Startup news and updates: Daily roundup (January 17, 2024)

YourStory presents the daily news roundup from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Wednesday, January 17, 2024.

Startup news and updates: Daily roundup (January 17, 2024)

Wednesday January 17, 2024,

10 min Read

Funding News:

Professional Social Media Platform ‘Medial’ Raises $120K in a pre-seed round

Medial App, a professional social media platform for startup ecosystem, raised $120K in a pre-seed funding round led by FirstCheque VC, with participation from angels from Bangalore, Mumbai, and the US, including Nayan Jadeja, Rohitashwa Choudhary, Ankit Aggarwal, and Radhakrishnan Ramachandran.

The startup plans to use the fresh capital for product development, user acquisition, and core app feature testing, with a focus on feature enhancement and product launch due to promising beta app metrics.

Medial

L-R- Niket Raj, Prateek Kaien, Aishwarya Raj, Harsh Dwivedi

Medial App, founded by Niket Raj Dwivedi, Aishwarya Raj Pandey, Prateek Kaien, and Harsh Dwivedi, is a professional social networking platform focusing on learning and growth in the startup ecosystem. The platform fosters a vibrant community across tech, product, and UI/UX domains, providing non-clickbaity news, industry updates, and advice. With a beta-stage user base of over 5,000, Medial App is set to launch by the end of January 2024, promoting transparent and inclusive workplace conversations.

Upswing Secures $4.2M in pre-series-A Funding Round Led by Quona Capital

Upswing Financial Technologies, a banking-as-a-service ecosystem enabler, has raised $4.2 million in a pre-series-A funding round led by Quona Capital and QED Investors.

The funding will help Upswing redefine open finance infrastructure, making it more efficient, customizable, and inclusive for the next era of financial services innovation.

Upswing, founded in late 2021 by Anupam Bagchi and Nihar Gupta, aims to create an efficient, customizable, secure, and inclusive financial services infrastructure. Its low-code banking-as-a-service platform enables quick product integration, transforming traditional timelines. Its multi-bank deposit stack, compatible with various consumer platforms, is gaining market traction.

RenalProject bags undisclosed pre-seeding investment from JIIF

The Renal Project, a community-based venture, has secured undisclosed investment from JIIF and other prominent investors, including 100x VC, Gopi Latpate, Thapar Vision, and Angels, through the pre-seeding investment round led by JITO Angel Network.

The startup will use the funds to expand technological infrastructure and implement pipeline projects, enhancing accessibility and efficiency in renal healthcare services.

RenalProject, a Mumbai-based healthcare startup founded by Shashank Moddhia, aims to improve dialysis therapy availability and delivery in tier 2 & 3 cities.

Other News

Shiprocket and Truecaller collaborate to empower sellers 

Shiprocket, an ecommerce platform, has partnered with Truecaller to enhance mobile commerce. The partnership will enable three lakh Shiprocket merchants to streamline mobile onboarding and shopping journeys, ensuring a frictionless consumer experience and empowering independent eCommerce merchants across India.

Truecaller's 1-Tap number-based OTP-less verification solution will expedite the onboarding process for new sellers on the Shiprocket platform, resulting in faster sign-ups and reduced friction. This solution will also help merchants deliver a secure online checkout experience, boosting sales conversion from 20% to 40%.

Shiprocket's merchant ecosystem will leverage Truecaller's Verified Business Caller ID solution, fostering seamless communication with customers, especially for delivery and support use cases.

The partnership aims to enhance trust, safety, and productivity in the merchant ecosystem, facilitating merchant growth and enhancing user experience for smoother business operations.

Ed-a-Mamma and Mothercare Announce a Strategic Alliance

Mothercare India has partnered with Ed-a-Mamma, a sustainable kids and maternity wear brand, to offer a maternity and nursing wear collection at select stores across India.

The strategic alliance will enable Ed-a-Mamma to expand its offline presence, PAN India, and provide customers with a more immersive in-store shopping experience, benefiting from the partnership.

