Startup news and updates: Daily roundup (December 29, 2023)

YourStory presents daily news roundup from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Friday, December 29, 2023.

Startup news and updates: Daily roundup (December 29, 2023)

Friday December 29, 2023,

8 min Read


Cashvisory bags Rs 1.2 Cr in pre-seed round

Financial advisory platform Cashvisory has secured Rs 1.2 crore in pre-seed funding. The round was spearheaded by SucSEED Indovation Fund, along with participation from EvolveX of We Founder Circle. 

Other Angel Investors include Ashok Agrawal (MD, RPI eSolutions Pte Ltd), Upasana Koul (Co-founder and Director at Eleveight), and Deepika Asthana and Upasana Kaul (Co-founders - Eleveight), among others.

Founded by Arpita Sinha and Utkarsh Chaudhary, Cashvisory is a robo-advisor platform designed to plan, execute and manage all aspects of finances. Unlike traditional investment platforms, it guides users through a simplified journey, employing a gamified approach and real-time what-if analysis to understand complex financial concepts.

“What sets Cashvisory apart is its commitment to making financial decisions easy for users, ensuring accessibility for everyone, regardless of their financial background. We believe in the potential of this partnership to make a lasting impact on the financial well-being of individuals across the country,”says Bhawna Bhatnagar, Co-founder of EvolveX. 

EcoRatings raises undisclosed pre-seed funding from EvolveX

AI-powered ESG rating startup has secured funding in its pre-seed round from EvolveX, a startup accelerator under We Founder Circle(WFC). The raised amount remains undisclosed. 

The startup offers consumers numeric sustainability ratings aligned with the United Nations' 17 Sustainable Development Goals Framework, enabling eco-friendly decisions. Globally launched during the 28th United Nations Conference of Parties (COP28) in the UAE, EcoRatings conducts sustainability assessments across various sectors such as travel, fashion, FMCG, food, and healthcare.

“The support from EvolveX and the extensive network provided by WFC are invaluable assets that will fuel the company towards achieving its mission of revolutionising sustainability assessments through innovative technology solutions,” said Aqeel Ahmed, Co-founder and COO, EcoRatings. 

The New York-headquartered startup was founded by Aditi Balbir, Aqeel Ahmed, and Shruti Anand which utilises AI/ML and big data to disrupt traditional sustainability assessment frameworks, quantifying environmental impact at the product and service level.

ProjectX.Cloud gets Rs Rs 1.7 Cr boost from Google Cloud, eyes $3M funding

Rounak Adhikary, a student at Lovely Professional University, has secured a significant boost for his project called 'ProjectX.Cloud’ from Google Cloud, with an infusion of $200,000 (Rs 1.70 crore) in infrastructure support. 

ProjectX.Cloud is a cloud-based operating system aimed at eradicating hardware dependency across devices. The young founder is looking to secure seed funding of $3 million (Rs 24 crore).

Adhikary's work garnered initial recognition through grants totalling Rs 10 lakh from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and the Ministry of Electronics and IT. He has received awards from the MicrosoftFounder's Programme and AWS Activate Founder's Programme, securing additional funding exceeding Rs 50 lakh.

ProjectX.Cloud has been selected for the Launchpad accelerator at IIM Bangalore, also drawing attention from global venture capital firms, including IFC World Bank, Elevation Capital, Campus Fund, and Kalaari Capital.

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Myplan8 to assist corporates in meeting ESG goals

Greentech startup Myplan8 has introduced a new product that offers sustainability-as-a-service to organisations aiming to attain their ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) goals through employee involvement.

"We believe in transforming sustainability into an engaging experience. The gamification element ensures that every positive action contributes to a measurable, real-world impact," says Nidhi Mehra, Co-founder of Myplan8.

This new product enhancement will allow organisations to meet their ESG objectives by placing a greater focus on employee engagement and gamification. The latest version is designed for easy integration into existing ESG reporting, and corporations can no longer consider sustainability as an optional addition.

The platform will integrate a web-based business interface for real-time tracking and employee action management with a mobile-friendly app, engaging employees in a gamified sustainability journey.

Amazon continues to be the top choice for MSMEs: ISF report

Established platforms such as Amazonand Flipkart are emerging as preferred choices for MSMEs in terms of sales, according to a report by India SME Forum (ISF). 

The Forum for Internet Retailers, Sellers, and Traders (FIRST) India, a division of ISF, shared year-end findings from its latest research report on the impact of ecommerce during the festive season in 2023.

