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Startup news and updates: daily roundup (November 24, 2023)

YourStory presents the daily news roundup from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Friday, November 24, 2023.

Startup news and updates: daily roundup (November 24, 2023)

Friday November 24, 2023 , 9 min Read


MS Dhoni invests in fitness startup Tagda Raho

Former Indian cricket team captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has invested in Bengaluru-based fitness startup Tagda Raho, which looks to expand its footprint across India. 

The brand, which has training dugouts in Bengaluru, will launch similar dugouts in Maharashtra in December. It is also looking to expand operations to four to five other states in the near future, it said in a release.

Tagda Raho is a specially-designed fitness programme that combines traditional Indian equipment such as Indian clubs gada, mugdar, vajra and sumtola with modern training applications. 

Tagda Raho

Tagda Raho Founder Rishabh Malhotra with former Indian cricket captain MS Dhoni

On the investment, Dhoni said, “When I came across Tagda Raho, the concept really appealed to me. Intrinsically Indian, the equipment used in the workout has been a part of traditional strength training and Tagda Raho has expertly innovated and adapted both the equipment and the movements in a modern avatar.” 

"I believe in investing in startups and homegrown brands that I can help grow from a grassroots level. Tagda Raho for me is very interesting because of the innovation involved in bringing a perhaps forgotten workout to the forefront once again,” he added.

The brand claims its equipment and training programme have been used by professional teams and institutions like the Lucknow Super Giants, Haryana Steelers and the National Cricket Academy (NCA). 

Rishabh Malhotra, Founder of Tagda Raho, said, “Our aim is to expand Tagda Raho's training dugouts across India and enter international markets, with a belief in the potential of Indian fitness practices to make a global impact.”

Ultimate Kho Kho secures Series A funding from UK-based BNP Group

Ultimate Kho Kho (UKK), a domestic professional Kho-Kho league, has secured Series A funding from UK-based BNP Group. 

With this, the league claims to be among the first sports leagues in India to secure private equity investment. 

Ultimate Kho Kho

Players in action during a Ultimate Kho Kho event (File photo)

Promoted by Amit Burman in collaboration with the Kho Kho Federation of India, Ultimate Kho Kho has state and corporate entities, including Odisha Sports Development and Promotion Company, GMR Sports, Adani Sportsline, Capri Global, Punit Balan Group, and KLO Sports, who have invested as franchise owners in the league.

Its inaugural session garnered a viewership of 164 million across platforms and 225 million video views on social media, of which 41% came from females.

“Keeping in mind the global ascendancy of indigenous sports, this partnership is a massive milestone for Ultimate Kho Kho and our plans to grow the league as a bigger commercial entity. Together, we are poised to unlock newer opportunities and redefine the future of the sporting ecosystem of India and contribute towards developing a multi-sport playing nation,” said Burman. 

Other news

5paisa ropes in former Uber and Paytm executive Ameya Agnihotri as CTO

Fairfax-backed discount brokerage platform 5paisa Capital has hired former Uber and Paytm executive Ameya Agnihotri as Chief Technology Officer (CTO).  

Prior to joining 5paisa, Agnihotri led technology at Paytm’s travel division, and has built digital platforms for various industries across continents in the last 17 years. The CTO has also worked with Berlin-headquartered Zeotap, besides stints at Uber, Pub Matic, and Veritas. 

“Ameya’s stellar background in building teams, large-scale digital products and deep understanding of the evolving tech ecosystem will help us attract top talent and greatly accelerate our digitisation efforts. He will be based in Bangalore and lead our engineering center,” said Narayan Gangadhar, MD and CEO, 5paisa Capital. 

Commenting on the appointment, Agnihotri said, “5paisa has already built a fantastic platform and has been among leaders in the digital discount broking space. I am really excited to be a part of this innovative company and offer my experience in building some of the greatest products and platforms in the investing space.”

SanchiConnect launches next phase of deeptech startups Roadshow

Sanchiconnect, a deeptech community, will continue its roadshow to unearth disruptive startups across cities, in collaboration with HSBC India, Arctic Invent, and Startup Movers, and facilitate investment opportunities. 

Starting December 9, the roadshow will journey through Delhi, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Coimbatore, and Kochi. Focused on patent, trademark, design, and copyright registration, Arctic Invent aims to help businesses drive innovation and create lasting business value.

"By connecting startups with investors and providing a platform for collaboration, we aim to catalyse innovation and drive sustainable growth. Together, we look forward to creating a transformative experience for startups, investors, and the entire deep tech community," said Sunil Shekhawat, CEO at SanchiConnect.

BITS Pilani, Aditya Birla Capital Foundation collaborate with NITI Aayog

BITS Pilani’s technology business incubator, Pilani Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Society (PIEDS), has launched a startup program to provide funding and incubation support to women entrepreneurs who are building solutions for/from Tier II/III/IV cities across the Northeast region, Rajasthan, Haryana, and J&K.

