Startup news and updates: daily roundup (November 7, 2023)
YourStory presents the daily news roundup from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Tuesday, November 7, 2023.
Vaaree secures $4M in seed funding led by Surge, Peak XV
, an Indian home furnishings and decor marketplace, has secured $4 million in seed funding led by Surge, Peak XV, with participation from PeerCapital, All In Capital, and Better Capital.
The funding will support the expansion of Vaaree's team and further the development of its online platform. The company was founded in February 2022 by Garima Luthra, Pranav Arora, and Varun Vohra, and launched its online operations in May 2022.
Vaaree aims to bridge the gap in the Indian market for affordable and high-quality home furnishings and decor. The company also opened its first retail store in Bengaluru.
Bimaplan secures $3.5 million pre-Series A round led by Orios Venture
, an insurtech startup, has secured $3.5 million in a pre-Series A funding round, with Orios Venture Partners leading the investment. Existing investors Finsight Ventures and 2am VC also participated, bringing Bimaplan's total funding to $6 million.
The new funds will be used to enhance its technology platform, launch new products, and expand its distribution network. The company aims to insure 10 million lives in the next 2-3 years.
The startup aims to address India's low insurance penetration, which stands at around 4% of GDP, well below the global average of 7%. Bimaplan focuses on the "missing middle," a segment of nearly 400 million people in India who lack access to insurance.
Bimaplan partners with organizations serving rural and semi-urban customers, enabling them to sell insurance products through its platform. Over the past two years, the startup claims to have served over a million customers.
OnFinance.ai raises $1.05M in seed round led by Silverneedle Ventures, IAN
, founded by BITS Pilani graduates, has raised $1.05 million in a seed funding round led by Silverneedle Ventures and IAN.
Other notable investors include LetsVenture Fund, SSV Fund, and Kunal Shah (CRED), along with several angel investors.
The company will use the funding to expand its engineering team and scale its financial AI solution, NeoGPT, globally, with a focus on the United States.
OnFinance.ai's NeoGPT platform is a financial Large Language Model (LLM) that provides AI co-pilots for research analysis, relationship management, sales, and customer success teams in financial institutions, asset management companies, and wealth management firms. It aims to streamline complex internal processes and enhance data-driven decision-making, addressing the financial sector's need for faster AI-based processes.
The company, led by co-founders Anuj Srivastava and Priyesh Srivastava, plans to extend its services to banks and wealth management firms in the US and the UK.
SecurWeave raises seed round of Rs 2.8 Cr led by Indian Angel Network
, a cybersecurity startup, has raised a seed funding round of Rs 2.8 crores, led by Indian Angel Network (IAN). Key IAN investors, including Romesh Sobti, Uday Chatterjee, Nagendra P Bandaru, and Sri Prakash, participated in this funding round.
The recent round is expected to help SecurWeave strengthen sales, advance R&D, and expand field support as it works to mitigate cyber risks and protect digital assets across various domains. SecurWeave is focused on developing cybersecurity platforms capable of thwarting advanced malware attacks that traditional security solutions cannot effectively combat. The company has deployed its technology in both private and defense sectors in India and is now aiming for global expansion.
SecurWeave's work centers are incubated at institutions such as IITM Technology Innovation Hub Pravartak and NCoE, DSCI, Noida, NCR.
KRAFTON Q3 2023 Revenue Up 16% QoQ on BGMI return
, a South Korean video game company, reported its financial results for the third quarter of 2023. The company achieved sales of Rs 279.1 billion, operating profit (OP) of Rs 189.3 billion, and net profit (NP) of Rs 131 billion, following Korean International Financial Reporting Standards (K-IFRS)
This marked a 16% increase in sales and a 44% increase in OP quarter-over-quarter (QoQ), translating to 4% and 31% year-over-year (YoY) growth, respectively.
These positive financial results are largely attributed to stable revenue generated across all platforms from the popular PUBG: BATTLEGROUNDS intellectual property (IP). The game made updates on PC and console platforms, introduced new content, and actively engaged with users. In addition, sales for PUBG MOBILE in the mobile gaming sector increased due to collaborations and service resumption in India.
