Startup news and updates: Daily roundup (January 16, 2024)

YourStory presents the daily news roundup from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Tuesday, January 16, 2024.

Startup news and updates: Daily roundup (January 16, 2024)

Tuesday January 16, 2024,

8 min Read

Funding news

TABPS Pets raises Rs 6.5Cr in funding

Pet food company TABPS Pets says it has raised Rs 6.5 crore in funding renowned cricketers Hemang Badhani and KS Bharath, among other investors.

The company said it will use the funds to better its production capabilities, expand its distribution networks, and invest in R&D to launch new products.

TABPS was launched in 2021 by Prabhu Gandhikumar and Brindha Prabhu, along with other co-founders — Soumya Malani and Arun Mukherjee. It is a Coimbatore-based pet food startup that uses Ayurvedic ingredients to formulate pet products.

Biotech startup Vgenomics raises seed funding

Healthcare and biotech startup Vgenomics says it has raised an undisclosed amount in a seed round led by Mumbai Angels and O2 Angel Network.

Prominent angels such as Rohit Chanana and Sabine Kapasi also participated in the round, the company said.

Vgenomics says it plans to use the funds to scale its existing business, as well as create more diagnostic solutions.

The startup, founded by Rahila Sarda, Preeti Gupta Lal and a team of women scientists, develops diagnostic and therapeutic genome sequencing technologies for rare diseases that affect children.

Its clients include researchers and clinicians from AIIMS, Dr Shroff and PGIMER, among others, it said.

"This will help us in uniting organisations dedicated to rare diseases, and establish Vgenomics as the one-stop hub for rate disease solutions," said Sardar, Vgenomics' Co-founder and CEO.

Adya-ai raises Rs 10.5Cr

Digital commerce solution startup Adya.ai said it has raised Rs 10.5 crore in a pre-series A funding round from Indian Angel Network's (IAN) investors, as well as other strategic investors.

IAN's investors contributed Rs 3.75 crore, while the rest came from other strategic investors, the company said.

Founded in 2023 by Shayak Mazumder, CEO and CTO, Archana Mazumder, COO, and Angad Singh Ahluwalia, CBO, Adya.ai is a technology service partner that uses data science and AI to help businesses digitise. It also offers solutions for ONDC integrations, including plug-and-play tech stacks.

InPrime Finserv raises $3M

Tech-led NBFC InPrime Finserv says it has raised $3 million in a Series A round led by Matrix Partners India, as well as existing investors such as InfoEdge Ventures, Titan Capital, and Kettleborough VC.

The company plans to utilise the funds to bolster its team in key areas such as risk, engineering, analytics, and sales roles. Additionally, the funds will be allocated towards the development of new digital channels and a credit scoring model, and expanding its loan portfolio.

"With the ongoing digital revolution in India, our objective is to provide these customers with superior products and services, ushering in a technology-led financial inclusion 2.0 for informal economy customers at scale," says Rajat Singh, Co-founder and CEO of InPrime.

InPrime was founded in 2021 by Singh, Manish Raj and Sneh Thakur, former members of the leadership team at Ujjivan Small Finance Bank.

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Other news:

Global hydrogen trading platform to be established at GIFT City

The International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) at GIFT City has forged a strategic alliance with the Indian Gas Exchange (IGX) and Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation (GSPC) to establish a Global Hydrogen Trading Mechanism at GIFT City, according to a press release on Tuesday.

Serving as a benchmark, this index will play a crucial role in facilitating price discovery and providing market insights into India's rapidly expanding green hydrogen market, the release said.

The primary goal of GIFT IFSC is to promote the trading of global securities, including commodities, and establish leadership in determining prices for globally traded commodities. With the launch of an index for Hydrogen, the hope is to "attract global institutions to trade in GIFT IFSC".

Fintech consultancy startup The Digital Fifth adds investors to its accelerator program

The Digital Fifth said on Tuesday it has onboarded Equanimity Investments, Flourish Ventures, IIFL Fintech Fund, IvyCap Ventures Advisors, and 8i Ventures as its investor partners, and T-Hub as incubation partner, for its accelerator program.

The partnership will look to accelerate and invest in early-stage banking, financial services and insurance startups, with the prospect of extending investment support up to Series A rounds.

The company will unveil its first cohort in February, where it will have over 4,000 participants. Startups will get access to The Digital First's network of banks, financial services and other fintech companies.

