Startup news and updates: daily roundup (December 14, 2023)

YourStory presents the daily news roundup from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Thursday, December 14, 2023.

Startup news and updates: daily roundup (December 14, 2023)

Thursday December 14, 2023,

10 min Read

Funding

SimYog secures Rs 20 Cr from Mela Ventures, 1crowd, others

SimYog, an EMI/EMC simulation and testing platform, has secured Rs 20 crore in funding led by Mela Ventures and 1Crowd, with participation from existing investor IdeaSpring.

The funding will aid the startup in addressing Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) / Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) testing challenges, enabling faster and more cost-effective release of quality products for a broad customer base.

“EMI/EMC simulation tool in the early stages of the design cycle is crucial need. Simyog has cracked the code on that front, and we are delighted to see the rapid progress they are making in this space,” NS Parthasarathy, Managing Partner at Mela Ventures, said.

Founded in 2017 by Prof. Dipanjan Gope, Anant Devi, and Harikiran Muniganti, SimYog makes EMI/EMC simulation software for front-loading at the early design stage. EMI/EMC testing is a critical step in the design and manufacturing processes of electronic devices. This increases the chances of passing certification tests on the first attempt. 

Burger Singh secures undisclosed amount in pre-Series B funding round

Tipping Mr Pink Pvt Ltd, the parent company of the QSR brand Burger Singh, has successfully secured an undisclosed amount in a pre-Series B funding round at a valuation of $52 million.

Turner Morrison Ltd led this funding round, joined by Homage Ventures LLP - Office of Aditya Ghosh and a group of existing investors.

This funding round acts as a precursor to a significant financial milestone, as Burger Singh prepares for a $10 million fundraising initiative scheduled for December 2024, the company said.

Burger Singh launched its first outlet in 2014 in Gurugram, and since then, the chain has seen a rapid rollout across India, with over 150 outlets in more than 65 cities. 

In the next 60 days, Burger Singh plans to deploy 15 of these kiosks at various metro stations in Delhi, with intentions to expand to high-traffic areas like universities, malls, hospitals, and airports.

Burger Singh

Burger Singh outlet.

12 startups raise Rs 6.5 Cr in Indian Angels Season 1

In Season 1 of Indian Angels, a series where entrepreneurs pitch their business ideas to investors, 12 startups, including Bare Wear, Phases, Vastu Ghee, and others, collectively secured investments totalling Rs 6.5 crore.

The panel of angel investors included Ajinkya Firodia, Managing Director of Kinetic Group; Ankit Agrawal, Founder and CEO of InsuranceDekho; Aparna Thyagarajan, Co-founder and Chief Product Officer of Shobitam; Kunal Kishore, Founder of Value 360; Rikant Pittie, Co-founder of EaseMyTrip; and Shreedha Singh, Co-founder and CEO of T.A.C – The Ayurveda Co.

In Episode 7, three startups—Bare Wear, iYatraa Holidays, and TriGo Electric—presented their ideas, with TriGo Electric securing an investment of Rs 40 lakh at a valuation of Rs 7.5 crore for 5.33% equity from Firodia.

In Episode 8, Habbits, Priyam Online, and Estoqi were the pitching contenders. Habbits secured Rs 30 lakhs for 15% equity with the potential for an additional 20 lakhs in debt at 10% interest from a consortium consisting of Singh, Thyagarajan, Pittie, Kishore, and Agrawal.

Other news

Curefoods onboards Avani Davda as Board Member

Curefoods, one of India’s leading food and beverage brands, has onboarded Avani Davda as a board member.

Davda will serve as an independent director of the company. The appointment is intended to enhance the depth of expertise and leadership within Curefoods.

“This collaboration marks the growth of our team and advisors on the board. Avani’s expertise and years of experience in the F&B industry adds a fresh perspective of thought and direction to the brand and its strategy,” Ankit Nagori, Founder of Curefoods said.