NABARD appoints Goverdhan S Rawat, Dr Ajay Kumar Sood as deputy managing directors
The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has appointed Goverdhan S Rawat and Dr Ajay Kumar Sood as Deputy Managing Directors.
Goverdhan S Rawat, with over three decades of experience at NABARD, previously served as Chief General Manager in Pune, Maharashtra Regional Office. His expertise covers project appraisal, infrastructure financing, rural development, district credit planning, consulting services, board secretariats, and human resources. He holds a graduate degree in Agriculture and Animal Husbandry, CAIIB, a postgraduate diploma in Banking and Finance, and an MBA in Leadership and Strategy.
Dr Ajay Kumar Sood, formerly Chief General Manager of NABARD in Himachal Pradesh Regional Office, has also become Deputy Managing Director. He focused on rural infrastructure development and managed funds like RIDF, Micro Irrigation Fund, and Warehouse Infrastructure Fund. Dr Sood's educational background includes agriculture from Chaudhary Sarwan Kumar Himachal Pradesh Krishi Vishvavidyalaya (CSKHPKV) and a PhD in Agricultural Economics from the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), New Delhi.
Wadhwani AI launches tool for automated news monitoring and analysis
Google.org. This tool is aimed at assisting the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare (MoAFW) in making timely and informed decisions regarding agriculture.has launched "Krishi 24/7," an AI tool for automated news monitoring and analysis, with support from
Krishi 24/7 scans news articles in various languages and translates them into English. It extracts essential information, such as headlines, crop names, event types, dates, locations, severity, summaries, and source links. This ensures that the ministry receives timely updates on relevant agricultural events published on the web.
"We want to build AI solutions for existing challenges where news monitoring and validation have been manual and time-consuming. A similar event tracking and analysis solution for disease outbreaks has been successfully deployed by the institute with the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC)," JP Tripathi, Associate Director (Ag), Wadhwani AI, said
This AI tool helps streamline the monitoring and validation of news. It offers a valuable resource for the ministry to improve information flow and decision-making in the agricultural sector.
Chandigarh adopts chatbot to integrate major citizen services into a single platform
Chandigarh Smart City Limited (CSCL) has introduced "BIRBAL," an AI chatbot that integrates major citizen services into a single platform.
The chatbot addresses a variety of issues, including complaint management, citizen services, public transport services, online payments, health services, property details, and more. It also offers features like voice assistance, live agent support, and AI-based response updates.
“BIRBAL reaffirms the city’s commitment to leveraging technology to create seamless experiences for residents. Its primary objective is to provide accurate information and guide citizens toward the appropriate resources. Through BIRBAL, citizens will have access to comprehensive information on the major services offered by the UT administration, Chandigarh administration, and MC, making it a one-stop platform for information dissemination and grievance redressal,” said Chandigarh Smart City Limited (CSCL) Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Anindita Mitra.
If the chatbot cannot address specific queries, a live chat option is available for citizens to engage with dedicated support operators who can promptly provide accurate information. BIRBAL is accessible through the official CSCL website and the Im Chandigarh mobile app.
During the beta testing phase, over 12,434 users engaged with the chatbot, resulting in approximately 32,000 messages exchanged. The AI virtual assistant was developed using CoRover.ai, a generative AI-powered conversational AI platform.
HCAH elevates Dr Gaurav Thukral, Ankit Kumar Goel as co-founders
Healthcare provider, HCAH, has elevated Dr Gaurav Thukral and Ankit Kumar Goel to the roles of co-founders within the organisation.
Dr Gaurav Thukral, who has been with HCAH for over a decade, will continue serving as the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of HCAH India, in addition to his position as Co-founder. Ankit Kumar Goel, an eight-year veteran at HCAH, has been appointed as Co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer.
HCAH is a healthtech company that aims to provide high-quality healthcare services outside of hospital settings through an affordable and accessible healthcare ecosystem. It offers services in physical rehabilitation and recovery, elderly care, and chronic disease management.