Noco-noco inks deal with Greenfuel for e-mobility solutions in India

Decarbonisation-focussed startup noco-noco says it has joined hands with Greenfuel Energy to provide it solutions that can help extend the life of lithium-ion batteries.

Greenfuel will embed noco-noco's separator technology into its EV batteries which will, reportedly, extend their battery lives five-fold.

"By aligning with Greenfuel, noco-noco is strategically positioned to capitalize on the nascent but growing battery solutions space in India," said Masataka Matsumura, CEO of noco-noco.

"This collaboration, which combines our ‘all weather’ battery technology with Greenfuel’s leadership in the EV clean energy and transport space, presents a lucrative avenue for revenue growth in India’s surging e-mobility sector," he added.

Solar tech startup Sun Stellar collaborates with DRDO-DIHAR Leh

Sun Stellar, a solar-tech startup, said it collaborated with DRDO-DIHAR Leh to set up a solar space heating system in December 2023.

By December 2024, it hopes to release an upgraded, larger space heating system.

The existing solution was able to hear two rooms accommodating 8-9 soldiers for 12 hours continuously. It ran for over a year without any maintenance.

The startup said it is also working with DRDO-DIHAR to implement the solution in other high-altitude regions across India, including Himachal Pradesh, Kashmore, Arunachal Pradesh, and Uttarakhand.

DRDO-DIHAR is the DRDO's R&D laboratory that plays a pivotal role in developing solutions for the Indian army deployed in challenging environments.

Wondrlab acquires Polish company WebTalk

Martech platform Wondrlab says it has acquired Polish B2C digital marketing agency WebTalk for an undisclosed amount, to expand into Europe.

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With WebTalk's acquisition, Wondrlab's clients get immediate access to a diverse range of services, products, and platforms in essential categories such as digital video, content and community, digital media and data, and digital business transformation.

"This is our fifth acquisition and in 36-48 months we'll be looking at 21 more acquisitions. Our journey in Europe is just beginning. This is one of the many acquisitions we'll be making in Poland," Saurabh Varma, Founder and CEO of Wondrlab Network said.

"The way we are thinking about our global network is a function of not just products and services but also by building strategic hubs based out of India, Poland, the Middle East, and Vietnam," he added.

Plaksha University launches accelerator programme

Plaksha University said its newly launched accelerator program will be a six-month pre-seed initiative that will help students in areas such as product and customer development, financial planning, fundraising, pitch practice, and acquiring entrepreneurial skills.

The acceleration programme will provide students financial assistance to set up, free physical incubation, as well as access to mentors and investors.

"Through PLAP, we will prepare the youth of tomorrow to address grand challenges innovatively by providing them a robust platform," said Rudra Pratap, Founding Vice-Chancellor at Plaksha University.

Digit Insurance launches add-on insurance coverage for EVs

Online insurance company Digit Insurance says it has launched an EV add-on cover insurance policy for four and two-electric wheelers.

The policy will also cover hybrid vehicles.

The add-on cover presents customers with three optional protections, covering the charging point of EVs, the associated electrical panel, and the vehicle charger with its charging cable, while also offering a portable mobile generator to recharge EVs stranded on the road due to depleted battery levels.

"The severity of damage among EVs can be higher and the repairs for the same can be costly due to expensive components and need for specialised automotive technicians. The specialised add-ons along with additional coverages will provide EV owners the much-needed protection and address the nuanced issues of electric vehicles," said Mayur Kacholiya, head of motor product at Digit General Insurance.

PedalStart launches offline, outcome-driven acceleration programme

Startup community builder PedalStart has launched PedalCircle, an outcome-driven offline acceleration programme focussed on helping companies move from their proof-of-concept stage to their first round of investments.

The programme will provide startups access to industry mentors, infrastructure, growth capital, and knowledge to help them fast-track their progress.

The three-month-long course will feature 25 founders in the early stages of their entrepreneurial journey.

By the end of the programme, a handful of startup founders will receive up to $250,000 in funding from the PedalStart Network, the company said.

AI skilling startup GrowthSchool's revenue jumps 400%

Generative AI-focussed upskilling platform GrowthSchool says its revenue has grown 400%, year-on-year, since its inception.

The startup added it has hit a peak of Rs 5 crore in monthly revenue, with more than a million learners already benefiting from its educational services.

GrowthSchool aims to achieve a $1 million monthly run rate by FY2024. Currently, 10% of the company's revenue comes from learners outside India, and it is gearing up for a formal entry into global markets such as North America, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East in 2024.


Edited by Affirunisa Kankudti

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