Ed-a-mamma

Ed-a-Mamma, part of Reliance Brands Limited, is a clothing brand that offers a range of products, including maternity wear for moms-to-be, nursing wear for new moms, and infant wear for kids aged 0-3.

It offers 1700 options of high-quality natural fiber clothing, with plastic and nickel-free buttons and trims. They also repurpose leftover fabric scraps into trims and accessories. Their children's clothing line includes tags for bookmarks and potlis filled with seed balls for outdoor activities. The brand believes everyone has one planet and is all children of mother earth.

Marut Drones enters into a partnership with SkyDrive

Marut Drones, a drone manufacturer, has signed a MoU with Japanese eVTOL aircraft manufacturer SkyDrive Inc.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) opens new opportunities in the emerging field of electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, highlighting the partnership as a beacon of innovation in the aviation industry.

Marut Drones will be instrumental in establishing connections with SkyDrive's potential customers and networks, involving governmental bodies, airfields, and infrastructure providers. They will also obtain exemptions and certifications for demonstration flights and commercial operations, laying the groundwork for a successful collaboration.

Marut Drones  enters into a partnership with SkyDrive

Key focus areas include obtaining necessary exemptions, securing government support, promoting localization through pilot and mechanic training, and identifying key partners. Additionally, Marut Drones will establish eVTOL operator functions and research the initial use case of short-distance flying in India.

About 78% in India prefer streaming on TV: Report

Nearly 78% of respondents prefer streaming online content on TVs via streaming sticks, smart TVs, and set-top-boxes over smartphones, tablets, and laptops, reveals a study by NielsenIQ and commissioned by Amazon.

It also highlighted that 66% of respondents streamed five hours of content daily over the weekend, compared to less than three hours during weekdays. While, 97% preferred streaming content around dinner time, and 74% watched with family. Comedy was the most popular genre, followed by sports, thriller, romantic, horror, international TV shows, and news.

Indian viewers prefer streaming on TV due to comfort and better viewing experience, as well as the convenience of accessing a variety of content from OTT providers and online sources, the report said.

The preference for smart home appliances is driven by ergonomic benefits, speed, lag-free streaming (39%), and a variety of OTT apps (24%). Other features include voice assistant for content searching and controlling smart home appliances, and streaming online content and live TV shows on a single screen.

Pocket FM elevates Lalit Gangwar to VP and Country Head - US

Pocket FM has appointed Lalit Gangwar as VP and Country Head - US, responsible for leading content operations and revenue growth in the US market.

Gangwar, an IIT-Madras alumni, has been a key partner in Pocket FM's journey since its inception. 

Before joining Pocket FM, he worked with startups such as Healthkart, Zomato, and Dineout.

Lalit Gangwar

Lalit Gangwar, VP and Country Head - US

The company entered the US market with a $25 million annualized revenue run rate, in 2022, aiming to leverage its success to establish a global mainstream entertainment hub.

HCL Group and UpLink Announce Winners of Zero Water Waste Challenge

HCL Group and UpLink, the World Economic Forum's open innovation platform, have announced the top 10 water-focused entrepreneurs will receive a financial award from a pool of 1.9 million CHF as part of the Zero Water Waste Challenge.

HCL Group committed $15 million to drive freshwater sector innovation for five years until 2027, with the first cohort of Aquapreneurs raising $54.5 million after joining the UpLink Innovation Ecosystem.

HCL

L- Roshni Nadar Malhotra, Chairperson, HCLTech along with the two Aquapreneurs at World Economic Forum 2024

The Zero Water Waste Challenge, part of HCL Group and UpLink's Aquapreneur Innovation Initiative, aims to protect freshwater supply, reuse water, and save water in agriculture. The top 10 entrepreneurs, mostly from Africa, Asia, and Europe, offer innovative solutions in greywater reuse, rainwater capture, advanced filtration, precision agriculture, and data analytics.