With two decades of experience, Davda is a seasoned executive with a proven track record in the Food and beverage industry. She presently holds independent director positions in various brands, including Mahindra Logistics and JSW Paints. Furthermore, she serves as a strategic advisor to Bain Advisory Network and has previously served as the Managing Director and CEO of Godrej Nature’s Basket Ltd.

Davda’s inclusion in Curefoods is a notable milestone as the company plans to add more experts to its leadership board in 2024.

Avani Davda, Board Member, and Director, Curefoods

Avani Davda, Board Member, and Director, Curefoods.

Alvarez & Marsal names Ashish Bansal as MD, co-leader of India TAG

Global professional services firm Alvarez & Marsal (A&M) has named Ashish Bansal as a Managing Director and co-leader of its India Global Transaction Advisory Group (TAG) practice, alongside Mumbai-based Managing Director Bhavik Hathi.

With nearly two decades of experience in various transactions, Bansal specialises in financial due diligence across sectors including healthcare, life sciences, auto components, diversified industrials, consumer, and retail. 

Aligned with commercial, operational, and ESG diligence, he guides PE funds and corporate buyers on buy- and sell-side considerations in both domestic and cross-border transactions.

Before A&M, Bansal spent almost two decades at KPMG India’s Deal Advisory, specialising in transaction services and concluding as a Partner.

Bansal’s joining marks a pivotal growth moment for Global TAG in India and worldwide, aligning with recent expansions in Asia, including senior hires in Australia and China.

1to1help appoints Mahua Bisht as CEO

1to1help, a provider of Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) services, has appointed Mahua Bisht as its Chief Executive Officer.

Bisht has a proven track record in the technology and social impact sectors, having successfully led teams across various industries. Before joining 1to1help, she served as the Chief of Staff of Technology for the Indian subsidiary of Getir.

“Amidst a global mental health crisis, the imperative for high-quality mental health support is crucial. Under Mahua’s leadership, 1to1help is poised to address this challenge, steering us towards the future through innovative solutions and tailored offerings,” Archana Bisht, Co-founder and Director of 1to1help.net said.

Founded by Archana Bisht and Anil Bisht, 1to1help has partnered with over 1,000 companies, reaching 8.8 million individuals. With a team of more than 250 expert counsellors, it has conducted over 918,000 counselling sessions.

Mahua Bisht CEO 1to1help

Mahua Bisht, CEO, 1to1help.

Pocket FM appoints Subeer Bakshi as Head of People and Culture

Audio series platform Pocket FM has appointed Subeer Bakshi as the Head of People and Culture.

In this capacity, Bakshi will lead the development of people processes and cultural foundations. He will work closely with Co-founder and CEO Rohan Nayak to expand the organisation on a global scale.

“Subeer’s extensive background in the people function, building culture and his track record in building strong, collaborative teams make him a valuable addition to our leadership team,” Nayak said.

Before joining Pocket FM, Bakshi served as the Head of Talent Strategy at PhonePe. With over two decades of diverse international experience in organisations like Mercer, Aon, Willis Towers Watson, and Bajaj Finserv, he brings valuable experience to his new position.

Founded in 2018, Pocket FM was founded with the vision to revolutionise the audio OTT space by introducing the audio-series category.

upGrad names Vishwanath Nair as Vice President

Edtech firm upGrad has named Vishwanath Nair as the Vice President - Revenue for its upGrad Abroad division, effective December 2023. This strategic addition aligns with the skilling firm’s expansion plans in both the Indian and international markets.

Nair will spearhead efforts to secure a dominant market share, focusing on expanding enrolment for upGrad Abroad.

With over 21 years of industry experience, Nair, an industry veteran, has driven sales growth in the edtech, banking, insurance, and real estate sectors for clients and partners. Before joining upGrad, he held leadership roles at Whitehat Jr, overseeing markets in India, the UK, ANZ, and the Middle East, and has also contributed to Meritnation and Talentedge (now a part of upGrad).

Nair will be based out of Noida leading teams in the region, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad. His appointment aligns with upGrad Abroad's strategic leadership hires as part of the overall scalability plans of upGrad.

upskilling

Unicommerce launches integrated post-order journey solution

Ecommerce enablement SaaS platform Unicommerce has expanded its suite of solutions by introducing UniShip, an integrated post-order journey solution that includes shipment tracking and a smart courier partner allocation engine tailored for D2C brands and online retailers.