Based on a nationwide survey of over 32,000 respondents, the study revealed a significant surge in online retail. Approximately 80% of sellers reported generating their revenues from online and ecommerce sales, with 60% experiencing a doubling of their sales and 90% registering a minimum 30% YoY increase in online sales.

“From an estimated Rs 90,000 crore this year, we anticipate festive sales to surge beyond Rs 1,00,000 crore in 2024, as we continue guiding these enterprises towards a trajectory of prosperity by integrating offline and online retail," said Vinod Kumar, President, India SME Forum, and Trustee and President, FIRST India. 

The report unveiled that the online retail sector is set to reach $350 billion in the next five years, driven by increased smartphone penetration and digital adoption, along with government initiatives such as Digital India and One District-One Product.

HRtech startup InCruiter targets UAE job market with IncBot

InCruiter, a provider of interview solutions, is setting its sights on the tech-driven economy of the UAE with its innovative product, IncBot. The startup aims to offer modern and efficient recruitment solutions, providing businesses in the UAE with a competitive edge.

Building on the success of its flagship product IncBot in India, InCruiter is strategically expanding globally. Venturing into the Middle Eastern market will further allow the company to diversify its services and contribute to technological development in the region.

As various segments of the market open up, InCruiter anticipates an increasing demand for efficient hiring solutions to support economic development.

"We have joined The Startup Immigration Program, a collaboration aimed at helping us expand into Dubai. The program offers end-to-end requirements, from infrastructure, logistics, registrations, GTM (Go To Market) strategy and execution,” said Anil Agarwal, CEO and Co-dounder of InCruiter.

InCruiter offers an automated platform that optimises interview processes, which it says results in substantial cost savings and an almost 80% reduction in HR expenses.

LEO1, NSDL Payments Bank launch student ID card with MasterCard

Edu-fintech firm LEO1 in collaboration with NSDL Payments Bank, has launched numberless Prepaid ID card for students and educational institutions with MasterCard as the network partner. The payment solution will allow educational institutes and students to manage transactions efficiently.

With the help of LEO1 card, parents will be able to send money digitally and monitor category-wise usage of the card and overall spending. Students can use it for tapping and paying institute fees, making payments at retail outlets with POS terminals, conducting online transactions, withdrawing cash from ATMs if needed, and using it as a student ID card.

“Collaborating with Mastercard and NSDL Payments Bank gives our vision a necessary impetus and recognition. This will also create the environment wherein all the stakeholders like educational institutes, students and parents feel secure while opting for fee payment solutions and availing additional benefits,” said Rohit Gajbhiye, Founder and Managing Director, LEO1.

Cigniti expands offshore delivery centres with new Hyderabad facility

Digital engineering services firm Cigniti Technologies has inaugurated a new Offshore Development Center (ODC) in the International Tech Park, Hyderabad. The facility was inaugurated by C V Subramanyam, Chairman, and Srikanth Chakkilam, CEO of Cigniti.

"With additional space, advanced facilities, and enhanced infrastructure, we are poised to elevate the employee experience, fostering collaboration and innovation," said Srikanth Chakkilam, CEO, Cigniti Technologies.

The new office space spans approximately 40,000 sq ft, accommodating 400 professionals and expanding the current 2 lakh sq ft, along with two training centres built for learning and tech innovation. The company has plans to incorporate a digital experience centre within the newly inaugurated facility.

SEBI approves launch of UPI for secondary market

SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India) has approved a novel trading mechanism which resembles the ASBA model, allowing trading supported by a blocked amount in the secondary market. This development is based on the RBI's endorsement of a single-block-and-multiple-debit facility in UPI.

The implementation is scheduled for January 1, 2024.

The beta phase launch of 'UPI for Secondary Market' is set to commence next week in the equity cash segment. The initiative is a collaborative effort involving clearing corporations, stock exchanges, depositories, stockbrokers, banks, and UPI app providers. Initially, this functionality will be available to a limited group of pilot customers.

Groww is spearheading the Beta launch as the brokerage app, accompanied by UPI apps such as BHIM and YES PAY NEXT. Initially, customers of HDFC Bank and ICICI Bank will have access to this service.

Other stakeholders, such as Zerodha, Axis Bank, Yes Bank, Paytm, and PhonePe are in the certification stage and set to participate in the Beta launch soon.

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

Edited by Kanishk Singh

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