Ex-CEO of FIITJEE eSchool and ex-Business Head of upGrad joins Infinity Learn by Sri Chaitanya

Infinity Learn, a Hybrid Learning platform, has appointed Ravikanth Kanchibhotla as Head of Test Prep Segment and Abhishek Chhabra as Head of K-10 Segment.

Kanchibhotla, with over two decades of digital expertise, has been appointed as Head of Test Prep Segment. He has contributed to the success of six startups and served in key roles at multinational corporations. Ravikanth's expertise in revenue management, product strategy, and operations has been honed through positions at Flipkart, InMobi, and Google India.

Chhabra, appointed as Head of K-10 Segment, has experience from upGrad, Philips, Zomato, and Oyo. With a strong academic background from IIT Delhi and ISB Hyderabad, Abhishek aligns his multifaceted approach and passion for meaningful causes with the ethos of Infinity Learn.

Infinity Learn aims to reach over 50 million learners with a net revenue of Rs 500 crore by 2025, with 40 offline centers. The company aims to provide personalised learning experiences, enhance affordability, and broaden access for students from diverse backgrounds, aiming to improve overall educational outcomes.

SaveIN Launches No-Cost EMI Plans for Credit Card Holders

SaveIN, a Gurugram-based healthcare fintech platform, has launched no-cost EMI plans for over 5 crore credit card holders across various banks. These plans aim to revolutionise healthcare accessibility by offering customers easy access to a wide range of services through SaveIN's network of over 5000 healthcare providers.

The plans cover dermatology, elective surgeries, hair transplant, dental, ophthalmology, wellness, alternate therapies, fertility, and more. The key features of these plans are designed to enhance customer experience and affordability in segments not covered by traditional health insurance plans.

Customers can visit any healthcare provider in the SaveIN network, select their credit card offer by scanning the SaveIN QR code, and pay their bills using customised EMI-based payment plans. The payment amount is collected in monthly installments, ensuring convenience and flexibility for customers.

Tata CLiQ Luxury launches the ReLoved Store 

Tata CLiQ Luxury, a luxury lifestyle platform, has launched the ReLoved Store, partnering with Jay's Watch Store. The store offers a curated selection of rare pre-owned timepieces from renowned brands like Rolex and Omega, promoting conscious consumer choice and a testament to timeless elegance and craftsmanship. The platform serves as a trusted guide for luxury enthusiasts.

The platform has partnered with Jay's Watch Store, a leading destination for pre-owned luxury watches. The ReLoved Store will offer a wide range of vintage, limited-edition pieces from high-demand luxury brands, appealing to both seasoned collectors and first-time buyers.

IIT Madras partners with Altair to launch eMobility Simulation Lab

IIT Madras has partnered with Altair, a technology company, to launch an eMobility Simulation Lab in the Department of Engineering Design. The lab will use state-of-the-art products and tools, with financial support from Altair, and will be followed by other labs for research and training in the eMobility domain.

The lab will house Altair's modelling and simulation tools, supporting academic activities in other eMobility labs for Batteries, Charging, Power Electronics, Motors and Controllers, and Vehicle Engineering.

These facilities will support the Department of Engineering Design's eMobility initiatives, which have been developed and launched over the past three years. The lab will also contribute to the Department's ongoing efforts in eMobility.

ClaimBuddy Secures Partnership with Apollo Hospitals

ClaimBuddy, a health insurance startup, has partnered with Apollo Hospitals to streamline the process of processing insurance claims. The strategic partnership aims to improve efficiency and effectiveness, offering a seamless experience for healthcare providers and policyholders.

Apollo will use ClaimBuddy's advanced technology to expedite claim approvals, reduce administrative overheads, and provide a hassle-free experience for patients navigating health insurance reimbursement, demonstrating a shared commitment to improving the healthcare ecosystem.

ClaimBuddy is a comprehensive health insurance claim assistance platform that has partnered with over 250 hospitals across 8 cities, serving over 100,000 patients and ensuring hassle-free insurance claims through technology and simple processes.

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


Edited by Affirunisa Kankudti

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