Startup news and updates: Daily roundup (January 3, 2024)
YourStory presents the daily news roundup from the Indian startup ecosystem and beyond. Here's the roundup for Wednesday, January 3, 2024.
DevDham raises Rs 6 Cr in seed funding
DevDham, a devotional platform for temples, raised Rs 6 crore in a seed funding round led by Titan Capital, All In Capital, Veda VC, and TDV Partners.
It will use the investment to expand the temple network, enhance technology infrastructure, and strengthen marketing efforts. It plans to focus on building tech and product infrastructure, operations, and temple relations.
DevDham, started by IIT graduates Pranav Kapoor, Suyash Taneja, and Sagnika Chowdhury, aims to connect devotees globally with Hindu temples, offering online daily darshan, pujas, and digital donations. It claims to have built a network of over 500 temples and more than 2,000 pandits in 18 states.
HyugaLife secures $1M from existing, new investors
Health and wellness platform HyugaLife has secured $1 million in funding from existing and new investors, including debt financing from Stride Ventures and GetVantage.
The company will deploy a significant portion of the investment to reinforce the platform’s product and technological infrastructure.
Backed by prominent figures like cricketer KL Rahul and Bollywood actress Katrina Kaif, HyugaLife claims to have witnessed a surge in its user base in 2023, while achieving a fivefold expansion in its revenue.
The ecommerce platform provides assisted purchases, and it claims to have partnered with over 100 brands catering to eight categories. It aims to onboard 1,000 brands over the next 12 months.
Larkai Healthcare raises $500,000 in seed funding
Larkai Healthcare, a global medtech company, raised $500,000 in a seed funding round from FAAD Network, QI Ventures, RTAF, and additional government grants.
With the funds, the company aims to pioneer the next generation of technology in healthcare, as well as fortify and amplify its sales verticals through strategic investments.
Founded in 2020 by Pritam Dhalla and Abhilash Chakraverty, Larkai Healthcare bridges the gap between diagnosis and treatment by offering advanced and affordable healthcare solutions with the help of its AI technology.
Nawgati secures undisclosed investment from GAIL Ltd
Nawgati, a fuel aggregator startup, secured an undisclosed investment from GAIL (India) Limited—one of India’s leading natural gas refining PSUs.
The Noida-based startup will use the funds to improve its technology and accelerate its expansion efforts. Nawgati will primarily focus on onboarding over 2,000 fuel stations onto its retail operations platform, Aaveg.
The funding from GAIL comes under its flagship initiative ‘Pankh’, which aims at supporting promising startups and fostering innovation in the energy sector.
This partnership will play a pivotal role in advancing Nawgati’s key focus areas this year, including digitising and enriching the complete fuelling journey for pump operators, companies, and end-users, elevating the overall industry experience.
Founded by Aalaap Nair, Vaibhav Kaushik, and Aryan Sisodia, Nawgati aims to revolutionise the fuel station experience in India. By providing an intelligent retail ops platform to fuel stations and a fuel discovery app to end-consumers, Nawgati aims to save time for both fuel providers and consumers.
Recur Club disburses Rs 1,000 Cr as debt capital
Recur Club has disbursed Rs 1,000 crore as debt capital primarily focusing on sectors like tech services, SaaS, D2C, B2B Tech, and logistics.
The fintech platform signed up 8,880 founders for capital, of which 144 qualified the underwriting standards.
Recur Club enables companies to raise debt capital tailored to their business needs with a dedicated capital expert. Since 2021, Recur Club claims to have disbursed over $100 million to over 500 companies.
Ecom Express appoints Pankaj Singh as Chief Commercial Officer
Ecom Express, a technology-driven end-to-end logistics solutions provider, appointed Pankaj Singh as its Chief Commercial Officer, effective from January 4, 2024.
In this role, Singh will spearhead the company’s end-to-end procurement, covering sourcing, spend management, and strategic management of cost levers of the supply chain.
An entrepreneur, Singh has founded and managed multiple businesses at the intersection of physical real estate setups and technology solutions. He previously served as the founder of the prop-tech venture Multiliving Technologies and held the position of Chief Growth Officer at The House of Abhinandan Lodha.
