Startup news and updates: Daily roundup (December 22, 2023)

YourStory presents the daily news roundup from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Friday, December 22, 2023.

Startup news and updates: Daily roundup (December 22, 2023)

Friday December 22, 2023,

6 min Read

Funding news

WTF Secures Rs 1.05 Cr in angel investment 

Witness The Fitness (WTF) has secured Rs 1.05 crore in an angel investment round from Mohit Sadaani (The Moms Co.), Deep Bajaj (Sirona Hygiene), and Naiyya Saggi. It will use the funding to enhance fitness accessibility and quality throughout India, with a specific focus on Tier II and III cities.

Founded in September 2021 by Vishal Nigam, Anita Nigam, and Arpit Nigam, WTF leverages (AI) to introduce a smart lease model to upgrade existing gyms into cutting-edge "WTF Gyms" with a minimal investment of Rs 2-3 lakh. 

"Our Angels’ unwavering belief in our mission propels us forward. Their trust serves as a powerful endorsement of our model and our dedication to making top-tier fitness experiences universally accessible," says Vishal Nigam, WTF Co-founder and CEO.

Healthtech startup FlexifyMe bags funds from ah! Ventures

Healthtech platform FlexifyMe raised undisclosed funds from ah! VenturesAngel Platform. The startup will use the to advance its AI motion coach, enabling its availability in local languages and extending the platform's outreach in the MENA and North American regions. The capital infusion will help the company speed up its growth trajectory.

“We’re committed to leveraging technology to improve the lives of millions suffering from chronic pain, and this funding takes us a significant step closer to achieving that goal,” said Manjeet Singh, Co-founder of FlexifyMe. 

To date, ah! Ventures has made 209 investments in 125 startups, bringing its total investment portfolio to Rs 434 crore (~$54 million) with 16 exits and 48 follow-on rounds. In 2023, 55 investments have been made through all three platforms and the fund.

FlexifyMe is backed by Flipkart Ventures GSF, iHub Anubhuti, Chandigarh Angels (CAN), Venture Catalyst, OneCapital, and several other individual investors. The startup has experienced nearly a fivefold growth in the last 12 months, a statement said. 

SIDBI grants Rs 12.45 Cr to ETO Motors 

The Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) has granted Rs 12.45 crore to ETO Motors to deploy 300 electric three-wheelers (E3W) in Hyderabad and Delhi for first and last-mile passenger connectivity. It will also set up 180 charging points in the two cities to support the E3W deployment. 

“We are extremely thrilled to have been chosen by SIDBI under its 50K-EV4ECO scheme. The financial support will synergise our capabilities in manufacturing state-of-the-art E3Ws and managing them as a fleet to optimise performance. It will also support our charging infrastructure initiative, which is an essential requirement for the growth of EVs in the country,” says Karthik S. Ponnapula, Director of ETO Motors.

ETO Motors received the funds under SIDBI’s Mission 50K-EV4ECO, which aims to strengthen India's EV ecosystem, including uptake for two-, three-, and four-wheelers through direct and indirect lending. It aims to provide access to affordable financing for electric vehicles and develop charging infrastructure, including battery swapping.

Other news

EaseMyTrip acquires 13% stake in Eco Hotels and Resorts

Online tech travel platform EaseMyTrip recently acquired a non-controlling stake of around 13% in Eco Hotels and Resorts Limited, a BSE-listed entity. 

The investment aims to secure a minority interest and foster environmentally friendly practices within the hospitality sector. Additionally, all hotels under Eco Hotels' operation will maintain a carbon net-zero status.

"We are thrilled to announce our association and decision to invest in the stake in Eco Hotels and Resorts Limited. By fostering environmentally conscious initiatives, we aim to shape the future of the travel and hospitality industry positively," says Nishant Pitti, Co-founder and CEO of EaseMyTrip. 

Both companies are discussing various areas of cooperation. In addition to its hotel operations, Eco Hotels may engage in both air and non-air business activities, primarily serving its customers through the EaseMyTrip platform and its subsidiary companies.

Bioprime Agrisolutions launches innovative rolling classroom

Biotech firm BioPrime Agrisolutions launched the "Rolling Classroom: Solutions on Wheels" campaign to educate farmers across Maharashtra on the critical issues of climate change and sustainable farming practices.

Deploying a dedicated team on mobile vans, BioPrime is reaching villages in Maharashtra to bring the latest agricultural technology advancements directly to farmers. It aims to close the gap between innovation and practical implementation, ensuring every farmer understands the potential of sustainable farming.

Conversations during these sessions focus on increasing yields, improving produce quality, extending shelf life, and promoting sustainability.

“Recognising the power of personal interaction, our team members are conducting farmer meetings in various villages, including evening sessions held in temples. These engagements are pivotal opportunities to share insights, address queries, and cultivate a community of farmers dedicated to adopting sustainable practices,” says Renuka Diwan, Co-founder and CEO, Bioprime Agrisolutions. 

Payments Council of India welcomes RBI's move enabling tokenisation through card-issuing banks

Representative body of the non-banking payment industry Payments Council of India (PCI) has welcomed the Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) move to enable the issuance of tokens for cards through internet and commercial banks. 

This decision empowers cardholders with an additional option to tokenise their cards for multiple merchant sites through a streamlined process. Card-on-File Tokens (CoFT) can now be activated via mobile banking and internet banking channels, providing a convenient and secure way for users to conduct transactions across platforms. 

With over 56 crore tokens already created, CoFT has improved transaction security and approval rates. PCI had submitted representations to the RBI, outlining the industry's readiness and preparedness for tokenisation, along with suggestions to fast-track the process. 

Mufin Green acquires 20% stake in UrjaMobility 

Mufin Finance, an NBFC specialising in green financing, has acquired a 20% stake in UrjaMobility. The partnership aims to revolutionise the electric mobility sector, focusing on the integration of Li-Ion batteries that provide robust control for fintech platforms.

Through this collaboration, the integration of advanced Li-Ion batteries will provide control for fintech platforms with IoT connectivity, thermal analytics, and remote immobilisation capabilities.

The batteries, which are built with Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) technology, have over 2,000 charging cycles, with a product life cycle that exceeds four years. 

“With the existing base of almost 3 million e-rickshaws operating in the market, there are approximately 1 to 1.5 million units that are eyeing Battery Replacement every year assuming the lead acid battery lasts between 15-20 months. Most of the battery replacement is happening with lead-acid batteries being a cheaper version as compared to the cost of a lithium-ion battery. To ease out this financial burden, UrjaMobility provides Battery as a service (BaaS) model that offers an easy Monthly Lease Value to the end user,” says Pankaj Chopra, Founder at UrjaMobility.


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

Edited by Suman Singh