UniShip handles three aspects of the post-shipment journey: orders in transit to buyers, orders returned by buyers and en route to sellers, and the management of undelivered orders.

UniShip introduces integrated tracking features, empowering customers to track their orders from shipment to delivery, offering complete visibility from the moment an order is allocated at a warehouse for shipment.

It also enables brands to proactively communicate order milestones, such as when the order is packed and ready for dispatch, fostering confidence among consumers.

Visa announces grant recipients of She’s Next Programme

Visa has revealed the recipients of the She's Next Grant Programme in India, awarding each of the three winning women-led businesses a grant of $10,000.

This year’s programme has recognised the following recipients: Suchita Bhandari of Urvara Krsi; Nidhi Chawla of Silver Talkies (Active Age India Pvt. Ltd.); and Elizabeth Thomas of Phonologix Health Solutions Pvt. Ltd.

She’s Next is a global advocacy programme by Visa that aims to empower women-led small businesses across segments, with insights and tools such as networking, mentoring, and funding opportunities.

Visa has collaborated with Razorpay Rize, an exclusive community for founders, to offer all grant recipients complimentary access to the invite-only Razorpay Rize incubator programme. This includes various benefits such as mentorship, assistance with incorporation and fundraising, and networking opportunities with fellow founders.

Globally, Visa has invested over $3.83 million in over 380 grants and coaching for women small and medium business owners through the She’s Next Grants Programme since 2020.

Visa She's Next Winners

Visa She's Next Grant Programme winners.

Infibeam Avenues acquires a 49% stake in Pirimid Fintech

Fintech firm Infibeam Avenues Ltd has entered the capital markets and digital lending software sector by acquiring a 49% equity stake in Pirimid Fintech. The company is investing Rs 25 crore to strengthen this strategic partnership.

Pirimid Fintech specialises in developing customised capital markets and digital lending products, tools, services, and workflows to meet specific client needs. It caters to a diverse clientele across global and domestic capital markets.

This strategic partnership will integrate Infibeam’s digital payments and AI-based frameworks with Pirimid Fintech’s capital market trading software for its clients in India and globally.

This integration aims to not only improve the performance of Pirimid Fintech’s clients but also address and meet regulatory concerns regarding the safety and security of stock market trading.

Infibeam Avenues offers comprehensive digital payment solutions and enterprise software platforms to businesses and governments across industry verticals.

Zomato announces first-responders training for 3 lakh delivery partners

Zomato has announced a first-responder training programme initiative for its over three lakh fleet of delivery partners across India.

This initiative is aimed at enabling the delivery partners to learn the nuances of medical first-aid and CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) through professional and certified training programmes.

Through this initiative, Zomato aims to create awareness among all the delivery partners with respect to vital skills to prevent serious injury or loss of life during medical emergency situations.

Zomato has already trained over 5,000 delivery partners within the fleet across Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, and Pune. It is looking at expanding this training programme to delivery partners across the country.

Each delivery partner undergoing this training is provided with a comprehensive first-aid kit to carry with them.

Zomato

Zomato first-responders.

E-Gaming Federation onboards Sachiko Gaming, Decentro, and Tutelar

Skill-gaming industry body the E-Gaming Federation (EGF) has onboarded three new members Sachiko Gaming as a silver member, Decentro, and Tutelar as associate members.

Sachiko Gaming, the management behind PokerStars India, focuses on delivering a secure and exciting gaming environment.

Decentro is a plug-and-play banking service platform for India and Singapore, offering multiple modules from KYC to banking to payments to credit.

Tutelar operates as a fraud risk management platform utilised by gaming companies for services such as onboarding, transaction monitoring, and chargeback management.

Collaborating with strategic partners with a wealth of expertise and insights will further support EGF’s efforts to promote responsible gaming, and player protection, and bring about regulatory clarity in the online skill gaming industry.