Ecom Express has a presence in all 28 Indian states, operating in over 2,700 towns spanning 27,000 pin codes. It claims to have catered to over one lakh online sellers, delivering nearly 1.6 billion shipments.
Meesho hires 150 candidates across campuses
Online marketplace Meesho hired over 150 candidates across multiple campuses for a diverse mix of profiles, including tech and product, analytics, business, fulfilment and experience, monetisation, finance, growth, and HR.
“Meesho’s campus hiring has resumed on a significant scale, indicating the company’s strong trajectory in 2023 and robust road map for 2024,” Ashish Kumar Singh, CHRO at Meesho, said.
The list of campuses visited includes IIT Bombay, Kharagpur, Kanpur, Madras, Roorkee, and BHU; Indian Institute of Science; IIIT Allahabad; BITS Pilani; IIM Lucknow and Kozhikode; NIT Delhi, Bhopal, Surat and Calicut; Institute of Chartered Accountants of India; and Management Development Institute.
Meesho provides SMBs, MSMEs, and individual entrepreneurs access to customers, selection from over 30 categories, pan-India logistics, payment services, and customer support capabilities to efficiently run their businesses on its marketplace.
Decentro launches new modes for bank account verification
Decentro, a banking-as-a-service startup, has launched two new modes—Penniless Bank Account Verification (BAV) and Reverse Penny Drop—for bank account verification.
Penniless BAV will allow enterprises to obtain the name of a bank account holder or the status of the account using only the bank account number without requiring any nominal financial transaction. It aims to help enterprises save over 5-10 man hours and close to Rs 50 -75 per onboarding of every new consumer or merchant.
Reverse Penny Drop or Penny Pull Verification asks the user to make a Re 1 payment (via UPI) instead of asking for the full account details, and then depositing the Re 1 (penny) as per the old methods.
Players in the BFSI and fintech space that have been building their platforms and journeys on top of the modular Decentro platform include Uni Cards, MoneyTap, CashE, Potlee, and CreditFair.
Garuda Aerospace receives dual RPTO authorisation from DGCA
Drone company Garuda Aerospace has received authorisation for RPTO (Remote Pilot Training Organisation) from DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation) for small and medium-class drones.
The authorisation positions Garuda Aerospace as the first and only drone company in India to have a dual certification for training and manufacturing of small and medium-class drones.
This combined authorisation for manufacturing and pilot training enables Garuda Aerospace to accelerate its training and manufacturing capabilities, thus supporting the company’s efforts in the adoption of drones and allied technology.
Founded in 2015 with a team of five, Garuda has scaled to over 200-member team having a drone fleet of more than 400 drones and 500 pilots operating in 84 cities. Garuda Aerospace manufactures 30 types of drones and offers 50 types of services.
Amber Group company ILJIN acquires 60% stake in Ascent Circuits
The Amber Group, a diversified B2B electronic manufacturing services (EMS) company, acquired a 60% stake in Ascent Circuits through its unit ILJIN Electronics. Ascent Circuits, a South India-based homegrown company, is engaged in the manufacturing of printed circuit boards.
This acquisition will help Amber strengthen its EMS portfolio by increasing its local value addition and backward integration into passive components of PCB assemblies.
The Amber Group, a diversified manufacturing major, operates across three business verticals, spanning consumer durables, EMS, and railway subsystems and mobility.
US-based SentinelOne acquires PingSafe
PingSafe, a cloud-native application protection platform (CNAPP) solution, delivers dynamic, real-time monitoring of multi-cloud workloads, simple setup and configuration, and low false positive rates.
The acquisition of PingSafe’s CNAPP, when combined with SentinelOne’s cloud workload security and cloud data security capabilities, is expected to provide companies with a fully integrated platform that drives better coverage, hygiene, and automation across their entire cloud footprint.
“The combination of our cutting-edge CNAPP capabilities with SentinelOne’s market-leading AI security platform will supercharge cloud security by providing world-class protection for multi-cloud infrastructure, from development to deployment,” Anand Prakash, Founder and CEO of PingSafe, said.
The acquisition is expected to close in SentinelOne’s first quarter of fiscal year 2025, subject to any applicable regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions.
(This article will be updated with the latest news throughout the day.)
Edited by Suman Singh