Startup news and updates: Daily roundup (December 20, 2023)

YourStory presents the daily news roundup from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Wednesday, December 20, 2023.

Startup news and updates: Daily roundup (December 20, 2023)

Wednesday December 20, 2023,

7 min Read

Funding

Finhaat raises $3M in seed round led by Omnivore

Insurtech startup Finhaat has secured $3 million in seed funding led by Omnivore, with participation from Kettleborough VC.

"With this round, we hope to expand further by building robust technological models, enriching product experience, introducing innovative products, enhancing our partner base, and hiring resources for new verticals. We are determined to transform the financial services space for the underserved,” Vinod Singh, Co-founder, Finhaat said.

Launched in June 2022, Finhaat focuses on providing digital insurance services to underserved segments in India, including rural communities and middle- to low-income populations in Tier II and III cities.

The startup, founded by IRMA graduates Sandeep Katiyar, Navneet Shrivastava, and Vinod Singh, operates as a B2B insurance distribution and servicing platform. Targeting institutions working with the underserved, such as NBFCs, MFIs, and NGOs, Finhaat utilises proprietary APIs for instant policy issuance and a streamlined claims process.

“Finhaat is transforming this landscape, and we are excited to support its mission of improving financial access and resilience for the millions left behind by formal systems,” Jinesh Shah, Managing Partner at Omnivore, said.

Alt Carbon raises $550,000 pre-seed round led by Shastra VC

Indian climate action startup Alt Carbon has secured $550,000 in a pre-seed funding round led by Shastra VC (formerly Veda VC) and a consortium of strategic angel investors.

The funds raised will be used to assemble a top-tier team of geologists, geochemists, and geospatial scientists in India.

Alt Carbon also plans to execute a pilot project in early 2024 that is focused on creating durable and high-quality carbon removal credits. It wants to target the voluntary carbon offset market.

Founded by BITS Pilani graduate Shrey Agarwal, Alt Carbon specialises in scalable carbon sequestration solutions tailored for Indian geography and local conditions.

Other news

CarDekho group announces $5M ESOP buyback

Autotech and financial services solution provider CarDekho Group has announced an ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan) Liquidity buyback with a pool size of $5 million.

It is designed to include both current and former employees holding shares in the company.

In FY23, the CarDekho group reported a robust 46% year-over-year growth in consolidated revenue, maintaining a strong cash reserve dedicated to organic and inorganic growth projects.

Earlier in the month, the group announced a merger with Revv to strengthen its shared mobility ecosystem. CarDekho Group operates various services, including CarDekho, BikeDekho, Zigwheels, PowerDrift, InsuranceDekho, Rupyy, and OTO.

Founded in 2008, the CarDekho Group is backed by investors like Sequoia, Hillhouse Capital, CapitalG, Ratan Tata Trust, Leapfrog, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, and Axis Bank, among others.

Motovolt Mobility partners with Swobbee to establish 200 battery-swapping stations

E-mobility startup MotovoltMobility has partnered with German climate-tech firm Swobbee to establish 200 battery-swapping stations across India in the next 24 months.

Initial stations have been launched in Delhi and Kolkata, with a vision to generate over $10 million in revenue and achieve profitability within five years.

"Swobbee’s battery swapping services offer a unique proposition wherein our customers can subscribe to a swapping solutions provider. This offers freedom from the necessity to purchase batteries upfront with the vehicle, ensuring optimal battery performance, safe and efficient charging, and proper disposal of end-of-life batteries," Tushar Choudhary, Founder and CEO, Motovolt Mobility.

"Additionally, Swobbee will gain access to our product portfolio and customer base, empowering them to establish a nationwide intelligent and multi-manufacturer battery swapping network,” he added.

Parfois
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Myntra adds Parfois to international brands portfolio

Myntra has added the global women's fashion accessories brand, Parfois, to its international brands portfolio.

Parfois, a Portuguese brand founded in 1994 by Manuela Medeiros, specialises in bags, shoes, apparel, and accessories. With a presence in over 70 countries and 1,000 stores, Parfois has entered the Indian market through Myntra, offering over 250 options, primarily focusing on handbags, totes, and slings.

"As the sense of style evolves across the country in line with global trends, we are seeing an increased appetite for trend-first accessory brands with customers proactively looking for accessories high-on style that best reflects their personalities," Jayanti Ganguly, VP - Business, Myntra, said.

Targeting GenZ and millennial consumers, Parfois sells products with an average selling price of around Rs 2,000. The collaboration includes launch offers such as a flat 20% price reduction.

Kapture CX Appoints Himanshu Garg as Chief Technology Officer

Enterprise SaaS startup Kapture CX has elevated Himanshu Garg, the Senior Vice President of Engineering, to the role of Chief Technology Officer (CTO).

Himanshu, who joined the company in May of this year, has more than 16 years of experience in the travel, ecommerce, and SaaS domains. He was CTO at Via.com, and was instrumental in the acquisition of Via.com by Ebix in 2017, Kapture CX said in a statement.

He was also part of the Google.com engineering team and the Google enterprise team. In his last venture, he was Founder and CTO of Bizrise Technologies (bikry.com), which was part of the Y combinator Winter 2020 batch.

"Himanshu has demonstrated exceptional leadership and technical prowess throughout his illustrious career. His ability to navigate the complexities of software development, coupled with his strategic vision, makes him the ideal choice to lead our technology initiatives as the CTO," Sheshgiri Kamath, CEO of Kapture CX, said.

Unicommerce expands board: Inducts 5 independent directors, 2 non-executive directors

Ecommerce enablement SaaS platform Unicommerce has inducted former Country Head at SoftBank Corp, Manoj Kohli; former Joint Managing Director of Jyothy Labs Ltd Ullas Kamath and; Founder and CEO of SHEROES Sairee Chahal as independent directors. Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal, Co-founders of AceVector and Titan Capital, will join as non-executive directors.

"Welcoming Sairee Chahal, Manoj Kohli, and Ullas Kamath, along with Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal, to the Unicommerce board is a momentous occasion for us. The depth and diversity of their expertise aligns seamlessly with our vision of anticipating and serving the evolving technology needs of our customers both in India and in other countries,” Kapil Makhija, MD and CEO of Unicommerce, said.

GoMechanic expands service to EVs; partners with MoEVing to target key fleet operators

GoMechanic has launched 'Electric Vehicle Services' in collaboration with MoEVing, targeting key fleet operators in India's EV space.

The initiative aims to service over 10,000 smart vehicles across India in the 2024-25 fiscal year. GoMechanic's services for EV fleets will include periodic vehicle maintenance and major repairs, offering cost savings of up to 40% compared to current OEM service providers.

"Partnering with key EV fleet leaders to service their fleet across India will provide the required support to the EV segment, which is a much sought-after pursuit of the government. Further, with our price competitiveness, GoMechanic promises to help our partners stay competitive and sustainable in this growing space." Himanshu Arora, CEO and Co-founder, GoMechanic said

Swiggy integrates Simpl's, a one-tap checkout experience on its app

Customers can not use Simpl's one-tap checkout feature across services provided by Swiggy.

The collaboration covers various services offered by Swiggy, including food delivery, Swiggy Instamart, Dineout, and Swiggy Genie.

As the demand for on-demand services rises during the holiday season, particularly around Christmas and New Year's Eve, the partnership aims to enhance customer convenience.

Simpl claims that its checkout has seen a 75% growth in transactions for food, beverages, and hyperlocal categories over the past two years, accompanied by a 48% increase in transacting users. The partnership aligns with Swiggy's mission to provide unparalleled convenience and elevate the overall customer experience.

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


Edited by Kanishk Singh