Kapture CX appoints Flipkart's Deepak Leelavinothan as VP of Products
, a SaaS-based customer experience platform, has appointed Deepak Leelavinothan as the Vice President of Products. With 16 years of experience in the IT domain, Leelavinothan brings expertise in product management, product strategy, market research, and customer experience.
He has a track record of launching and driving innovations in both B2B and B2C spaces, particularly in CRM, ecommerce, and customer experience. Prior to joining Kapture CX, Deepak served as a Product Manager lead at Flipkart, where he successfully launched and scaled the electric vehicles business.
Kapture CX, founded in 2014, offers a SaaS-based platform for customer support automation and personal customer interactions, with an emphasis on AI-driven capabilities. The company recently raised $4 million in a Series A funding round from Cactus Venture Partners.
Legacy Growth appoints Vinu Saini as Co-founder, leader of Growth Strategy and Transactions
Advisory firm Legacy Growth has appointed Vinu Saini as a co-founder and leader of Growth Strategy and Transactions. With over 24 years of experience in various industries and leadership roles in MNCs and family offices in India.
Vinu has expertise in areas like investment banking, corporate finance, corporate development, business operations, and finance. His track record includes successful deals in M&A, IPO, QIP, private equity, and debt transactions, along with building strong relationships with external stakeholders.
Vinu holds an MBA from the Goa Institute of Management and a BE in Mechanical from Goa Engineering College. In his new role, he will bolster Legacy Growth's commitment to providing premium advisory services.
CARS24 appoints Airtel'sl Deepak Gupta as its Vice President of Engineering
, an autotech company, has appointed Deepak Gupta as its Vice President of Engineering. In this role, Deepak will lead technological innovation efforts in the Engineering Division, with the aim of enhancing performance delivery and user experience for customers involved in buying and selling used cars.
Deepak Gupta has a two-decade career at the intersection of technology and business. He has a strong record of shaping technical strategies, leading cross-functional teams, and delivering results. Deepak's background includes developing engineering platforms, adaptable websites, apps, and products to offer cutting-edge functionality and intelligence to users.
He has also worked with organisations like Publicis Sapient, G4S, Xchanging, and MPS Technologies.
Deepak will lead CARS24's financial engineering and compliance vertical, aiming to build a scalable ecosystem for various financial products.
IndusInd Bank offers RuPay Credit Card on UPI for seamless transactions
IndusInd Bank, in collaboration with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), has launched the 'IndusInd Bank Platinum RuPay Credit Card' on the UPI (Unified Payments Interface) platform.
This credit card allows customers to link it with UPI-enabled apps, enabling them to initiate UPI payments with ease. Customers can make transactions seamlessly through both online and offline platforms using this card and earn accelerated rewards on their UPI transactions.
The integration of this RuPay credit card with UPI aims to enhance customer convenience and the payment experience. Customers can use the card to make payments to merchants via the RuPay network using POS devices and ecommerce websites.
Mswipe strengthens leadership with new appointments and promotions
Mswipe Technologies, a digital payment platform for merchants, has made several key appointments to its leadership team. Ketan Patel has been elevated to Co-founder while Nayantara Bhargava has been promoted to Chief Business Officer, focusing on banking and enterprise partnerships.
"This initiative has been taken to strengthen the position of Mswipe Technologies in the Indian market, but while we maintain our focus on that, we plan to expand our reach to multiple other countries in the near future. We are currently partnered with Etisalat in the UAE, and have already started operations in Singapore, with plans to launch ourselves in other countries as well." Ketan Patel, Co-founder and CEO at Mswipe Technologies said.
Rohit Agarwal, the current Chief Financial Officer, will lead the customer support department. Rishikesh Pillai transitions into the role of Chief Executive Officer of Wecollect, a newly launched unsecured loan collection division by Mswipe.
(The copy will be updated with the latest news throughout the day.)
Edited by Kanishk Singh