transparent, and hassle-free interactions backed by a robust technology framework. My key focus will be to advise with a data-driven approach and continue to align PolicyBoss’ operations and offerings with customer needs and industry standards.”
Crayon India launches its first ISV Incubation Centre in India with AWS
Crayon Software Experts India launched an Independent Software Vendor (ISV) Incubation Centre in Bengaluru in collaboration with AWS India, and will support India-based ISVs and startups to develop cloud-based digital solutions for public sector application areas, like agriculture, healthcare, utilities, and smart infrastructure, and edtech.
ISVs and startups face multiple challenges in their quest to build viable solutions to meet customer needs in the public sector, including comprehending the fast pace of technology advancement and identifying the right technologies to leverage, minimising time-to-market, and providing public sector customer solutions with better governance and data security.
Crayon and AWS India aim to address this through the incubation centre by empowering ISVs and startups with the technical and business knowledge and capabilities to bring their ideas to market and build and scale solutions to address public sector organisations’ needs.
TeamLease Degree Apprenticeship reports an increase in net apprenticeship
TeamLease Degree Apprenticeship has unveiled the 2023 Apprenticeship Outlook Report, showcasing a 75% surge in apprenticeship opportunities across India, a 9% growth over the quarter of January-March 2023.
The Net Apprenticeship Outlook (NAO) metric, a key indicator of employer sentiment, has reached an all-time high, signalling a remarkable 75% increase in employer intent for apprenticeship engagement during the upcoming October-March 2023-24 half-year.
NAO has increased significantly year-over-year, from 66% in January-March 2023 to an astounding 75% for the October-March 2023–24 period. This CAGR of nearly 30% showcases how organisations view apprenticeships as a pivotal talent development strategy, driving skill enhancement, workforce development, and talent pipeline creation.
The HY1 April-September 2023 and HY2 October 2023 to March 2024 Apprenticeship Outlook Report reveals a compelling landscape, highlighting Engineering and Industrial (96%), Electrical and Electronics (94%), Telecom (93%), and ecommerce and tech products (90%) as the leading sectors with the highest NAO.
It also highlighted that 41% of employers believe that degree apprenticeships stand as a formidable strategy to effectively address the skill gap through seamless industry-academia collaboration.
T-Hub, Global Wales partner to fuel cross-border innovation
Startup incubator T-Hub partnered with Global Wales, a programme supported by the Welsh Government and Universities Wales, to foster cross-border entrepreneurship and innovation.
T-Hub and Global Wales have initiated a comprehensive three-month joint mentorship programme tailored to empower startups in Telangana, focusing on diverse sectors such as healthtech, fintech, enterprise SaaS, EV, sustainability, and sportstech.
Global Wales will facilitate employability opportunities between Indian and Welsh organisations, leveraging T-Hub's vast network and knowledge for future industry engagement and potential graduate employment.
Academic and technical mentors from Welsh universities will contribute industry expertise, fostering a technology and innovation bridge between Wales and India through startup and research exchange. T-Hub will be leading initiatives, including mapping Welsh mentors with startups, executing the mentorship program, conducting mid-cycle reviews, facilitating a closed-room roundtable for idea exchange, and culminating with a demo day to showcase startup progress.
Waaree Technologies signs MoU with Israeli Company 3DBattery
Waaree Technologies, an energy storage division of Waaree Group, has signed a non-binding MoU with Israeli company, 3DBattery, to develop and produce advanced energy storage solutions based on 3DBattery’s lithium-ion and upcoming sodium-ion technology.
3DBattery provides advanced lithium-ion battery cells, delivering improved energy storage performance. The company offers a range of cell chemistries for a variety of applications, including electric vehicles, micro-mobility, stationary and renewable energy.
Through the collaboration, Waaree Technologies Ltd. will gain the capability to indigenously manufacture high-performance, rechargeable energy storage solutions, thus significantly strengthening the company’s position in the Indian and global, new & energy domains.
(This copy will be updated with the latest news throughout the day.)
Edited by Kanishk Singh