The program—Womenpreneur for Bharat 1.0—is launched in association with the Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP), incubated within NITI Aayog, and supported by Aditya Birla Capital Foundation, the CSR arm of Aditya Birla Capital Limited. 

It will seek both for-profit and non-profit women-led startups working across UN-SDG areas and solving business or societal challenges in those regions. The programme would provide funding of up to Rs 10 lakh to eligible startups, along with extended incubation support from PIEDS, including mentoring, market access support, and opportunities to raise future investments.

The partnership was announced at the state workshop at Dorjee Khandu State Convention Center, Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh.

Garuda Aerospace ties up with Department of Fertilisers for Kisan drones

Drone manufacturer Garuda Aerospace has collaborated with the Department of Fertilisers in support of the Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra initiative, to raise awareness about drone technology among farmers. 

Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra is a 60-day initiative aimed at spreading awareness about the scheme and its advantages to citizens across rural and urban landscapes in 117 tribal districts which will expand to 691 districts across India. 

The drone tech startup will educate farmers about agricultural drones through specially designed IEC (Information, Education and Communications) vans which will travel through the Gram Panchayats, along with experts. 

“Drones have the potential to transcend conventional boundaries, offering not just efficiency and cost-effectiveness, but a sustainable future for our farmers. Through this initiative, we envision not just participation, but a partnership in progress,” said Agnishwar Jayaprakash, Founder and CEO, Garuda Aerospace. 

KreditBee ropes in former InMobi senior executive Satish Kumar Dwibhashi as CISO

KreditBee, an online credit solution provider, expanded its senior leadership team with appointment of Satish Kumar Dwibhashi as its Chief Information Security Officer (CISO). 

In his new role, Dwibhashi will be responsible for establishing a strong information security system in-line with the regulatory requirements, system certifications, audits and design, developing security policies, standards and procedures, systems and network security technologies, IT infrastructure and so on. 

Dwibhashi is a cybersecurity evangelist and comes with over 30+ years of experience in information technology and security, having previously worked as a Senior Vice President and CISO at InMobi Group and at Wibmo (a PayU company). He has also worked with IBM Global Business Services, leading the IT, risk management, and compliance functions.

“In today's digital age, safeguarding our customers' data and ensuring a strong digital infrastructure is paramount especially for financial institutions, and under Satish’s experience, we will continue to achieve this for our customers,” said Madhusudan E, CEO and Co-founder, KreditBee. 

D2C health & wellness platform Wellify joins ONDC Network

Wellify, a D2C health and wellness platform by Piramal’s Consumer Product Division (CPD), has announced that it has joined Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) network to leverage on its scale and expand reach.

With this integration, the brand’s catalogue including a range of products across skincare, baby care, women’s intimate health, home essentials is now live on the network.

“Wellify joining the ONDC Network represents a key step in India's health and wellness landscape. This collaboration opens the doors to a healthier and more accessible future for all. Through ONDC, we are determined to revolutionise the way consumers access and experience a well-rounded and healthier lifestyle,” said T Koshy, CEO and MD, ONDC. 

Nitish Bajaj, CEO, Piramal CPD said, "We are thrilled to be one of the first players in the health and wellness space in India to join the ONDC Network. This integration will help us widen our reach, be easily accessible to consumers across the country and provide them with our innovative range of products.”

Alstom, NSRCEL to launch second cohort of incubation programme for sustainability startups

Alstom India, a global player in smart and sustainable mobility solution, and NSRCEL, the startup hub at IIM Bangalore, have launched the second cohort of their Sustainability Incubation Programme. 

The program is designed to assist startups in their early revenue stages and will focus on innovations in areas such as green manufacturing, mobility infrastructure, energy and renewable energy, climate technology, alternative fuels, and vehicle technology.

The selected 23 ventures have been shortlisted from a pool of 344 applications. These ventures will now proceed to a pre-incubation programme, which will reinforce their foundational business fundamentals and provide mentorship based on their specific needs. Subsequently, they will enter a six-month incubation phase, during which they will develop prototypes and refine their pitches presented to the screening committee.

A funding grant pool of Rs 1.5 crore has been allocated to support startups with the highest potential for creating a meaningful impact.

Uber rolls out rewards programme for drivers

Uber on Friday launched a rewards programme ‘Uber Pro’ for drivers, offering them rewards, support, and exclusive features across 12 Indian cities.

By rewarding drivers with good customer ratings (above 4.8) and low trip cancellations, the programme aims to elevate the overall platform experience, it said. 

Commenting on the launch, Shiva Shailendran, Director, Operations, Uber India & South Asia, said, “Uber Pro rewards drivers who provide a great service to riders by maintaining a high app rating and low trip cancellations. It will go a long way in promoting the adaptation and continued use of the Uber platform by top-rated drivers.”

Depending on the ratings, some of the rewards include lucky draws wherein drivers can win cars, shopping vouchers up to Rs 1 lakh, and access to priority support, automatic premier eligibility etc. 

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

Edited by Kanishk Singh